Saturday, November 30, 2019

At Home...Not Decorating

It was my intention to clean the house.  Not just clean the house but make it Christmas ready.  You know what I mean!!!  In any case, I made a fried egg, tater tots and sausages brunch; and we three are sitting watching Enchanted.  I asked my son to get the decorations out.  You know what he said?  He said, "Tomorrow, on December 1st."  So, we are hanging out and just laughing at one of our collectively favorite movie. 

I thought I would feel guilty.  I should be cleaning.  I should be productive.  This is horrible.  I'm a lousy mother.  I don't feel like a lousy mom.  I feel great.  I'm happy and refreshed.  We are laughing and enjoying a moment.  I'm looking around at the mess.  Yes, I should be dusting and cleaning the floors.  Instead we are just... enjoying the day.  Later I will meet up with my best friend and I will start cleaning up and organizing stuff so that tomorrow we will put up the tree and start decorating it. 

Life is not about what we should be doing.  We should always be doing something.  Life is about living.  I won't be able to get this back.  All three of us hanging out and having fun.  So for today, I will enjoy my babies while I have them. 

Thursday, November 28, 2019

My Grateful Heart

Today was Thanksgiving 2019.  I went to my dear sweet sister's, Jamaila's house first.  She shared with me her delicious mashed potatoes and her wonderful moist turkey.  I was able to sniff her sweet toddler and laugh hysterically with friends that are more like family.  I made my Puerto Rican baked ziti, complete with sofrito.  I miss hanging out with Puerto Ricans.  How come nobody out here uses Adobo?  I was missing the pernil and arroz con gandules (they are called pigeon peas, did you know this?).

After this, I went home to pick up my other ziti and I went to the Pastor's house.  More friends, more fun and more merriment.  I loved watching my children play with their friends.  Throughout the day, I got texts.  I got texts from family and texts from friends.  Thank you for remembering me on this day.  I wore my fancy orange shadow and I used my MAC setting spray.  I can't believe that it rained.  Driving home in the chilly wind with my babies, I thought of my friend, Cari.  I thought of my husband.  My son is so tall now.  My daughter is almost past me.  Despite the twinges of sadness here and there, I am happy and thankful.  I continue to be blessed beyond all measure.

I am so thankful.  I have warm winters.  I have children that I think are absolutely stunning.  I have such incredibly good friends. I serve a such a good God.  He is so good to me, so good.  I think that despite the fact that I'm a widow, God has been merciful to me.  I am ever thankful for the blessings that I have.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

A Solid Seven

Talking to my daughter today, we got into a ratings scale.  I don't know how we really got into the parameters but she ended up rating me.  She told me that on a scale of 1 to 10 in beauty, I was a 7.  Then she explained that features that made me rate a 7.  She told me of my beautiful mermaid hair.  She told me that the length and the curls are worthy enough to incite envy.  She said it in her 11 year old way.  She told me of my petite nose.  I am the only one who has this nose.  Neither of my children have my nose.  She talked of my skin and my long eyelashes.  My sweet girl extolled the features that are commonly known as pretty.  This is what she called me, pretty.  "Mom, you are pretty."

Was it my ego that wanted more?  She said that a 10 merits incredible beauty.  She told me that I wouldn't want to be a 10.  Then I would never know if someone would be with me because of my beauty.  Did she learn this from me?  Or did she learn this from Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2?  She didn't tell me of the things that lowered my score.  I think of my chunky legs and my tummy.  Is it my age that contributes to my low ranking?  I don't know.  Have I always been a seven?  I don't know.   It's all ego.

Okay, now moving forward with an overestimation of my beauty, I need to understand my level of attractiveness because in my own head, I'm awesome.  I have always had a great and confident self-esteem.  My dear little girl rates me higher than I actually am.  She is sweet and has a good nature.  Maybe I'm really a 4 or a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10.  My personality would rank me higher as I think that I have a great personality, a guarantee that I am less than a certified 7.  They say a good personality lessens your general attractiveness. Well, here's to the 7s.  It just so happens to be my lucky number so I'll take it.

