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Ahhh, my friends, Fall is here. Well, this feels more like Winter, quite frankly. It has been snowing almost all week, and been quite beautiful at that. I have enjoyed every single flake that I have seen fall. There is so much going on, and I have been absent this last few days, but I found a moment to take a deep breath, and so, here I am. I had my eye on a place, and was feeling quite apprehensive about it, despite the fact that it was perfect for our needs. I had asked for them to work with me on a move in date, for Dec. 1, but she really wanted to rent it by Nov. 1. I knew we would not be ready by then, so I told her that if it was available on Dec. 1 we would take it, and if not, we would find something else. Today, I very apprehensively checked the rentals section, afraid that I would be devastated if it had been rented. Much to my surprise, when I looked and it was not there, I felt a huge sense of relief. Not only do I not have to worry about coming up with nearly 4000 dollars for December 1, but the Holidays are a terrible time to move, and ideally, January 1, would be a great move in date. I don’t believe in New years resolutions, but I do believe in new beginnings, and how fitting would it be to start the rescue ranch the first of the new year? Shocked and overwhelmed at the sense of relief that I have, waiting till January First, and oh, how pleased my husband will be to find that we dont have to move during the holidays. I have until January first to tie up some loose ends, and that is also a huge relief, plus, I just cannot packing this place up in a month, I just cannot fathom doing that, on top of everything else I am doing. We have a spay/neuter event on Nov. 10, that I am an on the planning committee for, and I have a potluck for my little friend with cancer tomorrow. I also have all this RMRR stuff I am trying to do, and a cancer awareness cookbook, and a few other fundraising type things. Good heavens. I feel like never in my life have I been attracted to technology, but never in my life, have I wanted a piece of equipment so badly. I feel a need to buy a tablet. Silly, I know. I have three different committees that I am on, a lot of meetings that I go to, and clients that I need to be able to bill on the go, and I am feeling like a tablet would go a long way in helping me organize it all, and keep it portable. I also have my Bible study to move forward on and well…its all a lot of details, really. Needless to say, I have been busy. Very, very busy. I definitely feel that it would be a business expense, but I am saving every penny, so I can get us into a ranch. I have made do with paper and pen this far in my life, never even really wanted anything but paper and pen, but dang, my binder has a lot of stinkin sections…its not very portable anymore, and well…you see where I am going with this. Anyway, I just might do it. Have to talk it over with the hubby, but I think it makes actual sense.

I have a lot on my mind with three non profits on my plate, and one just waiting in the wings for me to make time for them. I have business licenses and other connections to make. I have a whole lot of details going on. I am trying to do many, many things with my time, and my brain cannot see a list. It sees three lists, swirling around atop and below each other. A tornado of lists, if I may. I have tried to list them all, but the papers just stack up and I cant remember what I have written and what I still need. How do I get all of these details organized?

Once I get the three non-profits organized, I reach a place where I start thinking past them, to what comes after the event is established, and again find myself with a barage of details. Primarily with RMRR. I feel that as soon as I find a place, I need to start planning the respite and foster programs. I need to have everything in place for those to start right away, I need to plan the gardens and farmers market programs, quickly, cause planting is in march, at least for seed sets. I need to plan the RMRR store, and resource programs quickly also. Chickens won’t be far off, once spring rolls around it will be time to get them going. It feels like the next six months is going to be a blur, and yet, I have been waiting so long for this  that I am just as thrilled and patient as can be. Mostly, I am probably just too overwhelmed to be impatient. I can only assume God is using this opportunity to teach me how to juggle the many non-profit programs of my own that I intend to build. I finally found the courage today to make a phone call that I have been dreading. Nothing scary about it at all, I just couldn’t make myself call. Feels good to have faced that beast, and it turned out to be the kitten I thought it would be. Phew, check one more big one off the list.

I have this series of ideas I want to blog about. I learned a lot in therapy, and I think that a lot of people would be alot happier, if only they could grasp a few of these concepts. I also have some ideas about God and the Bible that I would like to share, some unique perspectives, I suppose. I feel as though I should do a “therapy” series. Maybe a “God” series. I certainly feel as though I should blog about some of the more important lessons I learned. A post specifically about being a “special needs mommy”. I always talk about my special needs child,a nd my special needs clients, but never do I talk about the ways in which I relate with these children, and I would like to explore the dynamic that happens when you learn just how easy it can be to “mentor” a special needs child when you understand treating people as individuals and letting go of expectations. I want to post about blame, and shame, and how we all like to think its “mom’s fault”. I would like to blog about shame, expectations, and codependency. I want to talk about the tools we have, and the “lizard brain”, or amygdala. I want to share a concept that was shared with me, and one that I heard someone repeat the concept to, in a very simple way, and how we all have different perceptions. I want to write a letter to all of the folks that I know who are fighting and fighting against simple, honest, real answers. To those who refuse to see whats in front of them, to the “can’t, won’t, but” folks out there. I want to make a plea for Jesus Christ, to those who have been shown, in such a misrepresentative way, what bits and pieces of the Bible say. I want to do so without condemning any organized religion. I want to talk about what it means to love Jesus,and quite frankly, a tiny bit of the anger of the denomination I was primarily raised in, well, that comes through, and I don’t wish to offend anyone. I want to talk to you about health, food, exercise, and a natural way of life, the way God intended.  So much I want to talk with you all about. Where does one start? What do you all want to read about? What are you curious about? Well, friends. Today, you can see, my mind is in a flurry. There is much that wants out, and the avenues for release are scarce at the moment. Until next time my friends…may your thoughts be organized and your days be blessed!

