It Just keeps getting better

I can’t go into specifics. All I can say is that I’ve mentioned before I am a fierce mama bear. I protect my tribe with everything I have. But today I lost. It was by far the most difficult day in my 5 years at my job. My staff is my family and they are like daughters to me. And I try my best to protect and guide- but sometimes I cannot control the outcome.

I am sad because part of my tribe is leaving us. Yet I am also happy and optimistic that this could open doors to better opportunities for them. So to say my emotions are all a mess is an understatement.

So sometimes being a manager sucks. Sometimes I feel like the principal at a high school. And I can never see if I’m making a difference and if I’m not, what’s the point!

Continue reading “It Just keeps getting better”

My Week from Hell in the Hardest Month of My Life.

A few days ago I posted a very brief post saying I was too mad to even get my emotions out in words that would make complete sentences. A few days have passed and I’m gonna give it my best try. The problem is, there are so many different areas of my life in chaos that I don’t even know where to begin. But, here goes…..

We will start with why this is the hardest month of my life. Just 11 short months ago my mother passed away very suddenly and she and I had a spat the day she passed. I thought I had worked through all the guilt with my therapist throughout the year, I was obviously wrong. As this month got closer I got more anxious and emotional. She had a storage unit of all her belongings that I was tasked with donating and cleaning out the belongings she had left. Through this past year I would go to the storage place and try to go through stuff and every time I would come across things that just ripped the wounds open again. Pictures, books, journals, and even a folder where she wrote on the outside of it “these are scriptures that will help you through hard times. I know they will because they helped me.” I knew it was left for me and my heart just ached to speak to her again.

So I made up my mind that I was going to finish this last chapter by scheduling the Salvation Army to pick up the belongings and they came last weekend. I was looking forward to having this finally taken care of and to start dealing with the closing of this chapter. Well, the Salvation Army came, but they did not have room for everything. I was so disappointed because I was looking forward to feeling like I had accomplished the job I was given. Yet, here I am with more things left and more boxes to go through to find things to just pull at my heart. All just a couple of weeks from the 1 year mark of losing my friend, my advisor, my confidante, my supporter…. my Mom. Nonetheless, I will get her belongings donated as she had wanted and I will fulfil my responsibility in whatever time it takes. It is what it is…maybe there is a reason that I didn’t get to close that chapter quite yet.

In a different area, I am having some health issues and having two different procedures done this month. I believe everything will be fine yet I always have the thought in the back of my head that two of my brothers passed away at the age of 49, which is how old I am. I turn 50 this December. I have all kinds of emotions right now regarding my health. Fear, shame, anxiety and confusion. I know God is with me and whatever happens is what is meant to happen. But that doesn’t take away the fear I mostly have on how it would effect my loved ones if something happened to me.

In another area of my life I am feeling overwhelmed and uneffective. I used to have a job that involved children whose lives I was involved in for as long as 16 years. I was a part of their growth from childhood to adulthood and it was such a privilege. I felt needed in that profession and due to them being children I was able to guide them and help them make smart choices for their future. It was the most gratifying feeling ever to feel needed. I don’t feel that feeling anymore. I don’t feel like I have the bonds that I desire with the people I am surrounded with daily. I don’t feel like they respect or value my opinion. So, how do I help those people? Yes, I know the answer is that I can’t help them. And that makes me feel utterly and completely helpless and like a failure. I have always been a loyal and fierce defender of my tribe. Yet, I don’t think they feel the same way or at least they don’t show that they do and my experience is to believe actions not words.

So I’m having a month of sadness, fear, loss, and feeling completely inadequate. All of that is being displayed in moodiness, lack of sleep, lack of appetite, and sometimes just a complete meltdown. I don’t know how to separate my feelings and put them on hold when they are all mixed together

I will end this post with the best part of this month. My daughter is marrying a wonderful man at the end of the month so I can’t say that there is nothing positive happening this month! That will be a glorious day.

emp

I know I am very blessed and I don’t mean to come across as complaining or whining but I’ve actually kept this very close to my heart and I needed to get it out somehow. Thank you for listening if you made it this far. You taking the time to read this means the world to me.

The Constant Vicious Cycle In My Head That Never Stops. Could it Just stop for one day.

