24 Aug 2015
in friend request, reconnecting
Tags: facebook, Friendship, losing touch, oldfriends, Time
Old friends across the miles
I still recognize your smiles
wishing nothing but the best
happy times and all the rest
they were the times of our life
How quickly they passed by
We didn’t see it then
how someday we’d just click on “FRIENDS”
And through the magic of the air
We’d find each other there.
Diane Reed ’15 ©
09 Aug 2015
in Poetry, revelations
Tags: acceptance, aging, understanding value
All of our lives we try to fill that place inside
where we go to find our joy.
We go on trips and take vacations and make memories…
I’ve found a place inside of me where I can finally go,
where my heart has caught up with my head
and learned things that it should know
I’ve finally filled the holes inside
with things I’ve learned will stick
not the obviously fancy things
that make me feel full quick
If you took all the pictures
away from the words I write
If you closed your eyes…
really see the light?
Diane Reed 2015©
12 Jul 2015
in Attitudes, Believing in yourself, change of attitude, Confidence
Tags: AADA, aging, American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Depression, Empty Nest, Peter Pan
I went to Cal Poly yesterday and saw Peter Pan with my daughter. It was the same show she’d played the “grown up” Wendy in almost a decade earlier. It was the last show she was in here at home, before she left for school to attend AADA, The American Acadermy of Dramatic Arts, a drama school that has been around for over a century. Ahhh how I remember those last days. They were so fragile and they’d hit me like a Mack Truck.
I wasn’t prepared for the whole “Empty Nest” thing. In fact, it really kind of creeped up on me. It all started with her driving, and then curfews changing and slowly, me figuring out how to let go. I’d done it almost a decade earlier with her brother and that was hard enough, but there is something about the last one. Anyway, I’d remembered this line in the play at the end and searched all over to try to find it again and couldn’t. I kept wondering… What was that line that had me sobbing in my seat all of those years ago?! So silly.
NOW I KNOW, it was a combination of things that caused it to have had such a strong impact on me, but I was sure that line was so much more than what it was. Maybe it was because my baby was playing the older Wendy and I related to that character so much right then, but it was the scene when Peter came back to find Wendy and was mad at her for growing up. She’d told Jane, her own little girl, all her stories about Peter Pan and was letting her go with him. The line was simply: “I wish I could go too.” At the moment I heard the line back then all those years ago, I guess I felt that I was saying goodbye to my youth as well. NOW, I realize that it hadn’t been the words, but the time in my life.that made everything more meaningful. Not only was I letting my daughter go, but I was giving her wings, letting her fly, to go find her way, to go realize her dreams, to embrace her youth and find her way. It was time for me to stay home. I’d had my chance. It was her turn. Today I’ve realized how stuck I’ve been. But it has been my fault. I am in this time of my life where I am in deep reflection. My parents are getting older. I am having to face realities that I haven’t had to until now. Even my friends are dying, two in two weeks. But I have to realize that, THAT is not the norm. They died too early! “All” my friends are NOT just dying. Sadly, two of our closest friends who’d both fought different illnesses for around twenty years went home to be with the Lord. I knew it was happening, I expected it. But when it did, my world kind of crashed for a minute or two or… well, I’ve been kind of stuck since, in a depression. Focusing on everything negative. This also happened when I turned forty. I wasted my whole 39th year focusing on the next. Funny, but it took the very same play to kind of make me think about it. Lately, I’ve realized that the weeks seem to whip by, as if my life is going in fast motion. I think I got lost for a while. I think that I felt as if I’d missed my chance. My art room is packed away in tubs in the garage, my book is in the archives of my “saved documents” and I’ve kind of felt like Wendy when she knows she has to let her daughter go and live her life saying “I wish I could go too.” But yesterday I realized that it probably wasn’t that line that bothered me… it was the line after Wendy’s wish to go too when Peter said… “Well, you can’t.” “You wanna bet Peter?” Watch me!”
11 Jul 2015
in Becoming unstuck, Editing
Tags: writer's block, Writing
I’ve been experiencing “writer’s block” for a while now. Though, I don’t think that I’ve ever truly experienced such a serious one. I’ve written several manuscripts, have a card line, and produced a monthly column for a local magazine. A few years ago, I started writing a book that was on my heart for decades. It was one that >I< needed to write. Now, I am wondering… Did I need to write it for me, or is it a story that others might find time worthy as well? Hmmmm. Well, it’s written. Or I guess I should say…I have the bones. The foundation is there.
Some of my “blog’s readers” have given my little project a thumbs up when I’ve shared pieces of it. Some have even helped edit parts of it, here and there. But I KNOW that it is far from done. The editing has just begun. I’ve done a kind of Dr. Suess editing. Reading it to myself silently, reading it out loud, reading it to others, having them read it to me. Green eggs and ham, Sam I am. Ya know? You have to put it down, come back to it and read it again. In my case, I think that I’ve put it down for almost too long. I know I find new things wrong each time I come back so that might not be a bad thing. Over the course of re-reading it, I’ve come to the conclusion that I use the main character’s name far too much, I use the word “had” a lot (pointed out by one of my favorite editor/friends.) I Tell more than I show… All correctable. I just need to get my rear in gear and do it. In-between the beginning and end of writing this book, I have lost two close friends and just had some emotionally challenging times. And have been S-T-U-C-K! Literally. But maybe those experiences can oil the keys and help? Another writer friend recently told me… Thinking about the task at hand, takes more energy than just doing it!
She is right. The blank page is not all that scary once you start putting a few words on it. Today, all we need to do, is backspace and re-write! Right?
08 Jul 2015
in Memories, Poetry
Tags: aging, Carpe diem, Poetry
City lights and jazz in the air
the smell of smoke in my hair,
the first scent of a lit cigarette
are memories I just can’t forget.
Coppertone still fills my head
reminds me of things you said.
A time of day still makes me smile,
our hearts store them like a file.
Forgotten like a vapor’s mist
don’t mean that they don’t exist.
A song or smell has a knack
of snapping us so quickly back,
at any given time you see
I can find you in my memories.
Ah, yes the smell of smoke in my hair
I close my eyes and find you there.
Side Note* Keri London is my character’s name on my blog: http://kerisjournal.wordpress.com and this poem reflects that work. I am currently STUCK. Have finished the bones of that book and need to go back and edit so I can send it to a real editor and kick my butt into getting motivated again. I let life, work and being “stuck” get in my way. What I am afraid of is… is that I know editing means pretty much rewriting the whole thing! So I write these poems telling myself I am going to use them in my book… by the time I am ready to submit anything, I will probably have enough poems for a book all of it’s own! LOL. Thanks for reading and for my loyal readers who read both… you know I love ya!
05 Jul 2015
in Anger, friendship, Loss, Poetry
Tags: death, Grieving, handling loss, hurting, losing a best friend, not handling loss
I smile and life goes on,
I even laughed today,
but something that would normally just annoy me
ruins my whole day.
My feelings are all muddled
and yet I have to face my life.
I have to go to work,
be a mom, a friend a wife.
Things that normally wouldn’t hurt me
fill me with so much pain,
I lash out in anger,
needing someone else to blame.
I want to cry and yell,
to fall into a heap
to make the world go away,
to make it stop, so I can sleep.
I want to ask you why..
you think that I should be okay?
When I just lost my best friend
My laughter isn’t real
my smile is purely fake
My heart is aching
the whole time I’m awake
The hole is gaping, I can’t forget,
as all day the memories weave
How does anyone do it right?
When there is no perfect way to grieve?
02 Jul 2015
in death is not the end, friendship, grieving, heaven, illness, losing a best friend, Memories
Tags: Believing, bffs, Childhood memories
We met when we were four years old and from that moment on we were a part of each other’s lives. It all started with a moving box that our new frigidaire came in. Her sister was two years older, and my dad loved to describe the memory… They knocked at the door, eyeing the big old empty box in our front yard and asked, “You got any kids?”
We quickly became buddies and she even shared the little boy next door to me without a problem. We caught frogs in coffee cans, shared the first day of school a few times together, played barbies and learned how to ride two wheelers and stayed out till the street lights came on. I will always treasure those memories those few years we got to live across the street from each other.
When I was growing up, I moved a lot due to my dad’s job. It’s not that easy always having to be the new kid but it’s really not easy being the new kid four times in the middle of a school year when you are in elementary school. I made friends, but there were times when I felt left out or was tired of always being dubbed the “new kid” and just knowing I had Terri was a kind of redeeming grace that carried me through those times.
Through the years we’ve probably written each other a million letters and shared more with each other than someone in our daily lives. There is just something about being able to talk it out in a letter that creates a deeper kind of conversation and a different trust than with someone sitting across the table from you. We’d both find stationey and sealing wax for the occassion and then later, emailed daily for years and years and years!
There was just something about knowing that though she was a thousand of miles away at times, she was also just a letter or a phone call away always. We were in each other’s weddings, had our babies around the same time and emailed each other every single day for years and years. We vacationed with our kids and visited each other as often as our lives permitted. She was my bff.
We had an inside joke about emailing each other…. When we were little, we used to look across the street to see if each other’s garage doors were opened. We knew then that it was okay to knock at each other’s doors and that everyone was up. (No one shut their garage doors back in those days unless they weren’t home or not up yet.) So when we would see an email from each other, we would refer to it as… “I was so glad to come on and see that your garage door was already up!” I have missed that opened garage door for a while now. It has been a funny feeling to want to tell her something and know it will never be opened again.
Today she has been released from this life, from her body, from all the hurts and disappointments this life has held for her to go and celebrate her life and be with our Lord. She lived a wonderful life, had so many people in it that she loved and loved her back. Even in the last two decades of illnesses she managed to weave around it all and embrace life with a passion and energy that few who are gifted with good health, ever manage. We may be missing her but she is in a better place.
I have no doubt that she is enjoying the party being thrown for her right now and will perhaps be in charge of some of the future parties up there in the future! (She always threw a great party!) And I have no doubt that she is preparing amazing places for us all who believe in that better place and in the Lord who has ALREADY embraced her!! Perhaps someday, I will get to live next door to her again! But for today… I am just going to take the time to really miss my very first bff. In these last few months, I have adjusted to the fact that our garage doors will never be opened again, but today it takes my breath away. I guess I always believed in another miracle. God gave her many in her lifetime. I know now the miracle is happening on the other side.
“In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to perpare a place for you. John 14:2
01 Jun 2015
in aha moments, reflection, Relationships
Tags: Being Grateful, Depression, Marriage, soul mate
When I was younger I remember asking: “What is a soul mate?” Back then, I had it all twisted. I used to be able to tell you more of what it wasn’t than what it was… but slowly in the last couple of years I think that I have learned a little more and for me, it is not someone who comes bursting onto the homefront and whisks you off on some wild carpet ride that is sure to eventually lose the wind beneath the seat that carries you… A soul mate is someone whose soul doesn’t knock into yours but bumps lightly and sticks.
It is buying a bike for our granddaughter.
AND a helmet!
Buying a sensible car when he really wants a TRUCK! It is driving for four hours to see a one hour children’s play that our daughter is in. It is going to all the counseling sessions at school when our niece needed her Uncle Jim. It is charging our son’s tires and brakes when we couldn’t afford it to make sure that he and our grandkids were safe. And for always stepping up. It is taking my car and putting gas in it and getting it washed and serviced. It is for knowing all the computer stuff and getting up in the middle of the night to fix something for me when I am in the middle of a project. It is for being the kind of son that is an example to our kids when I fall so short of my own example.
And it is for loving me inspite of me, for being the hand that reaches down and pulls me up out of my hole. For making me go to church and have friends and keep going even when I am in one of my funks where I don’t even want to get dressed let alone go out. He is the one who shows up everytime and really gets me even when I don’t have a clue of who I am. He is the one who has forgiven me for things I might not have forgiven him for… And how romantic is that? To be loved so unconditionally? How
lucky blessed am I? I used to wonder if it was possible to fall in love twice in one lifetime with the same person. Today my question has been answered a thousand times over, maybe not in the way that I’d originally asked it but now I know it is very possible. I used to not know what a soul mate was, until I found mine. Having a soul mate, well… It is feeling connected at the soul and still feeling how we felt in the very beginning.
