Posts from the ‘Personal’ Category

My 8-Day Cleanse

So, today, May 8, 2017, was the first day of my 8 day cleanse with Xyngular. I took some time yesterday to log my food schedule into my phone, which has been very convenient. So far, I haven’t really felt all that hungry. Only now, I feel hungry, but I think it’s because the last meal I had was at 1 pm, and it’s 6:12pm now.

The directions seem fairly simple enough, but I stopped and grabbed a weekly pill organizer, I knew I’d need one.  The only issue I had today was that I didn’t have my dinner ready before I started cooking for the family, so I allowed myself to get hungry, but I’m going to give myself today to get familiar with this new routine.

 

  1. I woke up at 6:30 AM and drank my 8 oz. of lemon water (this is prescribed, but I do this anyway so it’s not unfamiliar to me)
  2. By about 9 AM, I had my breakfast smoothie, and my capful of Global Blend. I included a tablespoon of cocoa powder in my smoothie. It taste pretty good, but the smoothie mix is super thick. I’m glad it’s not gritty though. I was surprised to find it was fairly filling.
  3. I took my morning “Cheat” supplement and then I had 2 hard boiled eggs with one half green pepper, one half red pepper, one small spring onion, seasoned with Mrs. Dash, and sauteed in coconut oil. (I am also staying on top of my water in-take. My ideal amount is 100 oz. A day)
  4. I made another smoothie, but this time I used a capful of Global Blend in the smoothie to give it a fruity taste. I then took my 2 Accelerate supplements.
  5. I’m now finally getting my dinner off of the grill. (I had errands to run today, and I got back late) I made chicken kabobs, baked potatoes (for the family), grilled broccoli in olive oil, and spaghetti squash in the oven. I’m also having a large glass of iced green tea, plain no sweetener at all. The squash is for meal prep for the week.
  6. My dinner will be another smoothie, probably chocolate again. (I was still so full from my PM meal that I didn’t even make my shake, which is not advised. Lol!)
  7. Then I’ll likely settle down with some tea, and my 2 Flush supplements. 

The only issue I’m finding is that preparing my meals ahead of time makes my schedule run much smoother. I have prepared some, like yesterday I made my brown rice for the week, and today I made the squash that goes with that. However, if I didn’t prep well, I could never get this organized properly. If you don’t prepare ahead, you’ll find that you’re starving while you’re preparing everyone else’s dinner, and you’re likely to sabotage yourself. If I was working fulltime this would be maddening! I also didn’t take my cheat 30 minutes prior to my PM snack, I took it and ate about 15 minutes after, but I couldn’t wait any longer. I needed to get this PM snack eaten.

I’m invested into this program, time and money wise, so I want to succeed and in order to do that, one must prepare well.

May 9, 2017 day 2:

I made some necessary adjustments to my meal reminders; I had to space them apart more, because I wasn’t hungry when the next meal alert sounded. I did follow the plan accordingly, though. My coach reminded me that I may want to decrease my protein intake at meal time which helped. I also had to set a reminder for my Accelerate tablets. I had to set it 30 minutes prior to the actual meal reminder because I was forgetting to take them 30 minutes ahead of time.

I gave coffee up 5 days before I started the cleanse, so that I would be already detoxed some. Yesterday’s PM snack was pretty good. I made baked mostaccioli in the oven for the family, and a ground turkey version of spaghetti for me. I browned ground turkey with olive oil, garlic, basil, tomatoes, and shallots. Then, I peeled zucchini and made noodles. It was honestly very good! I had a good 2nd day, but I did inadvertently cheat though, because I was buying lunch meat for the boys lunches, and there was a plate of samples for Eckrich pineapple ham, and before I even knew what I was doing I grabbed a toothpick with one bite on it. I don’t think my work is sabotaged, thank goodness but I need to be more attentive. Some eats are out of habit, so changing habits are necessary for success. It was a pretty good chunk of ham though! 🙂

May 10th, day 3:

I feel pretty good this morning but I do have a slight headache and I feel a little lethargic. I know that’s from the carb restriction. I’m pretty sure it will pass soon.

  1. I’ve had my first shake of the day, and today I can include whole grains in my program for my first AM snack. I will check back in soon.
  2. I took my 2 Cheat and then had 2 hard boiled eggs and a spinach salad with olive oil & white whine vinegar, and finished with my 1 Xyng.
  3. For my lunch I had some some roasted chicken with herb & garlic, paired with brown rice and red bell peppers. I used low sodium vegetable stock to season the rice, and it came out great! I ended with my 2 Accelerate.
  4. I skipped the afternoon snack of 1/4 cup of almonds, peanuts, or sunflower seeds. I just wasn’t hungry.
  5. I had dinner after my 2 Cheat 30 minutes prior. I made salmon fajitas and everyone in the house loved them! Pretty soon, everyone in my house will be clean eating 😀
  6. I ended the day with some vanilla, chamomile tea, and my 2 Flush tabs.

