The Perfect Kind of Crazy

…my life as I know it

Today I Chose Joy

In a world where everything seems to be amiss; choose joy. On social media where friends and family are feuding; choose joy. In the districts where your children will attend school and you disagree with the choices they are being forced to make; choose joy.

There isn’t anyone that I have spoken to, read a post from, or overheard in a place of business that is happy about the government making choices for us. Pro mask, anti mask, pro vaccination, anti-vaccination… it doesn’t matter who’s side or what side you are on. In Washington state, our school district’s hands are tied. The choice of wearing masks is out of their hands. The same goes for businesses, large or small.

Today I was given a beautiful gift. The most precious gift. A gift that so many of us have forgotten about. Have overlooked. Ignored. Refused to acknowledge or accept. You see, this afternoon, I got to experience that gift. The gift of pure joy shining through my granddaughter’s eyes. She is five now and has been in love with horses since she was about 18 months old.

Like a Boss

For the first time since she’s been taking lessons I was able to go and watch. (I live in another state) I got to watch her face light up when we arrived at the barn. When she stopped and said hi to Mikey, one of her favorite horses. When she showed me how to brush and apply fly spray on Eli. When she went into the tack room and carried out each piece, including the saddle. When she helped put the saddle and bridle on him. When she walked Eli around the arena by herself. When her teacher said I don’t think he will jump that for you, she giggled and stepped over the jump pulling him along as he stepped over it. When she showed me how she could climb up and get on by herself. When she could stand proudly on his back then jump to her teacher. As she rode around that arena, listening to her instructor, I saw the pure joy on my baby girl’s face.

Ready to Ride

For months she has told me about Cookie, the first horse she had lessons with. When she found out that Cookie was pregnant and when the foal was born. She couldn’t wait to take me to see Cookie’s baby. For days she has waited patiently for lesson day to come. After her lesson was over she hurried out of the barn, saying, “Come on grandma, we get to see Cookie and her baby now.” Watching M gently pet the foal’s nose, scratch her under the chin and talk to Cookie was priceless. Seeing and feeling that joy coming from her was truly a gift. A blessing. One that I will take home with me and cherish forever. I hope that you too can look beyond what is happening in our world, your state, your town and choose joy.

Cookie’s Baby

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I Am Blessed

I am currently in Tennessee visiting my my grand babies and of course their mama and daddy too. I’m sitting downstairs listening to Axel, the four legged grand baby, snore while everyone else is asleep. I’m still too wired from the plane ride and the excitement of being here to sleep. Even tho I am beyond exhausted from the last couple of weeks dealing with this work situation. I am blessed to be here.

When I got the news that I had been displaced due to changes in my job position I felt defeated. I cried. I did the whoa is me thing. The whole why can’t all the parts of my life go right at the same time thing. Then, I put them big girl panties on and started the fight for what’s right. For what’s just. I spoke at the school board meeting with an overwhelming response from family, friends, and coworkers. The Union is on my side. They are fighting this battle for and with me. No matter the outcome I can rest easy knowing that I did everything in my power to right this injustice for not only myself but for my co-workers who were also displaced. I am blessed to still have a job even tho it’s a significant cut in pay.

As some of you have figured out that the adventures I’ve been taking have been dates. Let me tell you just a little about him. As he would tell you he’s just a good ole country boy. “Country boy can survive.” He makes me laugh. I make him laugh. I’m a smart ass and he banters with me. He’s kindhearted. He’s sweet. He’s polite. He’s a gentleman. He’s caring. He adores his children and has a beautiful relationship with both of them. (They are grown) I think he’s cute but he thinks he’s to old to be cute so of course I have to harass him and tell him that I can say it if I want. He gave me the nickname of Sassy right from the beginning and I love it. More importantly than any of that and so much more; he makes me a priority. No matter how many hours he works. No matter how much work with his garden, yard, house etc he has to do; he makes me a priority. He makes time for me. He sends me sweet or funny good morning messages. We talk/text everyday. I have felt comfortable from the first moment I hopped in his truck and the same goes for him. It’s easy to be with him. I’m truly happy for the first time in so long. This is how it’s supposed to be. I am blessed to have met such a beautiful man.

I did a lot of work on myself to get to this place where I was ready to completely open my heart again. To learn to love myself again. To be in a place that I would be okay if I spent the rest of my life alone. Not that I have ever wanted to. In some ways I’ve changed. In a lot of ways I’ve grown. Im in the best emotional health of my life. But I also feel like at the end of the day, I’m still me. Just a much better, much happier, much more settled version. I am blessed to have a therapist who makes me do the work and doesn’t just give me the answers.

