Sunday’s Healthy Reflection: A Lifetime of Moments

Should you find yourself at a loss, wondering what life is all about and what your purpose is, be thankful. There are those who didn’t live long enough to get the opportunity to wonder.

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Taking inventory of your gifts and blessings

You’ll probably spend some time this weekend thinking about the good things in your life and your loved ones. Before you do that, take a moment to just consider how lucky you are to be here in the first place. In the 21st century, we can experience more in a month than most people throughout history did in a lifetime. Instead of appreciating that fact, we usually just end up wanting to do and have more. We look at what’s wrong rather than what’s right. This is a perfect time to take a look at your life and priorities again. Can you make some extra time every day to just enjoy the moment and your loved ones? You’ve been given the gift of a lifetime of moments. Accept the gift and prove yourself worthy.

Brought to you by Sparkpeople.

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‘You’ve been given the gift of a lifetime of moments.’

I haven’t been online the last few days. Spottily from my iPhone is all. What I have seen is a lot of either, New Year’s resolutions, or non-lutions, or even just goals. It is that time of year to think, reflect, and assert what you want out of 2010.

And that is great. I’m not saying any of those things are bad. I quit smoking January 1, 2006. I also lost 50lbs. Resolutions are inspiring and they can work if you have the resolve to do it. Of course they can also be done any time of the year.

What I have noticed is there less focus on living in the moment, cherishing our family, and finding more time with them. I have seen less focus on the priority of “lifetime moments”. And maybe what I am trying to say is….can we resolve to just partake in the wonder – the sheer wonder – of life all around us?

We live in an amazing world, an amazing time. My goal this year is to see – really see – what I am missing in my rush through it. I have a wedding to look forward to. The details to be incredibly poignant and meaningful. A new family to blend and grow with. My daughter turns 16. She will never be 16 again.

One of my goals, along this line of this thinking, is to get a new camera. A DSLR for a beginner. I would like to take a class at the local continuing education building (where I took Italian language). I’ve been playing around with my camera recently and I think my writing this year has increased my “eye”. I would like to expand on that in my blog and in life. I think it will be such a treasure to embark upon a lifelong sight journey.

This is an exciting time and year for me. I refuse to miss it. I want to remember and take part of every miracle that happens. I know there will be struggles. I know there will be complications. My life motto is to live as though everything is a blessing no matter what it is.

I have been through some tough stuff in my life – an abusive past relationship and drug addiction – yet, those experiences are a blessing in that it grew my compassion, strength, and knowledge. I wouldn’t be who I am without them. And that is what I hope for this year, to be AMAZED. To be present and accept the gift.

2010 – Hi there, so glad to meet you. I look forward to knowing you better.

Life is a garden, dig it.

-Joe Dirt

Please note some language in this video (bleeped out), but it is so funny with a great message.

Arrivederci, Italiano!

Penultimate Italiano la sera. *Thank you, Jason for my word of the day, that I USED in a sentence. See ——–> used in a sentence*

Penultimate – next to last class.

I had my penultimate Italian conversation class last night. It was bittersweet. What a wonderful adventure the last six weeks has been, I’d love to tell you all about it. I promise to speak mostly inglese. *deal with it spell checker* Sorry ENGLISH. Ahem.

Io amore Italia. I LOVE ITALY. If I didn’t know before, maybe I wasn’t sure, or maybe I was too scared to commit. Well, I am out of the closet now. I absolutely LOVE this country, this culture, this language. I sit in class, soaking it up. It settles into my bones. It tells me – I belong here – I am your heritage and where you originated from.

Il nonno – my grandfather – was raised in Italy. He grew up in Northern part. He came to the United States a young man. He married a French woman named Dorotha. They had my mom. Growing up I proudly pronounced, I am a quarter French and a quarter Italian. Named after my Uncle Angel. My Italian heritage is my birthright. It means everything to me. *my looks favor the French side*

My Papa Jimmy passed away when I was 16 yrs old. I have said – all my life – he is my guardian Angel. How do I know this? Well, during my party days, there were several many mornings when I woke up after drinking heavily and had no idea, how I drove from town to my mom’s house (8 miles away). No idea. Except that he was with me. He guided me safely home.

When I attempted my first garden, with my mom’s help, I had a variety of beautiful flowers. I had all kinds. The next spring what came up abundantly, Zinnias, which happen to be my Papa’s favorite flower. He used to throw Zinnia seeds all over his garden and they would come up everywhere. That is what happened to me, without planting a single one, they came up everywhere, all different colors. They grew as tall as my chest. It was incredible!

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And now, as I finish six weeks of classes, two times a week, two hours at a session. It sinks in. My Papa. My Papa got me in Italiano. His heritage put in the desiderare. He is beaming and calling me to Italy. I yearn to go.

