Things which are broken…

7k7e_wgfe90-sabri-tuzcuOne of my favorite coffee mugs fell, from the cabinet, this evening and shattered into a dozen of pieces. This happened because mugs, which I have BEGGED not to be put in the cabinet, were put in the cabinet. Again. And I am mad. Not because a coffee mug broke, but because there are things in my life which I say over and over and over again, and they are never heard. It often feels like no one wants to listen, until I am upset, and then everyone simply believes I am the bad guy for blaming them. It is an ugly cycle, ending once again, with something broken.

It really isn’t about a shattered mug at all, it is about wondering when my words will matter. Sometimes I feel like my voice only exists for my ears, until someone needs something. If I am honest I will admit that this was one of the many things that led me on that isolated and lonely journey fourteen months ago. Some days I just get really tired. I, like every other woman, want my thoughts, words, feelings, etc. to matter. To my spouse, my kids, my family and friends. I am tired.

I am taking a class on being a good listener. My daughter, who put my mug in the cabinet (again x’s infinity), is also taking the class. (Ironic, no?) I have learned so much within the walls of this classroom, as of late. (also, I really wish my husband would take this class. In fact, I think every person on the planet should.) Today, in class, we had a group activity where we practiced healthy and respectful listening to a classmate, and then followed that with unhealthy “listening”. I was pretty blown away by this exercise. Much more than I had imagined. I learned, more than anything, that we’ve each got the same problems with different details. We are all tired. We are all, at times, begging to be validated, pleading to be heard for what we are actually saying (not what the “listener” wants to think we are saying), and tired of our own voices saying the same things over and over, because our message just doesn’t matter enough to those within listening distance.

So, here it is: I am tired. I want to be priceless, desirable, irreplaceable and of more worth to my husband than any other woman. I want my heart to be so valuable, to him, that he will do anything to protect it. I want my kids to want me to be their mom. I want to matter to them, and for my words to be something they find value in. I want beautiful relationships with them, relationships where they hold tight because I won’t always be there. I want friendships that are as simple as coffee dates, book store adventures and movie nights- but as deep as unison tears over fears shared and heart stitchings. Most of the time I feel like everyone in the world has all of these things figured out, and I’m the one left begging for someone (anyone) to explain how to get there too… And then today happens, and I realize I am not. We are each tired, aching, and just not enough- or so it feels…

So, just so you know- if you ever need an ear, I am here. And I am learning how to listen better because, at the end of the day, we all want to matter enough to be heard.

I have a pile of shattered glass in my kitchen to prove it.

A house/A home…

I have the heart of a true dog lover…

When Chw and were young and a bit crazy, and two new kids living in upstate New York, we grew our little family with an adorable little roly-poly Golden Retriever puppy named Makaila. Makaila became the very best friend of our little Gen, when she came home to us.251415_10150202049326277_874492_n

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When Makaila was five years old, an adorable little newborn black and barely white puppy fell into our laps. We named her Paisley, for no particular reason other than I had dreamed of getting a puppy named Paisley the night before. Paisley was tiny and dependent and bonded to me very, very deeply. As she grew, my heart wrapped so tightly around that precious little dog.

In August of Makaila’s ninth year, we learned she had bladder cancer and in a very short amount of time she made her way across that rainbow bridge. We had her cremated and her ashes were scattered at a Christmas tree farm, which I still think is the loveliest of things…

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A couple of months later Paisley was lonely for a canine companion and we foolishly jumped at the first puppy we found. She is called Emma and she is a character. She and Paisley never hit it out. Emma can be funny, but she is seldom sweet and often her soul is more fire than love (in a sassy and prideful way, of course). She is the most un-dog any of us have ever known, she has made home what it is and we love her quirky ways all the same.