Even tho all of the pieces of my life aren’t flowing smoothly at the same time I am blessed. I have my health. My kids are all happy and healthy. I have a village of friends and family that loves me and lifts me up when I need it. Life could always be so much harder. I will leave you with this… find the silver lining. See the positive in all things. Remember that things happen for a reason and most of the time we don’t know what that is.

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The Limb Broke

About six weeks ago that limb that I went out on broke. But, that’s okay. I got the closure to that chapter that I needed. I believe that things happened the way they were meant to. I had more to learn from that relationship. He’s a good man. He’s just not the man for me. I learned that I could love again. I learned to love me for me. I got my confidence as a woman back. He showed me that I was sexy and desirable. He told me I deserved more. I argued at first. But, he’s right. I do deserve more. Not better. More.

So.. fast forward a couple of weeks. I signed up for Match. A dating site. Keeping an open mind. Just looking to have fun with meeting new people. I looked at profiles that were out of my wheelhouse wanting to give everyone that ‘liked’ me a fair chance. Went on a few dates. Talked to several men. No sparks. That happens. I look at those “meet and greets” like interviews. You’re interviewing someone for one of the most important roles in your life. I don’t ever get nervous.. those that know me, will understand that.

Until this last Saturday that is. I “matched” with a man on June 29th. I wasn’t immediately attracted by his pics. I liked his profile. He seemed like someone I would like to get to know. We struck up a conversation. Decided to meet. I was nervous on my way to meet him. Until I hopped in his truck and he said, “Hey, Sassy.” We didn’t just have the standard meet for coffee or a drink first date. It evolved into an 8+ hour date. We had been talking for several days prior.

It was amazing. The perfect first date. No pressure for sex. No pressure for touching. Holding hands. Any of it. We laughed and talked about so many things. A lot of our conversation was about food.. meals we liked. Meals we liked to cook. He gardens, cans, hints.. all the things. We have so much in common. He was concerned about his age even before we met. He’s 58.. I’m 51. I told him age is just a number. His pics didn’t do him justice. We laughed about how he says he’s not photogenic. He’s so handsome.

Neither one of us wanted the date to end. We have talked/texted everyday, multiple times a day since. We have a second date lined up when I get back from my girls get away. I can’t wait!

I’m excited about this next chapter, wherever it takes me. I’m smitten. I think he is too. I have a new found hope for what my future can hold. Living one day at a time. I wasn’t ready before. The man I thought was for me; wasn’t. And that’s okay! We weren’t meant for each other. Our wish for each other is that we find.

Until the next time..

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Sit Down and Shut Up

I dedicate this to my widow/widower friends. I’m so sorry that you are not a part of this club. The club that none of us ever wanted to be in. You know who you are and I love you so much.

Tonight I joined a dating group on Facebook for widows/widowers. It’s not just a group for those who are actively dating but for those who are looking to connect with those of us who get it. I started to read through a few of the posts, commented on a couple and then came across this one. It really resonated with me.

From the book “Widowed” by a widower, writer, and grief coach, John Polo:

Sit down.

And shut up.

Serious question: Is your spouse six feet under? Oh wait, are they a pile of ashes?

No?

They aren’t?

Wow.

Ok.

Cool.

Then, sit down.

And shut up.

Once a widow. Always a widow.

Once a widower. Always a widower.

No, this isn’t a plea for sympathy.

No, this isn’t even an angry post.

This is an honest post.

This is a passionate post.

This is a real post.

Sit down.

And shut up.

Unless you watched your spouse die. Unless you buried your spouse. Unless you burned your spouse.

Sit down.

And shut up.

Do not tell a widow or widower how they should be living.

Do not tell a widow or widower how they should be acting.

And please, for the love of all that is right in this world, PLEASE – do NOT tell a widow or widower when they should try to love again.

I am sick of seeing widows and widowers vilified for trying to pick up the pieces of their lives.

I am sick of seeing widows and widowers vilified for trying to find companionship again. For trying to find love again.

Hell, for trying to find ANYTHING again!

We are lost souls. On a journey to find our self again.

And YOU want to judge?

You?

Do you know the courage it takes to go back out there after your spouse has died?

After you watched them die of cancer. Or a massive heart attack. Or suicide.

After you watched them fall to sixty pounds. Having bowel movements on themselves. Having horrific hallucinations so bad that seeing them like that strangled your soul.

