SOMETHING JUST FOR ME?

Did you ever want to do something just for you?  It is not easy for me to commit to something that is just for me when it involves money and sacrifice for those around me.

I am a very logical thinker and that is how I normally make decisions.  I weigh all the positive things I can think of and then I ask myself what is the worst thing that could happen.  The time involved in this process depends on how big the decision actually might be.  I also have John and several friends that I ask for guidance.  I try to cover all my bases so I am able to make a good choice.

This is what I have been doing for several months now.  I want to go back to school.  Most of you are probably thinking either I must be nuts or what’s the problem with that?  And you would all be right!

I have never had much of an interest in a higher education.  I have a fantastic job with people I love.  I am treated like a queen.  I really never thought of doing anything else.  So, what changed?  Many things!

John and I downsized and moved to a retirement community.  I never in a million years dreamed I would ever be able to retire but now it might actually be a possibility.

I love the job I have but I really do not want to be working at this stress level when I am 70!  I am ever so grateful for all that I have been given but please let there be less stress SOME day.

And above all, there is God.  I have been feeling a gentle tug for quite some time and trying to figure out what to do with it.

Many years ago I volunteered for Hospice and I loved my time there.  It is a fantastic organization and I completely embrace their philosophy.  My volunteering experience was with nursing home patients and I know I would be comfortable working with patients or their families.  I seem to possess whatever is necessary to listen to people say what they need to say.  (I KNOW I am a talker but I CAN be a listener too!)

Sorting through all this information I have finally come to the decision to go to International Seminary.  It is a non-denominational Seminary and a school that offers much.  It is close to my home and affordable.  I am not exactly sure where this journey is going but I am going to trust God to take me where I need to go.

The first year of classes is the same for all their degree programs.  This will allow me the time necessary for further guidance before I make a final decision on a specific degree.  I am keeping my mind open to any and all options so that God can work with me and lead me.  John is supportive of this decision and his opinions will be important to me as well.

We are always told by church leaders that we should have a child-like faith and that is what I believe I have.  I trust that if I walk through the door God will guide my path to the place He needs me most.  What is the worst that will happen?  I will deepen my understanding of the bible and there is nothing wrong with that at all.

If I can take this journey, I am sure that there is something in your life that you want to do that will be special for you.  It may be a big thing like mine or something very simple like going to see a movie that only you want to see.  Whatever it is, I challenge you to do something that you want to do for yourself.  Be sure to share it with me because I’d love to pray for your success as I ask you to pray for mine!

 

 

 

 

WHAT IS A GRANDMA?

Nothing warms the heart like the love of a child, at least nothing I can remember.  I have guarded my heart for years to avoid the pain of not having children in my life.  It has been easier to avoid it completely than to suffer.

As most of you know I was not able to have children and adoption was not an option in those days for many reasons.

When my first husband and I lived in Germany in the early ‘80’s, we were very close friends with a couple that lived next door.  When they had a little boy I was lucky enough to babysit him, and Tom and I became his Godparents.  Little Tommy (that was his real name, not a fantasy name I gave him – I am not totally insane!) was a dream come true for me.  I got to fulfill all my mothering needs and I enjoyed every minute.

It was during this time that I lost my 4th baby and learned that I was not going to be able to have children of my own.  As heartbreaking as that was for me, little Tommy helped heal that wound.  Somehow I lost sense of reality and allowed myself to become too wrapped up in the fantasy.

When Tommy’s dad was transferred back to the United States I was devastated.  I dreamed of him every night, I heard him calling my name (he called me Mimi), I saw him everywhere we went.  I missed him so much all I could do was cry.  It was like a death all over again.

My depression intensified to the point that I couldn’t go anywhere that children would be present.  I just could not deal with other people having what I wanted so badly.  Seeing a pregnant woman even sent me into a tailspin.

Finally, in order to find a way to live my life again, I had to cut off relationships with children.  I was not mean to anyone but I would not let children into my heart ever again.  People who had children could not be our friends.  That was the only way I knew to deal with the pain and sadness.  That worked rather well for more than 30 years.  Up to now I have lived content without children.

This past week, John and I went to Virginia to visit his son Sean and his family. Sean and his wife Melissa have 2 children.  I have held them at arm’s length for many reasons.  First, I am John’s wife but not his son’s mother and second, we live in Florida and they live in Virginia so we rarely get to see them.  I do not really have a relationship with Sean; how can we get to know each other when there is so much distance?  And these children have Grandmother’s that are active in their lives and love them very much.  Why confuse the issue?  I am just John’s wife.  I am not a grandmother, that honor rightly belongs to the ones they have.  And, I know if anything happens to John I would never see them again.  I mean, why would we?  There would be no reason.

So how come I came home yesterday full of joy and love for these two little ones like I have never known.  How on earth did these two kids steal my heart from me?   Somehow on this trip I became a Grandmother!

As I said, I have tried to hold them at arm’s length, not pushing myself on them.  I waited for them to come to me.  I understand kids have to warm up to people and I never like it when parents make their kids give hugs and kisses when they don’t feel the need.  It is confusing for them.

Aiden, the seven-year old, was talking at dinner one night and said he had five grandparents and asked his mom how many she had.  Later I told Melissa that I didn’t think of myself as a grandmother.  I didn’t explain why, it was just a statement.

A couple of days later I was teaching Hannah the name that Aiden gave me years ago, MeeMoo.  When Hannah said it I was thrilled.  I am not sure she actually made the connection to me but it really didn’t matter.  She said it!

I know I will have to tread carefully because I will go “all in” too soon, but I am learning that protecting my heart also robs it of a love that is sweet and pure.

