Find your bliss, follow your arrow, do good things everyday.

Sunday my husband and I said goodbye to a very dear friend of ours. We have known here since she was 12 years old. I was her Girls Camp Director her very first year at church sleep away camp.

She has always been her own person, from the people she includes in her life to the music she writes to the youtube videos she creates. In summation, she is awesome!

J’s life hasn’t been all cookies and jam. She has had some bumps and bruises and wounds caused by people that were supposed to love and protect her.  Along the way she has gotten older and wiser, she has stayed open and loving of others and herself.  She is becoming an awesome woman. I look up to her and she knows it.

The reason I share a micro bit of her tale is because she has opened me up. She has encouraged me to be a better person and to find my bliss, follow my arrow and do good things every day.

So how do you find your bliss?

Believe me it’s not easy. You have to quiet all the voices around you that tell you what you should be and what you should do. Then you have to quiet your own voice and listen because in that silence you will be able to figure out what you love to do and what makes you happy doing it. See life is too short to do something you hate, dislike or really don’t care about.

It may take years for you to find the thing or things that make you happy when you do them. You should totally and completely be in love with what you do to pay your bills.  I know it is an odd concept isn’t it?

I have found that it’s a good mental health strategy. If you love what you do then you don’t mind doing it every day, all day long, 5-7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.  It can feel like an eternity when your job is not something you care about or love doing. Sometimes we have to take those jobs so that we can find our bliss so that we can pay the bills. But along the way, once you find your bliss you have to do it, EVEN if you have to do the thing you hate to get to the point where you can do the thing you love to do full time.

How do you follow your arrow? 

This is not going to be easy either because again you have to step away from where society says you should go. You have to step out of the mainstream and look around at what is available. Finding your bliss and following your arrow go hand in hand. If you figure out what you love to do then it is easy to follow the path to doing that in your life.

I spent much of my life headed in the direction that I thought other people wanted me to go. I joined several churches because I saw those around me doing so. I tried so many jobs that I can’t count on two hands and all my toes the different things I have done.  I even dropped out of society and intentionally homeless for a period of time. This was my first encounter with stepping away from what I thought everyone else wanted me to be.

When you grow up in an abusive home, you are constantly trying to do good things to avoid being abused, you become a people pleaser, it comes with the territory. Like I said I spent the majority of my life trying to please others.
The first thing I did to please myself was allow myself to fall in love with my husband. That was the first step. In the ensuing 11 years, I tried many jobs and have done many things. I’ve worked with non-profits attempted to be a stay at home wife, and now I have a job I really like, and I’m in college to get a degree in my chosen field of study so that I can follow my arrow.

Many people spend their entire lives doing what they think they should do instead of doing and going where they want to go, in the end they look back on their lives with regret, I for one do not want to do that.

Do good things every day

This comes from Kid President If you haven’t seen his videos go now, yes you have my permission to leave this page and go visit his page. This kid is so freaking positive he can turn any bad day instantly good.

He often talks about doing good things every day.  J and I have taken on the motto and both try to do good things every day.  It’s a simple mantra and ideal to follow, it’s so easy that well a kid can do it.

We see so much bad in the world around us that we can forget there are good things as well. We can be part of that good. We can do simple things every day that are easy and need no elaborate planning.  It is as simple as letting someone merge into traffic during rush hour, hold the elevator even when you are in a hurry, saying hello to everyone you meet as you go about your day. Life can be hard and really suck sometimes and when you work hard to do good things every day, it sucks a little bit less until you have formed a habit. Until doing good things. becomes like a 5th appendage. You will find yourself less stressed and letting the little stuff stay little and the big stuff getting smaller.

So simple yet so profound.

Find your bliss, follow your arrow and do good things every day. So simple, so easy, just try it

So I guess that’s that…It’s not fair.

Well the visit with the oncologist was long and informative and exhausting all at the same time. It boils down to this.

I have a 6 inch cyst on my left ovary, yup you read that right six inches.  It is pushing my bladder and my uterus out of position which has been causing some auxiliary problems that I just thought were part of getting older.

The surgery will remove both ovaries, both fallopian tubes, my uterus and my cervix. They will be doing an open incision because they want to remove everything in tact so that they can do a frozen dissection and test for any other pre cancerous/cancerous cells.