If you don’t suffer from anxiety, depression, low self esteem, poor self worth, abandonment issues, narcissistic parents or just a general feeling that you have no purpose in this world, then scroll on because you will not understand anything I am about to write.

I was a born performer from the age of 3. I was taught to smile at all times and never show emotion. No one cares how you are doing was the motto I was raised on. So I was always fine and I still have a bit of that discipline in me to this day. I was always taught to be strong, independent and to not need anyone for anything which was probably why no one was willing to fight hard enough to crash through that hard wall I build up until I was 40 years old when Michael, the person I considered saved my life… rescued me.

A lot has changed in the 12 years we’ve been together. I broke ties with a career that I absolutely poured my heart and soul into for 28 years. Sometimes I still find myself grieving from that loss. But it was the best and most healthy choice for me and my family.

I now have a job I love and work with people I love and clients I adore. Yet I always seem to be longing for something…missing something. I’m not quite sure what it is. At the dance studio, I was a major influence on every child I taught and made it my mission to be the other mom to those that needed it. And it was nice to be needed. I think that is part of what I miss at my current job. Yes I know my job is important, but if I left I can be replaced in no time. So, am I really making a difference. Sometimes I wonder.

I started my journey to go back to school because I wanted to further my business education. I am struggling with the amount of time needed for my accounting class and find myself just exhausted after work. But I struggle though as best I can but I know I would be do better if I was actually in a classroom.

I am feeling beat down. Discouraged. Defeated. Weak. But I know this too shall pass. I am no weak. I am not defeated. And as long as I keep trying my best I will succeed in the end.

Thank you to everyone who wrote with words of encouragement. You will never know how much it meant to me. I won’t give up. But I will cry, throw a few tantrums, have some meltdowns and talk to God and My mom who I know is up there listening and supporting me the whole time.

“I Can do All Things Through Christ who Strengthens Me” (Philippians 4:13)

EMP

What is my purpose?

I have seem to lose sight of why I’m working so hard at all the things and not enjoying the life I have.

Why do I feel I always have to keep pushing myself- is it because I want recognition? Praise? Acknowledgement? All I end up doing is sacrificing everything important to me to reach this goal that is never ending.

I’m tired of studying 6 hours every night after work and spending no time with my husband. I’m tired of him cooking every night- believe it or not I miss it!!

I’m tired of being so tired I can’t even take care of my health when that should be my main focus.

Yet, that little voice in the back of my head is telling me what I was told my whole life. Your just a quitter and you will never finish anything you start.

This is where I am tonight. Feeling absolutely defeated.

EMP

Cycles

Life is just one big continuation of cycles.

Conception. Development. Birth.

Childhood. Adolescence. Adulthood.

Preschool. Elementary. Jr high. High school. College.

Relationships. Jobs. Goals. Desires.

Everything has a beginning, a middle and an end.

Birth. Living. Death.

Where are you in the grande scheme of things?

I know I’m not where I want to be.

But how does one break a cycle?

That is the magic question.

But as the famous Glenda said: “You had the power all along my dear.”

EMP

An Unwelcome Reminder

 

Today I received a phone call. It was from a co-worker, a friend. She called to tell me that another co-worker had some horrible news today. Her brother had died. I don’t have the details…I don’t know how he died. All I know is it was unexpected and he was way to young. My first reaction was what can I do? I was reassured that everything at work had been handled…it was my day off, but the staff took care of everything.

My next thought was for her. My co-worker. I won’t mention her name for her privacy. But the tears started down my face before I could even acknowledge what was happening. As someone who has lost two brothers, both unexpectedly and tragically and both at the age of 49…. I felt such deep empathy and love for this co-worker and her family. The pain and the devastation of losing a sibling so suddenly and unexpectedly is so hard to fathom.

I found myself feeling very sad for a while… being selfish and thinking only of how those deaths effected me. I sent this person a text to let her know I was here for her if she needed me and that I was sending love to her and her family.

And then, I had to let it go… stop thinking about me and my past hurts. Because I have made it thru and although I will never get over the loss of my two brothers… I still have one brother left. And my focus shouldn’t be on me anyway.

My thoughts and prayers go out to this family because I know too well what the upcoming weeks will have in store for them. I pray for comfort. I pray for peace. I pray for healing. And all of those things will take time.