All in all, so far so good! I feel good, was a little tired today, but no worse for the wear.

May 11th, day 4:

I woke up with a headache this morning. My body is reacting to the lack of carbohydrates so I’m just taking it slow. I dropped Jason at school and came back home to lay down for a bit. I kind of sabotaged my schedule because I slept longer than I thought, but I can make it up later today.

  1. I had my water early this morning as soon as I woke up.
  2.  Then when I woke after my nap, I had my smoothie, GB, and 2 Accelerate.
  3. I set my phone to remind me to take my 2 Cheat supplements 30 minutes prior to my meal. I tend to lose track of time, even when I’m not consumed with errands or activities.
  4. I made 2 hard boiled eggs, and a green spinach salad again. I do love spinach so this isn’t difficult.
  5. Next meal was my Lean smoothie and 2 Accelerate.
  6. I took my cheat on time because my phone reminder is helpful with that. I grilled chicken breast with zucchini and yellow squash, drizzled with olive oil & garlic.
  7. I really enjoy the hot drink at night. I made peppermint tea. I like having tea before bed, so it’s a perfect step, and of course I took my 2 Flush.

May 12, Day 5:

I didn’t feel as sluggish yesterday when I woke up but I was up late, so I did make decaf, and I used powdered creamer minus fat and sugar.

1)  I had my GB, 2 Accelerate and my smoothie, but I ran out of coconut milk. I managed to have 4 oz. so I combined 4 oz. of water with it. It served the purpose for the time being.

2) For my protein meal I had a fabulous tuna and spinach salad, and 2 Cheat prior to the meal followed with one Xyng.

3) It’s day 5 so I follow up with protein and grains. I had herb & garlic chicken with red bell peppers and brown rice already prepared.

4) I’m supposed to have a handful of  plain walnuts or almonds, but I wasn’t hungry. This seems to be a reoccurring thing, and I think it’s because I’m not working out through this cleanse. I’ve walked 3 times so far, but that’s all.

5) For dinner, I had grilled chicken and sliced yellow squash, zucchini, and green onions leftover. (with 2 Cheat 30 minutes before)

6) I ended with with my Flush supplements and lemon ginger tea. It was girls night in at my friend’s and there was food 😒 but I managed to find some clean eating goodies. My friend brought a huge bag of quinoa & chia seed chips. They were really good and have a corn chip consistency. She also put together a Spanish salad called “Nopales ensalada” it’s chopped cactus, tomato, onion, cilantro, jalapenos, and lemon juice. It was FABULOUS! I had at least 2 large handfuls of chips and the salad. I don’t think it counts as cheating but I’m sure the sodium doesn’t help so I’m amping the water from 105 oz. to 125 oz.

May 13, day 6:

  1. Started with my 8 oz. of lemon water
  2. Smoothie, GB, and 2 Axion
  3. 2 Cheat 30 minutes before meal, and I had a chicken breast salad. Took my 1 Xyng afterwards
  4. Lunch smoothie and 2 Accelerate. (I’m starting to notice the bloating is gone. This is a big problem with eating crap. It’s less about fat and more about bloating)
  5. 2 Cheat prior to meal, I made Chicken breast and squash.
  6. Smoothie
  7. Took 2 Flush and had my tea.

I can see muscles on my belly, that were hidden by fat, again. I also can tell my waist is tapering some. Nice!

May 14, day 7:

Okay so first and foremost, it is VERY difficult to properly organize clean eating on holidays, and not just because of potential sabotages, but mostly due to scheduling. Days like this are so difficult to stay on schedule, because we are so busy being preoccupied with other commitments. Frankly, plan REALLY well, and it will not be as hectic, but if you do not plan properly (logging meal times, making sure you even HAVE your supplements on hand, and organizing your meal) it can be very difficult to maintain discipline.

  1. It’s Mother’s day, so I slept in, and was already behind, as I usually make my shake, GB & Axion at 9am, but didn’t get to it until almost 11am, so I had to make conscious adjustments to later meal times (I did get my water though).
  2. I had my 2 Cheat and my one Xyng, but I neglected to get the protein prepared for my salad, but I made a bigger salad.
  3. I found another storage container with chicken and brown rice so that’s good since I didn’t get it earlier (Along with my 2 Accelerate)
  4. Days 3, 5, and 7 call for walnuts or almonds for a snack, but I still haven’t felt hungry enough to need them.
  5. I had my 2 cheat but I took them and didn’t eat for about 45 minutes. I had to wait for my brother in law to pull off some food on the grill so my salmon and brussel sprouts would fit. There’s that organization logistic failure I mentioned.
  6. I had my flush and tea pretty late, like 11pm, but I did get them.