25 May 2015
in aging, Attitudes, Broken spirit, change of attitude, Depression, Gratefulness, growing older, growth, happiness, Life lessons, opportunity, Perseverance, process
Tags: attitude adjustmement, Being Grateful, Beleiving in yourself, Healing, Letting Go
This one’s for you Natalie!! Thank you!!! I deleted this one and wasn’t going to post it because it seems as if all of my posts seem to be about some aha moment where I am pulling myself out of a bad attitude… but your sweet note made me rethink it! So as I said, pulling this one out of the trash, AND… THIS one’s for you my friend! :)
Sometimes it feels as if I have been sucker punched when I look into the mirror lately. It’s not because I’m not that tanned sized five young girl any longer. It’s much more than that. I could handle that, if that’s all that it was. It is feeling like a failure. As if I have failed me. I feel like a stranger is staring back at me. She looks so tired and worn out and as if there is something missing in her eyes. And it makes me wonder. Where did I go?
I don’t want to see that tired sad older woman staring back at me. And wonder, did I fail her? Did I make the wrong choices? I have so much to be grateful for. Sure, life didn’t really go as I’d planned. But I do have many blessings. I have two great kids and an amazing husband. I have wonderful friends and a loving family. I have fallen in love a few times and had my heart-broken a few more. I’ve had losses and a few bumps along the way but for the most part, life has been good. God has blessed me. So why am I so sad so much of the time? Is it that I feel time is running out? Or that life is creeping up on me too fast and I haven’t done everything that I’ve wanted to? Or even more than a bucket list, accomplished things where I feel I’ve made a difference because you have known me.
The other day I was thinking about everything and how I really should be happy. God has answered so many prayers. Sure life isn’t perfect. But I am blessed! I’ve talked about life being this empty book and everyday… you write a new page..
But what happens when all the pages are written on????
You get a NEW book
The good thing about living a long time is learning things along the way. We have a lot more to draw from as we go. And if I have learned one thing, it is that life is not over till God decides it is! I realized that I need to start participating in it to find that girl in the mirror that once was there! I know she’s in there somewhere on the other side just waiting to be rediscovered!
The other day, a man with very sad eyes came to book a room at our event center on the day that it already was booked. My heart broke for him. It was for a Memorial for his wife. He looked so sad. He shared that it had been very sudden. The things about memorials, is you rarely have a lot of notice. I decided that I was going to make it happen! Though we’d never had such a quick turn over of events in one day, I made the executive decision! And I felt alive knowing that I could do something, no matter how small to help him in his time of grief.
It was a good reminder for me, that life isn’t always a choice. But I can choose to live it while I have the opportunity to do so! He was so grateful when I called to tell him that we would work it out. And it made me happy to feel that I had a tiny bit of power to help. And I have no doubt that this man was put in my path as a reminder. That I do have the power to choose to live life and live it more abundantly or not. It is my choice. Funny, as I passed the mirror again, I glanced at it this time, and I recognized a familiar reflection, someone with life in her eyes, the one living it again!
Deuteronomy 31:8 – The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
James 4:10 – Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
04 May 2015
in Brides, Embracing NOW, In the moment, Not missing the blessing, patience
Tags: attitude adjustmement, Being Grateful, Carpe diem
“Though honey is a very good thing.” Said Pooh, “There is that moment right before you taste the honey, that is almost as good as when you do.”
I have always loved Pooh in all of his wisdom but if I were to choose just one of his amazing quotes, I think that the one above, resonates with me most. Because “I” am famous for looking back in regret and not embracing the moment. Last year when I was still working at my old job, a bride was getting married on our property. She was radiant, waiting for her maids in waiting. At first she was very sweet and happy waiting alone. But as they continued to make her wait, she quickly turned from a Princess to a Bridezilla at a fast rate of zero to sixty!
As others listened to her rant and rave and really carry on, (along with a few cuss words that Princesses should NOT know) I quietly took her aside and read her the quote I had on a necklace in my shop… “Listen to this” I said, “Though honey is a very good thing, that moment right before you taste the honey is almost as good as when you do.” She looked at me blinking back tears, as I placed the necklace in her hands and said, “this is your moment right before you get to taste the honey!” It was kind of like a little miracle as I watched and saw her expression change the minute it registered. Her face lit up and I knew she understood. Then she instantly snapped out of it and turned back into a beautiful Princess rushing out the door with her bridal party in tow (that in reality, actually only made her wait for all of five minutes.) “How did you do that?” A coworker asked, and I just smiled. “Magic” I winked.
How many times have you missed the moments that God custom made for you? Not just in changing your own attitude but in helping someone else change theirs?
06 Apr 2015
in Anger, Broken spirit, change of attitude, confusion
Tags: attitude adjustmement, Closure, Depression
I am not sure if it is the mind works™ supplements that I am taking from Shaklee™ or if I am just becoming more aware but I have realized that even though I am in a very good place right now, I can get sucked back into a place that I don’t want to be, in a matter of minutes. I have recently run into friends from where I used to work or they have actually come by to visit me and in a matter of zero to sixty, I can find myself right back in that place of dysfunction talking about the past. I have decided that I don’t want to go there ever again. I am not there anymore, I have moved on, both physically, and metaphorphically speaking and it feels good. I rarely think about it and so I have to ask myself why is it so easy to go there when the opportunity arises?
Today something happened that I just couldn’t get past and it almost ruined my day. A few years ago, it would have. But today I felt that I was stuck and worked my way through it. I have recognized how in the past I used to fall down into a very negative place and wallow in it until I couldn’t find a way out. Today, I felt under attack. A dark spirit tried to rob me of the joy of Easter. I missed the message, I was so obssessed with something that I just couldn’t get past it. And then I did. I mean, I just did.
I can’t explain it, other than I made the choice to let it go and move on. I am not going to say that it was easy. I am not going to say that I didn’t want to rehash the particular issue I was having. But for the first time, I realized that it was up to me to just let it go or not, to stay stuck or move on. To make the choice to have a good time or not. If I stayed stuck the only person that I was really hurting was me. And so I thought about it, about laying it at the foot of the cross and deciding to let go.
I also realized that there has always been something about Easter that turns into a bad day. Historcally in my past Easters something negative happens and that is just silly because fifty Easters ago, I asked Jesus to come into my heart, so that is a good thing right? Over the years, I understood more about it but it was an Easter Sunday when I was seven years old that made that Easter special for me.
I guess I am sharing this because lately, I have a heightened awareness of the choices we have. Everything is a choice. And our attitude is the tool that steers us. In sailing, we tack back and forth as the wind fills our sails and pushes us to our destinations. If we let down our sails, what will happen? We stop. We are stuck.We know that all we have to do is put up those sails again to continue. So why is it so hard sometimes to put those sails back up?
I have been so stubborn. Today I dropped those sails and missed the wind, I just stopped and felt mad and sad and stuck and then God basically asked me what I was doing, and what was the point. He told me to put the sails back up. I thought about. It was my choice. And then I did.
02 Apr 2015
in answered prayers, Attitudes, faith, God, seeing with new eyes, Spiritual
Tags: a new me!, Believing, faith, Letting Go, moving on
I’ve always loved this picture! I have the print hanging in my livingroom. And so I share it here, as it inspires my post today…
There is another me… somewhere deep down inside of me. Someone who finds the words to write, but can’t always live up to them. She is the one who can’t stop the tears when she hears a song that reminds her of the ONE who never lets go… She is the one who is ashamed of every moment that she has failed HIM and the one who believes that HE will forgive her. She is the one who believes in the promises that she makes to HIM. And the one who is down on her knees again and again trying to get it right.
And then there is the me, stubborn and bitter, selfish and cruel and resentful of all the things in life that make it so hard to live up to the one inside who tries to be overwhelmed by grace. She is the one who remembers every wrong done to her, every word in every fight, every moment from years and years and years ago. The mistakes made by my parents, past friendships let go, broken relationships, loves gone wrong. Past pains, recent pains, I store them all up and store them in a place that keeps me stuck.
But the one inside, the one who knows better, the one constantly on her knees, prays for the me, the one who can’t forgive, the one who has built the walls, and tries to find me in whatever stuck place I am. She climbs the wall and reaches to help me over. I stand and I hesitantly take her hand but I am still weak, I can’t make it over with all my burdens and so she tells me to let go and I can’t. I become stuck. But she still keeps holding on and I begin to let go and get stronger and finally she pulls me over. And we are there together on the other side!
The other side is better… Not free from pain or life’s burdens but closer to the ONE who never lets go. And free from the past and the burdens that I have kept with me. Suddenly I am lighter and happier and able to live without the burden of always carrying everything with me. Today I decide to live in just today. And now I am on the other side, on my knees. And somehow it has become just me.
Someone who breathed in her babies and knew she should memorize the moments, kissed the boo boos and told them about Jesus and prays for all their dreams. She is the one whose heart broke when she lost the babies she did, and the dreams she had for them… She is the same one who believed in the vows that she breathed on the days she said them, the one who has made a thousand mistakes and will make a thousand more but she is all of me in one, the other me, the me on my knees.
Throwback Thursday… from my archives, before you knew me! I am starting to go back into where I was a few years ago and re-work some of the old thoughts I had. It is revealing to see how God really does answer prayer!
14 Mar 2015
in Attitudes, ephifanies, faith, revelations, Soul, Spiritual
Tags: change in attitude, Depression, Joy
I have written a fictional memoir. It basically happened exactly the way that I described it, but to protect the ones involved who may not wish to be called out, I changed the names to avoid embarassment.
It is funny, that though that was a time in my life that was pretty dark, I also have some pretty great memories during those very same days. And now, I really can’t say that I would like to change a lot about my life because I am in the midst of this amazing revelation between me and myself. Amost as if I have found a new friend… in me….
I have a new appreciation for the sentence: “I have been blind and now I can see.”
I have been in such a dark place for so long that it is just nice to really feel the sunshine and smell the rain, to kiss the soft cheek of a baby and laugh really hard. To love the people I love with every cell of my being and to try to understand that this life is not the end and really have the faith that there is something more. And to try to get in touch with the journey.
We all have this vessel that carries our souls around. But those vessel are all just temporary. What is important is the soul inside the vessel. God gives us each a journey all of our own. And lessons to go with it. We may not have a choice of the vessels we are given. But we do have complete control of the soul it contains.
It is not all about the bad times, it is about embracing the joy and the good that comes out of the lessons that have brought us to this place. Life is not ever going to be perfect. No movie nor best selling book will ever have a story that doesn’t have some ups and downs. That’s just how it is. And it is what we do with the downs that help us appreciate the ups. You can stay stuck in the dark or you can seek the light. And everyday we have the exact same choice. And today…
It is well with my soul.
I do hope that you take the time to click here. I promise it will be worth a few minutes of your time.
12 Mar 2015
in Best Friends, cancer, Cancer survival, Compassion, ephifanies, friendship, growth, Health, humility, kindness, lessons learned, Life Journey, Life lessons, Memories, Missing the lesson, patience, Perseverance, Perspective, pride, Relationships, Reminscing, scriptures, Spiritual, STRENGTH, temper, tolerance
Tags: attitude adjustmement, forgiveness, Friendship, Healing, Letting Go, moving on, self evaluation
“Love doesn’t keep track of wrong doings.”
It took me over a half a lifetime to understand what that one piece of wisdom that God has tucked in HIS WORD over and over again, really means. I’m not sure why it took me so long to truly understand just how simple this message was. For years, it seems as if I’ve been angry at something or someone. My dad used to say that I had a Forest going, with all of the leaves I turned over. I wasn’t always like that. I was a happy little girl. For the most part. But people hurt me and I let it get to me.