I will be spending 4 to 5 days in the hospital afterwards and then 6 to 8 weeks on home rest after that.

Good news is that I will have plenty of time to complete my last three classes, bad news I won’t be able to do anything much.

We were hoping to keep one of my ovaries so that we could harvest eggs and possibly use a surrogate but the percentage of having viable eggs is less than 20% so adoption it is for us.

I’m sad, angry and ready to shout at the world it’s not fair. Because to be honest it’s not.

My husband and I have stable income a beautiful home and deeply desire to have a family of our own. Nieces and nephews are great but it’s just not the same.  Why is it that those that do not have these things can pop kids out seemingly on a whim?

I believe in choice and accountability for your actions but it’s just not fair. When I think about all the babies that are lost to abortions or not wanted or harmed by their “parents”.  Especially when their are loving couples that can provide all the love and support for these children. How do we live in a world where children are abused and tossed away so effortlessly?

When did it become okay for human life to become disposable? AGAIN and I can’t stress this enough what you decide to do with your body and the things that go in and come out of it is your business and your choice. I have no right to tell you what is right for you but for those of us that don’t have a choice it is very painful. It crushes our very souls. It weighs us down and makes us want to rip a new one in the fabric of society.

At the end of the day I will take my meds, put my cpap on and lay down and go to sleep and wake up in the morning with all these feelings bubbling to the surface. It has been like that for ten years. The yearning and desperate desire to be a mother, and who knows how much longer that desire will go unfulfilled.

At the end of it all I get to feel like it’s not ever fair nor will it ever be. I know there is no promise of fairness in this mortal life we live. I know that, and can’t change it.  I can acknowledge it and struggle to accept it but I don’t have to like it. Acceptance and like are not equal to each other. So therefore I can accept this hand dealt to me but I don’t have to like it.

Twenty Years later.

I graduated high school in June of 1992. I had big dreams I wanted to be the first college graduate in my family. I was the first to go to college I was also the first to leave college.

See I started school and immediately got in over my head. Twenty years ago the the only time I ever talked to anyone about my college path was to talk to a financial aid counselor about being declared an independent student because I had no parent or guardian living, that I knew about at the time.

See back then I choose a  degree field that I thought I wanted, there was no advisement. I ran to the arms of the local community college with not a single clue. I wasn’t ready for the commitment, the homework or anything remotely college related. I had no one to lean on, no support system that understood what I was jumping into. I was 19 and I was clueless.

I spent several semesters at the local community college in two different degree fields. I was so sure that I wanted to become a lawyer that I started the paralegal studies program. Mock Trial never prepared me for the classes I was taking. After a few semesters I met some people from a private college that told me all about campus life and how wonderful it was. I was hooked. So I applied got accepted and dove head first into a four year program. This time I only had 3 different majors. One of those majors was teaching. Something I had thought about doing other than being a lawyer.

Boy was I in over my head yet again. See in all of this I didn’t take into consideration my personal history.

See the February of 1993 I lost my mother to cancer. I felt all alone surrounded by well meaning family. I was also a people pleaser so I did what I thought I was suppose to do. Not once in the entire two years of my college experience did I have a clue as to what I really wanted to do with my life.

Truth be told it has taken me twenty years to know what I want to be when I grow up.

I think often of my 7th grade history teacher. He was inspiring. We got to choose to write a research paper or do a project.  I always picked the project.

It was in his class that I learned to program in Basic. It was in his class that I learned that I had more potential then I ever dreamed. It was in that history class that I learned to love history.

In the last twenty years I have learned many things. Of all the things I learned it was a silly Facebook game that ignited a fire in my.  I’m sure you probably saw the game or even played it. If you commented on someone’s status they would give you a number and you were suppose to share that number of things that your friends probably didn’t know about you. I got the number seven.

As I was creating my list of all the things one of those seven was the regret that I never got my degree. My sister in law commented that it wasn’t too late that I could go back to school and get a degree.  Pondering exactly that I pulled out our tax forms from last year and filled out a FAFSA to see if I qualified for any financial aid at all. While I was waiting to see if I would get any aid another friend posted about getting a scholarship to the only NCATE ( National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education) accredited online university. It peaked my interest and I took a look at the school and the programs they offered. I asked for more information and then paid the application fee and started the process not ever really expecting to get in.