Here's the thing, I don't really care about being pretty.  I knew that beauty fades.  I was prepared to be more than just another pretty face.  If I wasn't pretty, what was I going to be.  Smart?  That doesn't last long.  Personable?  To what end?  To be manipulative?  Not my style.  I looked at what I wanted: a heart after God's. I'm not there yet.  Would someone be able to see this?  I don't know.  But this is what I think is valuable.  I pray that this is what will make sense in my life.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

A Different Time

I am introducing my daughter to a whole host of past cultural influences.  I want my children to be balanced and to understand some of the iconic references that are infused throughout our current pop standards.  An example of this is the movie, Ready Player One.  This is one of my son's favorite movies.  I love the fact that he understands the significance of the DeLorean in the first face.  It's like having them peek back into a world that their father and I grew up, met and fell in love in.  

To this end, we are watching, "A Different World."  My daughter loves the fashion!!!  It brings me back.  This was the 90s.  I was in college at the time.  The music, the expressions, and yes, the fashion bring me back to the time when life was simpler.  I was so idealistic back then.  I had pledged Eta Omega Tau Sorority Incorporated as a freshman.  My life was wrapped up in the colors of Black and Pink.  Pink is still my favorite color as I recall, parties, lectures, charitable events.  We would go to the Salvation Army and serve a Thanksgiving meal to the less unfortunate, my sisters and me.  I didn't usually cook back then so... I could afford to spend my early morning giving my time on Thanksgiving.  

And yes, I was the tiniest bit of a heartbreaker, or so I have been told.  It was easier back then.  Even now, I'm smiling thinking of my favorite college boyfriends.  There was no social media.  Thank God!!!  Even without it, I was somewhat infamous.  I had short hair, like my daughter's now.  I loved leggings.  I had a whole system for wearing them.  I loved to wear them with black boots and I would pair them with a shorter skirt.  Can I even tell you about the red lips and the red flannel?  I had this shiny purple metallic eyeliner.  I interchanged it with liquid navy liner.  I wore Charlie White and then I found this one perfume called Downtown Girl because I was a downtown girl. 

I wonder what type of escapades my children with have, not like mine, I would walk down the sidewalks of the greatest city in the world.  I could look up and look as the buildings scraped the skies.  My world was a museum that I basked in.  I was in my own private snow globe filled with glitter, listening to Soul II Soul and SNAP.  Why did I own so many turtlenecks.  My daughter dresses like I did back then now.  She has an affinity for black turtlenecks and when she saw the show, she concocted an outfit that was similar to those found on the show, definitely my child.  I may have to make a new playlist on my Spotify.  I'm taking a moment to live in a day of my past.  It was definitely a different time.  Picture courtesy of my sorority sister.  

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Going Back to Color

I'm redying my hair.  I looked at all of the white like a canvas.  As soon as I started I felt a part of myself come back.  Is there energy in the dye?  You know what I'm finding?  I'm finding that sometimes, the things you love bring you back to who you are if you are lost.  For me, they are like colored stones marking my road shining bright like pink, purple and rainbow colored stones that glow in the dark when I'm lost. 

I suppose that being someone that you are not affects you by bringing you away from yourself.  If life was like a linear path, then we are either always going forward or always going backward, mentally while we age.  We all age every day... all of us.  There is a solace about something as certain as aging.  In the meantime, we survive, or we attempt to survive.  Sometimes we try to mold ourselves to what we think we want or we think the world wants so that we can have an easier life.  I think, when I think of my kids that I want for them a good life but really, I think I want an easier life for them.  I protect them so that they can be sheltered from the harshness of life.  What if it is through some of that 'harshness" that they learn to grow and be outstanding people? 

I suppose that being part of something greater and having a global perspective helps.  Be your own piece in the mosaic of this life. I pray that when God sees me, He sees me as his colorful, happy girl.  The way He created me to be.  As for my dying my hair I like my walls white.  I like my hair all of the colors I can be.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

I Can't Stand The Rain

Rainy desert days.  It rarely rains here.  This desert is prone to rainbows.  It is filled with mountains and frescoes.  The sun cracks through the clouds in this big sky country.  It is not all gray.  In the distance, I can see the sun shining happily at me.  It appears to tell me that regardless of the rain, the sun continues to shine outside of the clouds.  In the distance, there are sunny days ahead.  If this rain continues, we will find ourselves with grass in a desert.  Is there a prophecy like this? 