A few years ago, I had a falling out with my childhood Best friend. We’d lasted for over a half a century without so much as a cross exchange. Well, at least on my part. She was the “alpha” in our relationship and pretty sharped tongued at times, and said it like it was. I’d accepted that part of her personality and though she hurt my feelings at times, I’d dealt with it. And then in one stupid afternoon, I used my words to retaliate and let her know that it wasn’t okay. It wasn’t that they were fighting words, or even that they ended our visit on the spot. It was just that I’d had it and I stood up to her for the first time and it surprised us both and for the most part, changed the future of our friendship. I am not saying that it is not good to be honest with your feelings, nor to stand up for yourself when the occasion calls. I am just saying that for me, it was not worth it. And it kind of changed the dynamics of a life long friendship. Though we’ve shared a thousand phone calls and texts and emails, and have confided and laughed and cried and laughed again since that last time, I hadn’t been back for a visit since that fateful confrontation. Until… this last weekend, my daughter and I went to visit her. And she was still the one who I walked to kindergarten with, and failed my driver’s license test in front of… TWICE. She was still the one who was in both of my weddings and I in hers. She was still the one who let me drag her around as I searched for the perfect “first dance” song. She was still the one who ironed my wedding dress twice! We were even both pregnant with our daughters at the same time. She is two months older than me and her daughter is two months older than Brooke! And she is still the one who invested in my daughter’s dream, helping her pay for her first year of school. She is still the one who my dad sent for when I went through a bad break up, and still the one who was my friend when I sometimes felt that I had no one else. And she was the first one I called when my dad died. She is still the one who has beat this damn cancer over and over again for the last twenty years. We’d planned a visit for her birthday this year, but then she canceled saying that her treatments were taking a toll on her and we should wait until later. But her sister (also my dear friend) called and said not to wait. So my sweet daughter piled in the car with me and we took that six-hour round trip laughing and crying both ways. The house was still the house she’d designed with loving care. The scent of her home still enveloped us as we walked through her door that I hadn’t walked through for a few years. And there she was. They’d gotten her a hospital bed. We covered her with the blanket we brought her for her birthday. She was able to get up and eat some lunch. I fed her soup. The next day she went on hospice. On the way home, my daughter begged me to get a mammogram. I got one the next day. I guess I am sharing this because I have learned that we don’t always have to make it about us. We don’t always have to be so offended. I mean after all, it worked for over fifty years the way it was. I do have regrets. I wish that I’d just “let it go” because we were best friends forever, we wrote to each other on stationery we picked out especially for the other and used sealing wax to make it even more special.
Our friendship was one of the greats, the way we loved each other, and the history we shared would be hard to duplicate. But I still regret that one month where we didn’t know what to do so we did nothing. Last night, I read all of our emails since 2007 And you know what? God really has it right…. “Love doesn’t even notice when it’s done wrong.” 1 Corinthian 13:5
02 Mar 2015
in Blog friends, Blogging, Writing
Tags: acceptance, How do you write?, Our writing community, Our writing family, Our Writing Routines, Where do you write?, Wordpress Friends
When my daughter was in High School, she was one of the Drama Kids. They are a special group all of their own. Some mom’s pick their kids up after soccer practice, I picked mine up after rehearsals. It felt like she belonged to a little family that understood each other and it was comforting knowing she had them. I kind of feel like that about the friends I have made here. It is as if we are a family. It is funny, I’ve noticed that the same people who I follow seem to follow one another. All in a little circle of our own. We have found each other and it is comforting. It is as if we all go to the same church, love the same things, like artists or dancers or actors or musicians who hang out with one another because they have that connection with each other that no one else really “GETS”.
Sometimes I read a line somewhere or wake up in the middle of the night inspired and have to run to my laptop so I won’t lose it.
I like clicking on my blog and knowing that I am entering a little neighborhood, where my friends, my family of writers exist. The ones that inspire and nudge, the ones that are my soft place to fall. Many who I have learned to call friend and and have genuinely grown to love. The ones who I pray for and who pray for me. The ones who advise and mentor the ones who critique and suggest. We are like a writer’s club all having coffee at a cozy little shop that allows us all to gather and read our ramblings. I love to hear about your writing and what inspires you, imagine where you write and what time.
The writer’s studio in my head is a lot like the one I tucked into my last book. It is on the third floor of my imaginary three-story house. The study is warm and cozy with an A framed shaped ceiling, with wall to ceiling built-in bookcases lining both sides. A little gas fireplace sits in the corner of the opposite side of the room next to a window seat my desk is a heavy wooden, well oiled, antique with a banker’s lamp and a lap top and plenty of drawers. It over looks the tree tops and a little brook below. I usually have a mug of coffee with a splash of cream sitting nearby. And you can find me there every morning before sunrise and sometimes in the middle of the night when my mind forces me up to write.
In reality, I live in a one story house in a small lakeside community. My house is a little less than 3 miles away. When I am motivated I walk there occasionally and write. My window overlooks the road by the gate where all of the cars come and go, since we live on the corner of the first street inside of the entrance. It gets a little noisey, especially during the summer. I don’t mind though, I find the traffic comforting. One day I sat there writing for so long that I saw an empty moving van drive in and then drive out full. When I get inspired, I “have” to write.
I’d love to hear about your routines. Do you wake up in the middle of the night with an idea so strong that it gets you out of bed? Do you write in a special place? At a special time? What does your “place” look like? I want to go there. Bring me there now with your words. If you please.
23 Feb 2015
in Book in progress, Breaking up, broken heart, Broken spirit, change of attitude
Tags: acceptance, Beleiving in yourself, Denial, Relationship endings, The End, Writing my story
Just wanted to share with all of you who have follwed this project that I am finally letting you know that I think that I have finished my book!
Originally posted on keris journal:
Keri felt as if the air was being siphened from her lungs as she swallowed, trying to breathe. Her head pounded as she tried to filter out the background noise. The pain was the kind you feel that stings when something smacks you in the face. It was a surprise, so unexpected. She closed her eyes as she tuned out the voice booming somewhere in her head. There were no blows. Nothing physical about it, except for maybe when he yanked her arm. But that was not the pain she was feeling now. It was the humiliation and the shame. It happened more often now, and lasted longer and it exhausted her.
They’d been driving. It was a beautiful morning. Their day began with passionate love making and Keri believed that today would be a good day. They’d just been laughing minutes before. And then like a ball in her face, things turned, Jack’s…
View original 253 more words
22 Feb 2015
in Broken spirit, Confidence
Tags: Affirmation, attitude adjustmement, Beleiving in yourself, believing in your dreams, Depression
There are rules in life. There are loyalties that we choose and disregard. There are boundaries that we must set and discipline we must follow. As parents we teach our kids right from wrong. In life we have to give up things to gain others. Professionally, we hire and sometimes have to fire, we have guidelines that make life much easier if we insist on consistency.
Standing by our scruples, may not always earn us popularity but in the end, doing the right thing makes us win. In my life, I’ve wanted everyone to like me. I wanted to be everyone’s best friend. Favorite Aunt, Cousin, Granddaughter, Grandma, whatever the title, I needed to be the favorite. My mom used to tell me, “Not everyone liked Jesus.” Her point was, why should I expect more than He had?
I realized a while ago that I was not being true to who I was if I didn’t stand up for what I believed in. If something was being handled in a way that I didn’t agree with, I’d sit on it and wait it out. Nothing is worse than feeling a lack of validation and manipulated in feeling wrong about being pretty darn right about something.
I learned a powerful lesson in my recent transition, and it has empowered me! I was right. I won’t go into the details but I will never again allow someone to take the power away from me. What did I gain from this experience? Perhaps to be a voice to those still stuck. Where ever you are, in a job, in a relationship, in a goal… Only you can find your own yellow brick road. As Glenda said to Dorothy…”You had the power all along my dear.”
My dream job would be to just write someday. So I know I am not there yet and may never get to do exactly what I invision as the perfect job. But I do know that I am happy now. I am working hard and really do enjoy what I am doing. I work with amazing people and look forward to everyday. A few years ago, I was diagnosed as being clinically depressed. I just needed to get my butt out of the hole I’d dug for myself. Was I depressed? Heck yeah! I was depressed with the situation. Nothing Organic about being in a situation with dumb people running the show! There are amazing people and there are toxic people. Who do you surround yourself with? People who value you or people who cause you to be in a state of constant depression? Think about it. Only you can change things!
And you my dear have the power to do it! There is no yellow brick road, nor an Oz that is a wizard that can give you courage. But there is something much more powerful… YOU! And God! And me and God “GOT” this one now!
Who have you given the power to?
Oh little man behind the curtain I have discovered you
You no longer have the control of what I say and do
I am not sure why it took so long to see I had a choice
Perhaps I couldn’t see behind your magnifed little voice
But slowly I began to see it was nothing but an act
As I began to gather some pretty clarifying facts
I took the power back now and I can clearly see
the power that I believe in now is through God in me!
Diane Reed 2015
20 Feb 2015
in communication, listening, Wisdom
Tags: learning to listen, listening, taking time to pause, telling our stories, the art of listening, The one thing I know for sure
Several years ago, I titled this blog; The One Thing I Know For Sure. Being in my early fifties, and having lived a half a century, I set out to share what it was that I thought was worthy of the time it would take you to read what I wrote. I know how busy all of our lives are and when anyone takes the time to read anything I write, it is like a gift to me. I know your time is valuable and I appreciate every second that you take here, inside my little world! I guess I wanted to share something, perhaps a little wisdom gleamed from my years, and experiences with those younger than me or those evolving, to save them from the same mistakes I’d made.
If you actually go backward and read some of my first posts, I feel like I was still a bit trapped in my cocoon. I am not sure when or why people started reading my ramblings. But as I look back, it took a while for anyone to even find me. I think in the beginning, I was just writing for me. Trying to find myself. A good friend likened my recent ephifanies to a butterfly. I find it sad that it has taken me so long to try out my wings. And now soaring over my life, I wonder, why did it take so long?
I am in a space in my life right now, where I am truly evolving. Where I listen more and pause before speaking. I truly feel that there is an art in the act of pausing, to have someone look at me and feel free to talk because they KNOW that I am reeeally listening. I want to write a story that has this sentence in it: He looked at her and continued telling his story because of the way she listened to him. And I want that character, the one listening, to be me!
I don’t think listening was ever that important to me. I think because I was so unsure of who I was that I never took the time to pause and hear. I was so busy talking, trying to prove who I was or wasn’t. What a waste. What did I miss by not pausing? What did I have to say that was so important?
And as she paused, she learned more than she ever knew! Listening is an art! And that my friends is… The one thing I know for sure!
Most people do not listen with the intent to understand
Most people listen with the intent to reply!!
Join me, next time someone is talking to you, really look them in the eye and make them feel that they are really being heard! It is kind of enlightening to see someone’s excitement when they look you in the eye and know you are listening. It’s empowering to listen, to give someone the gift of knowing they are being heard.
18 Feb 2015
Tags: acceptance, Affirmation, Beleiving in yourself, confidence
“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)” Those were words written by Walt Whitman. I read them in one of my literary magazines that I recieve monthly, and it really spoke to me. Recently, I have become more comfortable in my own skin. I may not have understood that sentence a decade ago, but now it sings to me. I am who I am and I am okay.
I think that I have always liked writing because I have a chance to backspace and delete. When I am out there on my own answering questions and making comments, I am not always as funny and as insightful. My words don’t run as smoothly as the ones I write and get to read and then decide if I want to keep them on paper or suck them back with the click of a key. You can’t do that once you “speak” the words that you say, they are just plain out there, no sucking back allowed.
In a weird way, I feel the writer part of me is the real me, like washing your face at the end of the day, the core me is beneath the layers that I rinse away, the words I speak are not always from my soul like the ones that rise up in me that cause me to stop and sit and share even after I’ve worked a 10 hour day and have to turn around and do it all again. It is that part of me that finds that being rich is in the million words still inside of my soul that are there for the taking or the giving.
“Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself.” It is all so simple and yet wildly powerful in the accepting of ourselves. In a way it is like being born again when you finally reach that place where you are comfortable in your own skin.