My favorite part of the class? The videos of Italy. The different cities, landscapes, history – oh my gosh, the history –  I was never interested in history until this class. The richness of this country is breathtaking. With it’s astounding contrasts, a Roman Empire that changed the world, crescent-shaped coastal cities, tarnished splendor filled with art.  Art and majesty that distinguish this country from many others. I am beyond impressed.

I took Italian because I was interested in where my Papa came from, because I wanted to know about our families culture. I ended up with more than I ever thought possible. A place in my heart filled by the love I have for this country. Did I learn to speak fluent Italian? HA. No. I could get by. My instructor was wonderful. He was native Italian, cute as a button, with an adorable accent. He had us doing a lot of Italian two conversations. He earnestly wanted us to learn as much as we could. Many of the students were actually going to Italy this spring. *GOING to Italy, whimper*

Alas, as much as I love all things Italia, I am NOT crazy about taking classes and studying. Blech. I knew there was a reason I didn’t go to college. *I applaud all of you that do it. You have my utmost respect, utmost*

I hope to take Italian two this Spring. I just need a class break, a looooong fall break, if you will. In the meantime, I will continue to study my book. I will keep trying to make my tongue say the words right. In my head and in my ear I understand, but when I speak out loud, it’s all wrong. *practice, practice*

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Possibly, I will convince my mom she NEEDS to take me to Italy with her. I already know everything I need to travel with her.

“Quanto costa?” How much is it?

“Dov’e il bagno?” Where is the bathroom?

“Vorrei spaghetti.” I would like spaghetti. (oh wait, that’s for me, whoops)

Good-bye Italian! It was so nice to meet you, know you, revere you. I can’t wait to see you again. Piacere! Molto lieto!
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Fall Italiano class 2009

Sunday Healthy Reflection

Our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made.

– Wayne Dyer

    Own all of your choices

The choices you make today will determine the path that your life will take. When you sit back and look at the decisions you’ve made in your life, are you happy with the route you’ve paved? If you’re not, make a change today. The next time you make a choice, ask yourself if this decision will lead you to the path you want to travel along. Set some new goals that will lead you to your dreams and then plan your course.

Brought to you by Sparkpeople’s Healthy Reflections. SPARKPEOPLE

There have been many times, when I painfully recounted my choices, and what they had done in my life. Normally, in anguish over them, I wanted say “It’s not my fault, everything is against me!”

The struggles I faced, the losses, from all my choices. When I stopped trying to blame other people, the universe, my parents, is when I realized – I AM the sum total. What I CHOOSE to do with it, is up to me.

It was a relief to finally look at myself and own up. I chose this path. Me and no one else. I can point, scream, cry and CHARGE someone else or some thing else. The truth is? It’s not their fault. It’s all mine.

So, I choose to live happy. I choose to use ill circumstances to learn and to grow. I won’t blame anyone else for what I did or did not accomplish. I’ve actually become friends with it and made it a part of who I am. My choices.

My life changed, when I took responsibilty for myself. My life became better.

Does that mean bad things won’t happen to me? No. But what I CHOOSE to do with them has.

Live proud. Live true. Live you.

Braving Love again-The Break

Part Two-

It’s mid-October 2008, I have just made a very shoddy decision to stop seeing Jason. I felt it was the RIGHT thing to do. He wasn’t divorced yet. But I also felt, intense regret, immediately. Honestly? We had already been together five months. What the heck did it matter NOW?

I wish I could answer that. It just did. I didn’t feel like we were moving forward, and that is where I needed to go. But you bet, I back pedaled. As soon as I saw that little heart broken icon on Facebook. As soon as his name disappeared off my page, as soon as everyone in the freeworld Facebook world knew we were broken up. I wanted to take it back. Desperately.

I got all my stuff from his house at lunch time. I said good-bye to my best buddy Cooper, crying my heart out the whole way back to work. I was a basket case. I couldn’t eat. I knew what I’d lost. It broke me. I functioned as best as I could. I tried to keep myself occupied, too busy to think about it. We were still friends on Facebook. I found myself constantly checking his page, like a creepy obsessed ex.

Speaking of that…..crazy, is exactly how I felt. Every day, I had some excuse to text him or email him. I would wait to see if he would respond or not. If he hadn’t responded, I would have been consumed by the dejection. He always did. The responses were my life line.

The day of the Pumpkin Patch outing came. The day he was taking his wife, and daughters, as a family to pick out pumpkins. A family tradition. The night before, I was on my floor, face down, praying. Praying with all my heart, and soul, that IF their relationship could be healed. Heal it. For the children, who I loved. In hopes, that they might have both parents in their lives (which I never had).