I don’t know if she will read this…but honestly this is my selfish way of getting the rest of my tears out tonight before I try to sleep. I just hope she knows that there are people out here who know what she is going thru and we are here for her. You have a tribe. We are are here if you need us.

Dedicated to all of the families who have lost a loved one too soon.

EMP

Crossing Paths

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I wanted to take some time to put my thoughts and words together before I tell you about a very sad change that happened to myself and co-workers yesterday. But as life would have it, a positive and wonderful change for one of our co-workers. Let me tell you about Kasey Parker.

Kasey has been one of my co-workers and a receptionist at Best Friend Vet for about 2 years. She was one of our Lead Receptionist and the end of her employment with us, which sadly, was Friday. I grew close to Kasey very quickly. She reminded myself of me in a lot of ways. A people person, highly devoted to her job and highly critical. She takes everything very much to heart and is extremely hard on herself if she thinks she lets anyone down. As I said, for those who know me…you can see the similarities. I have held several roles in our relationship. Sometimes the boss, sometimes a Mom, sometimes a teacher….and all the time, a friend. I think of her like a daughter. We had many talks about life, relationships, anxiety and family. We shared a lot of laughs and made lots of memories which I will never forget. She was there for me when I was going thru the illness and death of my Mom (which I have to say all of my receptionists were amazingly supportive). But I will never forget all she did for me and has meant to me over these two years. And I am so glad our paths crossed.

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“know this one great truth: you are in control of your own life. You get one and only one chance to live, and life is passing you by. Stop beating yourself up, and dang it, stop letting others do it too. Stop accepting less than you deserve. Stop buying things you can’t afford to impress people you don’t even really like. Stop eating your feelings instead of working through them. Stop buying your kids’ love with food, or toys, or friendship because it’s easier than parenting. Stop abusing your body and your mind. Stop! Just get off the never-ending track.”
― Rachel Hollis

“Watershed” By The Indigo Girls

Up on the watershed
Standing at the fork in the road
You can stand there and agonize
‘Til your agony’s your heaviest load
You’ll never fly as the crow flies
Get used to a country mile
When you’re learning to face
The path at your pace
Every choice is worth your while
And when you’re learning to face
The path at your pace
Every choice is worth your while.

Even though Kasey is no longer my co-worker, she will always be my friend. Our place of employment may have caused our paths to cross, but we created the bond. And that bond is one that will never break.

Kasey I wish you all the best and just a few things for you to remember.

  • You are worthy- So know your worth.
  • You are beautiful.
  • You can do anything you set your mind to.
  • You have to say something positive every time you say something negative about yourself!!
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • This too will pass. When you get overwhelmed, remember that every storm eventually runs out of rain.
  • If you fall down—- GO AGAIN. And if you fail… TRY AGAIN!!
  • Lastly, DRINK YOUR STUPID WATER!

I love you and will miss you tremendously but am so proud of you for being courageous enough to make a change that will help you grow. Call me anytime…always here for you!! Marie

SOME DAYS ARE JUST TOUGHER THAN OTHERS

This has been a ruff month. I hate February. I lost two family members in a plane crash during this month and my life has never been the same. The tidal wave of events that followed for the years to come were inevitable. My family has never been the same. My mom never recovered and has recently passed 4 months ago. The pain and loss my family has suffered is still very raw and real. Things go good for a while then just like tonight… it all just came and slammed me smack in the face.

Nothing horrible is going on in my life. I really have no right to complain. I am very blessed and I do truly know that. It’s just been a snowball effect that has just exploded on this particular night.

Work has been stressful… decisions dealing with my career presented themselves to me and that has been stressful.

My first proctored exam is tomorrow and I have been completely freaking out over that.

A series of events dealing with the studio has really concerned me …even tho I am no longer involved with the studio, it’s something I poured my heart into for almost 30 years…so of course I still care.

I had to go to Mom’s storage unit this week to give them my credit card number since I still haven’t gotten it completely cleared out and I went to go see how much i had to clear out… that was a definite mistake.

And then the worse thing possible happened tonight. MY PRINTER WOULDN’T WORK!!! Talk about a brat!!! That’s exactly what I was. And I could hear Sarah telling me what I brat I was being…and I just lost it.