I normally don't like the rain.  I sing in my head Missy Elliot's "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)"  It's a running theme in my head as I go throughout the rainy day.  I can't do all of the rhyme but I sing the hook all of the time on a loop.  We don't have umbrellas in Arizona.  Arizonians will allow the rain to fall on their heads and allow their canvas shoes to get soaked.  They welcome the discomfort of wet socks knowing that this is a rare common place occurrence.  Despite the situation, most Arizonians love the rain.  I do not.

The rain brings me back to the cold rain of New York City.  The smells are different.  This is refreshing desert rain. There is a lack of humidity in the air.  But all I remember is cold rain and wanting to stay in a warm bed.  I left New York to escape the cold, among other reasons.  My warm-blooded ancestry calls for warmer climate.  My husband loved the rain.  My children also love the rain.  They run out in the puddles and splash in them, even now.  They get so excited.  I could stay in bed.  I have no need for it. 

Despite this rainy weather, my heart is happy.  Happy.  I don't know why.  Maybe it's the shower of a friend that is coming up.  He's getting married.  Maybe it is the birthday of a person in my circle.  Maybe it's just God's joy raining down on me with some of the actual rain.  Praise the Lord for His joy.  I am thankful, even with the rain. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Life I Want

I'm in a strange season of my life.  Some would say that I am in a difficult time of my life and I think I would agree... some days.  We all want something.  There is every possibility that you are living the life that I want.  Maybe if I talk about the life that I want, I can analyze what I want and how I can get there.

In terms of occupation, I find that I would like to travel for work.  Where did I get this idea?  Well, on the dating apps that I subscribe to, most of the men are travelers.  Funny enough, I don't feel the need to travel with someone but I think I would travel.  I feel the need to see blue waters and soft sands.  You should also know that I love to fly.  I have a thing for airports.  They seem safe, clean and contained.  It is the ultimate people watching destination.  I love waiting at an airport.  Watching people leave and watching them come back.  There is an airport scene in the beginning of my favorite Christmas movie.  I know that I would get tired of traveling.  The thing I love about traveling is the thing I would come to hate if I had to do it for work.  So... there''s that.

Back when Pinterest was more prevalent, I loved to pin.  I have always loved to pin, even before it was a thing.  As a girl I would find magazines and cut out images making a collage of the type of life I wanted.  I would watch soap opera for the television commercials because I thought that this was the life that I was looking to have.  I can't decorate to save my life but I have imagined each of the rooms of my house as sparse, modern and light/white.  This look appeals to me.  All of the rooms of my house run dark and somewhat cluttered with the exception of my room.  I still like white walls.  I wanted a spacious home.  I loved this idea of space.  Now when I think of space, I think about how much square feet I would have to mop or sweep.  I would like cozy and lived in with colors that relax me.

I feel like I need to work part time.  Really, I could do working a job 20 hours a week.  I would wake up with the kids and help them get ready, as I do already, I would go to the gym on my way back from taking them to school.  I would take classes and do yoga.  There will be some days that I would come back to the house and sleep in, maybe I'll read a book.  When was the last time I read a book?  I would go shopping in the afternoon and be home for them.

I think I would like to spend my life writing.  Who makes it as a successful writer?  I don't know  Please take note that in my scenarios there are no men.  I'm discovering something about men.  Men are like peaches when it comes to dating.  You may have a craving for one but when you go to the supermarket and find the last of the season, you find that you would rather not... have the peach.

We don't get the life we want.  We get the life that God gives us.  I could ask for things but sometimes the better thing is just wanting something.  When I was a little girl, I went to the pharmacy with my mom and I saw a package, a nice three pack of Bonnie Bell smackers.  In my head, this was the best thing ever.  I asked my mother and after finding out that they were over $5, she said I would have to earn it.  I thought about those lip balms constantly.  I was always looking to make a buck.  It took a while but I finally earned enough for the package.  I remember going to the pharmacy by myself and buying it alone.  Back then, kids could go to the store and buy stuff without adults having a fit.  I brought it home.  I could not wait to open it and try it on.  I didn't like it.  Out of the three, the plum one was the only one that I liked.  There was a weird orange one that I swear to you I can still taste.  The other one, I have no idea.  I think about his for a variety of reasons.  I miss my mother.  I remember a simpler time.  But most of all, I remember that wanting the thing was better than getting the thing.  I could want the life I want and maybe that's all I get, just to wish for a little bit and dream.  That's all.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

To the Guys on Dating Apps

I go through a lot of profiles.  I'm laughing because they remind me of watching the American Idol auditions. A lot of them are really bad and really bad can be really entertaining.  My kids have this thing where they are like, "Mom, don't be cringey."  It means not to do anything to embarrass them or to make them cringe.  They are tweens and teens so I'm always doing something "cringey" but these guys make me look like an amateur.

