Monday Morning Moving In Again.

I love spring, summer, fall, and winter. Seasons have been part of my life forever, and I can’t see me moving to a warmer climate. Don’t want to be away from family; from all of our grandkids; or from two of our five kids. It’s home, wherever the Babe is.

I have nothings scheduled this week; no pesky doctor’s appointments; no VFW Post 2503 meetings, nothing but whatever we decide to do. It’ll be a good week to visit a couple of friends who are in ill health. Friendship transcends illness, and bringing brightness into the lives of folks who are confined for whatever reason. Call or visit your friends; you’ll both feel better.

My daily meditation book today talks about the labels we have in our lives. Do they reflect the truth of our actual living situations? What’s that mean?

“No pain, no gain.” There is a little bit of truth to that, meaning making sacrifices for your goals is necessary. It does not guarantee success.

When I was married before, I believed in sacrificing my wants and needs, along with a lot of prayer, I would win favor with God. As I matured, I realized God doesn’t want us to stay in bad marriages “for the sake of the children.” He already showed his favor by dying for our sins. I believe what we are supposed to do is use our talents and abilities to make our world a better place. We are not supposed to stay in situations where we are belittled, verbally abused, witnessing the same treatment to your children. If nothing changes, nothing changes.

I said I had to divorce because I believed in marriage. It was supposed to be a partnership, not a dictatorship. I also did not want to become a bitter, hateful woman.

After the divorce, yes, it was hard. At the same time, it was easy. Not financially, not when I needed to be two places at once, but I stopped being on guard. I stopped frowning. I never knew my unhappiness showed in my face. A new neighbor told me afterwards, she noticed the difference in me. I never smiled before. Yes, it takes a toll on a person. And the kids. Sometimes, you need to leave for the sake of the kids.

Pain doesn’t pay off when we misname it. This would fall under the first of The Four Agreements we discussed last week. Being impeccable with your word means telling the truth; it means naming your situation properly; it means naming a series of bad relationships properly, not calling it “bad luck;” it means naming our workaholism what it is, inability to play. As the meditation told me, “Pain Only Begets More Pain.” Your situation stays the same. Forever.

I knew I had to change my situation. And you may need to, also. If you are in a physically abusive relationship, leave. Now. There are agencies who can help you plan your escape. Bring your kids with you. No one needs to suffer any longer, especially you and your kids. Please, you deserve better. So do your kids.

Let’s start our journey’s towards a free and beautiful life with us being impeccable with our word. It’s the best start you can make. As we proceed with our days, let’s learn to recognize what gives us pain. Let’s evaluate why. Making changes will only improve your life. Yes, it’s hard. Anything worth it is. My dad taught me that. He taught it to challenge us. It made all of us kids better people. Have a beautiful afternoon, and we’ll see each other tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Back in My Office/Studio

I had a meeting with Lexie, head of security, and Goldie, head of publicity, and the three of us agreed it’s been fun working from the couch or loveseat these past three months. I enjoyed the break, and it slowed my work too much to continue that pattern. Time to get back to it. The Babe is going to work from home, too. It will lessen the interruptions he has while he’s working at the Post’s office for the Quartermaster. It’ll get me back on track. I need that at this point.

While being on this self-imposed break, I’ve had a lot of time to think about many things. About growing up in South Omaha, our very blue-collar neighborhood, the work ethic we had, and that most people attended a Church. It was rare to find someone who just didn’t attend. I think this had a lot to do with keeping Sunday sacred, a family day, and helped us keep better connected.

The Babe’s sister Cindy and brother-in-law Brad have instituted Sunday dinners for their family. I love this idea! They have a standing date with family. It would be impossible for our family in town. Frankie works on Sunday, and Tracy and TJ & kids are usually in extra-curricular activities. Tracy is also the one who waits until last minute to prepare for anything, so it just wouldn’t work. And that’s ok. The Babe and I love to spend the day sipping lemonade or water on the deck and patio just talking about anything and everything. It’s so nice. Simple.

So our grandkids won’t have the memories we have, with Sunday visits, summer sleep-overs, and special impromptu events. They will have different ones. As long as they have some, I’m good with that. Too many kids don’t live in the same city as their grandparents. Sad. I’m sad we don’t see Becky’s kids or Blake’s son as much as we see the others. But that is how life is now. There just isn’t enough time.

