A few Sundays have gone by, and my mind has been so cluttered that even writing has been difficult for me. I usually take moments like these and spend multiple times of the day making simple journal entries or something of the sort. As a year has passed for my existence as I know it there are so many moments and experiences to reflect back on, not only in this past year, but in my adult life. Wanting to learn from, and choose the moments that have been uplifting to ground me, allowing me to truly know the best path for myself and children.
Looking back exactly a year, have I grown? Have I been stagnant? Have I fallen behind? The answer is yes, to all of these questions as they pertain to different aspects in my life. Learning to not only recognize my own shortcomings, but accept that I have made accomplishments, are the ways to what I seek for enlightenment. Inner peace and love, is what will complete my journey, it has been a long rocky path with many stumbles, filled with self-doubt and angst. As I look ahead, letting go and leaving pain that cannot be changed, sadness that must be left behind, looking around at all the beauty in my life and those who want to share it with me is all that I need to know my path has a few stretches that I will be able to move freely without wavering.
Our last Sunday did not turn out they way we had planned, a long drive, a bit of a disappointment, and then just going with the day. I find that making plans or having expectations sometimes just leads to being let down. Learning to work with what you’ve got, be it money, time or place can be a challenge, ultimately turning into what may shape to be a wonderful memory.
It isn’t easy for 13 year olds at times to have a just roll with it attitude, it’s still difficult for me! Julia’s friend was wonderful and really did just that. After a few moments that made me want to just walk away, we came up with some ideas of what to do for the rest of the day. My Julia has this romantic picture of what Los Angeles is, so I figured better time than any for her to see what it is truly like and the diversity that can be seen one block to the next. We headed up the 101 to Hollywood. Now I do tend to always miss an exit or get in the lane that must exit, I must admit I’m not the best at finding my way on the road. Though getting off at the wrong exit allowed us to see a few spots that positively are not on the list of stops in any tourism guide. The traffic was stop and go, it was getting hot, we were a bit over it. We did go to China Town having a nice lunch. We made our way to Griffith Park. Once we approached that area she said, “this is what I imagined”. We went to the observatory, watched a planetarium show and just enjoyed the rest of our evening.
I started this project for so many reasons, but my focus has been to strengthen the relationship between my youngest daughter and myself. My evolution through time as a parent has brought me to a place where I find that my older children had to have a patience children should not have needed, as I stumbled and at times fallen as a human. Slowly I have come to be a better guide in life as I should be, though it seems more of a guide of what not to do, far too often.
This last weekend coming home from work, I found my son home on a Saturday night, which is an extremely rare occurrence. It was just us, spending the evening talking, laughing, and sharing, a few somber moments of reflection. He is a very honest, and vocal young man, both my favorite and least favorite part of his character. He needs to find the appropriate times to voice his opinions, and when not to hold back, this is an area in which I have not been the best guide. Through the conversation we shared, I know he will be just fine. It is difficult as a mother to see the son who you once held so close become a man. I look back and wish I had more patience, enjoying, loving and holding, had I only known how quickly time would pass.
As the saying goes, there is an exception to every rule, or is there? In fact I believe this to be a false statement. This is a saying or idea has its place in time to exist, mostly for the moments that we are looking for an excuse. The action of doing so can be a detriment to the flow of life in which we want to lead. Exceptions are not to be confused with flexibility, the art of being flexible may help our relationships become more in sync, though exceptions are far more involved than flexibility.
As I look back upon my own life I see how I had taken this idea of making exceptions to heart so much so that I, in most cases have compromised my ideals, beliefs and even at times ethics. These exceptions in which I speak of encompass choices I have made and have now led me to who I have become, and have been left broken because of.