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Dynamics and emotions

What a strange dynamic I am in. It feels as though the worst and best things in my life are happening right now. On the down side, my best friends daughters cancer is back with a vengeance, and that is hard. On the other hand, RMRR is coming to fruition right before my eyes. We are planning to move December 1st, assuming we can find a place. That is so exciting, but it is weighted by the impending future of my little friend. I have learned so much about myself this last few weeks. I have a myriad of emotions that I don’t know how to sort. I have had a string of run in s with bullies, both in my life and in my childs. I feel as though God is trying to teach me to really stand my ground. I am ok at it, but I let people push me around sometimes, and well, I am improving my “standing my ground” skills. I am overwhelmed with a sense of urgency, and there are so many different wavelengths  paths, and thoughts in my head, that I am struggling to compartmentalize them all, even on paper. On the one hand, I am coordinating several fundraisers for my friend, and one the other trying to raise money for my own non profit dreams. It occurs to me that I am on the path to opening a cancer awareness non profit, but that was never in my plans. I guess Gods plans are rarely the same as ours. I have learned that I am incredibly competent at fundraising, that I don’t get stage fright speaking on a stage, to an audience, in a microphone. That was wonderful to learn. I have had so many great epiphanies about my capabilities, but the sadness and guilt that comes when you feel like you are not supposed to be getting so much good out of your friends tragedy. I have had anger, rage, hate, sorrow, joy, giddiness, and hope, shattered and replaced many times, this week. That is just the tip of the iceberg. I think I have used every single emotion I am equipped with , on multiple occasions, this week. I am in a place, where i feel God would not have equipped us with emotions if we werent meant to use them sometimes, and this is the week for emotions. Its slightly reminiscent of being on that bi-polar roller coaster, except that it is triggered by real life events that are beyond my control. Today, I work on my binder, get the new plans up and rolling. My logo is FINISHED! It is so beautiful. Next week I go down and register it. This is all coming together so nicely! Almost there kids…almost. I hope you all have a most blessed weekend! Until next time…

 

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Pretty exciting!

Well, this is pretty exciting. The fundraising page is slowly earning steady donations. Its not huge, not tiny. I have become comfortable with the idea of asking for help, have gotten great feedback. I even added a link on this blog.  I am starting to daydream on some of the realities of it. For the first couple days, I just watched, to see what would happen, if this was meant to be, or merely a fancy figment of my imagination? Its been just over two days, and I now have enough donations to feel confident that this is happening! I have been planning this rescue ranch for years, since the day I gave my life to Christ and He gave me my path. There has never been a more amazing moment in my life, and I have always known that this is really what God wants me to do. I have made mistakes along the way, but He always turns me gently back to the path. I know I will make more mistakes, but that He will always guide me, because I am doing this for Him, because I am sure it is what He wants me to do. Today, after years of envisioning it, of trying different ideas on paper and in function, after moving forward, falling backwards, and moving forward some more, I am finally seeing it come to fruition. I could not be more thankful to all the folks who have shown support along the way. I had a goal for a first donation, it was met, I had a goal for one hundred dollars, so that the page would go live on the search engine, and it was surpassed. I now have a third goal, and that is to raise enough to be able to start looking for a place. Oh how I long to start really, seriously looking. I am excited about this opportunity to fund raise this way. It gives me an opportunity that I otherwise would not have. I definitely got past the fear. I am excited, full of faith,and feeling the graces of God all around me. I look forward to sharing this part of the path with you. Of putting the trials, tribulations, blessings and joys of this adventure, out there for someone else to be inspired by. It takes courage. It is scary at times, hard at times, and incredibly fun and rewarding at times. I cry as many tears of joy as I do tears of frustration or sorrow, maybe more of joy even. I get ahead of myself, and then I get a taste of humble pie. Oops, check yourself girl! I pick myself back up, and I head out again. I will accomplish this, I am determined, and today, I feel the grace of God safely guiding me through it.

Today, I want to talk about Jesus for a minute. I may offend some, and I apologize if I do, but what I want to talk about is Jesus and Love. How Jesus is Love. They are the same. Do you ever hear a conversation, and well, it follows the normal thinking patterns of the natural person, but somewhere, deep inside it just feels wrong. I think that is Jesus speaking to us. I think that is our spirit, our hearts, telling us “this is not what Jesus would do”. I can give the example of immigration conversations off the top of my head, and this is where i think I may offend some. It is meant to be a simple example is all. do you think that Jesus would condemn refugees for coming across the border to hide here? I hear people making racist comments, or saying shameful things about someone, and even though it is accepted generally, that people may even have logical arguments, my heart says that Jesus would never, ever say something like that. Jesus is LOVE. What He utters is love, acceptance, patience, forgiveness, humanitarian efforts. He wants us to take care of the weak and unable. He wants us to love each other and pray for our enemies. Jesus loves everyone. He grieves for the sinners. He grieves for those who are unsaved, because He loves even them. Jesus is LOVE. I can’t get it out of my head and my heart today. I find the kind of love that Jesus exhibits in the humanitarian efforts that I participate in, and regularly think about how I want a heart just like His when I grow up. I love Jesus so very much. Thought for the day…Jesus is Love! Love is Jesus. Whichever way you measure it, I hope it opens a door of joy for you today! Many blessings my friends!