May 15 Monday, day 8:

It was pretty easy to stick to my routine, as knowing the next day provided me a decent cheat meal, I was excited! Lol! I have noticed that I may need to back up off the 2 Flush supplements I take. We shall see!

 

Now…..ON TO days 9-30 🙂 🙂 🙂

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The Winds of Change

Recently, I was asked what is it in my life that gives me pleasure? Then it was, what do I want to do when I retire? If someone had asked me these questions three years ago, my answers would have differed, greatly. I had an incomplete self image, so answering that question would have been difficult for me. I guess I never realized this, but I never did have a complete self image. I was perfectly happy allowing it to be codependent. I didn’t know any better.

What gives me pleasure? It’s when the people I love are happy. I get great pleasure out of helping people, teaching people, and listening to people. I like stories. I like it when people tell me stories about themselves, because I learn so much from others. I also get satisfaction out of sharing stories with others. I like to see the reaction on their faces. I love when someone asks me a question about what I’ve shared, because there’s always a discovery of deeper meaning. I’m a social person. I love to talk with people, and learn what makes them tick. I enjoy people watching, and developing characters from the perceptions I’ve interpreted. I really enjoy what I do. I love gathering new information and processing it. I realize this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s what I’m for. I want to discover, filter, and share what I’m exposed to in life. I enjoy viewing the world through the many lenses I have refined over the years as a reader/writer. I imagine this isn’t news for those that already know me, but I’m eager to utilize this gift that I have. This brings me to my next question, which was the one that stumped me much more.

What do I want to do when I retire? Well damn, I’m not even close to retiring or wanting to retire so I can’t honestly say how I want to retire. I will very likely work right on into my retirement, not just out of necessity but because I love what I do. However, there are many life experiences I want to explore all the while. When I think of retirement, it’s nothing like what I used to wan,t because I’m not that woman anymore. Three years ago, my answer would have been , “I want to do whatever he wants to do” because that was my life and I was perfectly satisfied with it. Now, my life has been turned upside down, and many aspects are different. I never have considered the latter part of my years the way I do now. I want to travel. I want to have an old, fixer-upper with a great big porch that my grand kids can run amok on. I want a nice garden I can tend to, and a wonderful working kitchen to cook and create in. I love feeding my family and friends. I’m a natural nurturer. I want to ride my bike throughout my community, and drop goodies from my garden with my friends. I want to be busy working around my house or “tinkering” as my late husband called it, protecting my aging skin with a big, floppy hat that my kids can make fun of. I want to make mud-pies with my grandson and put lopsided pigtails in my future granddaughter’s hair. I’m not much for doing girl hair. It’s actually impressive that I can do my own.

Initially, I would’ve felt ashamed of myself listing so many self-indulging “wants” but my life has taught me that it’s okay to make yourself happy. I have learned that my happiness is just as important as the happiness of those I love. It took me a good while, and lots of falling on my face to learn this. I had to make a lot of mistakes, and be burned by them in order to fully understand that I’ve earned being happy. For a long time, I felt like I was supposed to die too. I felt like I couldn’t be loyal to him if I allowed myself to be happy. I’ve learned that this wasn’t my thinking, it was grief thinking for me. Taking care of my family, loving them, watching them grow into the adults we worked so hard to nurture…this is what makes me truly happy. I will probably never retire, because what I do isn’t “work” to me. The winds of change have opened up a new world for me, and I’m finally not afraid to accept it. I’m finally seeing where I fit in my life, my new life. Change is never easy, but nothing worth having ever is. I don’t mind hard work, it reminds me that I’m alive.

Recently, I was asked what is it in my life that gives me pleasure? Then it was, what do I want to do when I retire? If someone had asked me these questions three years ago, my answers would have differed, greatly. I had an incomplete self image, so answering that question would have been difficult for me. I guess I never realized this, but I never did have a complete self image. I was perfectly happy allowing it to be codependent. I didn’t know any better.