So... smile in your pictures.  I don't care if you don't like to smile!!!  Smile. I need to see your teeth!!!  I'm not kidding!  Smile in most of the pictures.  Don't make your first picture one without a shirt.  What are you selling?  Don't take pictures with sunglasses on.  The eyes are the windows to your soul.  Take one pic full body.  If I can do it, then you can do it too.  Definitely put one with pets, not just of your pets.  How do I know if they are really yours if you aren't in the picture?  I hate it when you have more than one pic with a bunch of other people.  Because a lot of you are friends with some good looking people.  If you are really good looking, you should put one with you looking goofy.  You intimidate people with all of that prettiness.  Besides, we girls should be the pretty ones.  Have one with your kids but not all of them should be of your kids.  I have one with my kids.  We are a package deal.

Okay so now on to profiles.  Put a profile up.  This means, WRITE SOMETHING!!! I like longer ones.  I hate when it is just all pictures.  I read the whole profile.  I think women like more information not less.  We aren't men!!!  Do I even need to tell you to spellcheck!!!  I mean, reread what you write and maybe have a friend (a woman friend) read it over for you.  I think it is cool to be clear about what you want.  I like it when the app does it for you but if it doesn't then you need to be clear.  Don't say Christian if you aren't.  That goes for women and men.  If  you are unsure, go to a church and talk to someone.

Okay guys!!!  Most guys I know are not overly optimistic... until it comes to online dating.  All of sudden they want to go for women that they would never approach in real life.  Is this why online shopping is so popular?  People buying stuff they would never buy in a store?  I don't know.  I think this is a post for another day.  I do it too... incidentally.  I go for guys that are a few levels higher than me.  But then again, I have a lot of personality to back up my optimism so there is that.

A note on ghosting: I hate ghosting but there's this thing that happens where a conversation drops.  You find someone else or there is a lack of communication from the other side and I'm waiting and you may be waiting too.  Here is the thing.  You are the GUYS!!!  In the grand scheme of things, I think that you guys should be doing the pursuing and we should be considering.  I understand that rejection is hard.  Try waiting for you guys to wake up.  Me?  I want to be pursued.  Maybe I want to be convinced.  Online dating is hard.  It is.  Understand that a lot of times, I'm waiting for you to do the next move.  I mean, HELLO!!! Then again, maybe I'm being harsh.  I understand that I may be an Alpha Female waiting for a true Alpha Male.  Then again, the better wait is on God to lead someone to me, if ever.  I may be waiting for the rest of my life and not find someone.  That's okay too.

Hope this was helpful!

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Consumerism and Time

I have an issue with time and money.  I misspend both of them.  I try to be economical.  Today as I look at my day I know that I have a limited time to clean, do laundry, work on my writing and provide myself with self-care.  I know that limited time means that I need to pay for someone else to do what I don't have time to do.  Where time fails, in comes money.

I have had issues with consumerism.  I can say that I have gotten better about it.  But here's the thing.  I find that I like to reward myself by buying stuff, stuff that I definitely do not need.  I think about how I'm eliminating stuff to move eventually.  Then here I go buying stuff.  What do I like to buy?  Little things I really don't need is what I find myself getting.  Buying sponges to clean with is not fun!!!  This weekend I bought a few books.  I had been good about not buying books.  I was borrowing them from the library.  But then, the library upset me.  I have three weeks to read a book.  Sometimes I don't get to read the book in that time so I have I have it so that it automatically renews.  If someone else puts it on hold, then all of a sudden, my book becomes overdue.  Never mind that it was just renewed.  How is this fair?  So I bought a few books with the intention of donating them when I was done but I'm spending money because I'm mad at the library.  Ugh!  I'm dumb.  I like to buy hair jewelry.  I don't really like my hair up but I'll put it up just to wear the pretty bejeweled barrettes and clips that I tend to buy. I bought this beautiful one that it so pretty I want to go somewhere fancy just to wear it.