As we make exceptions at moments in which we don’t stand firm on what we know to be right, we hurt ourselves. Including taking charge of our health, overall diet, drinking, drug use and forms of abuse. Learning discipline will be the single most challenging task I want to master. Just this one time… One time can’t hurt… I’ll start tomorrow…. These are all statements I know that each and everyone has said or will say at some point. Once we give in to these exceptions, making allowances for our choice, even trying to justify our actions, we hurt ourselves and to extend this to its logical conclusion we can then hurt those who love us. Sometimes things happen that are beyond our control, situations we could have never foreseen. Without too much detail I will say in my case I made too many allowances, for myself and for others, the kind that have held me back from believing that I have worth. These have been my choices to make, blame lies upon only my shoulders for the reactions and choices that have been at times truly dangerous exceptions, these moments in time the showing of my lack of strength and character continue to be the driving force behind my addiction.
I looked back at some writings and saw this… Drunkenness is like a layer of sheer warmth, convincing me that there is a shield of protection from who I truly am… This is dark and so sad. No more exceptions! That cannot be the kind of statement that I leave behind. Nor is it any way to raise a healthy happy daughter.
So this Sunday I will be having a luncheon with Julia and her friends, and a few of my friends and their children. I want to show them all some appreciation for being part of my life, and of course it’s always fun to cook for others and enjoy beautiful food!
A weekend of laying in bed, this time not voluntarily but because I have been under the weather. I suppose it worked out for the best since Julia had unexpected dance rehearsal and was participating in an experiment that was dance based. I have literally stayed in bed completely, other than to cook and drive Julia where she needed to be. Through all of the Sunday’s this year we have been challenged on actually getting outdoors for a picnic, being that we are fair weathered outdoors women, we have kept the commitment of having our meals together. Meals free of technology, so we are able to keep a conversation.
This week my son was home for dinner, this was interesting. Opening my eyes to where I have unfortunately failed as a parent somewhere along the line, because he and Julia seem as though they cannot get along. He and I mostly get along, though putting us all together, it is rarely smooth. This was a huge detriment to my marriage, to this day I lay fault solely upon myself for not teaching more patience through the action of leading by example. Patience is one of many areas I lack. I have made great strides in this area, but I need to continue making patience and positive reactions on the top of my list of priorities. When I master patience I believe I will find the inner peace I seek. Finding inner peace will allow me to be free from my desire to get lost and be all that I hope to be.
The amount of time I feel more peaceful are beginning to outweigh the time I feel stressed. Day by day I will reach my goal.
I do not claim to know what I am doing as a human, nor as a parent. Though honesty, and an open dialogue is what I believe to be the best choice I could make in life. I truly believe that pretending my daughter will either steer clear of, or not be offered drugs and alcohol, is simply to live with blinders. It will happen, and honestly she will most likely partake at some point, so preparation for such moments is the key to helping her make appropriate choices. The discussion we engaged in was quite deep, including my experiences, and what I believe are pros and cons to drug use, as well as tools to be sure whatever choice she makes is educated. We live in an unpredictable world, keeping that in mind, makes the challenge of reminding my children, and myself that to think on our feet, anticipating our responses will only allow for the ability to keep just a moment of control in this existence of chaos.
A lazy day spent with my Julia was a wonderful way to finish off last weekend. Watching movies having lunch, yes in bed again. As I reflect on the conversation that transpired between us, makes me feel as though I am, with all my faults, on the right path with my daughter. Continually she shares with me, sometimes information I do not necessarily want to know, though I need to be aware of in order to help guide her the best I know how. I am so proud of her for sharing with such honesty. A clear indication, that judgment is not part of our relationship.
A romantic, I am not. Through the years I haven’t ever felt interested in the idea of being told that there is a day of the year that I should show my love because it is yet another “holiday” that we should participate in. Reminder traditions are not my cup of tea.
To celebrate and bring some individuality to work, my boss came up with the idea of us having a craft day, making valentines bags to then have a little exchange of candy and cards. Now as silly is this may be, it was something that brought out creativity, and kindness in my coworkers.
In the end, we ended up with some silly and fun vessels to receive thoughtful little treats. Employees brought together through one of those “holidays” that I generally disregard. So for me, now another perspective has been accepted.
I came home and brought the entire bag to my Julia, I don’t care for any kind of sweets… Go figure.