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Nerves settling

Good day my friends! Well, my nerves are settling from that crazy move yesterday. I have a little more clarity, it makes sense, and I am getting great feedback on the fundraising page. I have left the fear behind, and I am ready to see this grow. I learned I have to raise a certain amount for it to be available on the search page, so if any of you are interested in checking it out, here is the link. http://www.gofundme.com/obn80  Once it reaches one hundred dollars, it will be available from the search page. Meanwhile, its not so intimidating any more, and I am feeling pretty good about it. Its in God’s hands, and if this is what He wants me to do, it will raise the money, and if not, nothing really changes. I think though, after considering the epiphanies I have had this last week, that maybe there is a reason it went live yesterday without my intending to do so, and am feeling pretty full of faith about it. Thanks for listening through this scary part of the journey folks. I am glad I have come to the safe, not so scary part. I faced a huge fear yesterday, asking for help, and hoping people will believe in me. It is easy to believe in myself, I have God on my side, but asking others to believe in me, that is hard! Thanks for your support guys! I really appreciate you taking the time to listen. Until next time, many blessings….

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Crazy day!

Woohoo…two posts in one day. Its a crazy day! I had to come here. I had to talk to you folks. You see, I did something crazy today. I am nervous as can be about it, and don’t know why. I am hoping to find some affirmation that I did the right thing, I suppose. You see, I was raised that hard work is where it is at. That nothing comes for free. I have done so much hard work to get to the place where Rocky Mountain Rescue Ranch could provide for this community, but I am held back by lack of funds. Aren’t we all?  The problem I run into, is that it has to be a working, for profit ranch, that operates non profit programs off of it. Details, red tape, that kind of stuff. So, that makes fundraising very hard. I am sitting, waiting, getting up and happily putting one foot in front of the other every day. I ask my good Father what He wants form me for the day, and I do my best to achieve it. Today, while looking for a way to help a friend who is far away, I found something, or rather, re-happened across a page I found four months ago. GoFundMe.com is a page where you can do private fundraising. I was curious, started filling in the questionnaire  and before I knew it, I have  my own private fundraising site for Rocky Mountain Rescue Ranch. I really didn’t mean to go live with it, and before I knew it I got a page that said, Congratulations . Part of me is thrilled about this. Part of me is incredibly nervous. It can’t hurt, but I feel ludicrous asking people for help with the start up costs. Everything is ready, all we need is access to a ranch, and a few supplies, and we are on our way, and so, I have a wild mix of emotions about starting a fundraising page, but I am going to try it, because worst case scenario, nothing happens, and best case scenario, we finally get the center up and running for real. Oh someone tell me I am not crazy, please! Am I afraid of success? Is this a fear of rejection? Is it wrong to ask for help getting this community resource going. I have no doubt I can maintain it once I secure the grounds. I have no idea if this wild mix of emotions is self doubt, or fear of rejection, but I am facing it. Head on! Wish me luck folks.

 

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Delightfully dreary days…

Oh, what a delightfully dreary day it is! Woke up to snow and rain this morning, and could NOT be happier about it! Our air has been acrid with smoke for months. Its fairly warm out, the tomatoes and pumpkins are doing fine in the snow. Such a strange dynamic mountain life has, but OH, so refreshing. I am hanging out in fuzzy pajamas this morning, drinking a wonderfully warm cup of coffee, and watching fall happen out my window. My chest feels light with relief, and my heart is fluttering with joy and uplifting hope. Something about Fall in the mountains that just takes your breath away. The last few days have been outstanding. I battled and battled with a strange depression since I came back from my vacation a few weeks back. It finally broke, and I have relief, a sense of hope and joy, and a renewed direction.

There are a lot of things on my mind. I am having trouble sorting what I would like to talk about today. I have a had a lot of clarity the last few days, and I find hope in a new direction. Well, there is nothing new about it. It has been whispering in my ear, at times, even screaming, for my attention, and I keep blowing it off. I finally heard it this weekend, that path, calling me. It was profound and clear as a bell. I have been pursuing a dream, a mission really, called Rocky Mountain Rescue Ranch, for many years now. It’s intention is to help underprivileged community members get the support network they need to not be underprivileged any more. It is designed to teach people how to advocate for themselves, to get and keep a decent job, to get people stable enough to take care of themselves, long term, and to help place unwanted animals into the proper homes for them. It is a Christian environment, built to glorify God, as it was His wish that I do this. It is my intention, to honor His destination for me. I am sure He gets frustrated with me. I get it wrong. A LOT. Still, it is humbling that He trusts me enough to lead me to the underprivileged.

I have searched and searched for what is next. I have kept my eyes and ears peeled for every sign of where I belong. In my depression, I had some huge realizations. I attacked my clutter head first, and man does that feel great. Its still a work in progress, but every single day, the progress makes a difference in my life. I am slowly getting my organization and sense of calm back. I had the epiphany that hoarders are rarely, if ever, successful. Its just too chaotic to get anything done efficiently. It feels nice to be taking back my space.