I went through my bank statement.  I didn't want to make dinner so I bought dinner yesterday for my kids.  I could have meal prepped for the whole week with the money that I spent on the kids' dinner.  I'm pretty good about clothes and although I have too many shoes and purses, I am always drawn to them.  I added another purse to my collection this weekend.  I mean, maybe it was a designer purse and maybe I paid $8.00 for it at Goodwill because they don't know the really fancy brands.  But still...  I tell myself that I can afford a lip gloss or lipstick.  Never mind that I love the better brands and I can drop $20 on a lipstick and not even blink.  I have some that cost more than that. 

Why?  Some of it is because the better quality stuff doesn't upset me.  I will buy a cheap lipstick and it won't go on well.  It will fade faster or have a cheap feel or taste to it.  I don't have an aversion to using Chapstick or something else equally cheap but I bought this lipstick once and it has a magnetic closure.  It smells good and when I put it on it feels and looks the tiniest bit better.  I walk around and I'm telling myself, "You see my gorgeous lips are courtesy of this fancy brand right here."  I become fancy.  When I walk around in my fancy shoes I'm saying the same thing.  The pretty hair jewelry?  I want to bring your attention to my remarkably long curly hair.  The worst is the purses.  You could be a hot mess and if they are walking around with a fancy purse you assume something about them.  They are a hot mess but it can't be all bad because they have a fancy purse.  Despite my bravado, I care what people think and this has cost me in my priorities.

I need a moment to digest that I just told my blog readers a deep seated ugly insecurity that I have.  There is a good portion of my problems that come from my own issues.  Proverbs 21:1-5:

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;
he turns it wherever he will.
2Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
but the LORD weighs the heart.
3To do righteousness and justice
is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
4Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
the lampa of the wicked, are sin.
5The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.  

So... then there's that.  I need to work toward spending my time and my money better.  It's true that I spend very little on myself and that I'm paying some bills that are only partly my fault but just understanding how I work and confessing my issues to God may lead me where I really want to go- God's path for me.  I tend to shop when I feel bad about myself.  I want to highlight my good and disguise my bad.  I'm working on it.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Dancing with Someone (A Whitney Houston Post)

Did you know that I love to dance?  I love to dance.  When I was a little girl I would listen to the radio.  I loved music.  I loved to dance to the music and in my head, I would envision myself in my own versions of a music video.  I'm the one who goes out first on the dance floor and you have to pay me to get off. 

When I was in college, I had this boyfriend.  He was my favorite to dance with.  He made sure that I was the only one he danced with at the parties.  When I met Santi, he would leave me to dance with my friends.  He would come to me to dance maybe once or twice.  This being said, we are going in the Whitney vault and pulling out "I Wanna Dance with Somebody."  The lyrics are as follows:

Clock strikes upon the hour
And the sun begins to fade
Still enough time to figure out
How to chase my blues away(Because when the night comes, that's when the bad thoughts tend to come for some people.)
I've done alright up to now (I think that I have done phenomenally!!!)
It's the light of day that shows me how (The light of God too!)
And when the night falls, loneliness calls  (Yes.  Maybe...)
Oh, I wanna dance with somebody
I wanna feel the heat with somebody
Yeah, I wanna dance with somebody
With somebody who loves me
Oh, I wanna dance with somebody
I wanna feel the heat with somebody
Yeah, I wanna dance with somebody
With somebody who loves me
I've been in love and lost my senses
Spinning through the town
Sooner or later, the fever ends (Nothing like the high of love, right?)
And I wind up feeling down
I need a man who'll take a chance
On a love that burns hot enough to last (Wouldn't that be nice?)
So when the night falls
My lonely heart calls
Oh, I wanna dance with somebody
I wanna feel the heat with somebody
Yeah, I wanna dance with somebody
With somebody who loves me
Oh, I wanna dance with somebody
I wanna feel the heat with somebody
Yeah, I wanna dance with somebody
With somebody who loves me
Somebody oo Somebody oo
Somebody who loves me yeah
Somebody oo Somebody oo
To hold me in his arms oh
I need a man who'll take a chance
On a love that burns hot enough to last
So when the night falls
My lonely heart calls
Oh, I wanna dance with somebody
I wanna feel the heat with somebody
Yeah, I wanna dance with somebody
With somebody who loves me
Oh, I wanna dance with somebody
I wanna feel the heat with somebody
Yeah, I wanna dance with somebody
With somebody who loves me
Don'tcha wanna dance with me baby
Dontcha wanna dance with me boy
Hey Don'tcha wanna dance with me baby
With somebody who loves me
Don'tcha wanna dance say you wanna dance
Don'tcha wanna dance
Don'tcha wanna dance say you wanna dance
Don'tcha wanna dance
Don'tcha wanna dance say you wanna dance
With somebody who loves me
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: George Robert Merrill / Shannon Rubicam
I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Love Me For My Ugly