I miss her so much. I could talk to her about anything. She was always there no matter what. And I can tell you for sure she was always on my side but even more on Michaels.

I am just feeling sorry for myself i guess so don’t be fooled by my pity party I’m throwing tonight. I am more blessed than I deserve. I just really miss my best friend right now….. and that’s ok. I’m sure this won’t be the last time.

If you still have your parents with you on this earth… make sure you tell them every chance you get how much they mean to you. You never know when that will be taken away from you.

EMP

When does it End

Today I went back to my mom’s storage unit. I had ignored it for months. But now there was no excuse. Its time. I have to go thru everything and decide… does it stay? does it go. does this thing mean enough to hang onto… or is it just a “thing” with no meaning. Does that even exist? Everything has a meaning… a memory. a reason. Yes I left there feeling like she just died yesterday.

I found pictures… bibles… her christmas dishes. clothes I could picture her wearing… 87000 sets of scissors. It was hard. But I had to go again. And every week i’m going to try and do a little more. And I will be sad for a bit. But I will go again.

Short and sweet post. Just letting ya’ll know where I am right now.

emp

If You’re Not Growing, You’re Dying!

Today marks the start of the second month of the new year. 2020. Where all the new things are changing. Not only changing…but happening. New goals, new ideals and new dreams. Dreams that are now becoming reality.

Debt free: Check.

Healthy eating: Check.

Started college: Check.

Priorities: Me. Family. Job.: Check. Check. Check.

That was a big one. Getting everything in perspective has been a big obstacle to overcome. But with help from my therapist (have I mentioned how important that is?) and my family (which in decisions such as these only means my husband and my kids… they are my family unit..they are the only ones whose vote matters.)

So tonight I made a 100% on a quiz. Not a big deal to most people. But ya’ll… i’m 49!! I have been out of school for 30 years… this is my second quiz in this class. I have two attempts. I thought I will just do it tonight and try again in the morning when I’m not so tired. AND I FREAKING MADE A 100!!!!!!

The feeling I felt was just such extreme pride. Most people think that is obnoxious but I worked hard this week. I woke up early and I stayed up late…I studied at least 3 hours a day and went to work. I came home from work and maked home cooked meals 3 times this week and I was a good wife. YOU CAN DO IT ALL!!!

Now, truth be told… I don’t have little kids. I am a Empty Nester and its just me and the hubby but dinner and time together in the evenings is important to me. We made time for New Amsterdam, Law and Order SVU and Criminal Minds…lol. But in between …I was studying.

I must say this, this day was much needed. To feel like all this work was paying off. I have felt a little lost today. Finding out that people who you thought were “your people” are not “your people” or who are not on your team… you know, rooting you on…supporting you…wanting the best for you…it’s hard to face that reality. But when it hits you in the face you have two choices. You can continue to ignore it or you can admit it “is what it is.” Everyone is not on your team. Everyone does not want the best for you. And you know what? That’s ok. Because that has nothing to do with you….or me… but it has everything to do with them.

All I can do is just keep growing. Because if you’re not growing, you’re dying… and I have no plans for that anytime soon. But when it comes, at least I know I was trying to live my best life.

EMP

The Conference Review

A couple of weeks ago I spent a massive amount of money for me. I felt guilty about spending this much money on me. I discussed it with my therapist and friends, family, hubby (of course) who all encouraged me to invest in myself and I took the leap and went. I had no hesitation on going. I wanted to go for as long as I knew about this conference. But, spending money on myself is not something I would normally do. I can honestly say this was the best investment I have ever made.

If you don’t know who Rachel Hollis is I plead for you to look her up. She has written books, has a couple of podcasts along with her husband as well as this conference. Its called “The Rise Conference.” And its “life changing” in my opinion of course. I am not gonna go into a biography of Rachel Hollis because you can google her and learn all about her and what she is about. What I want to tell you about is my experience.

Each day was full of energetic workouts. Rachel implores us to move our bodies 30 minutes a day. Drink half your body weight in water in ounces a day. Get enough sleep and treat your body like a temple. Her books explain the steps and strategies that worked for her. She is so easy to relate to. It’s like listening to an old friend.