What gives me pleasure? It’s when the people I love are happy. I get great pleasure out of helping people, teaching people, and listening to people. I like stories. I like it when people tell me stories about themselves, because I learn so much from others. I also get satisfaction out of sharing stories with others. I like to see the reaction on their faces. I love when someone asks me a question about what I’ve shared, because there’s always a discovery of deeper meaning. I’m a social person. I love to talk with people, and learn what makes them tick. I enjoy people watching, and developing characters from the perceptions I’ve interpreted. I really enjoy what I do. I love gathering new information and processing it. I realize this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s what I’m for. I want to discover, filter, and share what I’m exposed to in life. I enjoy viewing the world through the many lenses I have refined over the years as a reader/writer. I imagine this isn’t news for those that already know me, but I’m eager to utilize this gift that I have. This brings me to my next question, which was the one that stumped me much more.

What do I want to do when I retire? Well damn, I’m not even close to retiring or wanting to retire so I can’t honestly say how I want to retire. I will very likely work right on into my retirement, not just out of necessity but because I love what I do. However, there are many life experiences I want to explore all the while. When I think of retirement, it’s nothing like what I used to wan,t because I’m not that woman anymore. Three years ago, my answer would have been , “I want to do whatever he wants to do” because that was my life and I was perfectly satisfied with it. Now, my life has been turned upside down, and many aspects are different. I never have considered the latter part of my years the way I do now. I want to travel. I want to have an old, fixer-upper with a great big porch that my grand kids can run amok on. I want a nice garden I can tend to, and a wonderful working kitchen to cook and create in. I love feeding my family and friends. I’m a natural nurturer. I want to ride my bike throughout my community, and drop goodies from my garden with my friends. I want to be busy working around my house or “tinkering” as my late husband called it, protecting my aging skin with a big, floppy hat that my kids can make fun of. I want to make mud-pies with my grandson and put lopsided pigtails in my future granddaughter’s hair. I’m not much for doing girl hair. It’s actually impressive that I can do my own.

Initially, I would’ve felt ashamed of myself listing so many self-indulging “wants” but my life has taught me that it’s okay to make yourself happy. I have learned that my happiness is just as important as the happiness of those I love. It took me a good while, and lots of falling on my face to learn this. I had to make a lot of mistakes, and be burned by them in order to fully understand that I’ve earned being happy. For a long time, I felt like I was supposed to die too. I felt like I couldn’t be loyal to him if I allowed myself to be happy. I’ve learned that this wasn’t my thinking, it was grief thinking for me. Taking care of my family, loving them, watching them grow into the adults we worked so hard to nurture…this is what makes me truly happy. I will probably never retire, because what I do isn’t “work” to me. The winds of change have opened up a new world for me, and I’m finally not afraid to accept it. I’m finally seeing where I fit in my life, my new life. Change is never easy, but nothing worth having ever is. I don’t mind hard work, it reminds me that I’m alive.

Recently, I was asked what is it in my life that gives me pleasure? Then it was, what do I want to do when I retire? If someone had asked me these questions three years ago, my answers would have differed, greatly. I had an incomplete self image, so answering that question would have been difficult for me. I guess I never realized this, but I never did have a complete self image. I was perfectly happy allowing it to be codependent. I didn’t know any better.

What gives me pleasure? It’s when the people I love are happy. I get great pleasure out of helping people, teaching people, and listening to people. I like stories. I like it when people tell me stories about themselves, because I learn so much from others. I also get satisfaction out of sharing stories with others. I like to see the reaction on their faces. I love when someone asks me a question about what I’ve shared, because there’s always a discovery of deeper meaning. I’m a social person. I love to talk with people, and learn what makes them tick. I enjoy people watching, and developing characters from the perceptions I’ve interpreted. I really enjoy what I do. I love gathering new information and processing it. I realize this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s what I’m for. I want to discover, filter, and share what I’m exposed to in life. I enjoy viewing the world through the many lenses I have refined over the years as a reader/writer. I imagine this isn’t news for those that already know me, but I’m eager to utilize this gift that I have. This brings me to my next question, which was the one that stumped me much more.

What do I want to do when I retire? Well damn, I’m not even close to retiring or wanting to retire so I can’t honestly say how I want to retire. I will very likely work right on into my retirement, not just out of necessity but because I love what I do. However, there are many life experiences I want to explore all the while. When I think of retirement, it’s nothing like what I used to want because I’m not that woman anymore. Three years ago, my answer would have been , “I want to do whatever he wants to do” because that was my life and I was perfectly satisfied with it. Now, my life has been turned upside down, and many aspects are different. I never have considered the latter part of my years the way I do now. I want to travel. I want to have an old, fixer-upper with a great big porch that my grand kids can run amok on. I want a nice garden I can tend to, and a wonderful working kitchen to cook and create in. I love feeding my family and friends. I’m a natural nurturer. I want to ride my bike throughout my community, and drop goodies from my garden with my friends. I want to be busy working around my house or “tinkering” as my late husband called it, protecting my aging skin with a big, floppy hat that my kids can make fun of. I want to make mud-pies with my grandson and put lopsided pigtails in my future granddaughter’s hair. I’m not much for doing girl hair. It’s actually impressive that I can do my own.

