seattle bound (again)

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Sorry I’ve been a bit absent lately.  I’ve been doing this 10 day cleanse which has been kicking my ass challenging and making me kind of go more inside than I usually do.  But I’m glad I did it.  I do believe it is making big changes and will have a profound impact on my health.  It’s just not been an easy one for me. I feel better today, on Day 9 than I have through the entire deal though.

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I had a great last weekend in Sedona–went to a dance class with one of my oldest and dearest friends Wendy in Flagstaff.  Some combination of the cleanse and high altitude had me stepping out frequently to catch my breath.  I could definitely tell my body was going through something.   I travel tomorrow which is Day 10 so I’m not exactly sure right now how I’m gonna handle that.  I may do a kind of half day.

I’m so psyched about heading up to Seattle again tomorrow..yay!  That place has some kind of magical draw for me.  I remember all the wonderful things I did last year and all the great people I met along the way and just smile. I have plans to meet up with at least two of them.  I’m gonna try to hit that Grande Dame again but at NIGHT…spooky!  Pushin the envelope. ;)

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I’ve spent this week doing some planning–got a ticket to a play, made Sat. dinner plans with a friend up there, found this literary theatre company I’m going to do my best to get to, gonna take a road trip up to Whidbey Island going on THREE ferries, landing in Port Townsend where I will spend the night in a haunted hotel that used to be a brothel.  I hope to kayak over there too–the weather claims to be rain free and cool!  Perfect even if it is cloudy. I just love that cloudy mystique up there.

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I’m packing light as I’m staying in an airbnb guest cottage that has it’s own laundry…score!  I want to do most of my Christmas shopping while I’m there as I’ll be in all kinds of cute shopping locales.

Wish me luck on the writing contest I entered–I’ll find out Sat. morning at the conference if I placed.  ;)  It would be a little feather in my cap yet I’m glad I just went through the process of entering at all.  I learned a lot about editing my wordy self!

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my room has a view of the Sound

I intend to embrace every single second of this trip in every possible way as it will be one of two of my last solo free-wandering trips before I get “tied down” with my puppy!  Which has me so excited I think about it daily, all day long basically. ;) I’m so ready for my wonderful life to get even more wonderful with this little addition.

I have so much support and energy around this which is also telling me I’m making a very correct decision–3 friends have offered to throw me a “puppy shower”, FIVE friends (and my Dad) have offered to drive with me to CA to pick him up in Jan. and so many people are just expressing so much excitement for me.  I don’t tend to get this kind of “can I help you?” energy around me as I tend to sort of manage things on my own so this is a very very good sign that my life is changing in a good way.  And I’m soaking it all up!

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Finally, I’m aware that the Jodi Arias sentencing retrial started this week and I won’t be attending this time around.  I feel like I offered a great deal of myself the during the five month main trial, my presence isn’t necessary and where I’m really needed is in my own life–taking care of myself, my own family and trippin the light fantastic living a life that would make my sister happy for me.  I know where I belong and am stepping right in to it.  I wish the Alexanders the very best in getting through this and hopefully this phase will move swiftly and they can start to move on past this lengthy court battle soon.

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Oh and one last thing!  Alfonse has attended two rehearsals now and is doing well I think!  I don’t know if I mentioned that, miraculously, my friend Linda knows the person that is the head of the Baritone section which he will be singing in (meaning his direct leader) and he is a Special Education teacher.  Could it be any more perfect?  Someone who is already sensitive to people with special needs.  I’m still pinching myself that he even got in.  He’s doing well, seeing a Psychiatric Naturopath now who will be another great support person on his team and allows me to step back and relax a bit.  I think it’s been over a year now that he’s been hospitalized which is a big big deal in our world.  So, all is well there.  :)

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I will probably pop in with some photos from my trip so stay tuned but my writing is gonna be more by hand in my journal.  I want to drop in to the world of experiencing and I guarantee will love every minute of it.

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purium cleanse

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I decided I want to blog about this 10 day  Purium cleanse I’m doing because, when I decided to do it, I searched for all the bloggers and their testimonials so I wanted to add mine to the mix.  Please know I’m not gonna clog up this blog posting all about this and will document the entire 10 days here in this post so if you’re interested, please check back.

