Saturday, April 21, 2012

April A to Z Challenge: S

S = Strength

Strength.  This is a word that made my stomach turn when I first became a single mom.  I had so many friends who told me that they weren't worried about me or that they knew I'd be okay because I am "stronger than I realize".  Literally, I got told that so many times that it came to a point where I was concerned I would fly into a homicidal rage toward the next person who said it.  You know what?  It was true!  I really am stronger than I initially realized.  I'm also more resourceful than I knew I was.  By feeling more secure in my ability to meet mine and my son's needs without having to rely on a significant other, I feel like I'm a stronger person.  I feel more capable and that makes me more independent.  I am also aware of the fact that I pull strength from my friends and family.  Initially, I felt that by allowing my friends and family to help support me through these tough times, that it somehow only lent me artificial strength.  I was under the false impression that in order to have real strength, I needed to somehow bear the burden on my own.  This could not be any further from the truth.  Any strength that you gain from any positive source (i.e. "liquid courage", a.k.a. alcohol, is not a positive source of strength!) is still strength. 

What are your sources of strength?  How have you found strength during tough times?

Friday, April 20, 2012

April A to Z Challenge: R

R = Relaxation

Aaaah. . .that beautiful (yet, elusive) word. . . RELAXATION.  While I most definitely do not get an opportunity to relax as often as I would like, I also recognize that it is important to take some time to relax and rewind whenever possible.  There are always a million things that "need to get done" but I have to find time to relax for my sanity.  I'm a better mom when I have had a moment to rest and recharge myself.  Sure, it might mean that the dishes don't get done right away or there are dust bunnies (more like dust buffalos!) hiding in my corners but I am learning that those things don't matter nearly as much as a happy kid who is well adjusted and a Mommy who has some modicum of sanity left. 

What do you do to relax? 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

April A to Z Challenge: Q

Q = Quiet

I'm finding that having a dose of quiet time each day. . .or whenever I can manage to find it!. . . has been both very therapuetic and very scary for me.  Having pure peace and quiet even if for a short time is a foreign concept to me.  I'm always on the go.  Always having something else to work on or try to get checked off the to-do list.  Therefore, when I find myself with some quiet time, I don't fully know what to do with it.  Also, it scares me.  When its quiet, my brain has an opportunity to slow down and think about all of those things that often times get pushed to the back.  You know, those things that I push away because I don't "have time" to deal with it at that moment.  In reality, I just don't want to think about it.  Maybe it hurts too bad.  Maybe it makes me angry.  Maybe it's embarassing.  Whatever it is, I try to avoid having to deal with it.  Having quiet makes it come to the front.  It forces me to deal with it.  That's a scary thing.  But, it's necessary in order for me to process the things that I have going on right now.  It's necessary in order to start/continue the healing process. 

So, how do you find quiet?  What do you do with it? 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April A to Z Challenge: P

P = Phenomenal Woman

Today's post is slightly different than other posts in this challenge.  Today, I'm posting a poem written by Maya Angelou which I have always found to be very inspirational to me.  It's true that I'm a sappy and emotional person but this poem strikes me on the deepest level of my being.  I truly admire Maya Angelou and can remember "borrowing" an autobiography book that she wrote from my mom and reading it when I was quite young (12ish?) and being in awe of the struggles that she overcame in her life. 

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.
-Maya Angelou-

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April A to Z Challenge: O

O = Optimistic

This post falls on the most perfect (or ironic?) of days.  You see, I'm having a breast biopsy done in a couple of hours to try to get to the bottom of a health issue (scare) that I've been dealing with for the last few weeks.  During a routine OB-GYN appt, my doctor found a lump in one of my breasts that she was concerned about.  So, she ordered an ultra sound.  Coming from a family of women who seem to have the lumpies and bumpies in the chest bump area, I tried not to be too concerned.  Plus, I didn't have a million other things already going on in my hectic life or anything (sarcasm).  However, at the ultrasound for the boobie bump issue, I learned that the initial lump that landed me in the ultrasound hot seat actually wasn't anything to worry about.  Whew! 

However, there was something that they found that they are concerned about.  It's a solid mass that was hiding behind the non-issue cluster of cysts that my doctor originally felt and sent me off to get checked out.  So, today, I'm back for a biopsy.  I'm trying to be optimistic.  Let's put it this way: In my opinion, I have two choices in this matter. . .I can either freak the freak out and spend my time fretting over what may never happen OR I can try to positively self talk myself into believing that I'm fine and that I have no reason to worry until the doctor delivers news that there is, in fact, reason to worry.  I'm trying really hard to stay in the space of the latter.  That's not to say that I didn't have a mini freak out session this morning. . .because I did.  That's not to say that I didn't stare at a picture of my precious Baby Bear this morning and wonder if today was going to be a day that changed my life forever. . .because I did.  And, that's not to say that I didn't go through my filing cabinet last night just to reassure myself that I was appropriately covered by enough life insurance just in case anything were to come of it. . . .because I did.  But, now that I've done all of those things, I hope I can focus on just getting through today and figuring out what this thing is.  Right, wrong, or indifferent. . .I keep telling myself that 29 year olds don't have major breast issues and that this "mass" has no choice but to be benign.  How's that for being optimistic? 

Have you ever faced something that was scary and uncertain?  How did you get through it? 

Monday, April 16, 2012

April A to Z Challenge: N

N = Now

As in, Live in the NOW.  I've spent a lot of time and energy during my lifetime living in the past.  Hung up on things that have happened in the past.  Reliving and Rehashing them.  It is with the help of my friends and therapist that I have started to realize that you can never relive the past so there's no use trying.  You can't change it.  All you can do is live in and focus on what's happening right NOW.  This is alot easier said than done.  After all, I have things in my past that have caused me a lot of hurt and angst.  Things which aren't all that easy to just "heal" from and put away forever.  The worst thing that I can do (and I've learned this the hard way) is to put something away and not allow myself to heal before trying to move forward.  However, by not living in the NOW, I'm bypassing too many opportunities to experience joy and the great things that my blessed life has to offer. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

April A to Z Challenge: M

M = Motivation

This post today is going to be very short.  Motivation.  Here is a short (read: NOT all-inclusive!) visual list of what motivates me:

The T man. . .he motivates me to get out of bed on those mornings where I'm sure that its impossible to do so.  He motivates me to work harder, push through it, and provide him with the best life that I possibly can. 

I'm not going to lie, I'm totally motivated by money.  Anyone who says that they aren't is either lying or has too much of it.  Money buys stuff and stuff makes my life easier.  It's true, money may not buy happiness. . .but having some of the conveniences in life that having money makes possible does make me happier.  I'm nothing if not brutally honest.  Money = Motivation in my book.  More Money = More Motivation.  Easy Squeezy.

The beach. . .the sand. . .the water. . .the sun. . .it motivates me.  It revives me.  It rejuvenates me.  And in many cases, it burns me.  Well, the sun does.  But, I am motivated by it, nonetheless.  

What motivates you?