I went to a yoga class.  I went on Saturday.  I had gone to yoga before but I had forgotten how hard a class could be.  I was anticipating the yoga instructor I had seen during the week, a thinner woman.  I was sitting on the yoga mat when the young handsome instructor walked in.  Part of me wanted to get up and walk out.  Why?  Because I knew that I was going to get ugly.  This class was going to be ugly.  Within the first ten to fifteen minutes, I was sweating profusely.  I looked at my watch.  How long was this class?  My hands were already slipping on the mat.  I was telling my friend and the receptionist at my dentist's office about the experience and out of my mouth came a thought that was more truth than joke.  I said, "The only man that should see you that ugly is your husband."

I'm on a few dating sites.  All of the pictures are sort of pretty but definitely without a filter.  I have a few full body shots because I could appear to be thinner from just a head shot and I'm not a thinner woman.  When I look at my pictures and in the mirror without make up, I still think that I'm beautiful.  I like the way my bones form my face.  I like the way my skin is.  I like my features.  I'm not as kind on my legs.  My legs are short and stubby.  They are chunky legs.  I don't want to have to worry about my chunky legs. I didn't worry about my legs when I was married.  Why?  Because it wasn't about how pretty I was, it was about trusting someone to be vulnerable, real and ugly. When I was married, I had plenty of ugly moments.  I gave birth.  I lost my father.  I was sick.  I was sad.  It's hard to know someone from a picture and some funny snippets that they call a profile.  I don't know if I can really meet someone online.  I don't know if this is a reliable sort of way to meet people.  I want to watch someone and get to know someone.  What I really want to do is lull someone into a friendship then fall in love gradually.  Isn't this what we all want?  Maybe Phoebe (from Friends) was right.  We are all lobsters needing to go into the cold water and then slowly boil.

I know some younger single women.  I know younger single men.  My friend told me that when she talks to married people, they don't seem to like to be married all of the time.  This makes me so sad.  It is hard to be married but now that I'm not married, I miss it.  There is so many things to miss about being married.  This is why I think about doing it all again.  Even after becoming a widow, a covenant keeper, one who stayed; I would do it again.  I know some might not, but I would.  This is why I'm trying it again.  When I look at these singles who are looking for their other half, I see them hoping for someone pretty or handsome.  Someone that they think match them.  I want to tell them to find someone constant or consistent.  Find someone who knows what commitment means by how they treat their friends and family.  The ones with the weird friends are the ones that love regardless of what you look like.  I want to tell them that the ones who come in the middle of the night are worth more than those who look good in pictures with.  Man, and if they make you laugh even when you feel like crying then maybe you need to give them another look.  I want to tell them to find someone who will love you for and through your ugly times.  You'll have more of those than pretty times.  And be someone who will love someone when they are ugly too, even as just a friend.  Life is so short, Friends.  Love one another.  God calls us to do this.

As for me?  I have recently been reminded that:
"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." (Proverbs 31:30)  Maybe that's what I want someone to really see and love me for.  And that's not ugly at all.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Dating and the Cinderella Syndrome

I have decided to give dating a try... again.  There is every possibility that I may not be ready to date again but I have discovered that I'm never going to know unless I try.  You could say that I'm attempting to develop my growth mindset, especially when there are so many factors of my life contingent on a fixed mindset.