Initially, I would’ve felt ashamed of myself listing so many self-indulging “wants” but my life has taught me that it’s okay to make yourself happy. I have learned that my happiness is just as important as the happiness of those I love. It took me a good while, and lots of falling on my face to learn this. I had to make a lot of mistakes, and be burned by them in order to fully understand that I’ve earned being happy. For a long time, I felt like I was supposed to die too. I felt like I couldn’t be loyal to him if I allowed myself to be happy. I’ve learned that this wasn’t my thinking, it was grief thinking for me. Taking care of my family, loving them, watching them grow into the adults we worked so hard to nurture…this is what makes me truly happy. I will probably never retire, because what I do isn’t “work” to me. The winds of change have opened up a new world for me, and I’m finally not afraid to accept it. I’m finally seeing where I fit in my life, my new life. Change is never easy, but nothing worth having ever is. I don’t mind hard work, it reminds me that I’m alive.

Aftermath….

It’s only been a few years since he’s been gone. All in all, my situation is still very fresh and new to those that don’t know me. I have come a very long way since June 26th, 2013, and truth be told, I still have a long way to go. I’m not completely healed, but I’m better. I’m not unafraid of what this life has to offer me, but I’m braver. I cannot say that I’m smarter today, but I’m more experienced. I can’t say that I’m perfect at parenting alone, but I’m willing to work hard at it. My heart is not 100%, but it’s stronger.

I’ve only recently allowed myself to entertain the idea of having a man in my life. The idea certainly crossed my mind, but I wasn’t healthy enough to sincerely consider it. This was caused by a lot of guilt that I felt at the onset of loss. I truly wish I had the presence of mind to have seen this a while ago, but I had to walk through shit and struggle, before I was able to mindfully see this. I deserve happiness. I deserve joy. I deserve to live in peace. I have learned, through much soul searching and solitude, that in order to be happy in any relationship or with any partner, I have to actualize a self-love that frees my soul from the chains of guilt. It took a lot of pain from falling on my face to see this, in order to understand what I needed to do from that moment forward.

I decided that creating a life that makes me satisfied with who I am is what I needed to work on. I am now in a place that I can confidently say, I’m happy with who I am, what I want, and where I’m going. There will always be measures added to this, so I can continuously improve, but for the sake of this argument, I’m a happy person. This fact is what I know will lead someone into my life. Creating a life that illustrates that I’m content will attract what I need and want. I think as a woman, I was under the impression that “finding a good man” is the ultimate goal in life for a woman, (oddly enough, I never really had to look very far as God dropped him right in front of me early on). However, now I understand that the goal in my life is enjoying the family, friends, and experiences I’m having, and always being open to learning new things about myself in this journey. The real bonus of having someone significant in my life will be that they add to an already content existence.

I recently experienced how this premise stands for me. I met someone that I found interesting and appealing. He fit a lot of positive criteria for my lifestyle. Personality wise, we got along like peas and carrots. Time went on and we began to move into a more serious place. He began to withdraw, and finally came clean about his feelings. He confessed that he was highly anxious about moving forward. He was scared of being the “guy” for me. Many people will have opinions about this, and about him. Some might say he’s a coward, and some might say he’s noble. I think I prefer to say neither. His fears are justified. My situation is terribly intimidating to most interested parties. Who the fuck wants to compete with a ghost? It’s impossible to do! Yet, the fact is, there is no competition and there never will be.

I don’t hold any bitterness. On the contrary, I’m heartbroken and I miss him. However, anyone not willing to weather the storm with me, isn’t for me. My personal life can only be polished by someone that, even though they recognize the inherent fear of being a part of this journey, they jump off that frightening cliff, anyway. I’m worth the risk. I’m worth the fear one feels getting involved in such a complex dynamic. I’m worth every little doubt they may have, and I know I am. I know there is a very distinct possibility that I may never meet him. I know that I may traverse this rock, solo because this brave soul may not exist. I know I’ve truly come out of this tragedy having learned major facts about myself, and the beauty is, I’m okay with this. I’m absolutely okay with me. I’m also completely okay with knowing that I may very well have more balls than any of the men that wander into my life, and frankly, I’m the better for it.