15 Feb 2015
in Memories, remembering
Tags: Childhood memories, feeling melancholy, how far back does your memory go?, nostalgic
When I started my blog I presented a question in my ABOUT section asking; “How old do you feel right now?” I suppose that I still don’t feel as if I am in my fifties, but slowly I have finally felt like a grown up. It took quite a while, but I’m not a kid in my head any longer. I do feel that I have experienced enough of life to contribute wisdom and a resource of memories to draw from to offer some kind of worthy advice and to have valid opinions about things that come up in life.
I think that because I’ve had such a clear memory from so far back, it has always been hard to feel a certain age. When I was a very small baby, I remember lying in my grandma’s bedroom by the window in a crib that had a raised mattress, the kind that you put a baby that can’t stand up yet in. It still blows me away that the memory is so clear. And then I remember standing up in what they called a bunting in a crib in my own bedroom. I remember getting potty trained, and I remember when my Aunt had to change my diapers and how mortified I was, or as mortified as a two-year old might feel!
I remember sitting on the counter baking with my mom, I remember going to Sunday school when I was in pre-school. I remember getting very sick and having to go to the hospital for a long time because of some infection called nephritis that attacked my kidneys and by the time I got out, all my friends had their training wheels off of their bikes! And my grandpa teaching me how to ride a two-wheeler!
I remember favorite teachers and mean teachers, I remember conversations with friends, I remember Christmases and birthdays, I remember getting up on Saturdays and watching cartoons and then going out and playing all day until the street lights came on. I remember sledding in the winter and coming home and watching The Wizard Of Oz. I remember digging a hole with some boys in the neighborhood one summer and making a fort we could actually stand up in! I remember planning neighborhood clubs and carnivals. I remember slumber parties and spending the night at friends and falling in love with boys.
I can stand in the shower now and a million memories can run through my head, weaving me into who I am today. I guess my biggest point is that now that we are adults, with kids in our lives, what kind of memories are we making for them? I tried to make memories for my kids and now my grandkids. I hope more good than bad. Some children may remember like me. Some of them may not remember a lot but it makes you realize how important making memories are. Whether it is just the experience you are sharing at the time, or the ones that they will carry with them for a lifetime.
How far back can you remember? I’d love to hear about your memories!
I remember the smell of fresh cut grass, and watching cartoons at the crack of dawn
I remember our dad’s hanging out in the garage, after they’d cut their lawns
I remember hopscotch and roller skates, and running home when the street lights flickered
I remember slumber parties, favorite teachers, and the mean one that used to snicker
I recall getting sick and a summer lost, and I also remember getting well
I remember talks with my dad, and the things he’d give me, to share for show and tell
It seems like a lifetime ago, though my memories are still very clear
Some I wish I could forget, and some will always be quite dear
Sometimes I long for those remembered days, when it all just seemed so carefree
And yet I’ve learned that even today, will someday be tomorrow’s memories.
Diane Reed 2015
13 Feb 2015
Tags: moving on
Like a vapor in my past
or a thought that doesn’t last
it all comes and goes so fast
dancing inside my mind
all the things I’ve left behind
seek and you shall find
though better to let go
to not always have to know
to leave everything just so
it doesn’t matter anymore
don’t need to settle any score
I’ve finally shut the door.
“The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt.”
― Max Lerner
11 Jan 2015
in ALS, Attitudes, believing, Care takers, Compassion, faith, Good friends, healing, illness, kindness, Memories, Miracles, Poetry, prayer, Spiritual, Thank you
Tags: Being Grateful, Fundraiser, Lou Gherig's Disease, Poetry
His words are stored inside our hearts,
His life has been a work of art.
He’s planted seeds and grown new vines,
And he’s done God’s work all this time.
His eyes reach out and touch my soul,
his body is no longer whole,
this disease has come to take control,
to snuff the flame and take it’s toll.
But, life still lives inside of him,
the light dances, it won’t grow dim!
He still has lessons we must learn.
The fire continues still, to burn!
His mind is wise and he is there,
and hosts a heart, we’ve found so rare.
the numbers climb of those he’s touched,
the ones he’s taught, the ones he’s loved.
We can’t repay all that he’s done,
though if you are one of the ones,
and you are here now reading this,
Please reach out and help our friend Chris.
Diane Reed 2015
When I first met Chris, he had a Bible in his hands and that was always his trademark. He was and has always been the carrier of God’s word. Planting seeds and reaching out to anyone he felt led to approach. I am glad he felt led to our little store, because he changed things up in our lives as soon as he walked through the door!
I have said time and time before that I will never believe that pain and suffering and illness come from God! Or that bad things happen to punish us. I truly believe that God is not sitting up there choosing who to inflict with what. We live in a fallen world and that is just part of the deal. People suffer and die. They have financial successes and failures. Sure, some have brought on their own form of suffering through bad life or business choices or even health choices. But things like babies dying and ALS and meaningless accidents just don’t make sense and probably never will. Though I believe God allows opportunity in every instance and I have known people who have used their pain for God’s glory and Chris IS one of them!!
I will never forget sitting in a pre-marital counseling class when I was 21 with my on the fence non-believing husband to be. Our pastor at the time, Wayne Frase, shared with us something that even I never knew… that his baby son had died earlier in his own marriage. He was sharing the story to teach us that sometimes heart wrenching, life changing events that can come up in marriage, can either break it or make it stronger, and in that moment, I KNOW that a seed was planted in my soon to be first husband’s heart that would later lead to his own decision to accept Jesus as his Savior. At the time though, he was so confused at how this Godly man kept his faith, and yet very intrigued by his faith in God. Later, when my dad who we ALL loved died suddenly of a heart attack, my husband finally made the choice to believe after watching my mom’s strength through losing my dad and all the other little seeds that were planted along the way. Seeds like Chris has planted all throughout his lifetime!
I guess what I am trying to say is bad things happen to good people daily and it is how they handle them that can be used for God’s glory. And that life is not fair. And the formula has never been that bad things only happen to bad people and good things only happen to good people. If that were the case, Chris Pickens would be living on top of a hill in a mansion without infliction! But the fact is that he’s not. He is in need of our support. I have written about my friend before. (Through Papered Windows) https://dianereedwiter.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/through-the-paper-windows/
But as this horrible disease progresses, my heart was pricked to share again.
One of my best friends, Michele, (Chris’s wife) has been her husband’s caregiver now for about 70 hours a week or more. Chris is totally paralyzed. He can no longer talk and with the occasional flick of one wrist, he is totally dependent. I have never seen Michele complain and she is always smiling. She is now in desperate need of funds to be able to hire capable caregivers to take care of her loving husband and take some of the load off of her. Another friend has set up a fund-raising site for him.
Also Michele sells Shaklee. We all use cleaning products and need vitamins along with so many other things I never knew they sold that I use everyday!! Please take a look at the millions of things that she sells (on the handy link below) and instead of going to the store,why not support Michele and become a regular customer?! (she is even offering free shipping!) It doesn’t matter where you live within the United States. Why not just decide to order everything you would have gone and bought at a store, through her? And the products truly are so much better than any you might find on the shelves AND…. reasonably priced! If we all did it, we could turn their lives around financially by just supporting their business! Please click on the site below for information there! http://www.healthysteps.myshaklee.com
Natural Products Supplier and Nutrition Consultant
714.536.6555 Cell 805.423.2064
Improving the lives of everyone we touch
If you know Chris and Michele, you have probably read this all the way through because they have touched your life. I remember our friendship when Chris was the one who approached us, invited us to church and embraced our family. Even when they had to move back to Southern California to be closer to family and doctors, I’d hear stories about how he’d take his little scooter to town and witness to many, many people who came to the Lord just by Chris being Chris and sharing God’s Word.
The last time I visited, Chris could no longer take those rides to town and was in a wheel chair full time, by then, but those eyes and that heart still were strong. He is in there, still believing and loving God. If he has touched your life or if you don’t know him and his story has just touched you… Please pray for them and then if you will, reach out to him (them) in any way that you possibly can and thank you!!!! And along with just clicking LIKE (which I always appreciate!) How about stopping a minute and looking at Michele’s Shaklee site and perhaps sharing this post on your facebook page or send the link on email to your praying friends and any other site of theirs that you think might help!
Chris and Michele before ALS hit hard
18 Dec 2014
in Acceptance, Attitudes, believing, Believing in yourself, Determination, ephifanies, future, Goals, God, growth, happiness, humility, lessons learned, lessons on the job, Life Journey, Life lessons, patience, Perseverance, Perspective, process
Tags: Hope, self evaluation, Self improvemnt, Survival
I’ve realized that the paths we take, may not always be the ones we envisioned. They may be charted out for reasons we don’t understand right away. In my journey, I’ve discovered that it is not about the job, nor definitely the title, and it may not have anything to do with what you feel you bring to the table or what your talents are. You may just have to “be there” because God wants you right where He has you. It has taken me a long time to realize that. And to know the difference. Am I trusting HIM? Or am I just stuck? Even in writing, I catch myself thinking one or two words ahead and am constanly having to back space. It is not even just a mispelled word. I have actually observed that when I back space, it is because I have written words that I am thinking of, ahead of my current thought. And it has caused me to reflect on how I’ve lived my life.
I’ve gone through many doors in my lifetime, and have been PUSHED through a few! Recently that has really been the case for me.
It was as if some of the keys on my keyboard were stuck and I couldn’t really finish the story. I’d just typed around the broken keys. NOW, the keys have all been repaired and I have been freed! I see the path before me and though it wraps around many hills and valleys, I am writing this story! It is not finished! I must stay on the path and continue the journey to the end! Even if it’s not really the one, I would have written into my own story. Sometimes I just need to let God do the editing!
In my lifetime, I have realized it is not about the power of others, it is about the power that you define as yours. I’ve met some very brave people in my lifetime and I have met a few cowards. It has all been a measuring stick for me. WHO I have become and am becoming. Do we ever stop becoming who we were meant to be? I don’t think so. No, I really don’t. You only must believe.
“How can I get there?” Asked Dorothy. “You must walk. It is a long journey, through a country that is sometimes pleasant and sometimes dark and terrible. However, I will use all the magic I know of, to keep you from harm.” The Wizard of Oz
10 Dec 2014
in After the earthquake, Attitudes, Believing in yourself, Break Through, character, Everyone's own story, faith, hope
Tags: faith, Goals, Revelation, self evaluation, Survival
Have you ever felt just a step away from everything? Almost as if when you try to walk, there is an invisible membrane snapping you back, so you just don’t ever quite get to where you are going? Today I feel as if I have figured out how to break that membrane and keep walking. Getting older may not be all it’s cracked up to be, but there is something to be said for experience and that with it, comes wisdom. Unless you are pretty dense, after a half a century, we all have something of value to contribute to the pot.
I had my day when I owned my own business, did my own accounting, booked my own shows and found the best sources for supplies. I created a brand and a trademark that was unique and had a loyal customer following.
Later, I opened up a store, and we teamed up with my in-laws to create a pretty successful little inity all of its own. I did the display and buying, the hiring and managing of the employees and in its own right, it was a favorite in our little town. Until… of course, the earthquake that happened this month, eleven years ago.
I guess as the “anniversary of that date” grows closer, it has made me reflect on all the things that have come in-between, and made me take a personal inventory. Sure, I worked for other people in my younger years. I was a Dental Assistant, and a preschool teacher, I taught Aphasic children, and for a while, thought I might go into Speech Pathology. I worked in a hospital as a Unit Secretary in the Psychiatric Dept. in Southern California and then later, became a counselor for the adolescent unit. (Probably my favorite job to date!) I remained there for several years. But as insurances changed, that department kind of fizzled out and the unit became more geriatrics, which in turn meant more medical duties, which was just not my thing. Though I admire everyone else who does it!
I left the hospital and got a job working in an Orthapedic Surgeon’s office. Again too medical and that job was short lived and not my thing. And then I found a position at a lighting company that kind of changed my perspective on business ethics and during that time, became pregnant with my daughter. It was a highly stressful job and having a history of miscarriages, I was not going to chance it and so left that there, praying that I could find a way to NEVER work of anyone ever again. Thus was the birthing of my ART Business. And for over twenty years, I didn’t.