So what did I decide to be when I grow up? I want to teach. I want to teach history. I want to teach history to 7th and 8th grade students.

Just a week or so later my application has been accepted, my financial aid is in place and poof I am a college student again.  My husband and I had talked about me going back to school after he graduated.  The day he graduated I got my acceptance letter to Western Governors University .

I never expected to get any financial aid.

I never expected any prior credits to transfer, but I am so happy that 19 of them did.

I never expected to be 40 years old and back in school and ready and focused and determined to succeed and graduate on time if not early.

It just goes to show you that when you decide to do something and it is the right path you are suppose to be one all the doors will open for you.

So what is one regret that you can fix? I shared mine how about sharing yours?

How life interrupts when you have plans.

If you follow me on social media you know that I have been tossed and turned in a sea of personal turmoil.  I got a job worked for almost 3 months then got let go because I was joking with a personal friend of mine and someone misunderstood the comments and situation. I’m okay with that. It’s been for the better I think.

I  have never been fired before……..I have always left on my own terms.  Not the path or plan I had, but as we all know life is what happens when you make plans.

I think many times when things change rapidly it is because we have prayed for an answer and something happens and we take that as the answer and forget to pray and ask if that is the answer or if it is a distraction.  I know that sounds confusing but it’s like this, when you are troubled and you pray for a way to solve your problem and you do all that you are suppose to do not always is the first solution the answer Heavenly Father has for you. It’s like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.

We want everything so fast and so easy these days sometimes I think we forget that it takes work. We lose site of the goal like and get distracted by the things right in our face.

When I was young I played soccer. I played on a pretty good team. We won more than we lost and this was in the days when keeping score and being a good sport about losing was a virtue you learned on the field.  I played the position of defender closest to the goalie.  I loved playing. Many times all the other players were down at the other end of the field and the other defender and the goalie and I would get distracted by playing with the flowers in the grass or the caulk that marked the lines. We were not watching the game we were occupied with what was in front of us.  Had we paid more attention we would have probably learned so much more that game.  We would have seen the break away and seen the ball and the striker headed for our side of the field.  We would have been standing up and ready to defend our goal.  But we were not paying attention and were too slow standing up, we were confused as to why the coach was yelling at us and pointing.  Needless to say the other team scored.

I was upset and it was disappointing. I wanted to blame the other defender and the goalie, I wanted to say it wasn’t my fault but looking back almost 30 years now I know it was just as much my fault as it was my teammates.

See I had a plan that day. My plan was to stop the ball and be the “hero” of the team.  As often it happens in youth soccer there is a great amount of offense and very little defense. I wanted to be the first one to stop the ball to keep from the other team scoring, but I was too busy with the distractions in front of me.  I let a moment of boredom keep me from being a team player.

I let the “prestige” of the place I was working get in the way of what my actual goal was.  I also began to let my self slip and be tested.  I am sure Heavenly Father often shakes his head in frustration with me.  I am walking the path but get distracted and stop or just nudge the line sometimes. I am by no means Molly Mormon but I know who I am and where I come from and where I’m going. Sometimes I need a test or a lesson to remind me just how far I have come and how far I have to go.

Getting fired isn’t the end of the world just the end of a page in the current chapter you are writing.

 

LB.

I can no longer stand silent.

When my husband and I first moved to our new ward in G’ville we met some of our dearest friends. One of those friends was a man named Brian E. Kiley.  Brian was such a great person. He lived his faith. He was the same person on Sunday as he was Monday thru Friday.  I had the opportunity to be his Assistant Seminary teacher. Basically I got the great opportunity to teach early morning seminary when he was out of town working on his comedy career.

Just last year Brian met and married the woman of his dreams. They compliment each other so very well. Brian got everything he ever wanted in a family. He even got the chance to be a dad. He was such a great dad too.

Tragically just over a month ago Brian was murdered by a drunk driver on his way to the airport after a comedy show.  The man that killed Brian thought his right to drink and party was more important than the right of other people on the road.

