Who Am I? Why Do You Care?

I am a woman on a journey. Where I'll end up is yet to be discovered.


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Embrace Kindness

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What are your hopes and dreams for 2017? What do you want to accomplish this year? Are you prepared for what needs to be done in order to see those goals realized?

On New Year’s Eve my daughter and I set fire to the things we didn’t want to carry into the coming year. Emotional burdens and hurdles like anger, negativity and past hurts. Some things did seem to evaporate in the smoke from that little garbage pail fire on the back porch, while others are going to take a bit more work – but still – the thought is the same. We no longer need to carry the things from the past that hold us back. We need to shed those things in order to see a brighter future.

At the same time, we wrote down the things we wanted to do more of in the coming year. Some may call them resolutions, I just like to think of them as the things that will help me to become the person I really want to be. My daughter had several wishes for herself in the coming year, but to me, one of the most powerful was the little statement she wrote above.

Embrace people’s kindness.

It sounds simple, doesn’t it? How hard can that be? Truth be told, how many of us are free to embrace the kindness of others in our daily lives? I’ll bet it isn’t as often as you think.

Too many times we refuse the kindness someone tries to show by the gift of their help. We tell them, “Oh, you can’t do that, it’s too much!” Or we see simpler things as something we should be able to do for ourselves. “Oh, no, I can do it, but thanks for asking!”

Sound familiar? It’s hard to accept help, isn’t it? But by offering help, those people are extending kindness.

My daughter knows she has a difficult time accepting acts of kindness. She doesn’t like to be complimented, she doesn’t like to accept help, she doesn’t like for anyone to do anything for her because she then sees herself as a burden.

Accepting kindness is a way to be vulnerable and open yourself up to others. This can be terrifying. Vulnerability is scary. I know. But as humans, without that vulnerability, without opening ourselves up to others, we lose the very connection that makes us human. I’m not so sure I’m ready to give up on that. Are you?

I believe that this very simple thing has the power to transform lives. It can be easy to show kindness to others, but accepting it in return is the the difficult part. Choose to allow kindness in, and I imagine you will start to see the world, and yourself, differently.

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Independence? I’m Not Ready!

Time. It just keeps moving no matter how much you wish you could slow it all down. And slowing it down is exactly what I want to do right now. Our lives are full of constant hurdles, struggles, victories, joy, pain, work, pride and regret. Sometimes we feel like we are just bouncing and jostling along going through the motions, and other times we get to live – really live – taking in the moment frame by frame and savoring it. I wish I had more days like that.

I came to the realization a while back that my life was my own and I only had to live it on my terms. I decided to live with joy and gratefulness – free from the people pleaser I had always been and free from the stress that surrounded me. Now this worked to an extent. Of course we always are going to have some stress. There is always going to be worry. For me, most of that worry came from always worrying about my daughter. With anxiety, depression, self harm, and suicidal thoughts, I could never get too comfortable. Even when things were going fairly well, it wasn’t going to be long before a crash of some kind occurred. Still, we had our good times. Lots of them. I have the most amazing daughter ever and I love her with all my heart. We have always been exceptionally close, probably because of what she has gone through. She’s always been attached to my side, sometimes experiencing separation anxiety just going to school. She’s nearly fourteen and we have always done everything together.

Lately she has been working on feeling better. Really working. She’s also working on gaining some independence. I’m proud of her for that. Really I am. We would spend every evening together, either watching a movie or playing a game, or even doing separate things, just sitting side by side while we did them. She never wanted to be far from me, and never even spent time in her own room. Her bedroom is probably the least used room in the house. She was rarely in it. She didn’t even want to sleep alone until fairly recently.

So as she works on independence, she is spending a lot of time on her own, in her own room, doing her own thing. I think it’s great. She draws, she listens to music, she reads. By herself. Every day.

At first, I could only think of all the writing time I was having. Wow! My evenings were so quiet! I could write away for hours! Yay teenagers! But you know what? Deep on the inside I’m not coping very well. I feel like I’ve gained a teenager overnight. Don’t get me wrong, we are still close and probably spend more time together than the average teen spends with a parent, but it’s so different not having her at my side every second. I miss her constant babble while I’m trying to write. I can’t even concentrate with all this quiet!! I’m proud of her, but at the same time – okay I’ll admit it — I MISS her!!  She’s right here…but she seems so far away!

I know this is not a problem. This is actually a very good thing. For seven years, she has suffered extreme anxiety. For several of those years she could not even go in the bathroom by herself. She would not go in a room I was not in. She would panic if I got out of her sight for a second. She had to follow me around the house if I went into another room. She couldn’t go to sleep overs, and she couldn’t have kids over. I worried about what was going to happen as she got older. I knew she would eventually have to branch out on her own. And now that she is, I’m ecstatic. Really I am. But there is that selfish part of me that hates it too. I want so much for her. I want her to be able to go and do and be anything she wants. I want her to follow her dreams and her heart wherever they take her. Yet I sit here tonight having a really hard time. She’s right in her room on the other side of the house – and it seems a million miles away. Silly, huh?

So I have work to do. I have that draft I’m still working on, and some articles that need writing. I have a website I’m supposed to be making for someone, but I’m sitting here like a lump feeling lonely. What’s up with that?

So maybe I want to freeze time just a bit. Maybe I want to enjoy my girl a little longer because I fear she is growing up fast now. She goes to high school in the fall, and I’m afraid time will really start whizzing by then. I’m excited for all that she will accomplish, and a bit sad too. I’ll get over it. I’ll be okay. I know a thousand parents before me have felt the same way.

Writing has been slow lately. I’ve wanted to re-write my novel from somewhere just past the middle, changing the events and the ending, but I’m having a hard time concentrating on getting it done. The story is still a good one, I guess it’s just the effects of life. The busy days, the time spent handling my daughter’s anxiety and depression, the nearing of the end of the school year – lots to do and lots to think about.

So tonight I’m looking at all the work I have to do, but I’m just feeling kind of blah. So I’m going to take a moment and selfishly wallow in my solitude, and then I’ll get a move on.