After the earthquake, I had to work. There was just no question about it. During the store, my time was so monopolized by the business that my own business suffered greatly just in devoting all my time trying to make the store successful and I had to take a hiatus from all my shows. My art studio became more of a storage place and those doors were closed shut.
When I began even considering the possibility that I might have to brush off a resume and figure out what my talents were, I was at a loss. I guess I never really considered what I brought to the table.
The bottom line is, I had to get a job, I got one, stayed there for almost a decade. The first part of that decade, I learned a lot and was being groomed for better things. The economy changed, the higher salaried people were eliminated, and I was moved to another division of the company. My boss left and so did my opportunities for the most part. I think I just stayed stuck. For too long!
I guess my point is that it’s never too late and you must never give up. Even flowers can break through the sidewalk!
04 Dec 2014
in Anniversary, Husband, Love, marriage, Poetry, True Love, twenty one year anniversary poem
Tags: celebration, Childhood memories, Poetry, relationships, Survival
Posting this one a little early since tomorrow is our actual anniversary but also the 1st day of my new job. So had to get in the lovin’
Though years have seemed to fly by and life has thrown us curves.
And the love that you have shown me is more than I deserve.
You wake up every morning with a song inside your heart…
(singing in the shower)
You’ve made me feel as if I were queen, from the very start!
Lord knows we’ve had our challenges and you may have had your doubts,
when I’ve been mad and showed you the door, and tried to kick you out!
You never, ever, wavered, or let me see your love fade.
And I have to admit I’m impressed, you really, actually stayed!
Staying in love is like magic, not everyone does it forever.
But somehow we managed to find a way, and we ARE still together!
So here we are at twenty-one years, I guess we’re all grown up!
And who ever knew, that just loving you, would someday be enough.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MY LOVE!
29 Nov 2014
in affirmation, Appreciation, attitudes about your job, future, Goals, growth, happiness, hope, Life Journey, New Day, opportunity
Tags: confidence, Giving notice, moving on, Quitting a job
This post may seem as if I am kind of puffing myself up. But for the first time in a long time, I am! I need to! If you are reading this and feel stuck or under valued wherever you are today, I hope it will empower you to take a look at your own life and make some changes.
Today, is the last day of my two-week notice. It is funny, over the decade that I worked ‘there’, even the “cream of the crop” or what was thought of as the cream of the crop employee, didn’t ride the whole two weeks out. I am not looking forward to today as such. At 9AM we have a tourist bus arriving. Though I am scheduled at 9 and my final pay has been previously calculated and a check of everything owed to me has already (hopefully) been cut, I intend to arrive early to help a new employee deal with everything. (I smile as I write, knowing that I will never have to ever do this particular task ever again.) And make this an exceptional experience for the group and their guide. Ugh!
My best friend who has ridden the ride with me for the last ten years, and who has heard all the stories from afar (she lives out-of-town) texted me this morning and said: Hi Diane, TODAY is a day of celebrating your freedom. 1 last day of being under appreciated and under paid. Tonight, you need to celebrate your freedom from the chains that kept you tied down. This is a fresh start for you which is exciting. A new chapter in the book of Diane. Can’t wait to hear about it. I love her. She has been my sounding board over the last decade. Having had much success for many years in the Corporate world, she has practically climbed through the phone in anger as I shared my experiences with her. Our emails could actually, be made into a book!
In leaving, I have two weeks of sick pay that I won’t be taking with me. Over the years, I never called in sick. I’ve come to work and been sent home because no one wanted to catch something! But at least, they knew that I really was sick. I’ve used a day here or a day there, to go to a funeral or tend to a sick family member but most of what I’ve used was pre-planned and not just calling in and making people scramble to cover my shift, which is the way most people work now days.
Since I’ve given notice, I’ve been approached by colleagues telling me that they will miss me but are happy that I’ve finally seen the light. I’ve worked years with some of them and we are like a family. But they understand and are happy for me that I am finally moving on. How could I not see what others so clearly did? My best friend, my family, close friends and coworkers all saw it. Now, all I can think is…. I was TEN years younger ten years ago! And yet, maybe I really can take something more valuable with me that has taken me a decade to grasp. I AM valuable and the next door I go through will gleam my value and benefit from the lessons I have learned here. If I can really believe that and find my voice again, well then I guess that it wasn’t a complete waste.
So TODAY really is the first day of the rest of my life. Even if it is ten years later. As I close one door and cautiously open another! Never to make the exact same mistakes ever again. I know now, that I give 110% wherever I go. Though for a long time, I felt unappreciated and almost as if my value was raped from me. Though recently, as my co-workers privately have approached me with tears in their eyes telling me how appreciated I really am. I feel validated. I guess, I kind of lost knowing that. I think that I’ve been very depressed for a long time without recognizing it.
In a huge way, I think my friends here… the ones who come and faithfully read my ramblings, who pray for me and give me advice and share with me their own journey, have given me the best gift of all. The validation and confidence to stare right back at me and really see me for the first time. And for that I thank you all! You know who you are, and I love you!
My next adventure WILL be different! If anything, I have earned an MBA and have graduated with honors at how not to stay stuck! I take some valuable lessons with me. The biggest one is to never lose myself ever again. To stay true to me! Stay tuned for the next Chapter of Diane!
Brand New Mirror
Standing in front of the mirror, I saw a stranger looking back.
Though faintly familiar, she was lost behind the broken glass.
Inside a world of old crushed dreams, I really didn’t look to see,
that the one staring through the cracks was who I used to be.
For a long time my world was broken, though I longed for a better view.
Until I finally received a gift… A brand new mirror from you!
25 Nov 2014
in affirmation, Attitudes, attitudes about your job, Determination, ephifanies, frustration, future, Goals, greatfulness, growth, happiness, honesty, hope, lessons learned, lessons on the job, letting go, Life Journey, Life lessons, moving on, old friends, opportunity, patience, Perseverance, Perspective, Poetry, pride, process, Progression, reflection, Renewal, Self affirmation, self awareness, self worth, surviving, trust, validation
Tags: confidence, faith, Inspritaiton, Poetry, Revelation
I am starting a new job in a few days. And though opening new doors gives me hope, I have learned over the years that happiness is not found behind some unknown door or even in closing an old one that has filled me with so much frustration that ANY new one is going to be better than the one I feel like slamming!
I know that “happy” is found inside of me. And in discovering that, I have learned some valuable lessons that I will take with me. In leaving, I leave friendships that I’ve made over the decade since I’ve been there. And yet, I know it is time to move on, to give myself permission to climb out of this quicksand that has sucked me in for far too long. To understand that it is up to me to make the change, and never again give power to someone else, trusting that they will make it.
And in making that change, I am free! Instead of feeling that I wasted a decade of my life, (though it wouldn’t hurt to have the age I was ten years ago, back!) It is my choice to leave with my convictions in tact. And to understand that I have learned some valuable lessons. So as I close one door and open another, I leave with a wealth of knowledge that I WILL use inside that next door that I walk through.
The funny thing about doors is you have gotta close one before you open the other, or you leave a lot of doors “ajar” in life. I’ve always loved doors. I collect photos of them. They’ve always fascinated me. I imagine the people who’ve walked through them, lived behind them, opened them and slammed them and feel the magic of their power.
The Funny Thing About Doors…
The funny thing about doors
you must walk through one
before going through another.
And every one you open
leads you to something to be discovered.
There are grand ones and small ones,
creaky ones and tall ones,
ones you open quietly,
and ones you just want to slam!
Ones that lead you to the light,
to be damned!
But every door I’ve chosen to go through,
has taught me things I had to know.
From them, I’ve taken things with me,
and others I’ve let go.
Each one led me to a place,
to find new parts of me.
But not one of them was the “only” one,
that held the happy key.
06 Nov 2014
in Editing, Mistakes, My Blog, My Book, Posting mistakes, Wordpress friends, Writing, Writing my book
Tags: Feedback, Review requests, Whoops!, Writing
This is so embarrassing! But I accidentally published the rough draft of my book for a few minutes and then realized it and deleted it. So hopefully most people saw the message COULD NOT BE FOUND. But when I e-mailed my rough draft of my book to my blog, some of you evidentally received the whole thing. It is filled with errors that I was going to do my best to catch before I let someone read it and then re-edit before I hired an editor to go over it again. You know, kind of like the way you clean your house, before you hire a housekeeping company to come and clean it! I KNOW some of you know exactly what I mean! But I feel it is the same way with our writing. There are those people who are just comfortable. We trust them to not judge us, no matter when they come over, no matter how our house looks, they are welcome to just pop in. And there are those who you always try to have your house looking nice for and wouldn’t ever want them to see otherwise.
I feel that our blogs are like the first friends. We feel un-judged and loved regardless. Though there are some that give us welcome and constructive criticism that I appreciate. I think my rough draft slipping through the cracks here, puts me somewhere in-between. I wanted to straighten up my house so to speak before I shared it with the special few who have offered to read it. I understand that asking someone to read 200+ double spaced pages is a LOT. And I don’t take it lightly I am grateful for the ones who are willing. And anticipate their feedback!
The favor I am asking you guys is… to tell me what you have seen. I’m just wondering how many received my rough draft accidentally? I have received several messages that you guys are loving what you are reading and most have read it in one sitting and I am blown away with gratitude. I told Quiall, one of my very special reader friends that I would provide a place for your reviews. I actually am not posting my book. I published the draft for a few accidental moments before I realized that it actually went through! Embarrassing. If you did receive it, please let me know here. I am just wondering how many slipped out! If you are interested in reading the edited version of my rough draft, I will share it with those who want to give me feedback as I continue to edit… such as… was the ending what you expected? Did you feel it had a redeeming message in the end? Was it confusing in certain places? etc… Any suggestions…. etc… THANK YOU!
Once again through this journey of now three years! I thank all who have shared it with me…. through joining me at the beginning and throughout. Even following me to: http://kerisjournal.wordpress.com which I know I have kind of left hanging. You ALL are the GREATEST and I love you!
aka Keri :)
04 Nov 2014
in Editing, first draft, Writer's frustration, Writing, Writing my book
Tags: Editing, Typewriters, white out, Writing
Have you ever written something and gone back to it, trying to rework the sentence and then realized, hey I can just backspace this and add that and change it to fit perfectly into what you had in mind? I’m always a little surprised. Not because I’m old enough to remember typewriters with ribbons and then remember when they came out with white-out built right into them. Or carbon paper that we used to use to make copies. (Though I am.) But because it is just so easy to write now days. As I edit my book, and find myself stuck at times, I always feel myself thinking… Oh yeah, I’m not stuck with this sentence or I can actually make this character say something completely different and back space, and delete and wahlah, I am the master of their journey. I wish life were as easy. There are times I wish I could rewind and backspace some of the stuff that comes out of my own mouth. I wish that I could write the speeches into my brain, that I would like to say to certain people without getting flustered. Ah, now wouldn’t that be nice? To have auto-correct built-in to our mouths! LOL. Anyway, I just wondered if anyone else ever thought these crazy things?
Maybe it is just something that those of us who remember the old ways of writing a story appreciate more. A friend asked me a while back, if I touch typed. I asked him what that was, and realized that it was typing without looking. Yes. I can proudly say that I touch type. And pretty fast at that. My mom made me take typing in High School. I hated it, but I am so glad that she won that fight!
I am not sure that the kids now days even recognize the advancements. I for one am grateful that I am not forever having to white-out and rewind or use carbon paper if I wanted to make more than one copies or stand in line at the library and run off copies for ten cents a copy which is kind of a lot even now. So as I edit and rewrite, it made me really appreciate the fact that I am not stuck with ruining a whole page if I want to change the direction of one of my characters. And of course, you know, I am going to find something metaphoric in all this… A lesson so to speak. So…. Just maybe… I should be a little more tolerant with me and stop kicking myself for having to rewind or backspace and just know that it’s okay to rewrite a scene, because in the end, it might be even better than the first draft!
