The Perfect Kind of Crazy

…my life as I know it

One of Those Days

Having one of those days.. mile stone birthday, opening weekend of deer, and heading into the anniversary of the worst time of my life It’s unreal that we are quickly approaching three years. As hard as some days can still be, I know that I’ve come so far in this journey. I’m proud of the progress that I’ve made and how much I’ve grown. But, it doesn’t make me wish for Jeff to be here, or miss him, any less.

It saddens me that he is missing out on so, so much. Watching his children continue to grow and be success in their lives. And even more than that.. he’s missing out on watching our grand babies grow. All of them. Jaxxon and Claire still ask about him.. I hope they never stops. His sweet Mayleana still listens to her grandpa’s heart beat when she’s having a rough day. Those two were definitely connected. My promise to him was that I would make sure that they never forget him.

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Really Big Step

I’ve been working on putting all the things on my wall that I have been collecting the last year or so. Up until this week I only had two walls finished since the remodel. One in the living room and one in the family room. I’ve been looking at the stuff all over the dining room table and other places trying to find motivation to actually get it all up on the walls since school got out. I had hit THE wall. The wall that I hate. The wall that won’t budge for weeks sometimes. The wall that sucks my motivation and energy. Over the past few years I’ve gotten pretty good at navigating my way out of these funks. This one took the help of one of my closest friends coming over and taking action. She got to work laying out one of the walls and got every hung up. That gave me the motivation to tackle the dining room wall yesterday. Which leads me to the real reason behind this post.

Tonight I took advantage of my insomnia or rather early this morning I should say. I have been wanting to re-do the decor in my room. Some of you might remember that I had planned on re-doing it for our 25th anniversary… I still did it even though Jeff had died a few weeks earlier. I needed to in order to move forward and to heal. Fast forward more than 2.5 years… I have been seeing someone for a few months now and I am ready to take that next step of welcoming him into my personal space. It is extremely important to me for him to feel comfortable and welcomed when the time comes. This is a REALLY BIG STEP for me. But a necessary one.

This is my new view when I look up from my bed. I’m going for simple and romantic. No pictures of people for now. It’s a start. It’s another step forward in my journey. No matter the pace; forward is forward and everyone’ pace is different and that’s okay.

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Learning to Live My Best Life

About six months ago I woke up and the fog that had been lingering over me had finally lifted. I could see clearly for the first time in more than two years. That morning I knew I wanted to live again. What exactly that looked like I wasn’t quite sure of. In fact, there are days when I’m still not quite sure what that looks like. What I did know is that I wanted to be happy again. To laugh again. To reconnect with friends. To spend time with those that truly mattered the most. With those that bring me the most joy. With those that inspire positivity and love me unconditionally.

In order to make that happen I was going to have to step out of the safety and security of my four walls and the file mile radius that I did my best to stay inside of. That meant I was going to have to pick up the phone and do more than just answer a text or two. That meant I was going to have to stop making excuses for why I couldn’t go to lunch or hang out. That meant I was going to have to be uncomfortable in order to grow. That meant I had to make an honest effort if I was going to find my happy again.

Like in true Melissa fashion, I jumped in with both feet an hit the ground running. I got on a couple dating apps. I made and kept plans with friends. I had a social life for the first time in more than two years. Honestly, my normal hit the ground running didn’t work for me this time. It was all overwhelming. Especially the dating part… WOW! Things have certainly changed in the last 30 years. What the hell happened to meeting someone organically? After the first week I was questioning my morals, values, my scruples and everything I thought I knew about myself. I was making lists of the things I thought I wanted and didn’t want in a potential boyfriend.

So, I took a step back and reassessed how I was going to get my happy back. How I was going to find true joy again. What it looked like to have a social life again without being completely overwhelmed. I needed balance. I needed to pace myself. I needed a new plan. The old me could go full speed for days on end before I crashed….not the new me. The new me needs quiet time to myself. The new me can’t do chaos and crowds anymore. The new me can’t handle stress or multi task like the old me could. The new me is still far more emotional than the old me. All of that…the new me stuff…pisses me off. But, I am working on accepting that that is how I am meant to be now. I have been through emotional hell and back so how can I expect to be the same person that I once was?

To get where I am today has taken a lot of hard work. A lot of self reflecting. A lot of taking care of my emotional and mental health. A lot of being selfish for the first time in my life. None of which has been a choice. It was and isn’t a choice for me to not move forward. No matter the speed; forward is forward. Some days it can’t barely measurable and others it’s hard not to notice my progress. When friends and family noticed that I was smiling and laughing more I knew I was on the right track. I have all of them to thank for encouraging me to not give up on dating. To not give up on meeting new people. I am beyond blessed to have a couple of friends who are also widows, one I met less than a year ago, that have helped me navigate this dating stuff. They have reassured me that all of the things I have felt are normal for what I am going through. It’s all a part of the process. Some days that process can kick rocks. Other days it’s good and some days it’s really good. Navigating this journey is going to be a continuous process that changes as I learn and grow.

When I look back at the path I have already traveled I’m in awe of how far I have come. There are parts that are at steep incline. There are parts that are smooth and straight. There are parts that are full of pot holes and boulders. There are parts that are thick mud that is super hard to move through. For each of those parts I am thankful. Without all of these obstacles to overcome I wouldn’t be the person I have become today and continue to grow to be. Soul shattering grief is exhausting in every way possible. It is not only emotional. It’s also physical. Your body aches in ways that shouldn’t be possible. It weakens your muscles and ages you. It drains you of every last drop of energy.

I have come through all of that and so much more. Like the Phoenix, I have emerged from the ashes a better version of me. A better person, mom, grandma and friend. I am far less judgmental and critical of others. I am more aware of the journey others are walking and give more grace. I am learning to live my best life by making an honest effort to make every day count. I’m not perfect but I’m making it work.

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Dating as a Widow or Widower

This is worth a second or third read. When I first started dating someone sent this to me… honestly, I can’t even remember who. It helped. It still helps. When the time and person is right, I will share it with him.

An Open Letter to the Future Man Dating My Wife:

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Moving Forward With Grief

Love this

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