My son was involved in a community service event this weekend. I went along, and it was a fantastic time. A blast was had by all. He did box city. Box city is a nationwide event, in which participants raise money and then sleep in a box in the park to raise awareness about homelessness. It brought tears of sadness and joy to my eyes. So nice to be with so many people who all hurt for the same kinds of things I hurt for. So nice to be actively trying to make a difference in the things that cause so much hurt, on a basic humanitarian level. I really hate to see ANYONE suffer. There is a bond among the participants at an event like that. A general understanding about the spirit of your neighbor. A safety. Oh….its so amazing, it really is beyond words. I am lucky to live in a community that puts community first, and I watched that blessing unfold beautifully his weekend. I also heard, loud and clear, the voice that has been whispering to me. I knew that it was time to back off from spay/neuter a little. I didn’t resign, I just handed a piece of my responsibility. I did open a lot of space in my life with that one little responsibility though, and two days later, I heard the voice again, this time over a loudspeaker, at a non profit event for the homeless. Duh! One thing I wondered is where I would find the families for my transitional housing program, for my “internships’. I figured the answer would come when it was time to know, so I put it on a back burner, and waited for a simmer. Today, I have answers to both of those questions, and I know where my services are needed next. How I will work with this non profit group to enhance a very beautiful program that already exists, and how they will help my program to grow and thrive. I look forward to contacting them, but I feel a strong call to get my home in the order it belongs before I do anything new. Oh the hope and joy….the anticipation of what may come. What a delightful place it is to be on this oh so dreary Rocky Mountain Fall day! Keeps me focused. Keeps me on task. Keeps me daydreaming about the days to come.  I look forward to the journey.

I want to write a post on basic human rights. Many people don’t even know what they are, so I feel it is important. However, its taking me a minute to wrap my brain around that, so watch for it. Meanwhile, may blessings my friends. May you all feel the joy and renewal of the season. Until next time…..

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Co-dependency

Ahhh…..

What a relief yesterday ended up being. In my crabby post yesterday, I spent a good deal of time complaining about helpless people. I actually had a really great, and enlightening day yesterday. I talk every once in a while about things a therapist has said to me. It is no secret I spent many years in therapy. I am not ashamed. Should I be? I don’t think so. Yesterday was a codependency focused day for me, and I have a lot of insight to share today from it. Bear with me if this gets a little drawn out. I have battled codependency my whole adult life, and I assume most of childhood, although I didn’t recognize it. I tried therapy a few times, but they just gave me meds, some of which made it way worse. No one ever called it codependency, until much later. It was called bi-polar disorder. It started when I was 19. One day I woke up, realized that I had had a hard life, and that I had never once cried about it, and man did that open a floodgate. It took years to get that floodgate closed, but I finally did, with the help of two very special therapists, and Jesus. Oh, yeah, and getting off the tri-cyclic birth control. I would like to take a minute to say something VERY IMPORTANT HERE.  If you are on a tri-cyclic birth control pill, and have been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, consider stopping them right away. Most likely that is what is causing your problems. It took me forever to figure it out. I started on a very popular birth control pill when I was 19. I have easy cycles, never a problem, and other than realizing I had bi-polar disorder, nothing significant happened. So, a few years back, I stopped taking birth control, and ALL of the symptoms of bi-polar disorder went away. I mentioned this to a friend, and she made the comment that she noticed she didnt need her bi-polar meds any more either, but hadn’t put it together with stopping birth control pills, but that after thinking about it they directly coincided. Here is my thought on the matter. Bi-polar disorder is when you cycle through abnormally strong emotions really fast. One week, manic happy and productive, one week maybe just blahs, and one week severe depression. A therapist explained to me that people have daily “weather”. Normal weather patterns change a little from day to day, but they never go from blizzard to monsoon. Bi-polar emotions go from blizzard to monsoon in moments flat. I think, and I am not a doc or a research scientist, but here is the logic for me. Tri-cyclic pills are three different hormone levels, then a hormone free week. Lets look at the pregnant lady for a classic example of what messing with hormones will do for a persons emotions. I am guessing, that as the hormone levels change each week, they affect our moods drastically, and mimic bi-polar disorder. If anyone out there is a research scientist, I would love to see this study done. So much bi-polar in the world would likely be solved if not for the hormonal birth control pills. Or, at least, if people were diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, they could try removing the hormones before just accepting that they are mentally unhealthy and spending a life in therapy trying to get control of something that could be avoided altogether, or spending years taking anti-depressants and mood stabilizers to offset the effects of the birth control? So, how does this affect my post on co-dependency? Well, in a bi-polar cycle, you are not thinking healthy things, and that just made my co-dependent behaviors that much worse. Not only was I co-dependent, I was emotionally crippled.