I’d like to take this opportunity to say… That I’m happy to report that I think that I am done with my book! After all the deleting and rewriting, I am now in edit mode!
03 Nov 2014
in Appreciation, broken heart, Broken spirit, change of attitude, change of heart, Children's attitudes, daughter, family dynamics, Parenting, Parenting adult children, Relationships, Self affirmation, Son, tolerance
Tags: Adult Children of Adult Parents, attitude adjustmement, Poetry, relationships
In life, we have mountain top highs and valley lows. We have anticipation of joyful events yet to come, planned and unplanned. And we have pain that hits so hard we feel sucker punched. We are blindsided by how much it hurts. In my lifetime I have had friends come and go. The going is sad for me. In most cases, it has been a move out of the area that takes those friendships away from my everyday life, and things get busy and you lose touch but remain friends. And yet others have totally been removed from this life through death, which as you get older seems to be a bit more frequent. And then there are the ones you choose to no longer have in your life for important reasons of your own. Though, I think that if I’ve ever made that choice, it was with very good reason because the more I experience how quickly we can be snatched from this life, the more I value the people I love. And the more willing I am to try to work things out. I am a talker. I like to talk things out. I like to gather information. I’ve been called a story-teller, (Heck I’m a writer.) I can tell and retell the same story a hundred times. (My poor husband has heard them all twice.) When I was younger, I imagined my life. I’d fall in love and have kids and be a writer. All so simple. In my head, I had it all planned out. But life is not like that. Crap happens and you are constantly in clean up mode.
We imagine our children, We hold our bellies and pray that we won’t mess up too much. We want to give them the world. We want their lives to be better than our own. I wrote a song when my son was two or three… the lyrics were…
Little boy in my arms,
tiny and new~
of what the world holds for you~
Lump of clay in my hands,
still yet untouched~
Oh Lord, please guide me closely,
I love him so much!
Eyes so wide look at me…
What do they see?
Do they see you Lord,
looking back through me?
Such a gift
You gave to me!
Yet, I always knew…
That the day
would some day come Lord
When I’d give this precious child
back to You!
In my heart, I strive to do what is right. I am a hard worker. I love my Lord, I love my family, I love my husband and I love my children and now grandchildren. I am a good and loyal friend, and if you happen to be mine, I will be there for you to the end. My daughter “GETS” me. She is my Jiminy Cricket, my sounding board. I love her but I really like her too. I love the friends she chooses and that she lives life with a love of it that is inspiring. She is my best friend.
If we ever have a misunderstanding, it is resolved that day, usually that hour! But funny, we enjoy each other more and more without those rare misunderstandings of her youth. I think we both have kind of grown up together and just appreciate each other too much to have them. But I do appreciate my parental boundaries and try to respect them, as they make their own journey. I love my son. I love his children. And I love both the girls that gave me grandchildren.
Though, I feel that my son and I totally misunderstand each other at every turn. I feel that he blames me for a divorce that he has no inkling of what really happened and probably never will because I will never talk poorly about the father of my children. He knows the basic reason we split up and I feel that is enough. I feel that he has his own issues with me that I don’t understand most of the time, but I’d like to.
Recently, I have talked to more moms than I can count who are not talking to one or more of their children for different reasons. A lot has to do with money. It hurts more than losing a friend, when we can’t make our kids understand our hearts. And yet, I won’t be silent anymore to just “keep the peace” Why should they be allowed to say anything they want to us, but if we are too honest, we are basically “hung up” on? Or “cut off.” It astounds me how entitled our children are today. Not just regarding finances, but our personal business. I wouldn’t open up my adult children’s mail any more than I’d expect them to read my bank statement. I am tired of hearing the horrible things that adult children feel perfectly justified saying to their parents. But cut them off if they have a response. If this sounds like you, repeat after me….
I will not be held hostage.
I will continue to voice my opinions.
I will not walk on eggshells.
Nor will I butt into their affairs.
Is it too much to ask for the same courtesy? We all want the best for our children and their lives. It is not a competition. It is just wanting the very best. I pray for us all. May our children see our hearts. May they GET where we are coming from and not guess. And may all of our relationships be restored. AMEN And if you are a kid who happens to be reading this… it is not an accident that you are reading this right now. Go call your mom! :)
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (3 John 1:4)
03 Nov 2014
in answers, lessons learned, letting go, Life lessons, lost loves, Memories, My Book, Poetry, prayer, process, reflection, Relationships, Reminscing, self awareness, Wisdom
Tags: Letting Go, moving on, Poetry, Survival
The other day, I was talking to someone closer to my age about how scary it is that life seems to be dashing by. Yesterday, I was planning a summer get away and now POOF it is almost Christmas. I brought up a point I made in a past post…
About how good God is, and about how when you really look back at the important stuff, it all worked out in the end. I had a prayer tin when I was a young wife and mother and faithfully put prayers in it. I found it years later, and every single one was answered in some way. Perhaps, not the way I’d envisioned. But they ALL actually were answered.
Later that day, a young girl that I was talking to, shared with me how she was heart-broken about the ending of a relationship and I told her my prayer tin story and how things that seem so important now, really won’t in four or five years. Of course four or five years to her is a lifetime, or at least a quarter of her young life, and I’m not sure if she believed me, but…. It made me think. Age is not such a curse. Good things come with experience. Hopefully wisdom is a biggy.
In my life, I have had a few hard lessons. And it’s funny, because NOW, all these lessons that I refer to have seemed to have collectively gathered at one time. EVERY day, I have had quite a few of those light bulb moments recently. And I guess you could call it wisdom. In writing my book, I have re-written the ending at least a dozen times. I do know that since I typed that first word of the first page, I have lived a lifetime in my heart. The poem below is not where I am today. It is just part of my story, a chapter in my book. I am so glad that I have lived past that time in my life. I am so glad that God answers prayers and that life goes on, and that we are forgiven of our indiscretions. In the end, I guess it is all about the lessons.
In the corners of my mind,
behind the closed doors of my heart,
I struggle with the melody,
that keeps us far apart.
Loyalties and passion,
twirl inside my head,
memories of the past play there,
like a story I once read.
Heartache is the tune that plays
in the background of my soul,
charging for my sins,
like a gate keepers constant toll.
Diane Reed © 2014
23 Oct 2014
in Acceptance, affirmation, Appreciation, Attitudes, Broken spirit, change of attitude, Confidence, ephifanies, growth, happiness, healing, humility, lessons learned, Life Journey, Perseverance, Perspective, Poetry, process, reflection, self worth, STRENGTH, surviving, validation
Tags: Goals, Letting Go, Moving forward, moving on, Poetry, relationships, self evaluation
Transition is a place that we move from, after being stuck. A few words that come to mind are change, evolution, conversion, shift, move, switch, altercation, modification. Just a few synonyms that explain a little of how I am feeling right now. I’m not going to waste time on talking about where I’ve been. That would not be proactive, and I think that the words I just shared are words moving me forward and so as I climb out of the rut I’ve been in for oh so very long, I don’t leave it without a decade of education. Life has peaks and valleys, and if you don’t miss the stream of knowledge that trickles through, you will have gained more and learned more than any degree could ever offer. I have learned a lot. As ANNIE said, “It’s a hard knock life.” But the sun is gonna come out tomorrow!
And in honor of my blog’s title (THE ONE THING I KNOW FOR SURE) and the fact that this is my 300th post, I will add another few from my list of things that I know for sure…
It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of you. It doesn’t matter what happened in your childhood, or how great or horrible your parents were, (GET OVER IT already!) <<< I hate when people have said that to me, and I could probably write a whole post on the subject, but really we need to move on!) it doesn’t matter if you have made a ton of mistakes or if you have no money or a pile of it, it doesn’t matter if you are popular or if you feel that the whole world is against you. What really matters is what you REALLY believe about you. With all the other junk aside, what do you KNOW about who you really and truly are? There comes a time when you finally learn to NOT care what anyone else thinks, if you truly know you have done your best, if you have good work ethics and value others, if you know your heart is in the right place.
And well, if you have true character….
No one can take that away from you. Not your parents, nor your friends, not your kids, or coworkers, not your spouse or your boss, NO ONE knows your true value more than you. Except of course God and He values you more than even you value yourself. But my point is… that there comes a time in life when you know you are worth more than someone else is valuing your worth and only you can change that. Whether it is a significant other, a family member, a boss, a teacher, a coworker, or a friend… The operative word here is… TRANSITION. Ya gotta have one! One step at a time, putting one foot in front of the other… gets you out of where you are stuck and moving on!!!!! There was a movie in the seventies where the guy shouts out his window, how he’s not going to take it anymore! Well, neither am I. And it’s about time that I figured out that…. Only YOU can STOP the BS in your life!!!!!
Sure….It is a hard knock life sometimes, it’s unfair and people can be judgmental or just plain mean, and crap happens. And not everyone is going to toot your horn, or admire you. Not everyone is going to love you or see your value. And that’s okay. Because when you finally “GET it” and understand that you are valuable and worthy and can shine even in the most dismal places and maybe even change someone for the better but if you don’t and they are unmoving, it is so freeing to really and truly be able to say… “You know what? I don’t really care.” And truly mean it. You can stay in the pits and teach, you can get down in the fox holes and help others have faith. You can stick it out through the thick of things and it will be okay. Unless you are in a place of constant scrutiny, negativity and judgment and you lose faith in yourself, then you need to change, to step out and away and know that you are worthy and no matter where you are, the sun is always going to come out tomorrow!
It may take a life time to understand
And yet the two go hand in hand
Poise and honor– style and ease
Come in stages if you please.
Life has a funny way of teaching
those that merit the toil of reaching
they shine long after their words are but a ghost
for, they’re the ones we’ll remember most.
I just realized that this was my 300th post half-way through writing this! I knew it was coming… and I really wanted to write something uplifting. But perhaps this is aprapos.I mean, I have stuck it out… who knows what I have had to say three hundred times. LOL. But I have tried to have a redeeming message through out and so maybe it is about time we started to toot our own horns without feeling dumb! Excuse me while I go find the nearest mountain top to blow mine! :)
18 Oct 2014
in friendship, Good friends, good neighbors, Goodbye, letting go, Life Journey, Life lessons, Loss, Love, Memories, reflection, Relationships, Reminscing
Tags: Childhood memories, Friendship, relationships
You know that one house and that one friend’s mom that you remember from your childhood? It was the one place you always felt welcome by that one mom who was not yours. You felt special because you knew she really wanted you around and it wasn’t because you were her kid and she had to feel that way. It was your first experience of knowing your worth and feeling valued because of who you were and not because of who you belonged to. Sure, I knew my mom loved me and that mattered to me, a lot. But there is a time in your life when you feel funny and interesting and likable because you are who you are, and only because of that. And someone else enjoys you and wants you around.
I grew up in Palos Verdes California, down the street from Lucy. She was that mom in my memory and always in my heart. I was about eleven when I met her. My mom was an artist when I was growing up and Lucy was always decorating something. I am not sure what ever came of the meeting or if my mom ever painted the mural she inquired about, but I do know that her oldest daughter, Kathy and I became fast friends along with all of Lucy’s daughters. She had four. It was like I hit the Jack Pot meeting them. They all went to a local Catholic School and because they didn’t go to our public school, the neighborhood kids were small minded and slow to embrace them. Well, all I can say is… their loss was surely my gain!
I took turns being good friends with each of her daughters during different stages of my life. And then a few years later, Lucy went through a divorce and met a man named Bob, who she married, bringing two more kids into the fold. It was a wonderful family and I loved each one of them in different ways throughout my life. But Lucy ended up being my friend that I’d go visit years later. I remember staying up late at night for hours at a time talking to Lucy. I loved spending the night at their house and when they moved, I think I went into a small depression. Until, we reunited when my mom discovered a phone number that had gotten “misplaced.” That summer, I promptly moved in with them in Orange County where they’d moved and spent several weeks hanging out with Lucy as she picked out new wallpaper and tile for the 6000 foot home she was building in Fallbrook overlooking their several acres of avocados that Bob was going to manage.