I'm going into this with a different perspective and new understanding.  Not every guy that says he is a Christian, is a Christian.  It doesn't mean that he believes in the same things that I believe in.  I understand this... now, where before it was not so clear.  I hear some men complain about women.  They say that women are indecisive and that we don't know what we want.  I don't know who started it but I find that the men react in kind.  They are easily distracted.  Maybe everyone is hampered by the Cinderella Syndrome.  We are under the misguided apprehension that there is a Prince or a Cinderella in our future.  We extend this to the perfect home, the perfect child, the perfect job, the perfect version of ourselves.  We reject others because they are not our perceived ideal.  We construct our own expectations, right.  What if there were no expectations.  Maybe the next person could be the person that you could spend the rest of your life with.

In discovering the things that I don't like about a possible suitor, I am discovering stuff about myself.  Insecure people are dangerous people.  I have insecurities.  Everyone has insecurities but it means something different to be generally an insecure person.  I appreciate open mindedness.  I appreciate honesty.  People don't really understand how to be honest with themselves.  They haven't developed their emotional intelligence.  I'm not claiming to have or to know anything.  But I'm understanding myself better.  My experiences have changed me.  I have different bragging points.  I am one who stays.  I am one who is learning to communicate clearly.  I am one who tries new things.  I hear what they are saying but what else are they about?  What else are they saying?

Why do I feel I want someone to be with?  I hold things.  I like to share.  I like to talk so that I can see what I'm really thinking and figure out things.  I like to turn and talk.  I have Janet.  Janet does this too.  David does not.  I turn around and I talk.  What happens when Janet is gone?  It hurts to think that I will turn around and talk to someone and they won't be there.  I am borrowing life from my friend's husbands.  They are on loan to me.  I turn to them and talk when I have them but I don't have them all of the time.  So... I need my own person.  Yes?  Maybe.  I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Go on ahead... Hope

We are quick to stop hoping and stop dreaming.  I ask my students what they want and they have trouble telling me.  What do you want to be?  What do you dream about?  I'm finding that people have trouble dreaming.  When my son was in kindergarten, he wanted to be a cowboy.  He was so decisive about it.  Now, when I ask him, he's less decisive.  My daughter also has no idea.  Is it fear? Why should I even allow myself to dream?

I had a dream when I was younger.  I wanted to be a singer.  I went on auditions.  My friend, Abby from high school thought I was obsessed.  I was.  One day I remember waking up and thinking (maybe hearing) that I was never meant to be a singer.  Okay.  Now what?  I don't know how but God led me to become an educator, and there I found my purpose.  Those of you that once knew me as a singer sometimes ask me (they always ask me), "Do you still sing?"  Yes.  God in his infinite mercy still allows me to sing every once in a while.  I am blessed to be able to sing in His service.  I am so thankful for the opportunity.  Praise the Lord!!!

I was with my Bible Study Group (Bible Study Babes) on Monday and we talked about how scary it is to hope.  Should we hope?  Yes.  We should hope.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Romans 12:12
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Isaiah 40:31
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Romans 15:4
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

It should be okay to hope in something.  I can hope and ask God for something and see what ends up happening.  I praise God for the option of having the all scary hope.  My advice to you is to hope, go on ahead and see what happens.  Maybe, just maybe, you will get what you hoped for.  Wait on the Lord.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Grief... again

I was in a store today and I came across a DVD of the movie, Knight and Day.  I don't know why but it was a favorite of Santi's.  I girded myself.  You see, you may not know this but sometimes, grief is like an unexpected smack or a punch in the gut.  A smell, a song, a movie, you never know what will trigger it.  It comes out of no where, an abuser, a sadist, this thing called Grief.

I waited for it to hit.  It didn't.  Is it gone?  Have I grieved enough?  I don't know.  I pictured the last time I saw the movie with him.  I pictured the movie.  I pictured A Knight's Tale.  This is the last movie I saw with him.  Heath Ledger and the last movie combo is sure to trigger Grief's punch.  I waited some more.  I didn't know if I was happy or sad about it.

I came home and heard NAO's "Next Lifetime." This song crushed me.  It was like it was waiting for me.  There I was listening to the soothing sounds of James Bay and there it was.  Have you heard it?  I think you should look it up and give it a listen.  The weight of it all fell on me then. I was with him so long.  I loved him.  I remembered this for a moment.  Grief is an emotion bomb.  I was able to walk away.  I was able to remember.  I was able to bounce back.  And somehow, somehow, even with the grief, I had the feeling of balance.  Did I need to feel grief?  This horrible thing!!!  Is it needed?