The first day is called “owning your past.” The most memorable part of the day was called “stand up for your sister.” There were 4000 women at this conference and we all became sisters. We had a list of topics in our workbook that each woman went thru and circled if we have experienced any of these topics. Rape, divorce, loss of a parent, loss of a child, anxiety, toxic self talk, attempted suicide, etc. After we had finished with our list, we folded it in half and passed it to our neighbor. They passed it to their neighbor. Then to the person in front of them and so on and so on until no one knew where their paper was anymore. Then we opened up the paper to read what our sister had circled. Then Rachel started to call out the experiences on the list and with each item called out we were to stand up if that was circled on the paper we had in our hands. This way, our sister didn’t have to be singled out that she had experienced this but we were standing up for them. To see the mass amount of women who would stand for each experience listed showed that no one was alone. The most heartbreaking part of this exercise when was she called out the topic (I can’t remember the exact wording but it was something along the lines of ) “I hate my body”. 98% of the women in that room stood up. The silence was deafening and the tears were flowing. It was an eye opening experience and so freeing to know that we are not alone and we all have the same fears, feelings, hurts, and thoughts.

The next day was called “owning your present.” Health, nutrition and exercise was a focus of that day. Not the usual tips of how to obtain it, but focus on what holds us back. She had speakers to tell us about their struggles but also, she talked to us about that “inner voice” we all have. Rachel refers to her voice as “Pam”. Lol… we all have that voice. Whether it be an old friend from high school, or a family member, etc. Well, we all told “Pam to take a hike” that day!! We each wrote down all the things we say to ourselves when we look in the mirror. All the nasty comments we tell ourselves when we don’t even realize it. Like, “you’re disgusting… your not worthy of being loved…etc.” You get the drift. Then with no warning…Rachel told us to stand up and we were to reveal those thoughts OUT LOUD to another person that we did not know! My heart leaped out of my chest. I turned to the stranger next to me and we agreed to be in this together. I do not know the name of the beautiful sister I was to share these thoughts with…we had no time …. when she said go I just went first…I vomited all those thoughts I always tell myself…your ugly, disgusting, fat, a disgrace, no one will love you, how can your husband look at you, no wonder your own mother left you, etc…etc… it was painful. The whole time this beautiful sister…obviously a runner by her attire and her presence was crying the entire time. I did not know until a few minutes later when she revealed her list of claims of body image…that she was thinking the same thoughts. As she said them out loud to me… i was in shock. How could this beautiful, thin, athletic, in shape woman have the same fears as me. Because we all have a “Pam.”. That voice telling us we are not thin enough… we are not good enough…smart enough…etc.” She was beautiful and thin so in my eyes she was perfect. In her eyes she had the same fears as me. She wasn’t enough. No matter what the parameters…. we are so hard on ourselves. Until we love ourselves where we are at, we cannot grow. That is Rachel Hollis’ message. DO WHAT YOU CAN, WHERE YOU’RE AT WITH WHAT YOU GOT! God I love this woman!!!

So it’s been a couple of weeks and I have no regrets for the amount of money I spent. I have a newfound love for my body…exactly where its at. I’m working on making it stronger and I’m drinking the stupid water as she says. I’m spreading her message to my younger co-workers… we are all sisters…and we need to celebrate each other!! I’m back in college after 30 years and its hard as f#ck…but i have this amazing support system from all my sisters from the conference. My cup runneth over.

Rachel Hollis will never see this post and that’s ok. I just want all of you who do, please look her up…please listen to her podcast and her husbands and Trent Shelton as well… they have helped me survive some of the toughest years of my life through loss of 4 family members. I promise you it will not be a waste of time. #ownyourfuture

Own Your Future

Live your best life!

2020. It’s supposed to be a year with perfect vision or to try to get as close to that as possible. Progress not Perfection is my goal. Perfection is not what I strive for any more. Because I am so many things…perfect will never be one of those qualities and I am so glad I don’t feel the pressure to try and reach that unreachable goal anymore.

Since 2015 I have been on a journey that is constantly changing and evolving. There have been ups and downs and peaks and valleys but it has always been evolving and a learning process. Tomorrow starts another phase of this journey.