Not only to have both parents in their lives, but to have both parents LOVE each other. A love restored. A miracle. I didn’t want them to reconcile just for the children. I wanted the family unit brought back together. So, the girls could be raised surrounded by love. True love. Without knowing the brokenness of divorce. My heart yearned for this to happen. If I had to give him up. By GOD, let it be for THAT.

I told myself, if he called me Saturday night, after the pumpkin patch, then the healing did not occur. I don’t even remember why he might call, probably because I texted him. He did call. It seemed like a sign to me. Okay, God, you didn’t bring them back together. Can I have him back now? I really don’t like being destroyed.

The phone conversation did not go well. I hinted about just putting this behind us. Chalking it up to learning. Forget the nonsense, let’s just get back together (how hard could it be?). I WAS WRONG. I AM ADMITTING THIS.

It didn’t matter what I said, he was hurt by my actions. He was closed down. He said, I was right. He needed time to heal. The divorce was taking it’s toll on him. It was a good thing to take time for himself. *nooooooooooo*

My normally strong, infallible, self did not take it well. This ending. This finality. Oh, it hurt. My gut wrenched. I cried, endlessly. I knew time would heal. I knew, eventually, I would move forward. It was just getting to that point.

I began exercising, every day (like I used to). I still wasn’t able to eat (swallow food). I lost weight. Within four weeks, I was easily swimming an hour. Running an hour. Spin class, weights, you name it. Basically, right back at my former fitness level.

My life became before Jason, or after Jason in terms of any events.

I decided to start dating. Not because I was over Jason, but because that was the ONLY way to keep my mind off of him. The endless, thinking and over analyzing of what happened, was beating me down. A good friend told me, “Don’t view dating as a relationship, but just as it is. A date.”

Fine, so I would date. I would learn the art of it. I would master dating as dates, rather than dating as in “relationships”. There is a difference, you know? I didn’t have much experience dating. I had tons in relationships.

I realize, I shouldn’t have subjected other people to my dysfunction at the time. I realize, I should have taken time to heal, and find myself; like I did when my marriage ended. I realize that. The reason I didn’t? I was mad. How could I lose the sweetest man in the world? Was it really necessary to push him into a corner? Did I really have to make him responsible for MY last relationship problems?

Dating seemed a fit punishment for my crime. For my idiocy.

I call the next season of my life, my power dating phase. Oh, it’s one for the books. It was bad. I was bad. Whichever you want to call it. I got a date, the same night, I signed up on a dating website. The SAME night. The guy asked me, “How long have you been on blank website?”. I answered, “Today”. HA. You should have seen his face. I was that coquettish. I became a pro dater, pro talker, pro dating site profile surfer. Maybe I was just myself, with no reservations. I really had nothing to lose. I could get a date faster than you could say…..What??? What?

Like I said, it passed the time. I met a lot of great guys, proudly, I call some friends. I exercised. I dated. I tried not to text, or email, or CALL, or Facebook, Jason. Daily. Hourly. This was so strange for me. I had NEVER had anyone turn me down (like he did, not wanting to date me again). I had never NOT gotten over someone like this. I consumed myself in activities, in hopes of consuming my thoughts of him. *life was HELL*

Finally the precious passing of time, started me on the road to recovery. Happy day. I met someone right before Thanksgiving, that I actually LIKED. He had a very true heart. He was funny and kind. I met him by my work, the first time, and the same week went to a Turkey fry at his Men’s Church group. He was a very active Catholic. Fun, silly and polite. It didn’t seem like he was playing the field. He was genuine and most importantly, honest. More available to hang out, than some of the other guys.

Life took a turn for me. I still thought about Jason, but it wasn’t as bad. I actually removed him as a friend on Facebook. It was the only way to stop obsessing over his page and news feeds. That was hard (we met on Facebook), but necessary for me to move on. Once I close the door, I am finished. I don’t ever find it, advantageous, to revisit past mistakes. I learn and move on. Period. That part of my life, with Jason, was behind me.

Apparently, someone else had other plans. December 9, 2008 – On a trip to Austin to visit clients, in a strange turning of events, I fell and injured my wrist. It swelled up, and began bruising right away. I couldn’t open the car door, or shake hands without excruciating pain. I put ice on it. I thought I had sprained it. Nothing like this had ever happened, I decided to go to Carenow and have it checked – just in case. Not any Carenow, but the Carenow by Jason’s house. Oh, it was an excuse, and a need. I was hurting. He was the one I wanted for comfort (of course).

When I called, he came. I will never forget, the instant, I saw him walk through the door. I was struggling over the paper work, trying to write. I couldn’t use my right hand! I glimpsed his profile through the glass, and looked up. My heart dropped. Literally. What a precious sight he was to me. I met his sky blue eyes, and smug, precocious look, with exuberant joy inside. I had longed for this. It was soooo good to see him.