Clarity

I find myself solo at times, and I don’t feel uncomfortable or anxious anymore. The kids all have plans nailed down and I’m over here like “Hmmm….I wonder what I should do?” The feeling is refreshing. I’m alone, but I don’t feel lonely. I’m making a list of things I want to do by myself. It’s growing, surprisingly. My new normal is opening up possibilities and opportunities that I never imagined I’d ever have. I’d always prefer my original normal to anything, but the knot I used to get in my belly from loneliness is waning. I like my own company. I have never imagined that I could feel this way. At first I felt guilty when I started feeling okay with being alone, but now I know grief caused that. I’m doing myself far more good building, owning, and refining my foundation, simply because it is mine. I am learning that those I love will benefit when I put myself first, because if I’m taken care of, they’re taken care of.

I want to travel, near and far. I want to finish this thesis, and grant myself about a year to see more of my home state. I want to take every inch of it in: the rivers, foliage, apple orchards, cherry trees, vineyards, and more! I want to travel abroad. I do not care to see the riches and luxuries of Rome, I want to stay off the island of Crete and fish for lunch. I want to see real people living life differently than I’m accustomed. I want to learn and understand their culture. I want to be uncomfortable, and crawl out of my shell instead of hide in it. I want to try different foods and discover my foreign likes and dislikes. I want to swim in water so clear, I can see the pop of the reef below me. This getting to discover me stuff is selfish. I’m typing a lot of “I want” statements. Yet, how am I supposed to know what my talents are, what fears I can squash, and which direction I should take, personally and professionally, if I don’t know what I want?

It’s a tricky balance, preserving one’s soul. It requires more self reflection and tenacity, and this can be distressing for some. I know it’s been very difficult for me. I had to see myself for the very first time, unattached to a lifestyle shared with another, and I didn’t always like what I saw. In order to grow as a person, one shouldn’t always like what they see. Mistakes should be made; I need to know how I drop the ball, everyone needs some humility. I thought I had balanced out my personal goals and dreams, but my goals and dreams never really were personal. Although this was never a problem before, once I found myself alone, it became quite problematic because I didn’t know what I wanted. I still cannot list categorically what I want out of life, except to say that I want to be happy and for me being happy also encompasses making someone happy. I am unequivocally satisfied with creating a life for myself and my family, and since now I know this is all I really need, when the timing is right and the chemistry is there, I’ll be ready for whatever and/or whomever is interested in my time. It’s a lovely feeling unconcerned with attachment. I was attached for so long, I didn’t realize it could be this way. God knows I miss Jas and I know he’s with me, helping to guide me, but I have an odd sense of boldness to this self reliance I’m unearthing. I’m ready to get my hands dirty 🙂

A New Me…

I have been, probably far too busy these last several months dodging responsibilities and laundry and my feelings. When Jason died, I had never realized that it was going to take losing someone again, to teach me that I could love again. It actually hadn’t occurred to me that I could love again. Most logical thinking people wouldn’t need to be reminded of this. Even after stepping out of a bad relationship/marriage, most people understand that finding happiness is a possibility. I did not feel like it was, because I could not think logically. First, I didn’t think I deserved to be alive. Why should I breathe, Jason can’t? Why should I eat, Jason can’t? Why should I feel joy, Jason can’t? (Of course I take into account that he is in Heaven, but my mind didn’t do this, initially). These emotions played in and out of my head on a daily basis, but my children trumped my psyche, and I knew on this earth was where I belong. I began to go on dates, not many, just a few.

It’s crazy out there! I’m not designed for the single life. I’m a nurturer, I prefer to be devoted to one man. So, one can see how I’m kind of set up for failure in this arena. I began seeing someone that Jason knew. He is someone Jason had worked with for many years, and going into this, that weighed very heavy on my already guilt-ridden mind. I was continuously grotesque to myself because of the guilt I felt. I kind of felt like I didn’t even deserve to be dating this ridiculously great guy. We went out. We did lots of different things, walked at the park, sat around the bonfire, laid in bed and talked about stupid things for hours at a time. I absolutely love his company, and I felt completely free to be myself. He is very good to me. He is kind and sweet and loving, but he doesn’t let me give him any shit and that is a huge turn on. In short, we carried on for, what seems to be over a year now.

At some point, he made it clear that he wanted more than a weekend lover, and it scared the hell out of me! I jetted. I let go. I suddenly felt like I might want more too, and instead of following my heart, I let my head lead and it was incapable of doing so at the time. I had let go and he had to move on. Not long after and to my dismay, I realized how much I care about him and I had made a grave mistake, but it was too late. We’re still close friends, and I want nothing more than his happiness. The most important part of this experience is that through the mistakes and disappointment and heartache, I was able to learn that I can feel again, and I can love again, and I can be happy again. Perhaps the vital point…I deserve to be and that’s where I dropped the ball. I shot myself in the foot when I had him, because I wasn’t convinced that I deserved to be happy.

