Reflection…

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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.

Holiday’s are made for relaxation and reflection

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This photo sums up how I spent my holiday week.  I worked my normal schedule, even working Christmas Eve and day, happily so.  My job is very rewarding and it made me happy to be there.  With an empty house, no school or dance to drive to, the extra time in my day allowed for me to have much more leisure time than I am used to.  I watched movies, read a little, created some new recipes, did a lot of cooking, and some walking as well.  All the while realizing how many things I have to be grateful for.  My beautiful home and community in which I live, healthy children, life itself.  I had been worried that the holidays would hit and I would have a breakdown, being that this is the first holiday season that I have ever spent alone in all my years.  The largest revelation that came to me during this time of reflection is that in my solitude I am not lonely, I felt more lonely in my marriage.  That loneliness perpetuated my solitary cocktails that were necessary to bring a haze that allowed me to muddle through my sadness, and lack of self-love.

I completed my Whole 30 on Christmas day, and the desire for a celebratory cocktail was not there as it had been after the completion of my first time on this program.  Though I stayed busy, and enjoyed the peace and quiet, by Sunday I was beginning to feel a bit lonely.  I called a friend and we got together for a glass of wine, and this is fine I think for me, the battle begins when we finish the bottle and I want more.  This is my struggle.

Julia finally returned home today and we had a wonderful time.  Lunch, conversation, a little fashion show, and even some snuggle time.  We both recapped our week for one another,  and she shared that she is not concerned with me having wine with a friend, proceeding to let me know all that does cause her worry.  Our continued open, honest conversations only strengthen our bond.  As the Holiday season comes to a close, I welcome the new year with optimism, and love, looking forward for our picnics to resume, truly spending our Sunday in the park! Here is my beauty, en pointe…

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Flexibility…

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The single most fleeting attribute I have always lacked through my life is flexibility. Until very recently I have been unable to implement this concept into my life.  While my oldest children were young my way of thinking and parenting was so set, just as the bedtime hour, now as I look back and reflect I see how it created unwanted chaos in our home and in my marriage.  The convergence of two individuals, who had in our case been raised so differently, now forming an alliance to raise humans so they become strong and ready for the world we live in.  In our case add the fact that the oldest is my step daughter, though to this day I truly feel she is just the luckiest of them all to say she simply has two loving mothers.  I came into the relationship pregnant, with another mans child, my husband standing with me from four months of my pregnancy on, always being a father to our son, something most men could not do. Finally adding in our youngest Julia the family became complete.  For many just the idea of accepting these obstacles may seem as though flexibility was there from the start, but really I know we both felt that we were one another’s soul mate, we were meant to be.

Our Sunday this week needed flexibility, for many reasons.  I awoke early and had many household chores to complete, as well as wanting to take my walk.  Julia was a typical teenager, wanting to lay in bed and simply do nothing, not that I can blame her!  When I came home from my seven mile walk/ jog I was pretty tired. Julia was not up to going outside for a picnic as the clouds had moved in.  So I prepared lunch, and a picnic for us this Sunday was sitting together in the living room.  This movement is to enhance the bond between Julia and myself, keeping the commitment of spending the day together is at the forefront not necessarily the location.  We went to the movies in the afternoon, finishing off with a bite to eat.  This is when again we revisited, on Julia’s behest, if  I would begin drinking again when I am done with my whole 30 as I had done before.  To give a definitive yes or no is not a possibility for me right now, but what I do know is that I am not missing drinking like I thought I would at this point, nor do I see myself saying that I will not ever enjoy libations in a responsible manner amongst friends.  With this she was satisfied, letting me know that she is clear on what is acceptable to her, this honesty makes my Sundays worth looking forward to.

Catching the sun…

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It started out as a gloomy morning, I went for a walk with a friend before preparing for our weekly picnic.  Julia had stayed overnight with her friend, so she wasn’t able to help with preparation, though she gave me her input of what she craved.  I am doing what is called the Whole 30, for a multitude of reasons, as well as I have been eating Paleo-ish since summertime, so the way I eat has become mostly the way of the household.  All except for Julia’s beloved lavash wraps, she is not able to let go, nor should she feel the need to comply to what I have found works best for me.  I made a salad, vegetables and fruit to round out a light satisfying picnic. I found my actual picnic basket as I cleaned in the garage, in it I found some linen that had belonged to beautiful grandmother who initiated my love for cooking.  We used them as our tablecloths, for me those linens made me feel her presence bringing me a warmth, with her memory.

Julia’s friend joined us for the day, to see them interact and be content with the simplicity I offer of just a picnic lunch filled with what was a very telling conversation made me pleased with who my daughter is becoming, and her choice of company.  As we enjoyed lunch we were fortunate to catch the sunlight of the day, as if it was just meant to be.  We chose Nojoqui Falls Park, a beautiful local park that I have spent so many days over the years, yet haven’t been there for so long.  Unfortunately the falls were closed because from our last rain, though we were able to walk around the park and be silly, producing many funny pictures.

From the park we took the lovely drive to Solvang to gather some small gifts for exchange at Julia’s dance studio.  As we window shopped and the girls tasted fudge, the weather changed and the clouds moved in, signaling an end to the day.

To finish off our Sunday we had a wonderful supper at home, just the two of us.  And here is where a conversation of heft came to the forefront, my sobriety.  My concerns, and more importantly Julia’s concerns that weigh heavily on her mind.  This is a difficult topic, especially for me to even acknowledge, but for a truly open and honest relationship with my daughter it is a must.  She told me she feels that there is nothing she cannot share with me, this was golden, and because of her, because of just that we were able to have a frank conversation of what sobriety means to our life together, and with my older children as well. It is not that I won’t ever enjoy a glass of wine with friends, but no longer can I hide my depression with solitary cocktails in my room at night, or foolish times out at the bars, I need to, for her sake and my health re-establish an appropriate relationship with alcohol.  These reasons and conversations are all part of why I have begun this journey, and commitment for Sundays in the park.