Just yesterday the drummer for a popular band that I use to listen to was arrested and charged with drunk driving murder. He to decided that his party was more important that someone else’s right to live. And today a popular movie star and her husband were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and he was charged with DUI.

Two public figures in two days feeling entitled to do as they please regardless of those around them.

I have decided that I will no longer use my hard earned money to buy their music, go to their concerts, watch their movies or buy their products.

I am one lone voice in the dark refusing to support those that feel drunk driving is okay.  Every year more men, women and children are murdered by intoxicated drivers than people murdered by a gun.

Now I know that prohibiting anything only causes people to want it more so this is what I suggest. Tougher laws when it comes to DUI’s, tougher sentences for convicted drunk drivers, the permanent removal of driving privileges of habitual drunk drivers, the immediate removal and impounding of said drivers vehicle.  Anyone convicted of DUI should have a  notation on the front of their state issued id and driver’s license letting everyone know they are a drunk driver.

There are too many “reality” TV shows that show young people drinking and driving and acting stupid look like fun. They should removed from airways.

It is a startling realization that once a drunk driver gets out of jail they have the opportunity to get back behind the wheel of a machine that they used to kill someone.

When are we going to stand up and realize that drunk driving is not a game?

When are we going to stand up and stop laughing at how drunk people act?

When are we going to realize that it is not cool, popular or neat to get so drunk you don’t know where you are, what you are doing or who you are doing it to?

I think the laws need to be tougher for drunk drivers that get caught the first time then we might see few drunk driving murders.

What are your thoughts? What can we do to make drunk driving murder a thing of the past?

As the Universe turns and The Leftovers all at one time.

This week was an emotionally draining and uplifting.  I have to share some background before I can share the change.

From the time of birth till my 8th or 9th birthday I had what some would call an idealistic childhood. Mom and Dad and baby sister. What I didn’t know then was that my parents marriage was in shambles. They were originally married in 1972. I was born in December of 1973. They then divorced in approximately 76 and remarried in 78 or so. My sister and I joke that we are so different because I’m from the first marriage and she’s from the second.  My parents we later divorced for a final time in 1982.

My mother promptly married my step father. At 8 years old I’m not really sure what I was expecting or what was going on.  All I knew is that we (my sister and I and mom) all moved out of the house we lived in to a trailer park.  The trailer was smelly and the kids were not very nice.  We then in some twisted fate ended up moving back in to the house with my dad, my mom us girls and my step-father. Even as young as I was I knew something wasn’t right.

Eventually we moved to another city and then one night in the middle of the night my mom and step-father packed up some bags and we left on a Greyhound bus for California.  I remember some of the trip but not much.  We moved in with my mother’s parents.

This is when my terror started. My step-father hated the way I ate, walked, dressed, talked you name it I did it wrong.  The abuse started as mostly verbal and mental.  Calling me dumb, stupid and telling us that we were nothing but poor white trash and that was all we would ever be.  The physical abuse didn’t start until my grandfather passed away.

For the next ten years I lived in terror. Never knowing what was going to set him off.  I didn’t want him to hurt my sister so I took the blame for her. Took the beatings, the verbal barrage that never seemed to end.  I remember one time we were walking in to a pharmacy/drug store and there was a greeter at the cart area. He was shaking hands and saying hello to everyone. He was wearing a red vest with the logo of the store in the front.  He said hello and shook my hand.  My step-father was furious. He grabbed me by the should and dug his thumb in to it and “steered” me out of the store to the car.  He forced me into the back seat hitting my head on the roof as he did so. We sat there in tense silence till my mother and sister came out. When we got home I was yelled at and screamed at and belittled and eventually was told to drop my shorts and bend over the footstool for a spanking.  I was crying so hard that my nose ran onto the footstool and floor and I got hit more because of it.  I could not sit down after and my mother had to keep my home from school.  To hide it from my grandmother I was told not to tell her or the police or it would be worse the next time.  I always dreaded her going to work or on vacation. We lived in her home. When she was there I felt safe.  I ended up missing several days of school because of the bruising on the back of my legs and back and tush.

This was just one of many of his cruelties.   We couldn’t cuff our pants because only poor people cuffed their pants. I got grounded from reading because he was tired of seeing my nose in a book.  I was studying for a spelling test once and he was giving me the list of words, one of the words was “while”, with his Tennessee accent it sounded like he was saying “whale”, that cause a split lip and more time out of school.  We couldn’t sit on the concrete porch because some old wives tale said we would get hemorrhoids.  Some of these things seem silly but to me these things kept me in a constant state of terror.  Elementary, Jr. High and High School was miserable. They just brought about more things for him to get angry about.  For the most part as long as he was at work things were okay. Weekends were rough and if my grandmother was on vacation he seemed to pack in as much misery as possible.  He also kept us away from others. As many abusers do.  We were sheltered and kept in the house as much as possible.

There were several times that my mom promised to leave him all we had to do was ask. We asked, we pleaded, we begged. He would always make her promises or get her high.  That’s how a co-dependent abusive relationship works.

My mother passed away in 1993 not long after my grandmother and step-father moved my sister and I to Iowa.  I was 19 by the time but had no idea how to function with out my family. I wasn’t allowed to make any decisions with out fear of abuse.  I started my first job in January of 1992 and even that was controlled.

Not long after moving to Iowa my step-father just left. No reason why, no note nothing.  I guess he found that he couldn’t bully may aunt and uncle. Soon after he left I started spreading my wings. I traveled here and there and eventually ended up back in Tennessee. In the same area that my step-father was from. Since 1995 I’ve been looking over my shoulder and out of the corner of my eye. Worried, concerned and partially terrified that I would run into him.

On Thursday September 6, 2012 on a whim I signed up for one of those “find anyone” pages.  I like to keep tabs on what is out on internet about me and what people have access to.  After double checking my info and opting out I looked up my step father not sure why after all this time what made me do it, but I did.  It had him listed as deceased.

I sat shocked, this was overwhelming. I had to have confirmation. I started looking for SSI Death index confirmation. I couldn’t find it not really sure how to find it. I called a friend of mine and she found it.

I cried, I laughed, I sat quiet. It was finally over. The door and darkness finally gone.  He passed away back in 2008.  For almost 20 years I have been on edge just waiting for this evil man to pop back up. I have fought for the last 30 years I have struggled and fought to be free.  Having confirmation that the information was actually true was the final piece of therapy.

The Gospel has helped me grow and learn to forgive and move forward and heal.  Knowing that he can no longer hurt anyone. Knowing that now he has to answer for all the evil he did, for all the pain and suffering he caused.

I am FREE!

And that my friends is As the Universe Turns AND The Leftover.  Thank you for reading this far. Thank you for listening and understanding.

L.

As The Universe Turns- Welcome to Wednesdays

The people in our universe are really showing their stupidity and we have become a parody of ourselves. From politicians to local public emergency service employees.  Just this week two different so called Republican politicians have opened their mouths and inserted their foots by making a mockery of rape victims and by saying that breast milk can “cure a homosexual”. Really people? Now you just making things up.  I’d link the stories but they are just too stupid to be for real.

Also in the last month one local sheriffs deputy was arrested for taking cellphone pictures of a young female minor. Then just a day ago a local EMT and Volunteer Firefighter Chief was arrested for stealing money while on a call to the home of a recently deceased. Yes that’s right stole money out of the purse of a dead woman…

What happen to our society?

When did our society get so stupid?

How in the world did we let it get so bad?

I’m almost 40 I’m the daughter of baby boomers. I was taught that stealing is always wrong, that unless you have true quantifiable evidence don’t spread crap around. I was taught by my grandmother, part of the greatest generation, that if you have a job to do, do it right and well the first time. Doing just enough to get by is not an acceptable work ethic.  A hard truth is always and forever better than a sweetened lie.  Tip your servers according to their level of service. It’s okay to fire your doctor or dentist if they don’t listen to you. It’s also okay to walk away when a job, person or situation puts your moral character at risk. Most importantly never do anything to embarrass yourself, your family or the company/organisation you are with.  Now I pepper that last statement that we all do stupid things and there are just some things we can’t avoid. When those happen you be as graceful as you can be and apologize for any harm you have done.

Is it too much to ask  for a bit of civility? For some manners and kindness?

 

L.