Tomorrow I head to Ft Myers, Florida and I am going to a Women’s Conference. This is no ordinary conference. This is Rachel Hollis’ “Rise Conference.” If you don’t know who that is or what it’s all about, then this will not mean much to you. But for the millions of women (and men) who have read her books… or listen to her and her husband’s podcasts… or any of the speakers she will have at this conference then you will understand how life changing this could be.

There is a network of “Rise” followers that are the most amazing group of people. I feel like I already have thousands of friends that I’ve never met before that I already have a bond with and I can’t wait to be in the same building with them to experience the knowledge and wisdom we are going to be privileged to hear.

The conference is divided up into 3 days. The first day is about owning your past. That’s going to be a hard one for me. For those who know my story, I have suffered a lot of loss over the past few years with the most recent being the loss of my Mother, Sarah. As well as some bad decisions that I have made over the years. I don’t call these bad decisions mistakes because they weren’t mistakes. These decisions have helped me become the woman I am today. I have suffered due to these choices but I have also grown and evolved. There are still some things I need to address and work thru, so I am really looking forward to the opportunity to do that.

The second day is about owning your present. This one is going to be an interesting topic as well. Some people may not know this but I actually turned in my notice at my present job about 5 months ago. I love my employer and my work family, but I did not feel like I was making a difference. I am the type person who cannot feel like I’m standing still. I always feel like I have to be working towards a goal…to keep growing and moving forward. I didn’t feel successful or even like I was doing a good job. I began to question if this was the right career for me. After I had a conversation with my boss I decided to stay after hearing her confidence in me. I think focusing on my present will help me understand why I felt the way I did and why I sometimes still feel that way.

The last day is about owning your future which is my motto for this year. My sweet friend Tabitha gave me a bracelet that says this motto and I wear it every day and even to bed at night so I can always see it. I want to own my future. I want to own my path and reach my goals even though I am not exactly sure what they are any more. I get home from the conference on Sunday and I began college (again) the very next day. This is part of me “owning my future.” I am nervous of course…. its been 30 yrs since I’ve been in college…but I am so excited with the opportunities that lie ahead even though I have no idea what they may be.

I have something now that I never had before. I have FAITH. And that, to me, is the first step of me “Owning My Future.”

E.

My Truth

My life hasn’t been all sunshine and daisy’s but I know many who have had it much worse than I so its hard for me to complain or feel sorry for myself. I am very blessed and I know that God had a plan for me. He put different twists, obstacles and choices along the road for me to go down and so in the end we always have the final say….we have the option to make choices to make our path end however we choose. God gives us prompts…I could have chosen so many different options during my journey but I finally started to listen to those prompts.

Here is my story. So many people wondered what made me leave a career that I loved so much and dedicated my whole life too…well, here you go.

I was born on Christmas Eve in 1970. My parents were Virginia and James Barron. I was born in Dallas Texas and I had a brother who was 6 years older than me and his name was Mike. My parents divorced when I was a toddler. In those days, the 70’s, the girls when with the Mother and the boys went with the Dad’s. Being as young as I was I tell this part of the story from the stories told to me from family members. Jump forward..basically Mom, aka, Ginger, aka “Worse Mom” as i refer to her now decided she didn’t want to be a mom any more. So she left me. Like really left me. My father found me all alone in the house. No one really knew how long I had been left alone but from what I was told I was covered in feces and dehydrated. So after a trip to the ER… My father became the first male parent in Dallas county at the time to get custody of a female child.

Fast forward to 1973 and my Father married Charlotte Wolf. Not long after that we moved to Winder, Ga due to my Father being transferred with his job. Charlotte, who I consider my mom even though she didn’t give birth to me, was a dance teacher so it was not surprising that I started dance at the young age of three. It was never a choice… It was expected. But I loved it and I was pretty good. I spent every single night at the studio. Through elementary and middle school I would be at the studio from the minute I got out of school until 10 or so at night. That was my life for as long as I remembered. I didn’t know any other life. I don’t have many other memories of my childhood other than there was not joy. No love was shown between my parents or to me and my brother …or should I say no affection. I love you was never said in our home. Mom was very authoritative and demanding and very much a perfectionist and I never felt I met her expectations. And I still don’t. My memories of my father were just that he was very unhappy. Lonely. And he drank a lot. By the time we would get home from dance each night he was completely sloshed. And that was just the way it was. For many year.

Eventually it got to much for my Mother and she left. She moved out while my father and I were on a trip to Canada. No warning…no Goodbye. Just a call from a neighbor that said “hey, there is a moving truck in front of your house”. My fathers drinking became increasingly worse and I asked my mom if I could live with her…and she said yes. So I moved to Gainesville my sophomore year and attempted to start over. My father would not forgive me for leaving him… it was a hard time for us both.

So living in Gainesville was awesome. I made friends I will never forget. Mom was also having the time of her life. She was basically never there. Pretty soon she moved out completely and lived by myself for the remainder of my Jr year and all of my Sr year of high school. Some might think this is awesome and honestly i did at the time…but I now know that I was extremely lonely. I began a pattern that followed me to this day… emotional eating.

My Father soon married the person I called mom. Sarah Murphy Barron. They were both alcoholics but I am convinced this was all in Gods plan. Sarah eventually asked for help and she went to rehab… my Father refused….and then magically thru some encouragement or ultimatum, not sure which from Sarah… he also went to rehab and from that point on they were both sober until their deaths.

Meanwhile my brother Mike was battling his own demons. Even though he had an amazing family with 4 beautiful kids and a loving wife…he was following in my Dad’s footsteps. He was a full fledged alcoholic. Even though my parents offered him help numerous times…Mike would never admit he had a problem.

Meanwhile I went thru many dead end relationships. I was engaged twice but came to my senses thank goodness. I was completely devoted to and married to my job. That was my purpose and my escape. The ability to make a living to doing something that brings you so much peace and love and to be a part of kids lives from the time they are toddlers to adults was a gift and a privilege. I won’t go into all the ugly details about why my love for my job started to decline but I can say without any hesitation that it had absolutely nothing to do with the students. But the joy was being sucked out of me. It was a slow process…but it became increasingly worse year after year.

In January 2008 my awakening began. At the end of January I received the phone call that my Father had Cancer. He died in less than 4 months. Those 4 months were the most wonderful and most horrific moths of my life until that point. I got to know my Father. My sober Father…I forgave him…he forgave me. I became his little girl again. I saw him at his very worse… and we had the most wonderful conversations. During his illness I had began to go to church with him every Sunday. I fell in love with that Church and those people. I never had gone to church as a child so I was a newbie. This was one of the biggest blessings of that time in my life. His faith was so strong. He knew he was going to beat this horrible disease. During his illness my brother came to visit… I remember my Father begging him with tears in his eyes to get sober…to try… before it was too late… it was one of the most heart-wrenching conversations I had witnessed. My Father died soon after. I am so glad I had that time with him… that I got to know him before it was too late…but most of all that I gained a family. His wife, Sarah, and her children…the Ewing Family. The family that had always been there inviting me to be a part of their family…but I was always to busy. That was me ignoring God’s prompts. But not anymore. 🙂

The loss of my Father was the first real loss I had ever experienced. Meanwhile, a few months later the love of my life came into my life. Michael is my biggest blessing from God. Not long after this…. my brother succumbed to cirrhosis of the liver. He died at the young age of 49. This was the beginning of my journey. Each journey has a beginning, a middle and an end. This was the beginning… I fell into a deep depression. I began to drink … way to much. I mean way way way to much. I will spare you all the gory details…but I had lost my direction…. Sarah and the Ewing family and Michael helped me get my direction back. They were my angels who without them, I would not be here today. And I mean that literally.

Through a lot of reflection and therapy I realized that I would never be happy working at the studio in the capacity that I was. I had no vote in the direction of the studio and I knew i never would although it had always been my dream to eventually take the studio over and run it for another 25 or more years. But I was told that would never happen, so I had no choice but to resign.

So.. that led to my second Chapter…. I started completely over and I decided to pursue my second passion… animals and rescue. I’ve been working for Best Friend Veterinary Hospital for almost 5 years. I am the Hospital Manager and I will always be grateful to Dr Sue for taking a chance on me when she did and giving me this opportunity.

Now we are entering the 3rd Chapter…I am going back to college to get my BA in Business and honestly I don’t know what the future holds for me…But I have several guardian angels up above watching over me and as I keep listening to the prompts God sends me…who knows what the future holds??? I am excited for what may come and open to anything. As long as I have my husband, my family and our dogs of course… we have all we will ever need.

E.

Rich People Problems

I saw my therapist this week. He helped me tremendously as always. I’ve been having some perspective problems and he helped me put things back in place.

I’ve been drowning in negativity. Criticizing everything and everything and most especially, myself. Everything from my home, my yard, my job, my body, etc, etc. It’s never ending. Like I’m never happy. I’m overwhelmed and almost to the point of depression. I’ve been there before and I knew I was in trouble.

I’m not saying he cured me from depression because that’s just silly. But he did help me do a hard look at myself and do a reboot that was desperately needed. And it was all from this short statement of facts:

5% of the population in the world owns a car. 3% of the population in the world owns a house. 1% of that same population owns a house for their car (garage).

Let that sink in.

I have a car. It’s paid for in full. I have a house. I don’t own it, but my payment is far below what it’s worth. I have a garage that houses my paid off car. I have rich people problems.

Meaning, when I looked out at my porch last week and all I could see was negativity because it was covered with leaves and had dead plants on it….it wasn’t perfect as I thought it should be. I have rich people problems. Because I have a home, I have a porch that my own husband built with his bare hands. How horrible did I feel when I realized what my thoughts were and how much I have and how ungrateful I was acting. I have a husband, when so many do not… I have a home, when so many do not. I have my health, when so many do not… etc, etc.

He reminded me when your having negative thoughts about your job… so many don’t have jobs. When you’re sitting in traffic, many people don’t have a car or anywhere to get to. When you are in disagreement with loved ones, so many don’t have loved ones… I. am. so. blessed. and. ashamed.

When thinking about my body and how it doesn’t look like I want it… there are people dying everyday who could care less how they look. So what can I do about it? PLENTY.

All of my problems are rich people problems because I am so rich. I have a home, a car, a job, a family, my health and none of it may be perfect but I also have the option of changing those things, and that is because I am so rich. Rich is the same as being blessed. And I have never been more blessed than I am right this moment. I have a family that loves me no matter what. I have a job where I am needed and am productive. I have lost people who have meant the world to me but I was blessed to have them in the allotted time we had. I indeed, have rich people problems.

So when I start to complain, or whine about how bad I have it..or how bad things are going… my husband knows to remind me of this and I hope it helps some of you as well. To have the problems I have is so much more a blessing than a problem and I know I won’t get this over night but I hope to work this into my daily practice of gratitude.

emp

JUST IN A FUNK

I am in a funk. I am not who I know I can be. I am drowning in all the emotions and blaming it on school but in reality it is my way of dealing in my own messed up way that a year ago my mother died in exactly one month and 5 days from now. Those 5 days before her death were pure agony for both of us as well as many family members. There was conflict, words said that couldn’t be taken back, and hurt that she no longer has to deal with but I can’t let go of the pain of her leaving this earth being upset with me. I still haven’t processed it and I am just now realizing this. So I apologize in advance if I’m not my usual self. I am trying. I promise I am… but things are just a jumbled mess. Somehow I have to find peace …. it won’t happen overnight and the 28th of this month is gonna hurt like hell. But I will survive. I always do. Thank you for everyone who has sent messages of support and love. I do appreciate each and every one of you.

emp

Today’s Struggle

It began with just finally getting 8 hrs of sleep. That was a nice change. My anxiety has kept me at a good 5 to 6 hrs if I’m lucky.

I begin my usual routine of coffee, paying bills and generally deciding my schedule for the day which included an exam in my law class. I was pre-occupied for a good bit with work stuff. But that’s not something I will discuss on here.

When I finally managed to get to studying I did manage to get a good 3/4 of my review done. I will finish up in the morning and take my exam as soon as possible just to get it over with.

My Complaints for the day: people who don’t take responsibility for their actions as well as people who don’t look at the whole picture, but only look at a sliver of it.

My heartache for today is missing my mother, missing dance, missing my husband even though we were in the same house all day.

My gratitude list for today includes: spending the rest of the evening hanging out with my best friend/hubby. I am also grateful for all the second chances I’ve been given and for all of the people in my life who love and support me.

This too shall pass. Just one day at a time.

EMP