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Ironic as it seems, this past August was Paisley’s 9th year and she too found her way to the Rainbow Bridge. It was sudden and gut wrenching and a piece of me went with her. I think a piece of all of us, even little Emma, went too. She was the epitome of love in a dog. The most pleasing, comforting, loving, accepting, reassuring creature I have ever known…

Emma has had a tough time recovering the loss of the other canine presence. She lost herself a bit and is finally emerging. My husband assures me there will be no future dogs for us. My heart both sighs with relief at his words, and aches to beg for another.

I love my kids and they make the two of us a family, binding us together and bringing about rhyme, reason and purpose… But our dogs, our dogs have made our houses home. They’ve breathed life when the darker times convinced us there was none. Their wet noses have whispered love into the loneliest of moments and often been the only things that dragged me from the pits of a depression hell in the dark days.

Dogs make the world a better place…

Tell me about any pets you have loved?

Thanks to the release of the new film A Dog’s Purpose (based on a WONDERFUL film, of the same name), which opens on 1/27, I am happy to give away a $25 Fandango credit to one reader! The giveaway ends at Midnight on 1/26! To enter simply comment here with your story of a dog you’ve loved.

In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the trailer. And just in case you missed it, here’s a link to a post I wrote about their charity support.

A dog’s purpose…

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You guys… I am so excited about this movie! I read the book, years ago, and loved it so much. As a dog lover, it is the sort of book that just stuck with me. The movie looks amazing, and emotional, and it seems like a healing balm for my sweet Paisley, whom I lost a few months ago. (She definitely served a purpose!)

I wanted to share the trailer with you, just in case you haven’t seen it, or are just wanting some Friday dog love!

Also, because this is super cool, if you click here, you can upload a photo of your dog and celebrate their purpose in your life! It is a wonderful, interactive way to brag on our furry loves a bit! In addition to bragging on our dogs, we can make a donation to Best Friends Animal society! Even better, for every donation, Universal is matching them up to $25,000! So not only is this a heart warming movie, but their using their film to make an awesome impact!

To move to…

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Early on, in 2016, I created a spotify playlist entitled To Move To… As anyone who knows me knows, I am one of the worst “namers” in the history of naming things. To me, at the time, it seemed a clever way to label my workout list. As the year progressed however, this playlist morphed into my motivation for many areas, not just fitness. It is pretty amazing that this long-ago list worked it’s way into birthing the only word which made any sense at all, for this year.

MOVE.

It is a powerful word. It means a vast degree of many things. It reaches into every area of my life, from health and fitness, to writing, to education, to parenting and marriage. MOVE. Stagnancy kills. MOVE. Even if it’s a step in the wrong direction, it is better than nothing at all. MOVE. Move. move…

My word for this glorious fresh and unwritten year is move.

This isn’t my image. It belongs to Vimeo actually. When I saw it though, I knew it fit my vision for this year, my heart for this year, in a thousand different little ways. Move. To move in such a way that the place where my feet were is left better after my time there…

I do not do resolutions. I commit to goals. Typically, but not always, these goals stem from my word. With a word as huge as this year’s, I don’t think there is a goal that would not apply, somehow.

Goals:

  • To read two books (minimum) per month.
  • To learn one new thing, every month.
  • To complete my passion project More.
  • To complete and self/indie publish my novel.
  • To lose those 50 last pounds I need to lose.
  • To literally move to a more conducive home for the next phase of my life.
  • To expand my freelancing/writing income.
  • To enjoy my family intentionally, in simple and life affirming ways.
  • To visit somewhere I have never been before.
  • Find my writer’s tribe and flourish within it.

Move.

Where are you seeing yourself, this year?

December uglies…

This has been a rough week, I am not going to lie. Monday was brutal in that I just couldn’t seem to be enough. Have you ever felt that? I have been doing a seasonal part-time job that I really enjoy, but Monday was off. The holiday crazy of customers did not really help or hinder the day, it just felt rough. Towards the end of the day I completed, what I believed to be, a task and it turned out I’d done it incorrectly. This sat with me in a not-so-great way. I had to rush home, grab Gen and take her right back to the same area of town for her work shift, and I simply could not shake that awful feeling that weighs you down when you have screwed up. I offered to come in, off the clock, and do the task right but my manager said it wasn’t that big of a deal. Still, it bothered me.