I might need guidance from my friends that are Grandma’s.  I am new at this and will need to know the rules.  But then again maybe not knowing the rules will be better for me.  I will be myself and that is really all I have to give right?

 

MY 5K EXPERIENCE

Wednesday I saw a Facebook post from my friend Lisa about a free 5k run.  Running a 5k is a goal of mine and free certainly was a motivator.  I decided it was time to see how well I could do.  My expectations were not high, I just wanted to try.

I have been running (more like jogging, I am really S L O W) for a couple of months now.  I started my diet and new lifestyle in June and as the weight has left my body I have increased my activity level.  I can now run two miles without stopping.  So, a 5K run isn’t really out of the question, it is a goal within reach.

I signed up on-line for the run and didn’t pay much attention to the sponsorship info.  It didn’t matter to me; I was going to participate no matter what   The run was named “Step In The Name Of Love Walk/Run”. 

Thursday night at pool I told my friend Ben that I was going to run a 5K and he said he might run it with me.  I pretty much thought it was a courtesy thing he was saying because people say they will do things all the time and never do.  I let him off the hook immediately and didn’t give it another thought and was very surprised Friday evening when I received a text from Ben that said he would see me in the morning.  I was so touched by his support but still didn’t really think he would show up.  Lo and behold, Ben called this morning and was already there waiting for me. 

We weren’t exactly sure of the location of the event so we parked our car and started walking to find the event.  About a mile later, we found it.  Already I am tired. 

Central Florida has had beautiful weather all week, hot but low humidity.  This morning it feels like a sauna.  I have no idea what the temperature is but it is hot and muggy already.  This is not looking very positive but no worries! 

While waiting in line to finish registration and get our numbers, it dawns on me that the event is a 12-Step event and figure out that it is for people affiliated with recovery and their families.  I have been affiliated with the 12-Steps for over 20 years and know what amazing people belong to this amazing fellowship. 

The paperwork said the runners started at 7:30 and the walkers started at 8.  I know we started late which is not unusual for these things.  When the herd took off we were in the rear and I could not keep up with Ben at all.  I could tell I was pushing myself too hard so I stopped and told him to go ahead without me and I was glad that he did.  I ended up following two other people and was ok being last.  It would have been a bit humiliating if the walkers that started a half hour later caught up with me but that didn’t happen. 

I was plodding along the route, following others; while the others were already completely out of sight.  The trail was marked with yellow ribbons but they were not very close together.  Most of them I never saw at all and was really glad this lady leading the way knew where she was going. OR so I thought.  We ended up in the woods following a path that lead to nowhere.  It is hard to run in the woods by the way so I gave up and started walking.  We back-tracked our steps and I fell even further behind, this time on purpose.  Once I started running again they were gone and I followed what I thought was the correct path. 

I have lost 50+ pounds so far and I have not invested in any new work-out clothes.  Since I am nowhere near my goal it would be a waste of money to invest in sweat clothes that I will not wear very long.  Given that, the more I sweat the more the clothes stretched.  My pants were starting to fall down and I had mistakenly knotted the tie.  Now I am laughing at the sight of myself, pulling up my sweat-soaked pants because I couldn’t re-tie them.

By the time I found the finish line I was exhausted.  I have no idea how far I ran or walked or how much of the course I even used.  All I know is that I crossed the finish line and my dear friend Karen had come out to take pictures!  That was the nicest surprise ever!   And there was Lisa too, cheering me on!  Amazing!

Ben had finished the run and when we were talking he told me he couldn’t believe we had to run the track twice.  TWICE?  No way, I am not even sure I ran it once! 

Am I disappointed that I didn’t accomplish the goal?  Not one bit.  I did actually, because I showed up and I tried.  I wanted to see how I would do and I did!

For Instance:

  1.  I am not ready to run a 5k.  I need to train a bit more before I attempt it again.
  2. September 17 is still too hot to attempt a 5k for the first time, untrained.
  3. Nothing starts on time
  4. Addicts don’t follow directions
  5. Even after 20+ years co-dependents follow addicts anywhere
  6. It is easier to run the track you are used to than a new one that is unfamiliar
  7. Friends show up and their support is priceless
  8. Progress not perfection.
  9. I am loved.

I set my goals and work toward them.  I still believe with all my heart it’s the journey not the destination.  Today I did something different, learned something and didn’t give up. I had a great day!

 

9/18 – I forgot to add the pictures Karen took!

WHAT INSPIRES ME?

Often when I am asked a question of this type it helps me to go to a dictionary and look up the word.  I know what it means but I need a clear definition to let my thoughts flow.  One definition I found was ” Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity”.  I take that to mean what gets my rear end moving!

I like to be around people who think outside the box.  I like to move outside my comfort zone.  Notice that I did not say anything about being afraid.  I am normally afraid to move out of my comfort zone, I have just learned to do it anyway.  My best experiences have come from doing what I didn’t want to do when I didn’t want to do it.

Starting to write my blog was IN my comfort zone but sharing it with others, THAT was way outside the zone!  Somewhere deep inside I heard the voice that said to do it anyway.  As long as I am true to who I am it doesn’t matter if people think I am weird.

I am 55 years old, last year I took ice skating lessons.  Ok, I only took two lessons but that was quite enough.  I did it.  I do not feel the need to do it again.  I have a lot of experiences like that.  I told the world in another blog how fat I was.  I AM weird!  Who cares?!

People who are willing to take risks are amazing.   I told my husband the other day I’d rather break my leg doing something fun than by tripping over a piece of furniture.  At least it will be a better story!