However, I am so grateful to God for this experience, simply because Josh’s existence and influence in my life taught me that I not only can be happy but I deserve it. I guess I had to learn it the hard way. I sometimes think maybe Jason sent him to me, to cushion the fall that he knew I would eventually suffer in a world unknown to me. He knew that Josh was a good man with integrity, and one of the most beautiful hearts a man could possess. He is the perfect man to teach a harsh lesson about myself. He held my heart in both of his hands, and cradled it, even long after we had parted. It is a very humbling experience to have a broken heart, but feel gracious for it. I was so broken for so long, but I’m beginning to feel enlightened. As though this was all written somewhere, and somehow, Josh and I will be happy, even apart. I finally feel like I have control over how I feel, instead of letting grief control my emotions for me. I was drowning in grief and I could not find anything to grasp, but he put his hand out and saved me. I regret that our time was set at an unstable moment in my life and I know that we’ve both suffered some bumps and bruises along the way, but I do not have any regrets about this relationship. I grew as a person and a woman. I’m stronger and smarter and more aware of who I am and what I want. J.R. Walker, thank you and I’ll always love you!

My Gift

Jason was born on February 11th, so I always opted for nixing Valentine’s day festivities to celebrate his birthday. It mattered more to me than a teddy bear and chocolates. Jason never cared, but I did. He never wanted to make a fuss over his birthday, but I managed to figure out a way to celebrate no matter what was happening in our lives. I mean, he always did something for me for the holiday, whether it was a card, or a stuffed toy, or candy, or even just a small note on the fridge, he never allowed the day to go by without acknowledging the romance a relationship needs. He was so great that way.

 We had plenty of holidays and birthdays that went by, where we didn’t have a lot of resources available to buy things for one another, but we always made the best of it. I think we were married just a few years, and things were tight. I wasn’t working, and I was pregnant with our second son, but I felt so horrible because I had no money to buy him anything. He worked hard and took care of myself, our oldest son Julian, our home, and this new baby that was on its way. I truly felt unworthy sometimes, but he wanted it this way. I decided to make him a card and let Julian make some scribbles on it, because what better way to say “I love you daddy” than some Crayola scratches? I’m no artist by any means, but I drew a picture of myself (with a plump 5 month belly) and Julian with big smiles on our faces. On the inside, I used finger paints to press an imprint of Julian’s little chubby palm print. Jason was thrilled! He especially loved Julian’s little palm print, and decided to frame the card with the inside out, so the palm print was exposed. I was so happy!

 I managed to have enough funds left over for a six pack of Bud Light, made a pot of spaghetti, and got a movie rental. I cleaned Julian up, fed him, and put him to bed. Then, I ran Jason a bubble bath, served his beer to him, and let him soak in the bubbles. He wasn’t much of a bath kind of guy, but I think he entertained the idea to make me happy. I sat on the toilet, talking to him, and decided to join him, even though we were tightly squeezed. My belly was taking up more space than I’d like to admit. Anyway, we just sat there, soaking together and talking about names for the new baby, and how great of a big brother Julian was going to be. We wondered if this new little bundle was going to drive us crazy or make us complete. We knew it would likely be a little of both, so we were kind of elated and anxious all at once.

 We sat there so long, talking and enjoying one another that we wrinkled up and the water got cold. We got out, and sat at the table and lit some candles. I with Faygo grape soda and he with his Bud Light, talking over candle light and pasta about our future, what we wanted, what made us nervous, and how our family would be. We were really excited to be parents of another sweet little boy, and we had settled on a name we had heard from a movie, Tristan was the name. I was so in love with it, and Jason liked it as well. We nestled on the sofa, and I gave him a foot massage, and we watch the movie I rented. I can’t really remember what it was now, but I do remember how special that night was. Julian stayed asleep all night, and we cuddled and chatted about the movie. He said it was one of the best birthdays he had ever had. I can remember it so vividly! It was in that moment that I realized what kind of father he was. It was in that moment when I knew how fortunate I had been to have him as a father and provider for my children and myself. In that moment, I fell in love with him on a whole different level. I saw him as a man, not the guy I crushed on for so many years. I saw the man he was growing into, and it made me so happy and so excited to know he was mine. I knew at that moment that I had made the smartest decision ever to marry this man. I can’t describe what this feels like, knowing you’re going to spend the rest of your life with the right person. He was the guy that made me a woman, a wife, a mama, and an all around better human being, and I knew this. I was so content to be his wife, I had never really gave much consideration of what it was to be anything else. I didn’t need to because I was perfectly happy with being his.

I know this is why losing him was not just devastating, but the most frightening thing that has ever happened to me. I had to learn what I wanted for myself, by myself, because my life was centered on being what made him happy, because that made me happy. It’s taken me some time to figure out what I want and need and desire, but I’ve come pretty far. I know I’ll never have that relationship again, and that’s okay because I treasure what I had with Jason. However, I do want to make someone happy again. I want to take care of someone, not because they can’t take care of themselves but because I want to, and because they appreciate that I want to. There’s no doubt in my mind that I will be much more independent with a new relationship, but I still want to be a wife, or at least someone of significance to another. I enjoyed it. I truly feel fulfilled taking care of my man. I have no problem with an independent man. I like a man that can cook and clean and do all those domestic deeds, I think it’s really sexy when a guy can be comfortable in that role. Still, I know I made Jason happy, and I know I’m good at it. I’m good at loving. I think he taught me that. He taught me how to put someone else before me, and what that feels like. It’s hard to explain other than to say, it makes the world a much more beautiful place when you live for another person. It helps one see and understand the world around them, outside the ego and selfishness that so naturally comes to us as humans in a material world. We’re fallible, and love corrects that. Love makes people better at being a person, a grounded, humble, contented person. Love does that…and so much more! It was Jason’s birthday, but a gift to me. One I’ll always carry because it helped create the person I am.

The Transition…

How come I read about couples falling out of love all the time, but when someone REALLY needs that to happen for them, they can’t??? Anyone have a fall out of love spell they can cast on me, cuz I don’t wanna’ feel like this forever! I feel exhausted. The minute I thought about this, about wanting to not love him anymore, it broke what is left of my heart. I guess my mind is still trying to process this, and it happens in waves and in unpredictable moments. It’s not something I can control. I just allow myself to feel…whatever it is, bad or good. Most of the time, I allow the hurt to overcome me, and I shut down. I really can’t get anything accomplished when I’m feeling that way. I can’t concentrate, and all I feel is pain. I know it’s normal, and it’s going to happen from time to time, but grief requires all of my attention. It is a selfish animal, it takes everything out of you and leaves nothing. It’s impossible to love someone and not touch or hold or hear them, but I’m achieving the impossibility every day.

 

I’m looking for an easy fix, something to mend my heart. It’s certainly not going to be a man, it’s going to require changes in myself. I don’t need to love Jason less, I need to learn to love myself more. That is what he would tell me. Before, it was easy for me to forget myself, and live for him. He loved me so well, that it was Heaven for me. Now, I have to learn to live for me, and it’s an eye widening experience, mostly because I never knew what “me” was? There’s little results when you live for yourself, only in that one may suffer from a narrowed perspective and not truly see the benefits of such an endeavor. I never considered that now I’m living for myself, and my children, and it’s a new normal. Well, it’s becoming less new, but it’s a new routine, even for myself. I’m not accustomed to organizing a day around what I have to do, it was always around Jason’s work schedule, the kids, then myself. Now, when I wake up, I think about where I need to be and what I need to do, specifically for the boys and whatever household errands I might have, but I think to myself, “What the fuck happened? How did I get here?” I mean, I can basically decide what’s for dinner everyday, but I don’t want to, and I don’t care that I can. I bought bedroom furniture, and realized I could pick out what I want. I kind of smiled, but then immediately felt guilty. Gotta’ love grief, sneaking in there like that.


I don’t like that my old routine was ripped from me. I liked my old routine. I loved loving him, and now I have to live with loving him from far away. I have to learn to balance that, with this new life, which seems almost unrecognizable at times. I have to leave room for Jason, a guy like him demands it, but I can find room in there for me too, because that’s what he did. Jason put me before everything in our life, even our children, sometimes that bothered me, but it was just his way. He seriously, like on a profoundly deep level, loved me and it made my life so perfectly easy to fall in love with, and I did. I not only mourn the love of my life, but a lifestyle come to passing. I’m single, and the words are like a foreign language, because I find the term absurd, and I look at myself and I don’t look single, whatever it looks like. Personally, I think I look like a deer in headlights most often than not. My head is in the clouds, apparently trying to make contact. I’m stuck between the living and the dead, and I’m losing sight of what the living needs, because of it. I’m living here with the family we created together, that has to count for something. It means something, whether he’s with me or not. I’m going to figure this bullshit out, and it’s going to be based on the experiential knowledge that I’ve obtained, because essentially, that’s all I have. Jason valued me as a person and a woman, and I can only pray that someday I see myself through his eyes.

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