When I got back from my trip, I was so depleted and exhausted and bloated (we all know I love to indulge on my trips) and seriously praying for a life raft.  On a lot of fronts.  I saw one of my friends and colleagues on Facebook mentioning a 10 day cleanse she was doing.  I trust her and something about her words just ignited a “YES” inside me so I quickly and impulsively signed up.  Then I started researching other people’s stories about it.  I just need a pause and reset and a jumpstart in this health/energy/weight struggle adventure I’m on.  As I’ve said, menopause has kicked my ass.  Energy is a major deal as my adrenals really blew out within the last two years and they’ve just never recovered.

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Anyway, I’m not sharing this because I’m trying to promote it or have intentions to do it as a business or anything.  I don’t need another business or source of income.  But I do want to document my progress for anyone interested and for myself as so far, it’s pretty awesome. If anyone out there is interested,I’m pretty sure I can score you a $50 gift card for an order so just shoot me an email and I’ll figure out how to hook you up (like Megan did for me).

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After a couple of FedEx snafus yesterday I finally got my kit (it was supposed to arrive Monday grrr) half way through the day so started it about 2pm yesterday.  I’m counting it as kind of a 3/4 day.

It’s pretty basic–you drink these shakes and take an amino supplement and can eat certain foods at suggested times.  And drink lots of water of course.  So here I go.

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this is the kit I got – yes with a “celebrity” tape measure lol

Day 1:  I got my kit and read through all the materials (it’s pretty uncomplicated) and made my first shake in my blender with some ice.  I have to say this whole food formula tastes AMAZING.  It’s not too sweet (I was concerned about that) and has a balance of flavors that is very very satisfying.  I got the Apple Berry flavor.  It also has an unusually creamy texture.  It will be very easy to stay on simply because of the taste.  Megan had shared that with me and she was 100% correct.

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you can see the ingredients here

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i appreciated that the powder was up to the brim of the container–most are about half full!

I basically followed it 2/3 of a one day routine.  Took the amino acids and ate some flex foods they allow including an avocado and cucumbers.  I had also made a rich mineral veggie broth the day before with sweet potatoes, onions, peppers, carrots, garlic, celery–throwing away the veggies after simmering it for hours.  I knew I’d need something warm and savory so prepared with that. It’s delicious.

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I also shudder, weighed and measured myself.  If I’m up to it, at the end, I’ll put some kind of before and after pic (eegads).  But for now will just share losses.

I was shocked to wake up this morning and already be down 2.8 pounds and 1 solid inch off my waist!

Now I now that is 100% water and toxins and I’ll take it.  I still feel kind of bloated so we will see what today brings.  But I’d say that’s a very very good start!  I don’t feel amazing (yet) but I will.  I’m detoxing!  It all worked out perfectly as I’m co treating today just for the afternoon with my friend Mya (both of us working together on each patient) and tomorrow I’d already scheduled off!  Everyone says once you get past Day 3 you really start flying.  So….Day 2 is here and off I go!

DAY 2  (total loss 4.4 lbs — 1 3/4 in. off waist — .4% body fat down)

First off, I’m happy to report I woke up this morning and display another 1.6 lb loss.  That’s 4.4 total in just TWO DAYS!

I’m also monitoring body fat with my little gadget and as of today I’m down .4% in fat which kind of speaks to this not ONLY being water weight coming off.

I was glad to have a slow work day yesterday as I was pretty exhausted. I went to bed at around 8pm and asleep before 9.  I slept 11 hours!  I feel rested this morning, not hungry and glad I have the day off. ;)  The stomach ache I had for a few days seems to be pretty much gone.

Alot of other bloggers say Day 3 is the worst and it’s the one I’m embarking on now…but, so far so good!  I’m telling you, seeing the results you see in the morning is a huge motivator.  And you want to see it again so it keeps you clean. More tomorrow!

DAY Ok well I’m officially declaring my Day 4, Day 3 as I feel like crap!  I also showed no weight drop today and my waist has gone back UP 1/4 in.  Wah.  It’s ok though as I know this will be a circuitous route.  And I stayed on the program but kinda got off schedule yesterday and did my shake late after I got home (didn’t plan well) AND forgot the evening dose of the Apothocherry which really helps you sleep and didn’t sleep great.  I feel it.

I head to Sedona this evening after work for some RnR and don’t think I’ll bring my scale.  Gonna kind of keep to myself and read and putter so I’m not too tempted.  I’ll also make some more of my veggie broth as it’s a lifesaver and makes me feel like I’m cooking.  ;)

Onward and upward….downward?  Onward!

DAY 5

Yes yesterday was definitely the hardest.  I felt bloated and uncomfortable and hungry!  But I stayed the course and was 100% compliant.  Arrrgh!  At least I’m in a paradise feeling that way.

i woke up this morning feeling much better.  Didn’t bring my scale but did my tape measure- waist is the same (dammit) but I’m down an inch bust and hips.

My digestion has been sluggish and my skin is super dry so decided to have some spinach and garlic in coconut oil…yum!  I’ll take something tonite to ignite my digestion which will help.

pecking on my iPad here so will leave it at this til mañana.

DAY 8   — (-5.4 lb  total / Waist:  – 2 in  Bust:  – 1 in  Hips:  – 1.5 in)

I wish I had more uplifting news to report but the fact is I’m not getting the success I had hoped for, at least yet.  I’ve lost 5.4 lbs and the body fat monitor doesn’t show much change (in fact this morning went UP again–sigh). My energy has been down, my skin dry and I can’t say I’ve hit that “euphoria” that can come with a fast.  I’ve been hungry every day.

I had a similar result with the 10 Day Sugar Detox I did BUT it did release me from my addiction to interest in sugar.  I rarely am drawn to sugary foods now and if I am it’s more in a “that looks so pretty” kind of way.

I don’t know what to make of this but I do have 3 more days.

I’m traveling (again) to Seattle on Day 10 so not sure how I’m gonna handle that.  I might just do a kind of half day that day and then head out.  I just don’t want to be feeling bad or unable to eat anything on the first day of my trip.  Which I’m really looking forward to!

I went to a dance class in Flagstaff Sunday with my pal Wendy and I’m usually very very good in these classes (Nia which I love) but I was so lightheaded I had to keep stepping out of the class. I was also in a lot higher altitude.

So, keepin it real.  I hope to have better success to report when this is all over.

doggie dreaming

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My little doggie dream continues to unfold in the most unexpected magical ways.

I’ve written about my treasure map before.   When I started feeling this irresistible magnetic pull toward getting a puppy, I realized this has got to be somewhere on my treasure map.  I went a’lookin and there, right at the center was this fox.  Carrying a large egg.  With a rhinestone on it just in case it hadn’t captured my attention enough. ;)

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 I remember the day I spent hours creating this treasure map up in Prescott and how I waited and waited for my central image.  And the moment I saw this large fox photo and realized that was it. I love making these maps in the almost entirely intuitive way–selecting and placing images based on how they make me feel without fully understanding their meaning.  For me, it’s a way to tap in to this deeper longing that is far beyond the conscious mind that chooses all day long.  It’s like a conduit to the dreams within the dreams waiting to be born.

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I remembered the day I saw that fox on this patio down at the Ranch on my birthday trip last year and how I had that instant heartburst watching him scamper across.  I’d been obsessed with foxes before that but that incident sealed the deal.   I spent much of that week with my eyes peeled hoping for another sighting.  It was like someone waved a magic wand over me.

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I have several fox images on my treasure map but the central one is clearly the strongest.  It’s the largest image and smack dab in the center.

Contemplating this I realize this fox is a CANINE but also sort of feline.  I’ve said “a fox is like a cross between a dog and a cat”.  I went a googlin this morning and was surprised and not surprised to find this:

Foxes are part of a large family called Canidae, which includes wolves, coyotes, and domestic dogs. They all have long snouts, but unlike most other canines, you’ll find a little cat in every fox.

My friend Max said “that fox represents the transition from cat to dog for you”.  Wow.  Nailed it.

Then there’s the egg. I remember feeling like this was kind of a fierce, almost unsettling image in a way when I put it there but at the same time I knew it was the only one to take center stage.

I was so focused on that egg that I even put that little rhinestone bling over the laminate, highlighting it.  Again, I had no idea why I did that other than it was just what was needed or felt right.  This is what makes the treasure map making process mysterious and magical.  At the point I chose this image I had absolutely no thought of getting a dog anytime in the near future.

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Well, as I meditated more on this, I realized my little puppy is an egg right now.  He’s likely not even conceived!  I made this treasure map for this year and in this  year my new little addition is just at the stage of an egg.  This cat/dog fox is presenting me with a blinged out egg!  haha  It definitely wanted my attention and got it!

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Last Saturday four of us went to see the Phoenix Metropolitan Men’s Chorus in their summer concert which was fantastic!  It was so great to go see them again and realize Alfonse will be on that stage with them performing in just a few months!  In fact, he starts rehearsals tonite..wow.  It was a great evening out and we were all so psyched for him getting involved with this wonderful, warm, welcoming community.  We mingled after the show and he got introduced to several more members.  They even have a 92 year old man who sang from a seat in the front row of the chorus.  How cool was that?

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Before we left, Steve came over and we were talking about my puppy plans.  He has had dogs much of his life so he totally got my dream.  I found myself admitting something to him that I was also admitting to myself for the first time out loud.  That although I’ve lived alone much if not most of my adult life, I go to bed many many nights–both here and in Sedona (more there I think)–with a feeling a trepidation or insecurity.  Not a feeling of total relaxation, feeling slightly unsafe that someone could break in while I’m sleeping.  I’m not as hypervigilant as I once was (another story of waking up at 2am with a man crouched next to my bed in a townhouse I rented shortly after my divorce–I will write that one sometime).  But there is often this lingering fear that disallows me from feeling fully relaxed when I go to bed.  It’s been hard to admit that even to myself.

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I was sharing about how I think having a dog will really alleviate that for me and will help me on that very important level of health.  Sleep is a big deal!

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The next day I went again to look at my Treasure Map to just browse and look what I found, unnoticed before.  Overlaying my fox image at the bottom are these words:

Get a good night’s sleep

This thing keeps unfolding in the most surprising and charming ways.  I just love it.  Again I feel like I’m listening deeply and following the bread crumbs.  Which is really the way I want to live every single day, untethered by the mundane and tripping down a light filled path.

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With my little doggie.  Soon.

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rescue part one

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my phone wallpaper-everyone thinks this is me

Hang on to your Perfectionism readers, this post is about to go all Anne Lamott on you and tell the raw badass truth about something that’s on my mind that I gotta deal with. And it’s one of those I’m just gonna say this one time deals.  In fact, I decided to write it just so I have a link to send people who piss me off/offend me/step on my sensitive bits are well meaning as I do think I will be facing more of this little issue as time goes by.

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First off, I was inspired by this piece I read this morning.  It really hit home for me. I highly encourage you to take a read.

Please Don’t Envy Me:  The Facebook Status Everyone Should Read.

Blogging is interesting as you put yourself out there, you also invite opinions and feedback.    Often anonymously and from people you likely will never meet.  Then you have to figure out how/if/when to respond to that.  Or not at all.  It’s not for the faint of heart or those without armor which actually kind of describes me.  So we fumble and stumble our way along.  There are no real rules.

I was confused when I shared with a friend that I was just coming up for air from my vacation meltdown in a text last week and she responded “well you’ve done a good job of hiding that on Facebook”.  Like everyone airs their dirty laundry on Facebook!  Hmph!  No one wants to read our shitty days, then we chastise each other for not being real.  Ok, well, maybe Facebook is the land of scrapbooks and rainbows but my blog is my blog and I get to say anything and everything I want.  I think that’s kind of the point, right?  I might start getting more down and dirty on Facebook as well.  You’ve been warned world.

 

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I’ve been thinking about a couple of words lately that get a bad rap:  needy and rescue.

I’m going to explore both of these more in depth as time goes by but for today I’m starting with rescue, but not in the way I had intended.

I’ll just say it out loud, proud and again.  I’m getting a puppy.  In fact, I’ll be purchasing a pure bred Cockapoo puppy at about 8-10 weeks of age from a breeder sometime after the first of the year.  A breeder that’s been personally recommended who I’ve done a lot of research on so let’s get that out of the way and done with.

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Now I would reconsider this decision if someone would find me a male, pure bred Cockapoo who’s in the color family of buff or apricot or white or cream who comes with a one year health certification and DNA testing on the known parents who is 8-12 weeks old having been raised with it’s mother in a loving known family environment for all those weeks.  I’d adopt that puppy from a shelter in an instant!  I’m on the Cockapoo Rescue mailing list and they’re doing great things–for adult dogs needing rehoming.  I salute them but it’s not my cause, at least at this moment in life.

So many things have been made hard in my life, so many curve balls.  Taking this step with some kind of ease and knowing what I’m getting for lack of a better phrase is something I feel absolutely deserving of.  In fact, I feel smart to do it this way.

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how could you resist?

I’m not sending this out to any one person in particular but I am sending it out to a certain mind set.  It’s been annoying interesting to note that once I started talking about getting a puppy, people felt the need to chime in their opinions and at times flat out admonitions, that I should rescue a dog from the pound/street/shelter.  And that I should get a dog, not a puppy and outline the reasons why.

I realize that most of this has to do with their own projections and I’d like to get to a stage in my life where I just breeze past naysayers and opinion givers and do my own thing.  Maybe I’m one step closer in declaring this as the one and only statement I’ll make about it then shut up and go about my bidness.

I was never blessed with having even one baby in my life.  It’s one of my life’s greatest sadness and personal tragedies although I rarely think/write/speak about it because it’s just too heartbreaking.  It’s not that I didn’t want to be a mother or didn’t try.  It just didn’t happen for me and I have a life that’s devoid of the many many experiences that motherhood brings you.  It’s more of a question mark in my life than an understanding and has a profound impact on the woman I am. There, I said it.

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And, to complicate things further, I’m one of the most maternal people you could meet.  Go figure.  I should have had a child.  But I didn’t.  It wasn’t in the cards for me.  And there it is.  As simple as I can make it.

The best I can come up with is that somehow I was chosen, by the Powers that Be, to be the last one holding the torch for my entire lineage.  And I do think I’m up for the task and it was a good choice but not without sacrifice.

For me, this idea of having a puppy is awakening all of those maternal feelings in me (as I typed that I just saw a hummingbird jumping from tiny flowers outside on my patio).  It’s giving me a chance to experience that feeling in the only way I can imagine it happening for me.

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Now don’t get me wrong–I’ve had cats most of my adult life.  I’ve had kittens even.  My two cats I have right now, Sabine and Coco, came to me as kittens.  Both rescued.  All of them rescued in fact.  I’ve rescued kittens /cats my entire adult life.

This feels different.  Caring for a puppy feels like a completely different relationship.  More demanding yet more rewarding in some way.  I can feel it in my bones.  I feel this thump thump thump inside my heart like a heartbeat calling me to itself.  I don’t know any other way to describe it.

Those of you who have had babies I invite you to ask yourselves:  was waking up in the middle of the night and arranging your life around that infant worth it or was it just one big stress ball in your life and that’s how you remember it?  When you compare it to say, caring for a sick adult, the same kind of demand?  Did it feel like you were getting something back very unique and not received any other way?

I won’t get a baby in this life.  It’s not in the cards for me.

But I will get this puppy.

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I have spent the last two months researching and will spend the next two or three setting up my home/life (there’s the hummingbird again) to invite this new precious baby in to my world.  I just bought a book last night on how to raise a  puppy and have another on the way!  I have found a “pet resort” literally walking distance from my home that offers training classes, grooming and boarding if need be.  I’m going to learn every single thing I can about raising this puppy and being the best “Mommy” I can be. I’m taking most of the entire year of 2015 to make this my focus, forego the kind of traveling I’ve been doing and I couldn’t be more excited!  I have the time and resources now and dammit I deserve a relationship that has the unique kind of give and take almost everyone I know with dogs brags about.

It’s kind of weird even for me as I always, always considered myself a cat person.  This came out of the clear blue a couple of years ago when my neighbor Tom was walking his new dog Webster (a Tibetan Spaniel) and Webster ran up to me and jumped on me and I fell instantly in love.  I still feel that way every single time I see Webster and warn Tom he might go missing some day.

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Why am I doing all of this justifying?  I don’t know.  I guess I need to get it out of my head and on paper and have a link to just send out when these judgments and projections come flying my way.  Like here is my response to that.  Or maybe this is just my declaration to the world to hopefully stop.

What I want to ask is this:

If someone told you they were thinking of having a baby, would your response be “think of all the needy children who need homes in this world! How selfish to want your own baby!”.

If someone told you they were building a new home, could you imagine a response “but there are so many fixer uppers out there, why would you consider something new?”.

Is there something about my life that would invite “Kathy would just be so much more awesome if she did just a little more rescuing.”?

And please don’t insult me by telling me “a puppy isn’t a baby” because I might just tell you to fuck off.  I’m not stupid.  But this puppy will be my baby and I have everything and more than most any other human being on this planet has, to give it.   I’m ready to open my life and my heart in to this new magical world of being a dog owner.  I’m ready for an intimate relationship like this that I can call my own.  I’m ready to go for walks and hikes and wake up in the morning to this little face greeting me with love. I tingle just thinking about it.

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I have a life filled with rescuing.  I’m ready to be rescued.  I feel it coming with this little fur angel, in so many ways, most of which I have no idea what they even are.

I have a dream, a STRONG CLEAR DREAM and I’m following it. Every time I’ve followed a dream like this it’s set me on a new magical pathway.

Please don’t bother me with limited thinking. I’m not telling you how to live your life and unless mine or someone else’s is in danger, I’d prefer you to be the same with me.

I invite all of you reading to consider what dream of your own are you shutting yourself off to because someone told you you shouldn’t/couldn’t do it?

In the meantime, I’ll be over here reading Cesar Milan, obsessing over puppy pics and figuring out where to put in a doggie door.

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I mean!

 

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Greetings from Home, finally.  It was a long vacation.  17 days to be exact.  Probably about a week too long for me, considering the circumstances.

I’m glad to be home and yet I wake up feeling sad and melancholy which is absolutely what a person is not supposed to feel after a rejuvenating vacation.  I need to make some changes.  I need to be more realistic about my life and expectations.

I’ve been a very high functioning person my whole life, able to manage most any circumstance and retain a positive attitude (most of the time) or at least return to it once the dust settles from any conflict/crisis/time of transition.  I think I underestimated myself when I took on the task of being the primary caregiver for my brother.  Right around the time our father is entering advanced age.  With no backup, just myself.  I sit here with tears streaming down my face at how exhausted I get.   How exhausted I am right now.

I wouldn’t have chosen it any differently I guess.  I threw my brother a life raft and I do believe he would not have survived otherwise.  But I need to make adaptations now.  I’m not as young or resilient as I once was.  I hit menopause as all this was coming at me and it’s basically kicked my ass.  I was already vulnerable healthwise in the endocrine department and it feels like I just can’t quite stabilize.  This has been going on for over two years now.

I have too many demands on me and too little support and I really don’t know how to fix it but surrender and find a way to ask for help.  This vacation, at the end, ground me to nothing.  Traveling with an obese (meaning hard to get around easily, fit in spaces and other complications) schizophrenic man and my 83 year old father who’s mobility has really taken a nose dive is, I’ll just say it, work.  And I love my family to pieces but I end up so exhausted and just wanting to run away.  Actually I did run away there toward the end for two nights.  I felt like I couldn’t breathe one more minute with all the demands I deal with that go basically unnoticed by anyone, including me, until it’s too late.  This is a pattern I’ve noticed.

I manage most if not all of all the travel arrangements, much of the activities we do, problem solving, all the navigation, some of the driving (while single handedly navigating because they don’t know how to use electronics for the most part),  lodging arrangements, fun activities, food prep, cleaning, shopping,  etc…I pay for everything then get a check at the end reimbursing me for my expenses–groceries, tickets, travel expenses etc.  I could go on and on and I’m sure it feels more exaggerated than it is right now because I’m so depleted.