The plan was for me to find a job somewhere in Fallbrook and join them. But between getting very engrossed in a serious relationship and missing my own mom a little more than I thought I would, I didn’t follow through with the final plans to move there with them. Though, I did get a job offer after I’d moved back home. And always kind of regretted not getting to live in that amazing house that my sweet Lucy built for her family and included me in that plan. Even though I never lived there, I visited several times a year for many years until I got caught up in having my own family. Slowly, the visits became less frequent. Though Lucy and Kathy, attended my dad’s funeral and Bob and Lucy attended my second wedding, and Lucy even came to stay at my house a time or two, I regret letting life interfere with our visits and I often wonder how different my life might have been if I’d moved into that wonderful home.
A few years before Lucy died, I took my daughter to visit her and we had such a neat visit. I wanted to share a piece of Lucy with her and I really feel she “GOT” who Lucy was to me. I will always be grateful that she agreed to go and that we have that memory.
Tonight, while I was driving home, I drove past a house with a long driveway filled with cars and it reminded me of that house in Fallbrook. It always looked as if it was having a party, because of all the cars parked there. But they all just belonged to her family, each in their own rooms or in different parts of the house just living there. And it gave me this warm melancholy feeling. And it made me think. Legacy isn’t just something physical that you leave, it’s not a building or a fortune, but something intangible. Something far more valuable. It might leave a hole when it’s gone that takes your breath away, but even more, it gives you that place in your heart to fall, the one person, or place you remember when no other place works quite as well.
It’s been over a year since she has left this world
and yet, sometimes knowing that she’s not just a phone call away any longer,
takes my breath away.
05 Oct 2014
in Break Through, Breaking, Broken spirit, confusion, courage, Depression, ephifanies, fragile, growth, healing, STRENGTH
Tags: Healing, Survival
I heard somewhere, someone talking about that feeling of just wanting the night to be over. In my life, I’ve had those nights, even those seasons, where I’m constantly waiting for that JOY in the morning. The joy that we are promised if we just believe. And sometimes, I wonder did I just miss it? When I drive by a dead animal at the side of the road. It makes me sad. I wonder, is their family waiting for them, as we just drive over or around them? Do they know that their poor little body is just lying there, for all to see? No respect. Living in the country, that, unfortunately, is a casualty that is not uncommon. And it always makes me cringe a little as I imagine how they must have been just running across the road, when BAMM, they probably didn’t even know what hit them. Hopefully they didn’t suffer! But it makes me reflect on just how fragile life is and how in the blink of an eye, it can all be carelessly over. Metaphorically speaking. And… How our lives matter. And yet, I try to imagine the life of that little creature, now, just a dead carcass and it seems so simple and yet horribly complicated.
Yes, there are those happy times that take your breath away, where you just want to take a picture and slow everything down and capture that moment in a time capsule, to be able to bring it out and experience it all over again whenever you like. “Those Kennedy Moments.” That make life worth it. Even the pain.
I am not sure where this poem even came from or even how it relates. But I am tired of always having to be fine when someone asks me HOW I AM? The right answer is “Fine.” No one wants to know if you really aren’t fine. They look uncomfortable if you start to tell them otherwise. Well, maybe I’m not fine.
All I know is, that I am constantly fighting that feeling a baby feels as she tries to catch her breath after a long cry. That catch in her sigh that catches as if she is remembering and forgetting all in the same second what made her so sad. As adults, we learn to filter and guard and hide our pain. But sometimes, I feel as if my breath is catching and I am feeling it all in that one second.
And then I hear a song or hear a message with God in it. And I realize that it is all about the moments. The ones with Joy and the ones where I guess I miss the Joy. The ones that really suck. When life hits me upside the head and I am so overwhelmed with the pain of it all. When those I trusted betray me, when I am unsure of everything and the breaths I breathe shudder with pain? What happens when I am just not fine?
In the subtle whisper of a cry
In the flicker of a candle’s light
Within a well-rehearsed goodbye
Waiting for the ending of the night
Like a mirror that’s been uncovered
Like eyes closed that now can see
Like a flame that once was smothered
Like a light just my heart can see.
No longer do I bend in fury
No longer do I shake with fear
No longer do I rush and scurry
Just because, you might be near
I’ve found strength in recognizing
That you are more frightened than I am
I am saved in the breaking and refining
SAVED now, just exactly how I am.
21 Sep 2014
in A book review, affirmation, Best Friends, change of heart, friendship, honesty, humility, hurts, Life Journey, Life lessons, Loss, moving on
Tags: Broken friendships, Endings, My first book review!
I am at a place in my life, teetering at the edge, where I am just finding my voice, and am at the very early stages of feeling comfortable in my own skin. Defining me and who I really want to be. And you know what? It’s not really what others say about you. It is about what you think of yourself. I think I have finally grasped that. Took a half a century but better late than never, right?
I have a hard time trusting people enough, to really make the friendship effort at this stage in the game. And yet even though I have tons of friends, and several really good ones, I never really felt as if I fit in to any one place perfectly. Today, I just read a great line from a book I am about to share with you guys (below) where the writer said; She refused to make the hard choices, to fight the waves”. Wow! How profound is that?? I related to that sentence so much that it brought tears to my eyes. I never belonged anywhere because I never wanted to fight the waves. I have ridden most of them in to shore. Not that my life has been a picnic but when it comes to making the harder choice, well, lets just say that, THAT line took my breath away!
I was at a shower recently with a bunch of church friends and someone who I would consider more a friend than an acquaintance genuinely hugged me “hello” and told me that they were happy to see me. After a bit of catching up and other small talk, I confided in her that I really felt that I was “faking it” and “not just here, but really at any of these church things.” And…. Without missing a beat, she leaned over and whispered, “Diane, we are all faking it!” At that moment, I think I loved her more than I had the moment before!
And I know what she meant, not that we are faking what we believe and that our faith is not real, but that the veil is pulled down a bit further at parties like these. We share just enough. We only know parts of each other. The other half is covered for only the very few to see. The smiles are real, well they are NOT, not real, if you know what I mean. But I want more. I think we all do. And, I always feel glad I made the effort to go, and yet a little empty when leaving. And yet the little affirmation about faking it, about perhaps I’m not the only one that feels that way was like a little unexpected party favor that I got to take home that day.
I just finished reading My Other Ex by Jessica Smock & Stephanie Prenger and I have to tell you that I know what my Christmas gifts for my friends are going to be this year! I am in love with this book! I originally purchased it because a great friend and fellow writer, Leah Vidal was a contributing author. So I knew that I would not be disappointed. But I literally, could not put this book down! It capsulized my friend’s statement; “Diane we are all faking it!” Each story makes you nod and cry and connect and feel as if we are not alone And in someway, I could relate to each and every story and friendship. The twist here… is these stories are of great friendships, best friend friendships that went awry.
Some as far back as childhood, some from college, some from business, or through kids or other chance meetings. All compiled in a format that reminds me a little of the Chicken Soup for the Soul style, and yet the stories here aren’t contrived nor always healing with a happy ending. It is real and heart wrenching and makes you cry and laugh and like I said, nod, a lot!
I have taken away something from every story. No faking it here. No sugar-coating the facts. Just honesty pure and simple and sometimes painful to read. In my lifetime I have had some great friendships. Some that I have shared about here in this blog. But there have also been a few that fell through the cracks, for reasons of their own. Ones I never thought about writing about. So that makes this book even more interesting.
It is the first book in a long time, that I haven’t just skimmed over to get to the next page when it got a little tedious. There is no tediousness here. The women sharing are all obviously top-notch writers, hand-picked from the authors and you know from their other projects (see their website) http://www.herstoriesproject.com that each story was chosen with the utmost care. This one is a no brainer. Ya gotta read it…. If you are a woman and you ever let go of a friendship that still haunts you a little today, this book will help you realize that we all have a lot of the same feelings. kind of like the way I felt… when my friend said to me… “We are all faking it a little Diane!” We really aren’t alone. This book just put it in print!
Note to the authors* (Would love to buy the audio of each woman sharing their own story!)
18 Sep 2014
in affirmation, Appreciation, Attitudes, Broken spirit, Compassion, Gratefulness, kindness, Life lessons, Love
I cried all the way home today. I don’t know their story, she looked a little younger than my daughter, I drove right past her trying not to look, but kind of seeing it anyway. The sign she held said, “Just Hungry” As I passed her, I wondered how many people had just kept going as I just had. I couldn’t do it today for some reason. I pulled over and pulled out a few dollars and a few things from my stash of groceries that I’d just purchased without even looking at the receipt. I pulled up again and I noticed the guy sitting off in the background and wished I’d added something more. The girl jumped up and gratefully took what I gave her as I mumbled something about how I wished it could be more, and she graciously responded with, “Oh this helps a lot, thank you.” I wanted to go around again and empty out my wallet, to offer much more than a few dollars and some token groceries.
It all started with the sign. Just Hungry. I know that much. Such a simple plea and yet the combination of the girl and the guy and the simple fact that I can’t imagine my kids ever having to be; JUST hungry really got to me today.
I know some people might say they are going to use it for drugs or booze or that I was scammed and they have more money than I do. Well, that is not my place to judge. And who knows, maybe the lesson was all mine and had nothing to do with them. I have been in this total funk of feeling stuck where I am right now. Feeling so sorry for me and unappreicated. But I forgot something, it is not all about me! Hey wake up call and all! I have been looking for the wrong people to affirm me.
It puts things in perspective. We have grown suspicious and selfish and it horrifies me that I even drove by and had to think about stopping. I understand that not everyone who holds a sign that says: WILL WORK FOR FOOD really wants to work, and I do know that some of the sign holders are actual scams and have witnessed a few of my own. But how sad that we have grown so hardened that we pass them ALL. God forbid that one of our kids ever needs help like that. But if every now and then my heart is pricked and I am touched when some other mother’s child is Just Hungry, how can we not just help?
09 Sep 2014
in Acceptance, affirmation, Appreciation, Attitudes, Broken spirit, change of attitude, Depression, ephifanies, Gratefulness
Tags: reflection, Young moms
We live in a world of instant gratification. Of fast food drive thrus and microwaves, where the click of a key allows us to pay a bill, buy a birthday present or reconnect with your past, all in a quick minute. We have remote controls to change a channel, turn up or down the volume, and turn off and on lights, we can now, even start our car from inside our house! They even have new techniques where a machine does stomach crunches for you with electric shock rather than good old-fashioned sit ups! So we’ve become entitled creatures of habit and expectation.
I’m sorry but it’s just not that easy. A good old-fashioned sweaty jog around the block a few times is better than some magic pill. I know. I’ve lost and gained and lost and gained the same freaking thirty then forty and now fifty pounds over my lifetime and am heading toward losing again! Hopefully!!!! And have found that it is in the hard work of counting calories and maybe being a little uncomfortably hungry to see the results. Things worth working for take time. And it in the discomfort where we learn the most! I find it so funny when someone asks me how I lost weight when I have in the past, and answered Weight Watchers and seen their disappointment. Everyone wants me to have disovered this magical way of losing so they can get in on the secret. When in fact, there is no secret other than calories in and calories out. Sorry. And if you watch Bambi a thousand times, his mom still dies. :(
I think the same goes for all things in life worth working for. We have to go to school for approximately 12 years in order to graduate. Not all twelve years is pleasant but in the end the accomplishment is worth the work.
I know that when I was a young mom, newly married, with a baby and a full-time job and not much help from my husband in way of child care or helping around the house, I wished that I could fast forward everything to an easier time. And to all the young moms out there, I am here to tell you all that you don’t need to push that button, it happens faster than you ever can imagine! Suddenly, those babies are getting married and having babies of their own. I look back and remember how overwhelming it all was and wonder…. how can I even miss those chaotic days now? Well, I do. At least from time to time. And I wonder… Did I remember to kiss those fat smudged cheeks enough? Did I breathe in the smell of freshly washed baby hair as many times as possible? Or did I just rush through their baths to get some “me time”? I am here to tell you that you WILL get your share of “me time” soon enough. So enjoy being without a moment to call your own, because eventually they will be abundant and you will want to rewind back to the crazy days when you had no help and thought it was too much to handle. Or at least put NOW on pause and someday realize that even though some days are really hard, they will someday be your Good Old Days. I know, I look back and wonder what was really that hard? Don’t get me wrong. I remember the panic and pain I felt, but wow, there were some pretty great times that I missed altogether just being so upset.