For me the disconnect is at times what allows me to continue, it is on so many levels, of emotion, from society, from those I love. As of late I have become very frustrated by feeling the need to be responsive to many, in this time of living with our phones continually in our hand, I become overwhelmed. Engaging with others at times can become a chore, it is not that I do not want to remind those whom I care for that they are on my mind, though I hope they do not need continual reassurance of my love. I retreat, I sweep my issues under the rug so to speak, and luckily I have many animals that I can happily just enjoy the peace with at times. I have simply become overwhelmed by all that is expected of me, and finding the balance to be myself, who that is I still do not know. Unfortunately I am finding that my need for disconnect can cause concern, and even resentment. My poor communications skills have not helped this situation to any degree. Turning off, to do some cooking or gardening saves me.
I have been on this journey of self discovery while learning to live a solitary life, with my children for almost at year now, having my greatest desire to find some inner peace, hoping to find what my purpose truly is. My new year has been filled with conflict, within myself. My ambition becomes stunted by my need to disappear, not following through with commitments I had made to myself, including my path to sobriety, and my relationships with my children, I wonder if my standards are set too high.
I have had a wonderful week with Julia, she will be away with her father for this weekend, so my disconnect and reflection in solitude will continue.
(n.) The connection or relation of ideas, feelings, sensations, etc.; correlation of perception, reasoning or the like.
To simply encounter an individual, enter a specific door, to inhale and savor an aroma, in these instances one can be transported back into another time or memory. The power of association can be looked at in a positive and negative light. As I continue to learn more about myself through this past years journey, I have found that the impact for not only myself, but those who surround me can be the beginning of something beautiful or an emotional storm appears. I wear my heart on my sleeve, I also have no filter in most cases, though I am resilient and rebound every time, once I connect and accept the issue in which has been so thought-provoking. Controlling my emotions and possible anger is not a strong suit for me, this is yet again one of the many faults that I am working on. Eradicating the triggers I can control that arouse negative thoughts or behavior is a process that I need to become strong and conscious enough to learn to evade.
Cooking and simply being in the kitchen warms me in every way, it is also a wonderful way to connect with others. I have not been feeling my best this past week, and Sunday I had been so sick that I didn’t leave my bed, Julia said I couldn’t even be stirred when I was asleep. Then in the evening I awoke, finally getting out of bed feeling like there was just enough energy to make some dinner. I looked in the fridge and this is what I came up with, from there Julia and I were able to enjoy one another’s company, watching a movie and ending our Sunday together. The association of sautéing vegetables, and sitting at the table having conversation brings us together in such a positive way that it makes me so happy that Julia has dreams of becoming a chef, we will have many beautiful meals to share in the years to come always having the memory of Sunday dinners spent together.
I know that all who are in my life, those who love me, and at moments try to understand me, they do accept me. I am a conundrum of sorts, I have an appearance to some that is not the same to others, I do not try to put on different hats, but I do know that not all can love and accept the way my children do, in most cases. Being a woman who has always worked very hard, and happily so, I can accomplish most anything. Though, to love myself completely may not be an achievable goal. As I look at myself, my accomplishments, because even the most unaccomplished have not been defeated in all aspects of life, I know that I must keep pushing forward even when I have taken a step back. The goal of having a committed Sunday to Julia, also means listening to what she wants for her day off. I have never, nor will I ever be an ultimatum kind of woman. I discuss, then I usually roll over, going with what the other person desires. This past weekend was a three-day weekend and my social butterfly had many plans, which seem impossible to dismiss. That said, she was with friends. And I was at home with my friends, not what I had hoped for, but we both always make the most of whatever we do, together or independently.
It was foreseen, her want to be off with friends, so a sushi night beforehand, had been put on the docket. I may not know much, but I do know my Julia. We had a wonderful evening with conversation, as always that semi surprises me. The possibility of reading of a Midsummer’s Night Dream, and how the idea would probably not be acceptable to the other parents, being that there is a sexual theme within the story. She made the point that some of the boys may not be ready for such a thing, because of their childishness, and most parents are not as open as I to allow it at all. I simply love that she feels that no topic is off-limits. We continued from there, with so much more. Unfortunately when I wanted to share new parts of my personal life, she did not have such an open ear. She is not yet willing to see all my hats I suppose, we are a work in progress.