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.

Mistakes

All humans make mistakes. Even us. Let’s look at our mistakes with compassion and honesty instead of shame and embarrassment. How? Deep breath, boys and girls.

The world will not end when we goof up. It’s how we learn the best. The difference is, however, in if we repeat behavior in a relationship, that is not good for us. Yes, if we repeatedly accept poor treatment from others, it becomes our fault. Why? Because we can stop it by ending the relationship. How can you do that?

If the person is unwilling to work with you to change, if all you hear is empty promises and see no improvement in behavior towards you and others, you need to take action. I know it is frightening, but it is the best thing I ever did. Truly. The road was long and hard. I’m not telling you it is going to be easy; I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it. Trust me. Prepare to work hard. Prepare to incur criticism. It just goes with the territory.

Sometimes, mistakes and admission thereof cause us rejection, not only from others, but from our harshest of critics; ourselves. We have to give ourselves a break! Telling someone else, “Look what you made me do!” is such a terrible thing to do. Growing up, my cousins and I heard that a lot from our mom’s. Our grandma taught her daughters that phrase. Not knowing any better, they used it on us. And some of us grew up thinking we caused our mom’s to mess something up. That’s a lot to carry as a little kid.

Hear me now: Nothing someone else does is your fault. You do not cause your mom’s negative behaviour, your husband’s bad mood, or your boyfriend’s drunken tirade. You certainly don’t cause him to hit you or your children. No one deserves to be abused verbally or otherwise. Get some help and prepare your action. You are not safe.

Sometimes, I still feel the sting of being blamed for things that were not my fault. It’s just how they are. I cannot change them. I can only change how I react to it. Usually, a quick session with the Babe nips it in the bud. I am forever grateful to him in so many ways. He has taught me how to let things slide that used to disable me.

Whenever I do something and it doesn’t turn out like I’d like it to, I learn not to do it again. Think of another way. I’ve learned to laugh with myself, not at myself. There’s a tremendous difference. I’m basically a calm person, and that has seen me through a lot. We all remember those character building events of our lives. Sometimes I feel my character is just fine, Jesus, so please, no more! But then I know He knows what’s best for me. Acceptance of that fact helps a lot.

Today is another appointment for Mom and I need to hit the road soon. It’s another beautiful, sunny day at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. Make compassion and honesty your words of the day. Enjoy, and we’ll see each other again tomorrow. Be safe.

Monday: Discombobulated!

Yes, it was boys and girls! When I went to bed last night, I suddenly remembered I forgot to blog. Spent the day doing computer work for the VFW, then the Babe and I cooked and dined at 1 p.m. to make it to a meeting at the Post at 5:30 p.m. I’m really liking the Hello Fresh meals. So far, there are no repeats at all. That’s a plus. And I get more time to do what I love.

Which brings me to the next thing. There is a lot about decluttering our homes. We all need to. I’m working on making useable spaces in every room of the house. I love how our bedroom looks. It’s our haven from the world. It’s a quiet, calming space. Even the girls approve!

I am moving through the house, the living room is next. A chair (my recliner) has gone from brand new to not good in six years. I suppose it’s had normal wear and tear. The color (a light background) seems to look dirty, as it doesn’t respond to cleaning at all. It’s going to Moving Veterans Forward first chance we get. The Babe has a truck, so we can take it anytime. I’m cleaning more. It needs it with two dogs in the house.

We plan to “live” downstairs starting soon. The furniture down there is like brand new. It will be nice to use the patio and be almost chilly with the A/C on. I’ll be closer to my flowers and fresh air. I have bookshelves to have put together and unload boxes of books and decorative items. Then the leftovers are going. We have a table and 4 chairs down there, along with all my CD’s. Heavenly! Also, a TV where we’ll watch 1883 once I finally get Paramount + on ROKU. It’ll be a great summer and growing season.

So, the other thing that needs decluttering is how I spend my time. Since November, I’ve not written a word in my novel. I haven’t made time to. Other things are interrupting my creativity and fun. I’m decluttering how I spend my time by backing off from all the tech stuff at the VFW Post. I’ll still take part, but not hold an office or have all the responsibilities I’ve volunteered for. It’s too much. I want to quilt and sew and write. And cook, now that I enjoy it again.

There will be more time to declutter stuff and do what I want rather than what I HAVE to. I don’t renege on commitments made, even as a volunteer. I cannot wait to start on the quilts for my grandkids for Christmas. My time will become my own. I’m excited! And I’ll have more time to read, write, and sew. Bonus!

I am planning to do income tax on Sunday. Only a week to go! Better get on it. As an example what an overtaxed mind does, here’s a great example. It’s about me.

I hurried too quickly to make new business cards. I got them in plenty of time before the Bombshell Patriots have their first Nebraska Conference. They came in the mail, and this is what I got. I received exactly what I ordered in my haste:

Three Errors and One Change

This is where I tell you, “Sometimes I amaze myself.” I would proclaim that when I lived in cubicle world at Mutual of Omaha or ConAgra, during my I/T career. The language I coded in was COBOL. A skipped period could wreak havoc in a program. I also said, “The damned thing did exactly what I told it to, not what I wanted it to do! Foolish mortal.”

So, first line, no space between Jewell and Raabe.

Last line on top card? My email address is “kathy@kathyraabe.com.” There are two, not three A’s in Raabe. ‘nough said.

Bottom card? Two commas after Kathy Jewell Raabe. My only girl cousin on the Jewell side of the family said to use it. She commented it could be part of the quirkiness that is me. Jilla Arthur, thank you so much! And why not? I love it. I have all the best cousins!

In the end, yes, I’ll order a fresh box. But I will use these to remind myself of my quirkiness; my humanness; and my ability to laugh out loud at myself. We need to learn to do that or we will end up in trouble.

And P.S. the header photo is not me, but I love her “to heck with the world” attitude. Go forward in a joyous day. Make your own sunshine. Stand up straight. You’ll feel less of the weight of the world. It’s not your responsibility. Thank you for reading. Hope you got a laugh. Hope you declutter anything that needs it, especially your schedule. It’s vital. See you tomorrow!