I also remember how disappointed in my marriage I was. How selfish my once very attentive and handsome young husband suddenly seemed to become. I mean, we were both working full-time jobs. It seemed as if he checked out as soon as he walked in the door. Popping a can of beer and turning on some game, totally tuning me out. I felt so alone and disillusioned. Hind sight is 20/20. I look back at all the hard times and see where I could have handled them differently, where my reactions could have been more clever. And yeah, if you want to call that game playing, well I wish I’d played more games! I also see why I am so desperate for affrimation now. I wish that my marriage hadn’t ended in divorce the first time around. I wish I could show that I appreciate my much more attentive (somewhat more helpful) :) husband now. At least he keeps my car maintained and fixes my computer issues and loves me like no one else has. I guess I can pick up his dirty clothes and rinse the dishes he leaves in the sink a little more lovingly. :D
I guess my point is, that in that first marriage I was disappointed in, or the diet that seems to be a constant test, or the job where I know that I definitely deserve better, or wherever it is that I need validating in, it is not a fast fix. Things take time, (as for my job… maybe ten years is enough! ) But in the meantime, we need to gather the lessons learned and see that the solution may not happen like an instant breakfast or flicking a remote control, it may take time to really get it right, but it is in the lesson where the magic is! And I guess the magic is…. realizing that every moment is important and it is up to us define every single one!
05 Sep 2014
Originally posted on Gideon & Brisby:
Spoiler Alert: This post may contain too much cuteness.
I have been meaning to post this for some time but these little buggers never want to sit still long enough for me to properly capture all their sweetness. My new green chair was the perfect solution. So how do you make your bunny/kitty/dog/llama as fancy as mine? I will tell you! You will need just a few things.
.glue gun & glue sticks (I usued about 5 small ones for both crowns)
.thick wire (you can get this in your jewelry section at your craft store)
.fabric or dried flowers (I used a mix of different ones from Michael’s but Rachael and I were in Hobby Lobby today and they have a far superior selection, especially when it comes to more life like foliage)
There are so many ways to go…
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05 Aug 2014
Hey my friends….
Just wanted to share my daughter’s blog! She doesn’t post much and so I want to encourage her and share my friends! THANK YOU for letting me share you guys!!!! PLEEEEASE take a moment and go over to drop her a few words of encouragement! And check out her great Etsy shop.
Originally posted on Gideon & Brisby:
Hello all! It has been a long year full all of the wonderful things and go into a year of life. And I am so happy to share this fabulous feature of my You and I brooches in the latest Flow Magazine! I was contacted by one of their freelance editors a few months ago and she requested a some photos to include in their Dutch issue. The magazine is available in several languages all over the world. I didn’t know that they had made the cut until one of my customers in the Netherlands saw my work in her magazine and sent photos one morning via etsy convos. I love my customers ♥ So here is a clip of the page. I don’t speak Dutch but it basically says that you send in photos and I’ll sculpt custom brooches to look like you. I’m currently working on some for someone…
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04 Aug 2014
in Acceptance, aging, Appreciation, Attitudes, Change, change of attitude, ephifanies, greatfulness, happiness, Memories, Perspective, Poetry, reflection, whimsical, Wisdom
Tags: attitude adjustmement, Carpe diem, Learning how to be happy, Poetry, reflection
Sometimes I wander through my mind like rooms inside my past.
Going back to different places that left my life too fast.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could go and find,
all the special places that we’ve left behind?
If at any given moment we could go down memory lane,
and everything we left once, could somehow be the same?
I know exactly where I’d go and who I’d want to see.
I know if I could pick an age, just how old I’d want to be
But I know there’s no such thing as going back again,
to find our yesterdays in places where we’ve been.
I guess in all that I have learned to finally understand,
that being happy is done best, exactly where I am!
27 Jul 2014
in Blog friends, Editing, Friends from Blogging, Goals, My Book, Perseverance, Wordpress friends, Writing my book
Tags: Goals, Writing
She originally started her blog to write the outline of her book. At first, she wasn’t going to share it. She was just going to use it as a place to store the rough draft and some of her ideas.
Not being too technically inclined or really knowing how to set up blogs or sites, it took her the best part of a morning but she finally created what she thought, was a private place where she would be the only reader. Though she still “tagged” each new post as she was prompted to, and for a while, she would just write and publish what she’d written, never imagining anyone else was ever reading it. Until one day she got a LIKE and then the next day another, and still the next day two more.
She thought to herself that she needed to go back into the part of the blog where she set up her profile and make it private because she wasn’t sure she wanted anyone reading such rough and raw ramblings she’d started compiling there. But each time that she’d sign on, she’d be so excited about some new thought she wanted to get down before she lost it, that she kept forgetting about going into the technical side of things to fix the settings.
And then one day she published a poem and got eleven LIKES and four people who’d actually clicked FOLLOW and a few comments. One reader told her that it had made her cry and thanked her for writing it. After that, she was hooked.
Just checking IN!!!! I am on a roll. I have been editing everything and think I have an ending to my book.
“THIS” is an excerpt from my book but it made me think of you guys!
I didn’t want you all to think that I haven’t been thinking about you guys. Also, I have been reading your blogs faithfully but if I am on my phone for some reason, it keeps saying “LOADING” so I can never LIKE things and if I am at work, can’t really take the time to comment like I’d like to. And then when I go home to my laptop, I am writing my book… Soooooo just wanted to stop by and explain and tell you guys I am still here working away and will eventually be back again!
Have a good weekend!
14 Jul 2014
in abusive relationships, asking for feedback, Believing in yourself, Book in progress, Break Through, closure, first loves, healing, Life Journey, lost loves, prologue, synopsis, Writing, Writing my book
I’ve written a few synopsis during my final drafts. I think that this one capsulizes my intentions. I’d love to have your feedback if you have the time. Does it capture your attention? Would it make you want to read more? Any changes you’d care to suggest? I appreciate you guys!
This book is for all the silenced voices out there, trembling under the shadow of someone else’s demons. For those who know how treading lightly and walking on eggshells feels. And how we all become a little confused about love and loyalty to someone else while forgetting to love ourselves most of all.
I remember feeling so conflicted when I thought about the oxygen mask scenario and how we must save ourselves first, before we can save our children. We instinctively want to give them everything to save them first. But the fact is that without us, they would not survive. And so we must save ourselves before we save them. By receiving the oxygen ourselves first. I believe that it’s the same in love. We cannot love someone else without learning to love ourselves first.
This is a story about a young girl who came from a loving home. Who didn’t have a lot of experience with grown up relationships. She was romantic and a maybe little boy crazy. But the intensity of everything that was to come caught her off guard. She began chronicling everything in a “Writing Journal” that started out as a simple English class assignment. Years later, she found the journals again and decided to share the stories with her young daughter, now close to the same age as she was when she wrote in them. And through the sharing of the journals, it inspired her to write her story.
One morning, up in her study, half way into her writing project, she sat down with a mug of coffee to continue writing what she’d begun, as she noticed a friend request pop up on her Face book page and the name she’d never forgotten even three decades later, stared back at her. Little did she know that in the click of a key her life would change forever, in ways she could have never predicted. Accepting the friend request would allow her to confront her own demons that had followed her in every relationship since. It will be the closure that I’ve needed all these years, she reasoned with herself as she clicked ACCEPT.
If you are interested… Below is the book that the above will prologue…
06 Jul 2014
in aging, Appreciation, change of attitude, ephifanies, falling in love again, Gratefulness, growing older, growth, Love, marriage, passion, Poetry, reflection, Relationships, True Love, whimsical
Tags: Marriage, Poetry, relationships
You fall into my heart like a catchy tune
on a slow lazy car washing afternoon.
We fit together more than I realized
you’ve touched my heart like a sweet surprise.
You never really had any doubts about us
and believed all we had would be just enough.
Even when I messed everything up
you hung in there and wouldn’t give up.
Oh yeah, Lord knows we’ve had our go rounds,
when we were anything but on solid ground.
But we’ve learned to give and let go some more
and have come out even better than before!
For falling in love and falling for you
was something I didn’t know that I’d do.
It took me a while to understand God’s plan
That you are the place He had me land.
22 Jun 2014
in Attitudes, believing, change of attitude, ephifanies, God, growth, healing, humility, lessons learned, letting go, Spiritual
Tags: Lessons from my mistakes, My Aha moments, Things that I have learned, Writing ephifanies
As I reflect upon this journey that I am on, certain things have been triggered that I must share. In going back through journals and memories and even in just writing this blog… I really wish I could have grasped all this at a much younger age. It might have saved me a lot of pain along the way if I’d “gotten” this stuff much earlier!
But so far I have learned…
That God probably (most likely – oh okay…. He DOES!!! ) has a plan for all of us and a lot of us miss it by being impatient and forging ahead without HIM a lot of the time. Forgetting to bring HIM along on our journey. Just like the Garden of Eden, when He gave us the gift of life, His plan was perfect. We were the ones that messed that up and thought we needed more. I mean now how did that work out for us? You’d think that we would have gotten the very first lesson He taught us now wouldn’t you? But we are hard headed. At least I am and slow learners and so we have had to deal with the fall out.
God does not see the sin nor pain that hits us the second we breathe our first breath. He only sees the beauty of our potential and His plan. It is our own nature that feels greedy and angry and wanting more. If only we could keep that plan of His in tact. But we live in a fallen world with sin and pain and grief and there has been only ONE human being who has lived it perfectly and that is Jesus. Though, that doesn’t mean that we can’t strive to imitate His life the best that we can. And I think in the end, when all is said and done, that is “The Plan.”
I’ve learned that every day I have the choice to see the glass half full or half empty, to pray and believe in answered prayers or to doubt and give up. I have learned that I can get angry and take my ball and go home or stay and try to be a team player for the sake of the bigger picture. I have learned that not everyone may see my full potential and may pass over me several times in way of promotions or rejection letters, job offers or in my own personal relationships. And that I can consider it all and stay offended and stuck because of it or I can be true to myself and realize that they are the ones losing out and continue to shine and move on. And that God’s plan may be better in the end anyway!
I have learned that not everyone has the same story and to be sensitive to where someone else has comes from, to not judge as quickly but to find out their story and have compassion. I mean didn’t Jesus teach that over and over again? We need to drop those stones and learn the art of loving for once and for all and maybe in the act, we might just learn our own lessons.
I have learned that you have to let things go or you will drive yourself crazy. It takes more energy hating than it ever does just moving on! Whether it is people who you know or strangers that randomly choose you to cut off in traffic, it just is not worth ruining your day over when they have probably forgotten about their own offense shortly after they did it. I am robbing myself of joy by staying mad.
I have learned that it is better to keep your mouth shut than to gossip or to listen to gossip. When someone is talking about everyone else constantly, I pretty much have to accept the fact that they are also probably talking about me as well. And it just feels better to say nothing, rather than worry about my words being repeated.
I have learned that the bad times make you grow and the good times are the rewards for getting through the bad times. That there is always joy in the morning and that every time I have found myself on my knees, I have received a bigger blessing even amidst the pain. Because God’s voice does not return void.
I have learned that every mistake I have ever made, every wrong choice and even my worst sin, can have a redeeming message that I can learn from. And that God is a God of Second Chances.
And finally, I have learned that the lesson is all about trying to bring God’s plan to life for our lives. When we smile at a random stranger or love the unlovable, when we forgive an unforgivable wrong, we are finally “getting” it.
Heaven may seem far away but it is actually very close and we can have it in our life daily if we are constantly on our knees remembering to seek His plan first.
“The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” –Psalm 121:7-8 Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica