Life After a Moment of Clarity When You’re 51

All in the beginning.

 It happened on March 1, 2015. The moment of clarity after years of wondering “what IS my purpose?”.  The words I heard in my soul were “honor your wanderlust”.
So a decision was born and has shaped into something like this: give away your belongings, save some road money, then get in your car with the dog and GO.
I’ve gotten in my car and “went” in the past, but it was always out of desperation or what I thought was “something more”. This time, practicality and planning are my friends. At the age of 51, I know running isn’t the answer anymore. But having an adventure and exploring life…what a breath of fresh air. I’m all grown up and too practical to fly by the seat of my pants too much, so birthing this new life plan is going to be a process. I’m not independently wealthy, so working along the way will be necessary yet the thought of letting go of all I thought I knew to be true doesn’t scare me. The excitement looming FAR outweighs the fear, which puts my heart and head on the same road. YAY.
My friends said, “create a blog and see where it takes you”. Here I am, the newbie. Hope you’ll join me and my dog, Sadie, on our grand experience!
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When The Walls Come Tumblin’ Down

  
The songs we sing along with on the radio have always pointed to one common denoniminator: we all just want to be loved. The question is, how do we do that when we put up walls to keep love out? 

For the first time in my life, the walls are gone. I am completely, madly and joyously in love with a man who is completely, madly and joyously in love with me. So often, love is one sided, or one person isn’t as into you as you are them. Lust is dressed up as love and the mask eventually falls off. In the past, I’ve gravitated to men whom I deemed as “emotionally unavailable”….or was it really me who was the unavailable one??? 

At the age of 51, God saw that I was seasoned enough to put the man of my dreams right in front of me, and I actually recognized him. The walls are gone. Being vulnerable is exhilarating. We’re both on the same page of the same chapter of the same book at the same time. He’s the man of my dreams. My eyes and heart are wide open. 

The life we’ve chosen to spend together has definitely been worth the wait. Being excited about it is an understatement. We have no idea what each day will bring, yet one things for sure – we’ll be spending it together, and that’s enough. For both of us!!!

Swimming in the Stinch of Familiarity

Some think staying stuck in the muck of their comfort zone is all they’ll ever know. That it’s easier to say “I can’t  do anything different”, “it’s all I know”, or “I don’t know how to (fill in the blank)”.  Boy, I’ve got news for them. 

I’ll always remember a phone call I received from a good friend after I chose to go back to a very toxic relationship. Her exact words were, “so, you need to swim in the shit again? You haven’t had enough, I guess!”.  Those words horrified me! Who the hell was she to tell me I liked being miserable, that I couldn’t change myself to make things better, to continue to believe he couldn’t change! After all, he said he loved me and would do whatever it took to make it work. He said that many times before, too. But this time, he really meant it…and so did I. It didn’t take long before the stinch became worse than ever, and neither of us could take it anymore. I finally chose to take a bath, scrub down, rinse off, and pull the drain plug. 

Change is uncomfortable. Looking in the mirror and seeing the person you are is terrifying. Yet in that moment of terror can be a moment of clarity. Only then can we face the choice of change.  The challenge is to keep taking baths before the stink begins again. 

After all, insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. Right? 

  

Distractions

Life’s little distractions usually come without warning, completely taking focus from the mission at hand. I think God and the Universe does this to see just how commited we are to a goal, a dream, a person…the list can be pretty long. It’s a test to see if your heart and head are in sync, to show you what’s really important. That moment of clarity, when we come up for air, is all telling if we listen. 

Time to pull out my map and board the focus train again. Woot woot.  

 

And the Adventure Continues…

You know that old saying of “when you make plans, God just laughs”? Well, it’s true. Every. Single. Time. 

Being home has brought back so much to my life, I don’t know where to start first. MY plan one month ago was to move home, save money, and start traveling with work (of some contract or temporary sort). God’s plan, as I’ve come to experience in a very short time, is to put people and places in my life and continue opening new spiritual doors, right where I’ve planted myself. What a character! 

It seems it’s been ages since I felt like “myself” again. Contentment and curiosity. Familiarity and fresh ideas. Reconnecting and new connections. This is where I belong. This is the new normal. 

My heart is at home!  

 

Codependents Have the Hardest Recovery Because They are Rewarded For Their Choices

For my children: Recovery is the result of successful living, and to become better and better!

Emotional Sobriety: Mind, Body, & Soul

9964626674_7d10396faa_cI was what was termed a “high-bottom” drunk because I suffered no rejection because of my alcohol use. In fact, when I quit, most of the drinkers I knew said that I couldn’t be an alcoholic because they drank more than I did. I always related in meetings that you don’t have to get hit by the train to hear the whistle blowing. That statement shut up my loudest critics. I can’t say that I was deeply loved for it though.

But I was fortunate to have a father who had progressed farther in his drinking career and I realized I was going in the same direction. He and I became best friends later after he quit drinking also. How beautiful it was for Dad, Mom and me to be in recovery together. I only say was because they are waiting for me in Heaven. I know they are still…

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The Great Pretender 

We all do it or have done it. Until there’s an essence of surrender, we pretend to be:

Someone we’re not

Someone to trust 

Totally fine when we’re falling apart 

Not in love with someone who’s not in love with us

In love with someone we clearly aren’t 

In love with someone when all we really want is their affirmation and attention

Busy and find a million excuses not to call, or do what we gave our word about 

Humble when deep down its truly “all about me”

Self reliant when in reality we need someone desperately

Who are you when the mask falls off? 

 

Our Children 

I see myself in my children. This can be extremely rewarding and powerfully alarming all at the same time. 

Everything we do affects our children. Their view of the world, from what the purpose of the sun is to how to treat themselves is shaped by us…their totally imperfect parents. 

My voyage to re-parent myself began after a major breakdown turned breakthrough and went to counseling when the kids were 12 and 6. Their tender little personalities were already formed. The manner in which I handled disappointments and victories were already ingrained in their precious brains. The undeniable neuro pathways were formed. I couldn’t go back and fix what I’d broken in them. Passed down were all the functional and dysfunctional messages and belief systems that I learned as a child. Whether it was conscious or not, it was done.

I can only hope the transformation and mindfulness they see in me now will be instrumental in rewiring their neuro pathways, their self talk, their belief systems. We’re all perfectly imperfect. We’re all miracles in motion.  

 

Change is inevitable 

While playing with the dog and the neighborhood kids, I had a flash from the first time I remember asking God “why does life have to change, why can’t things just stay the same???”. It was a moment of deep sadness. Life is changing, again. 

That flash was from 1997, and when change is becoming real, so does that same memory. After the initial excitement of change, next comes fear, followed by reflection, and finally acceptance. I suppose right now I’m in the reflection mode. 

We’ve had a good run here, Sadie and I. The kids will be sad to see us leave, and we’ll miss them. Someone once said that it’s harder on the people you leave behind, but I don’t believe that. It’s sometimes unwelcome, yet we’re all recipients.

When change happens, it’s just a matter of who initiates the tide and whether we embrace it as a victim or victor. 

  

Living Alone

I used to think that my grandmother and aunt were completely crazy to have lived together for most of their lives. I remember thinking, “wow, don’t you want a life???”

Over the past 18 months, I’ve lived alone for the first time in my 51 years of being alive. This is what I’ve learned to be true:

1. You have no idea who you are until living on your own. Good, bad, ugly, and breathtaking. 

2. It will be both the most beautiful experience and frightening all at the same time. 

3. You will emerge knowing what’s acceptable to YOU and for YOU, in all facets of your life.

We weren’t wired to stay alone too long. God made us that way. We’re all interwoven like a mosaic of love. We can achieve balance in our need for downtime and togetherness. It’s okay to have both.  

 

Moving day is two weeks away.

Driving home from work just now  and turning on my street, I realized, “it’s happening…moving day is in two weeks!”

Giving notice at my place of residence for the past 18 months didn’t make it real. Giving some of my things to a girl going on her first mission trip to raise some cash didn’t make it real. Why is it that these moments come at the most unexpected times???

What makes it different than any other move? God knows I’m experienced at that! It’s because I’m finally going, at least to a great degree, with my souls desire, not my practical “plan everything in my life” head. I have NO IDEA what will happen from here, and honestly that’s a little scary. Yet as I sit and write this blog in the same spot where the booming wanderlust voice spoke, I can’t deny the excitement of not knowing what’s around the corner! 

For the first time in my life, decisions are being made with a clear heart, sober head, and have everything to do with my happiness…not someone else’s. Sounds a little selfish. Sounds a little blunt. Sounds a lot like LIVING!!! Boom!