In life, the Babe is not comfortable traveling anymore. Since COVID and with his repeated cardiovascular issues because of Agent Orange, he doesn’t want to be away from home, his dogs, and his doctors. I have to respect that. Nothing is as good as your own bed, your own coffee pot, and your own routine. I love our home, and I love who I share it with.

It’s fun to see photos of everyone’s adventures on the warm beaches of Florida or Mexico during this cold February. I can live vicariously through the adventurers we know. We have a friend who has hiked both the Appalachian Trail AND the Pacific Northwest Trail. Of course, he had a double knee replacement in between the two walks. And a heart attack. I wonder if he takes many long walks now?

I’m off to take some Tylenol. The elusive temporary crown is holding well, and today it’s pretty painful. Not sure why. It’ll be fine, I’m sure. The sun is beautiful, but freezing. Make it a beautiful day. I enjoy being back in my office chair. It’s comfy. I love looking out the window again. This’ll work. See you tomorrow!

December is Here!

Yesterday, I was amazed during my driving home discussion with Addison. She commented, “Grandma, can you believe the year is almost gone? Where did it go?” Sometimes we think our tots and teens don’t realize what’s going on around them. They pay more attention than we think. Keep teaching the lessons and being the example. Their characters are forming even as we talk. Just remember, we’re supposed to be their guardians and adults. We’re not supposed to be their “friends.”

Today’s point to ponder is this:

“God gave us a memory that we might have roses in December.” – James M. Barrie.

God never ceases to amaze me in His creation. Nature is colorful and melodious, and it follows the seasonal schedule God created for it. It helps us measure time, with changing seasons. Nature is gentle when you see a seed sprout in spring, or a baby bird learn to fly. It is a force to be reckoned with when the tornado, hurricane, flood, or blizzard comes. It reflects God and His power. Yet he still lets us exist. We are blessed.

Feelings have many meanings to us. Good and Bad. Some Positive, some Negative. As humans, we have fears. Probably too many fears at any given time. The feelings associated with certain memories may no longer be true. Memories can serve as reminders of pain. A scar on your hand may be the reminder not to touch a hot stove. Pain serves a purpose in your life. Keeping it in it’s place is the trick in living a grateful, giving life. It cannot be the focus for you to learn gratitude or remain grateful. Sometimes, the pain can be the best lesson.

A story from the past that served as an excellent lesson for me was about a guy we’ll call Carl. He was the first person I dated after getting divorced. We spent time together when the kids were gone. I refer to him as the best thing and the worst thing that ever happened to me. You see, all those years ago, after being a good Christian girl for all 30 years of my life, I needed to break the rules that ruled my life. I hadn’t dated since high school. I had no idea about the ways of the dating world in 1982.

Carl was a master manipulator who I fell madly in love with. I learned a very hard lesson. He was unfaithful, made promises he had no intention of keeping, and was a gas lighter. I didn’t know what that was while it was happening, but I sure do now. I’m glad to have learned what I did, and the scar tissue hurts if I poke at it. So I won’t go poking at it. For many years, I repeated this type of behavior, not knowing any better. Not a good thing. Old love songs sang of unrequited love, love hurting, and even love stinking. I wouldn’t want to still be believing that. That is where the Babe came in and taught me how wrong I was.

Lessons learned are worth their weight in gold. My bad choices ended about 25 years ago. Thank goodness! Not irritating that scar tissue is key for a positive outlook. A positive outlook enables you to have an attitude of gratitude. The more gratitude, the more your life changes for the good. You don’t repeat terrible mistakes that are bad for you. You learn new methods of dealing with everything.

I’m hoping the season approaching reminds us to prepare to be thoughtful and kind to each other. Christmas is the ultimate expression of love. We have an endless amount to do this month. Give up a few of the to do list items. That should free you up for more enjoyment than work. Take care this busy season. Remember to take it easy some time every day. It’s essential. You and your family will thank each other for it. Enjoy, don’t dread! Thank you for reading today. We’ll see each other tomorrow.