Clearly I have been thinking about this and you know that I am going to bring in God. Psalm 34:17-19 says:
"When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.  The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all."  When my heart breaks within me, in my humanity, I can lift my weary eyes to my good God and know that this life doesn't last long and there is Someone always in my corner.  I am thankful.  I am grateful, so grateful that I have this grief; this painful, reminder of what was.  I will see him again.  Next Lifetime.

Monday, November 4, 2019

I'm the type of person that...

I was painting my nails.  They are short and stubby now but I like painting them anyway.  I have painted them a pumpkins orange.  This made me think of the type of person that I am.

I am the type of person that:

  • paints her nails but doesn't get her nails done and who does not have nails over an inch long.  
  • if she were to get her nails done, she would have a french manicure or red nails.  I can't sit long enough to get my nails done.
  • doesn't get her hair done.  I do it myself.  It bothers me to sit in a chair and be attended to for long periods of time.
  • can wear lipstick, chapstick and lip gloss and pull it off because I have great lips.
  • wears a little bit of make up every day but no foundation because I like seeing my skin through the enhancements.
  • doesn't wear a lot of jewelry and I wear the same pieces regularly but I have tried to wear costume.  I want to wear costume but there is something false about it that rubs me wrong.  
  • loves mascara and wears it on a daily basis.  I will wear concealer, mascara and something on my lips as a minimum.
  • hugs first and asks questions later.
  • likes wearing fragrances because smelling nice is important to me.  It makes me feel good about myself.
  • can go to sleep with a mess but I don't like waking up with a mess so I clean.
  • loves wearing crazy colors instead of neutral colors.
  • loves to write, and sing.  There are not many things that I am creative about but I love words and love to read.
  • has truly adequate observational skills and enjoys watching people.  I like to find good things to appreciate about people.  
  • is an optimistic realist who values authenticity and honesty over other human character traits.  
  • is always going to be someone's first choice.  I am not okay being someone's second choice.
  • loves with everything that I have and I am strong enough to break my heart a thousand times because I know with every fiber in my being that I am loved by a Big God.
  • will sit with you in the dark.
  • smiles with tears pouring down my face.
  • chooses happiness because it's a choice.
Understanding who you are is so important. 

Sunday, November 3, 2019

In The Ellipse

Every day I get the sense that I am rounding a corner.  I can't see what it is really.  I have these strange dreams and I remember the feelings in them, snippets of them in my day to day life.  It feels like I'm riding a roller coaster.  I hate roller coasters.  I hate the slow ride up and the slow tip to that sinking feeling in my belly.  I think some of my friends can feel it too.  I like ellipses.  I use ellipses often.  It is an unfinished thought.  Maybe it's a pause.  It builds suspense.  There is the possibility that it is all in my head... There it is.  That mysterious ellipse. Maybe it's all in my head but there are days that I feel watched.  It's as if my life is really a story.  What would that look like?

Once upon a time, there was a girl who was not supposed to be.  There was a sick woman who wanted a baby more than anything in the world.  She had met her Colombian prince on a blind date.  He didn't care that she couldn't have any babies.  He would do what she wanted because in the end, he would do anything to make her happy.  She tried to get pregnant even though her doctors didn't think it would be wise.  Maybe there were babies before the girl.  There were babies after her.  She counts them as family that she didn't have but she wasn't supposed to be there so she could do anything that she wants when it comes to counting family.  The girl lost her own babies too.  She counted them as her babies that were not supposed to be.

The girl lost her mother.  She died in a blaze of glory.  She was raised by her father.  Girls need their dads.  Her Colombian King died when she was 26 years old.  Her own prince from Brooklyn died.  This girl who was not supposed to be ended up losing so many.  She was thankful for the babies that stayed.  There was a little boy and a little girl.  They brought light into her world.

What is the girl who was not supposed to be to do with her life?  What are the adventures that lay in store for her?  I think the fear is that there are no adventures left.  What really happens in this ellipse?  I used to talk about it with my dear cousin, Jackie.  I would tell her that I am my mother's miracle baby living a miracle life.  I think of them often.  My parents.  I have their stories before me.  I am their stories' keeper.  I am a story keeper.  And now, I have my late husband's story to tell.  Each breath, each beat of my heart, each moment is my wonderful story.  I won't need my children to tell it.  I will tell it myself.  Thank you for reading.