I get very little alone time and when I do, it’s often interrupted with things like a plumbing emergency or need to come and greet the next arrival of guests. I overdo and take over managing things because, often if I don’t, I think they won’t get done.  I know this is part of my problem too–overdoing things when I should let the chips fall.  But time and again, when they fall, I end up repairing things anyway so figure I may as well do it on the front end.   And I do it well for the most part but I won’t lie, I had a 36 hour meltdown there toward the end of this trip. I’m surprised it took me that long honestly.

I arranged and paid for my own hotel room and just left my family on their own so I could recover.  I laid in that bed, got room service and took baths for 24 hours and got back to some semblance of myself that could function.  I was in an environment that is very hard for me to function in — I don’t want to go on and on about it but I will just say hoarding is a very real thing and in my family, it’s going downhill fast.  Hygiene and grooming are major issues now and it’s hard for me to exist in those kinds of environments without constantly cleaning, telling someone to change their stained shirt to go out to dinner, wash their hands, and on and on. I cleaned the shared bathroom at least three times a day.

I got myself in a clean, controlled environment in the beautiful Boston Parker House Hotel so I could find some semblance of the familiar and get stabilized. Once I came up for air, I had a great time roaming around the city by myself.

I miss my sister.  She would have been much better at all of this.  We would be doing it together, somehow.

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I was born a middle child and didn’t naturally develop internal resources to be on the front lines.  I have heard dozens of times recently “I don’t know how you’re doing it”, including from total bystanders just watching me.  I do believe there is some kind of master plan and everything is unfolding as it should yet I also feel like I’m failing, mostly to myself.

I realized after this trip I need help.  I even have to figure that part out by myself because there is this kind of unspoken and sometimes spoken expectation in my family that I will figure it all out.  On my own.  And I will, and I do.  I have an idea, from a seed that was planted at Rancho La Puerta last year–a life coach I really connected with.  I looked up her info again this morning.  I’m in a hamster wheel of caretaking and I need a fresh perspective.

But for now I need some recovery time.  I fear the future as it won’t get better and I don’t feel like I’m managing things well now.

I will say this.  I went to bed nearly every night and woke up every morning fantasizing about the puppy I’ll be getting.  Somehow I know this addition to my life will soften my heart and bring in a new joy and focal point.  In our family we’ve had no new life;  just death.  Endings and very few new beginnings. No new babies.  I’ve known for years now that it will be me bringing in the torch of our lineage, on my own.  I need to find a way to live in grace with these demands so I can feel good about how I’m representing. And right now I don’t feel that way.

On an up note, Alfonse did very little hallucinating on our trip.  His depression was there but not debilitating.  His daily functioning and social skills need serious work so I’m going to hopefully find someone to take that role over for me.  It shows up in a million ways (grooming, basic awareness of other people around him, etc) that concerns me as he’s ready to embark on a whole new life of social possibilities.  But he needs some basic training and I’m not the person for that job.

I want to be the woman.  I often say “I”m the man of the house” in my family and I’m the only girl.  I handle most every single thing that I would imagine a man, a good man, would.

I will say that, miraculously, I had two men express interest in me during my trip…in that way.  You know.  I feel so disconnected from myself in that way, I’ve risen to a level of patriarchy in my family role, that the female in me is ground down to sand.

Then I think about my little puppy and I feel my heart and mind and soul soften and come alive in a way that feels so correct and so healing for me.  I don’t know exactly how this new life force will impact me but I can feel it coming.

And it’s my light at the end of the tunnel right now.  At least a spark and the one I’m hanging on to right now.

I did have great times on my vacation but before sharing I just had to keep it real and get these thoughts off my chest.  I think the start of any big change is with awareness and this is the semi ugly truth of where things are at right now.

And now I need to take my brother back to his house so I can go to work.*  And be there for other people.

I surrender.

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* In the land of irony, just as I finished typing those words, John came downstairs looking sheepish telling me he’d tried to use my car last night to go get food after I went to bed and he couldn’t get in it because it was parked too close to the wall.  His face showed me something else so I pressed it and in reality, he tried to use my car and it wouldn’t start.  He said he lied to me out of fear I’d blame him for the car not starting.  This is the kind of thing I deal with over and over again…things that could be made simple, made hard.  And zero assistance to help me but roadblocks put up.  This is the life of caretaking and I need to stop whatever I’m doing that makes things worse for myself. Starting today.