In that split second, everything I had stuffed away the last two months bubbled up. All the hurt, all the pain, and the KNOWLEDGE. That I LOVED this man. THIS ONE RIGHT HERE IN FRONT OF ME, so incredibly much. Nothing, no amount of time, or space would ever change that. I knew. Simple as that.

That knowledge did me the least bit of good, sitting in that office, with a bum wrist. I soaked him up, relished every second like a bite of Lindt Milk Chocolate Truffle. My name was called (way too soon). I went inside, and he left. I was so happy to have seen him. Nothing mattered but that. Those moments are frozen in my mind. Forever. I will never forget. He was all I thought about through the exam, and x-ray. Life was good. The doctor came in the room to tell me the results of the x-ray.

Yeah. My wrist? The sore one? The swollen one? Broken in TWO places. Not one, no, not me, gotta do better than that. TWO. Ouch. *Are you serious?*

My first thought? This is a Carenow, what do they know? Turns out, they know broken bones. They gave me a splint, told me to see an orthopedic doctor to cast it as soon as possible. *Gulp, a cast?*

I got prescriptions for pain medicine, which I can hardly take, and by this time, it’s darn near 11pm. I NEED to stop by Jason’s on the way home. He loans me a pain pill. I’m STANDING in his house. I get to see Cooper. *Is this for real?*

I wasn’t there long. I have to head home. Broken splinted hand and all. We didn’t set any dates, or future get togethers. But you know what? I had HOPE. The spark was there. I hoped with everything I had.

The drive home was brutal. As much as I hoped? I was still scared. Scared, I wouldn’t see him again. Scared, that the hope was just sympathy, and being nice on his part. I didn’t know what had been going on in his life, if he was seeing someone, or not. I didn’t know. All I knew was this unbelievable pain. Tears poured down my cheeks. I could hardly see to drive. I was bent over, clutching my arm to my chest, hurting. This PAIN, could possibly bring us back together. And it was worth it. Every ache, every throb, every pang, was worth finding his love again.

We became friends again on Facebook. I added him, groveling. We talked more and more. I still dated my Catholic guy. I still dated period. I really didn’t know what to do. I felt like the ball was in his court. He knew how I felt about him. The door was open. Was he brave enough to step through?

The next two weeks, I got involved with the Christmas tree, for crisis kids, at my Church. The crisis kids are near and dear to my heart. Sydney and I adopted a family of three children that year. For some of these underprivileged kids? THIS is their ONLY Christmas gifts. This ministry is a part of my soul. I did everything I could to get each child an adopter, so they would have a Christmas. I worked every session in the lobby, telling people about these kids, and what they needed, and how they could help. I even got Jason to adopt one.

At the end of the last lobby session at Church, I still had three unadopted angels. I called, Jason, begging him to take one or even two. *Hey aren’t you a big wig manager? I adopted three plus one today and I’m poor. That’s FOUR. You only have ONE. Pleeeeease*

He took the bait adoption. I asked him later, if I could take HIM to the movies in repayment. He said, YES.

We saw the James Bond movie, that I couldn’t follow, because I don’t remember the one before that. But I remember what happened, he snuggled with me. It was heaven. Know what else? He was officially divorced as of December 8th , 2008. The day before I broke my wrist. *The DAY before*

Despite that, we were still not back together. I was still dating. I was out with my Catholic friend from the Turkey fry, when Jason called. He was trying to get the angel gifts finished. He heard him talking in the background to me (I was in the car with him) and he got a teensy bit jealous. *Heh*

FINALLY, FINALLY he wanted me back. Me. To himself. Not dating anyone else. Big, giant sigh of relief. Facebook relationship status changed to – in a relationship again – December 21st, 2008. *YES!*

I took him back alright. I grabbed him with both arms, even the gimp one. I have not let go since. I will not EVER take his love for granted. The missing piece? Gone. He loves me, like I had always hoped he would. He always had, but now, he does without hesitation. I cherish every moment, MORE, because of losing him.

The broken hand? I wore a cast for seven weeks to repair the bones. My brokenness inside? Filled up. My spiritual break from the joy of life? Renewed. I wonder. If I hadn’t fractured my shaker? How far off the track would I have gone? I won’t deny, I was in some comprising situations – many times. Where would I have ended up? WAS the break an accident? Or was it a testament to God’s faithfulness?

HE brought us back together. HE mended us (in more ways than one). HE soothed, all the insecurities, and made things right. *At just the right time*

I wish for you, a happy ending. I hope nothing ever keeps you, from holding on to your true love. Never let go. I know I won’t.