So, emotionally crippled, and the young adult emerging from a broken nest, I started my journey. Oh dear. What comes next is twenty very ugly years of me fighting and fighting to regain a sense of the self I lost to that tattered young soul. I did my rebelling and experimenting, I may as well be real about it. I am not ashamed of what I have done in my life. Some of it, I might do differently, given the chance, but I am not ashamed of it. I stumbled through my teens and at a young twenty something, I decided I wanted to be a single mom. Deep in my heart, I knew it was wrong, and I had no idea what was driving this desire. I took it up with the two women I admired the most, and both got excited and said “if anyone can do it, you can”. I went home baffled. I remember thinking “what? No one thinks this is a bad idea? ” I swear I was dying for someone to tell me what a bad idea it was, but nobody did. I went home, got rid of the very great boyfriend I had, and went on a search for the biggest loser I could find, hoping to get a baby, and that the man would leave before it was born (ridiculous, I know, but I was young, dumb, and emotionally compromised). Just to be fair, I did tell the man I wanted a baby, we made the decision to try together, and I did try to make it work with him. As an adult, with a nearly grown child, I understand all of this better now, but it was not till years later when I made a comment to my very “mature” Christian mentor, that I didnt know why I chose to be a singe parent, and he looked at me in utter confusion and said “you don’t?” “I do”. He then proceeded to tell me to look at how the men in my life had treated me, and how, no wonder I would not want one in my child’s life. I have never been the type of person to say that because one or two men hurt me, they are all bad, but clearly my subconscious thought that somewhere, and how incredibly intuitive of my mentor? Understand quickly, that I have been sexually offended by several men in my life, as a child, before I ever even knew what sex was. Again, not my fault, and I am not ashamed of what others did to me that I could not control. People tend to get all sorry for me when I tell them what happened in my childhood. Please don’t. I don’t feel sorry for me. Every single thing that happened was a lesson to turn me into someone who can do wonderful work for God. Everything happens for a reason, and I would not be this girl that I respect and admire today if not for my hardships, and we ALL have hardships. I think yours were as hard as you think mine were. It was ultimately the therapy for my sons special needs that got me where I needed to be. And on that note, you can learn all the healthy behaviors you need to deal with any human being at all, if you just learn what a special needs child requires. Everything about raising a special needs child requires that you look at them as an individual, and treat the behaviors accordingly. If every person in this world was treated the way I was taught to treat special needs kids, holy cow, the world would be an unimaginably healthy and joyful, validated place. The skills transfer to every human beings basic rights. We dont honor the typical human beings rights, but with a special needs child, it is the ONLY way to make progress, and you learn about meeting basic rights. ALL of my relationships have improved since I learned how to validate, give choices, hand over some control of the situation, choose important battles, not ones that don’t matter. Raising an Aspergers kid is where it is at if you want to learn how to relate to people in a way that is healthy for all involved. The skills you learn taking care of special needs kids will last you a lifetime.

So, back to the topic at hand. Co-dependency. Do you know what it is? I thought I did, and there was no way that was me, I was so independent, I couldn’t be co-dependent.  HA! What a fool I was for thinking I knew something. Oh, I knew what co-dependency was alright, I was living a life full of it, but I had no idea that that was what co-dependency actually was. Co-dependency is a deep and intricate “disorder”. Most people don’t even recognize it till a therapist tells them to get the book “Codependent No More”, by Melody Beatty. I know many co-dependents whose lives have been changed by that book. I keep a copy on my shelf too. You open that book, thinking “what can this book possibly offer me?”, and then it changes your life.  http://www.amazon.com/Codependent-No-More-Controlling-Yourself/dp/0894864025

For simplicity sake, here is the Wikipedia definition of co-dependency. It is a good way to sum up the basics for those who are unfamiliar with the disease. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codependency

All this background is getting me somewhere, I promise.  So, I spent years behaving like a classic co-dependant. I could not for the life of me figure out why people wouldn’t treat me the way I treated them. I was offended when I was told I was controlling people, but the book put it in a perspective that made me understand what that meant. I leaned about “shoulding all over” myself and others because of co-dependency. I learned that taking care of others is NOT the best way to get ones OWN needs met, and I started trying to take care of myself instead of taking care of everyone else. I had to draw some serious lines in the sand, and it felt cold and callous, but also, so liberating to learn how to put myself first for once. What? I am allowed to meet MY OWN needs? That is weird. I spent years and years in therapy, learning healthy patterns and behaviors, crying about how wronged I have been, just feeling defeated, not good enough, a huge failure, but the answer was bi-polar, and meds, which never helped enough to make life feel good. Once I was given a the above book as an assignment for therapy, it all started to change. I put up limits on how much people could ask of me, I started finding little ways to meet my needs first, and I learned how to say NO to people, which was the hardest part and I still struggle with it from time to time, and in those instances, co-dependency rears its ugly head in just a small way, in my life. I am so aware of it now, that I take control and stop the behavior as soon as I recognize it, but I made it through all of yesterday, before I realized that there were a trickle or two of co-dependency in my behavior, leading me to feel those very same feelings I had so long ago when I did not recognize the behaviors.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s never full blown co-dependency ever any more, just little tiny things that build up when I forget to say no to them, and yes to my needs. Yesterday was all about that for me. If you read yesterdays blog, you know I spent a good chunk of my morning arguing with a very clearly unhealthy co-dependent in my life. I was so angry I was shaking, and told her so, but it just kept going, on and on and on, till I couldn’t take it any more. I spent hours trying to convince her that a therapist could help her with the codependency and she should get help, all the while, letting this girls terrible attitude have a profound effect on my cause she wouldn’t do what I kept telling her was right (if you are at all familiar with co-dependency, you are now rolling on the floor in laughter at the irony of that situation). Still didn’t recognize my co-dependent behaviors of the day, but it continues. My best friend in the world is consumed by her tragedies right now, and I get that. When I try to offer a solution, or advice, I get nothing but “i am not ready to start the healing process yet”. I think that is so unfair. She called me the other day, and I was bawling my eyes out. She didn’t even notice, and proceeded to talk about how emotional she was, yet, she is not ready to change anything, just wants me to carry the burden till she is ready, still, is completely unaware of me. These one sided relationships are VERY co-dependent, and I was feeling pretty angry and hurt. She wanted to stop and visit, but I said NO. Oh, here it is, the magic word that saves me from myself. No. such a simple word, but for some, so hard to learn. I have now said NO, to the co-dependent trying to control me,  and to the person I feel is taking a little advantage of me. I have one or two more big issues to face in my co-dependent battle day. I have been on a spay/neuter task force commitee for years. I love it. I love working with the surgered dogs. I am good with the sick, the needy, the scared, and a natural leader at heart, so it is a good position for me, however, I imagine due to a lot of this co-dependency, I tend to get quite insubordinate when my morals are challenged, and I know it is something I have to work on, meanwhile, its still true. Well, the last several events, I have been feeling quite insubordinate, and as though a lot of responsibility and blame that are not my weights to carry, are landing on my shoulders. It has been a huge stressor, because I really love doing it, but it was clearly taking a huge toll on me, by the way my demeanor went all bi-polar every time it came up. I am talking happy to hurricane in seconds flat. That is a great, big, red warning flag for me, when something causes my now under control emotions to do that. Yesterday, while I was taking back my sanity, I said NO to them too. Oh, that one felt so good! I have been bearing that pressure for far too long now, and what a relief it was to say, “I just cannot do what you are asking of me any more”. I spent my entire day lecturing a close relative about being co-dependent, and at the end of the day, I looked back and realize that I spent the entire day using tools out of my bag of healed co-dependency tricks. I may have fought that battle and won, but every once in a while, the behaviors pop up and get me when I am not watching  for them. I spent my day trying to get some peace and renewal, from taking care of everyone else the last two weeks, and at the end of it all, I look back and think, man, I “should have” recognized this all much sooner this time. Oh well, I recognized it and moved forward. I apologized for being so callous and cold, explained where I was coming from, said I still felt the same way but I could have said it much nicer. I didn’t take it back, just apologized for my method of delivery. I was angry and bitter at what felt like, and still does feel like, several very one sided relationships in my life. The difference today, is that I have a choice between letting those one sided relationships make me feel terrible, or balancing out how much time I spend doing for others compared to doing for me, and how much time I spend doing for others who never notice it. Its all about the choices I make. Not how they treat me, how I choose to be treated. All I have to do is simply choose to treat me better and put less priority on others well being, and I will be ok. I have been trying to put me first, for some time now, and if you follow in the posts, you know that, but always, someone “needs” something from me, and my needs get put off till tomorrow, and tomorrow, there is always something, and my needs just keep getting pushed back further and further, till I have a day like yesterday, where I lock myself in the house and refuse to talk to anyone. I have to be ok with telling someone that I cant listen to her cry today, or that I am happy to listen and understand, but I need a turn to cry too.  There are lots of therapists in this valley. They get paid to do what I do as a co-dependent, and quite frankly, its ok for me to turn folks away or offer a good therapists number if I cant carry their burden that day. Oh so hard to remember that I can say no to the people I love, and that they will still love me, and they will enjoy me more if I take the time to keep me healthy. Learning to say no when someone says they need me has been incredibly difficult, but I am getting it. Yesterady, I said no in a big way to the things that were sapping the energy from me and wearing me down. It was refreshing and uplifting, and I even found time to focus on my Bible study.

A little while back, I started a womens Bible study group on facebook. The first study we chose was on faith. Funny, cause I have strong, very strong, faith. This last couple months though, my faith has been weak. I know He is here with me, but I feel disspaointed in the lack of assitance He is offering me. I had my little tantrum, but then, as I was taking back my peace, I realized in one very brightly lit moment, that I knew I wold be attacked when I started the Bible study, I knew my faith was struggling, but that it would be ok, but it never, ever occurred to me till yesterday, when I finally could see clearly again, that my faith was being attacked because I started a womens Bible study on FAITH of all things. That one made me laugh pretty hard too. I apologized to my good Father, for being such a spoiled little brat, and asked Him to protect my faith while I lead these women through the study. At the end of the day, I looked back, realized I had broken the co-dependent patterns I hadn’t even realized that I was allowing again, figured out why I was having issues with God, and went to bed peaceful, uplifted, hopeful, and spiritually healthy again. Oh what a day it was. Today, I am armed with a new perspective, and I am looking forward to what the day might bring. I am looking forward to continued healing and growth. I wish you all many blessings on your journey. Until next time my friends…

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“shoulding all over ourselves”

Oh my goodness folks! I have to say, while the decluttering feels great, oh man, it’s a ton of chaos, and it is wearing on me. I am doing much better this morning, now that the guys have gone off to school and work and I can get some stuff done, but dang, it was a rough weekend! The rooms I have done are great. It feels so nice to cook and live in the kitchen and dining rooms, and this office is just fabulous. So peaceful. Unfortunately, the rest of the house is a mess from the “remodeling” and well, dang! I am short on patience, understanding, compassion. All of the qualities I love so much about myself have flown out the window this week. I have no patience for folks who have drama they can change, who sit around whining about it. I call them the “can’t/won’t/but” people, and I am dealing with one and her drama in a big way today. I have been mean, blunt, callous, and cold. I have told said person that I am over the whining and to do something about it or quit crying about it, and well, just a complete lack of empathy. Ugh! I am operating on a very short fuse. I am cheerful and happy putting away the clutter, sorting through, and filling trash bags and “get rid of” boxes. I have filled so many huge garbage bags, and so may boxes of stuff. Its so satisfying watching them go out the door, exhausting trying to put back the keepers, and quite frankly, I feel as though I am growing slightly neurotic about the areas I have cleaned. I am desperate to keep them clean till the whole house is done, but I feel like I gotta follow folks around with a washcloth and a dustpan. That also adds to my lack of patience. Also, it feels like as soon as I get one thing fixed up, I found two more broken or messy spots…ugh! What a challenge this is turning out to be. I guess I expected it to be so, but now I am in the thick of it, and I was right, its a challenge. I keep thinking, it is a means to an end, and it will all be worth it, but then I reconsider the conversation I just had, and I think..Is it? Is it worth being this cold, mean, blunt, short fused, impatient and intolerant person for? Granted, last week was a mess, and I haven’t taken my HSP down time in two weeks, and have been surrounded by extra clutter, and people, the whole time. No wonder I am so mean today! Oh the quiet has been so nice today. No tv on, not even music, and I love music. Things are going nicely into places and homes where they belong, and I feel as though it can be a very positive, productive week, but by no means is it devoid of stressors. I am in this place, where I feel like I manage to listen to everyones drama, all day long. Lots of it can be changed, and they just blatantly refuse to do so. That is so incredibly frustrating for me….I have drama too. Some I can change, some I can’t, but I don’t play the blame game, and I am sick of all the can’ts and won’ts I keep hearing. I am sorry this post is so negative, I just want to tell them all, if its something you can change, change it or quit whining about it.  Why can’t people see that they spend so much time whining about a situation, that by the time they look back, enough time has passed they coulda changed it? I am a grab it by the horns and look that bull square in the eyes kinda gal. If I can change it, I do. If not, I have to accept it and move one, but I get nowhere whining about the things other people do that I cannot control or change. I want to write about something a therapist taught me once. She called it “shoulding all over yourself” and it was clever. She talked about all the ways we “should all over” ourselves and others, and how unhappy that makes us. It is a concept that changed my life. She says…you think that guy “should have” used his blinker cause that is what YOU would have done. How do you know his wife isn’t in labor or ill? She says…you spend how much time thinking about things you “should have done” or “should be doing”. She made it clear that when we should all over ourselves we are just carrying anguish for things that are past, and that we can decide to change them, or quit beating ourselves up about it. As for shoulding all over others, it just gives us something to be crabby about that we cannot control…that guy should, that lady should…you get the point. Who made you the authority on what people “should” be doing with their lives, right. The minute I became aware of my “shoulding” patterns, I realized that I expected everyone to behave in a way that “I” thought was acceptable. How incredibly rude and self righteous, but wow…we all do it. Just watch yourself. How many times today have you thought that someone “should” have done something differently? Was it really even any of your business? Did it steal five minutes of your happiness? I am telling you, I found great joy in letting other people do as they will, without expectation. Without “shoulding all over” them or myself. I guess I am doing a little of that today. I “should” be nicer. I “should” be more compassionate. I “should” have more patience and tolerance. Hmmm…. guess I better check myself. Realistically, I am overwhelmed, tired, exhausted really, and surrounded by choas that slowly get whittled away a little bit each day. Maybe what I “should” do is give myself a break. So, I am thinking about the finer things in life today…like “shoulding all over” myself, and others. Ugh! I hope that as I move forward on this house, some of these less than compassionate thoughts will go away, meanwhile…I can only pray the God protects me from myself and helps to bring patience and peace. I hope you all are well. Till next time…many blessings my friends!

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The kitchen

Oh good Heavens. The kitchen is TOUGH. It’s hard to even take the things out of the kitchen for some reason. Not sure why I am having so much more trouble on the kitchen than anywhere else I have been, but dang, it’s like pulling teeth, trying to stay focused in that room. I was thinking I should have taken before and after pics for you guys, but oh well! I spent a little time lamenting yesterday, on the irony that my house has some pretty big rooms in it. Particularly the bedrooms and living room. Unfortunately, the rooms I use most, the office, dining, and kitchen, are all tiny, and have the most stuff. I have faith that it will all fit because I have thrown away A LOT of stuff. Know anyone that needs a George Foreman grill? I joke, of course. I mean, I am just not willing to keep it in a stack by my door while I wait for it to be claimed…off to the thrift store, where it can do some good for someone else. The back end of my little SUV is quickly filling up with stuff for donation, and it is so satisfying when I take a box to the car to be forgotten till the next time I pass Goodwill. It felt good to sit in my beautiful, clutter free, dining room, to have dinner with my boys last night…Oh we all loved the nice clean room so much! The kitchen, I hope, will be done today. I have a few piles I need to sort through, things like storage containers I am no longer using for the junk they were holding, but don’t want to get rid of them till the whole house is done, in case I need to downsize something into a different container or something. Man, when this house is done, I am gonna give someone a virtual organization store. I have a TON of empty storage containers now, and I can only anticipate I will have more as I go. I LOVE empty. I am excited. Every day, every project, leaves me with a whole new set of inspiring thoughts. Because this house was already quite stuffed when I moved in, I am finding all kinds of cool things that I didn’t even know I had. Things I have never even seen before. I found an antique apple corer/peeler in a silverware drawer, buried at the bottom, under the things I use frequently. I had to ask my husband what it was, and if we could store it with the antiques instead of in the kitchen…but it was cool. I also found an electric knife that was made some time before 1962, if I had to guess… it was that telling green and cream color from the good ole days. I am afraid to plug it in. The male plug was even made way differently than they are now, also very neat, and low and behold, I DO have a friend who wants THAT, of all things. So, I have found some really great and useful things, and some very nostalgic things, and well, some crap I just cant believe is still kicking around here from the sixties or later. I wasn’t here (on Earth) in the sixties, just so we are clear. It’s not that I mind getting old, I just am not yet. This stuff had to belong to my hubby’s grandmother. It would be neat to get the story behind some of it. Out of curiosity, I even checked to see if the knife has any worth, and I cannot find one, at all…so maybe it does. Too late now, I gave it away already….don’t really care that much, just want my house clean.

Nope, good ole ETSY. I found one and it looks like it’s worth about twenty bucks. Glad I gave it away. Anyway, this project has been so inspiring. I have more ambition for this declutter project than I ever imagined I would have, and dang if it is not going great. I am nearly halfway done, and still full steam, with a few hang-ups in the kitchen. I have managed to keep the rooms that are done, clutter free in the process of doing other rooms, and I just cannot wait till its done! I feel pretty manic, except that I have felt this way more and more intensely as I get further through the house, and so far no crash or burn stage. Oh I hope I can continue to sustain this very routine thing I have going on now. It’s great to sleep at night, and work during the day. It has been so many years, I can barely remember that time before I had a son with three sleep disorders and slept like a normal person. I did at one point in my life, but my child changed all that, and I have not had a normal sleep schedule forever, but I do again, and that feels SO GOOD! This morning it was light our when I woke up and I jumped up in a panic. somehow I slept through both of my alarms and my husbands also. It was 8 am. OH CRAP! Under no circumstances should the sun be up before me. That means late…

The chaos ensues as I work through this madness, but I am just so convinced that it is a means to an end, and that despite the additional chaos of emptying a room into the living room to declutter it and put it away correctly, when it is all said and done, I will feel very calm, focused, and serene. I will be more productive. I have been longing for a citrus juicer for some time now…guess what I found that my mother in law left?  A citrus juicer. Saving money too…see, it is so worth it. I feel like my thoughts are racing, all running together, my fingers barely move as fast as my thoughts, and my fingers move pretty fast most days. I have so many wonderful ideas. As much as I love the routine of sleeping and waking a regular schedule, I cannot wait till my routine does not include the chaos of emptying and decluttering a room while I wait for the steam cleaned floor to dry so I can put back the keepers. I thought the kitchen would be one of the easiest rooms. No carpet to steam clean, nothing on the floor, just cupboards to sort through. I was wrong. Very, very wrong. It is so hard to go in there and empty the cupboards and carpets, that I will do almost anything to avoid it. I just want it done so badly, as soon as I realize I have walked away, I go back and make myself put stuff in a box like a robot if I have to….it will get done, and I think I have finally cleared everything out…ugh! Now I gotta sort it and put it back. And so it goes, I have done enough avoiding this morning. Time to hit the piles…wish me luck. Hope I don’t get lost in there (just kidding, it’s not that bad. none of the piles are bigger than me…). Until next time, my friends, many blessings to you all!

 

 

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a flicker of hope

Oh good day my friends! How are you all today? Oh, I am so, so well! I tell you, you have got to try this! I LOVE cleaning out these rooms. I can not stop, like a wildfire out of control, I just keep going, and it is easy not to burn out, because as I get each room worked through, I look at the next one and start thinking of how awesome that room will be, and what I am going to do with it. I gotta say, the inspiration is outstanding. I LOVE the way it feels in the rooms that are done, and I can almost picture the whole house feeling this good…getting closer! I just cannot express with words alone how great the rooms that are de-cluttered feel. I cannot put in black and white how good it feels to send bags of stuff out the door, whether it be trash or someone else’s  treasure. I am already finding myself saving money and being way, way more productive.

It has been pretty amazing how this has all worked out. I had a plan to start the rooms on the weekend when hubby was home, and work through them during the week while he is at work, but it would mean a lot of stagnant sitting while I wait for him to come home and help me move furniture between rooms. I was ok with it, but blessing of all blessings, he got a call two days into it and was told he was on indefinite vacation till they get another bid. Oh it made my day! He has been so helpful, so supportive, and quite frankly, everything is going so much smoother than it would be if he was not here.

Well, just a short note this morning friends! I have a whole dining room that has been cleaned and is now waiting for me to put back the belongings that I am keeping and putting in there. I must say, one of my favorite things so far, is how we managed to create a make-shift pantry, much like I have always dreamed of (only on a much smaller scale). It feels so wonderful to see my food all lined up nicely in rows…and to know exactly what I have. Fabulous! OK, back to it….until next time, many blessings my friends!