Psychologically, I don’t think it was that big of a deal. My manager is genuinely kind and did not seem to be upset. Whether it is a seasonal job or not, I try to give 100% at whatever I do and take pride in it. I felt like I failed. Talking to a friend, later that evening, I had to admit that this heavy feeling was being filtered through the perspective of a lot of December uglies right now. I get it… And so when Tuesday found me stiff and achy, with a migraine, I simply had grace for myself and acknowledged that the December uglies were probably affecting me and my fibromyalgia was flaring up. Wednesday became a tough day in this parental journey, coupled with still feeling stiff and achy, with a headache. There is NO COUNT to how many times I told my family yesterday, I really need to feel better because I work tomorrow.

Well, tomorrow is now today, and I am bundled in yoga pants and my Boise State sweatshirt, in front of my fireplace instead of being at work. After a fitful night of sleep, I woke around 6 with a 10-ton weight on my chest, complete sinus pressure and temple/mastoid throbbing to boot. My achyness had become an almost inability to move. My husband commented on how i didn’t seem well and maybe I shouldn’t go to work. I told him that I WAS going, and he offered up coffee as an aid. Coffee and a shower (I had really banked on the shower being my saving grace) did nothing but wear me out the final bit and make me want to die. (yes, I am sure we all know that feeling.) Turned out my temp was 101.2. No wonder the hot shower depleted me…

It’s the worst timing, really. Christmas wise, work wise, travel wise. I’m going to see my mother in her nursing home tomorrow and can’t go if I’m contagious. I’m spending the weekend with Amanda’s family and hate to spread sickness to them. My fibro makes car trips painful, but coupled with whatever achy nonsense I’ve got happening, it seems a cruel twist of holiday fate. Beyond all of that though, (because why stress about the things that haven’t happened yet? I’ll either be deathly ill or I won’t) It is how I was treated upon trying to openly communicate with my employer that seems the worst. That’s the part I can’t get over. I value, above all things, genuine kindness and love for others. I have always gone out of my way to make the lives (or days, or moments) for others, just a little bit brighter. I was treated like a piece of crap, pretty much told that I was selfish and manipulative and talked down to in a way which caught me off guard. I understand the holidays are stressful, management is exhausting, underpaid, overwhelming and that frustrations are high. I also understand that people are people. When one person treats another in such a way, it is dehumanizing and arrogant.

It is 6 hours later and I am still so bothered by it. Isn’t it enough that we simply do the best we can? Thankfully my temp is down, and maybe it is just that I’m sick and it made me feel more sensitive. I don’t know. I do not know this woman outside of work and while her personal opinion of me is of no value to me, professionally it bothers me far more than I would have expected. I find myself feeling crippled regarding ever stepping foot in there again, which I have to do. Tomorrow. Nearly a year of experiences within a company, that I love and felt such happiness from, is now an issue of disgusting conflict and that makes me angry. I am angry at this woman because, who does she think she is? Perhaps it is not fear of conflict that scares me… The past year has been complete and utter hell for me. I have somehow maintained dignity, grace and attempted to stay present and grow forward. I am afraid, within this hurt, appalled and angry place, that I would not be able to hold my tongue and would take out so much on her… And that, would be exactly what she did to me, which didn’t solve anything. Kindness and love… So I will steer clear of her, and that place, other than the 2 visits I have to make. Deep breaths and realizing it was just a seasonal job that would have been over today anyway, and that I don’t have any respect for her (after this morning) and don’t care what she thinks of me.

If I do ever cross paths with her I will simply smile and move on because people are people and it is on each of our consciences the type of people we choose to be…