After you watched them fall to their knees. And clutch their chest. And take their last breath.

After you walked in on their body. Dead. Because they took their own life.

You have no idea.

Do you have any idea how badly the loss of a spouse messes with your mind? With your heart? With your soul?

No. You don’t.

So sit down.

And shut up.

You are not allowed to judge.

You are not allowed to pass judgment as you drive home to your spouse.

You are not allowed to pass judgment as you eat dinner with your spouse.

You are not allowed to pass judgment as you cuddle up on the couch with your spouse.

You are not allowed to pass judgment as you have sex with your spouse.

You. Are. Not. Allowed. To. Pass. Judgment.

Sit down.

And shut up.

Stop judging.

Stop thinking that you know what the hell you are talking about.

Because you do not.

Your life wasn’t ripped from you.

Your future wasn’t destroyed.

Sit down.

And shut up.

This was not our choice.

This was not a breakup. Stop comparing.

This was not a divorce. Stop comparing.

This was not the loss of a grandpa. Stop comparing.

This was not the loss of Uncle Thomas. Stop comparing.

And for Heaven’s sake, this was NOT the loss of your damn CAT. Stop comparing!

This was the loss of a soul mate.

Our love.

Our other half.

Our life.

Our future.

Sit down.

And shut up.

The next time you see a widow or widower try to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and ‘get back out there’.

You have 2 choices.

You can either sit down and shut up.

Or,

You can give them a standing ovation.

For their heart. For their courage. For their bravery.

Those are your two options.

And your ONLY two options.

Because. You. Do. Not. Know

So many times I have wanted to scream this. To yell this. At everyone, that is outside of my inner circle, who has tried to offer me advice. Had tried to tell me they get it. Because they come. And God willing they won’t ever have to “know”.

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Just Do It!

Just do it! Take the chance. Step out on the limb. Do the thing. Risk it. Why you might ask? Because you, my friend, are worth it! You are worth the chance. Worth the risk. And, if you don’t ‘Just Do It’ you will never know. What’s the worst that can happen? Someone tells you no? You get your feelings hurt? Well, I’m here to tell you that someone will always hurt your feelings your spouse, your best friend, your kids, your parents… It’s a fact of life. You will get told no. That is also a fact a life.

The last two days I have been reminded of how short life can really be. How tomorrow is never promised. A close friend of mine is walking in the same shoes right now that I walked in just over four years ago. She is facing all of those hard decisions. She will have to sign on that dotted line when the time comes to end life support. My heart is extremely heavy for her and her family. For her father in law who will have to bury his son. For her brand new grand baby that will grow up not knowing her grandpa. For her children. But, mostly for her. She is strong. She is a fighter. She is a survivor. If I have to tell her that every day for the next year…I will.

So… I did something that I said I wouldn’t do. I did something that I feared was a mistake. I did something that will either bring me closure to another part of my journey or possibly begin something over. I had ‘buyer’s remorse’ so to speak, the next day. I went from, “I’m glad I did this” to “What the hell was I thinking?” From “Now I will know” to “I don’t want to know.” From tears to a bounce in my step. From fearing the unknown to meh.. what happens happens.

The last several months have been extremely hard in therapy. I have poured buckets of tears onto the floor of my therapist’s office. I have used countless tissues. I have bared my heart and soul. I have shoveled crap outta my basement for almost a year now. I am not the same person I was when I began this journey of healing. Hell, I’m not the same person I was just a few months ago. I’m a better version of myself. Stronger. More secure. I have a sense of peace that I don’t remember ever having.

Along this journey I met a man. A sexy, intelligent, kind man who has a passion for children like I do. Who wants to save the ones who need saved. Who has similar family values. Who loves and adores his children. We had an instant connection that still blows me away. Neither one of us were looking. Neither one of us were ready for that level of intensity. After a few months we went our separate ways. I learned so much about myself in those few months. He taught me and showed me things about myself that I didn’t see. That I didn’t believe. I learned that I could love again…I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to. He told me that I’m beautiful so many times that I believe it. He gave me back my confidence as a woman. He believed in me. He encouraged me. His energy level matches mine. His positive outlook inspires me. Grieving a relationship, the loss of hope for what could have been… is hard. Would I change any of it? Absolutely not. If you want to know why… re-read this paragraph.

I know you all are wanting to know what it was that I did… here it goes… fueled by cadillac margaritas and girl chat I stepped out on that limb. I took that chance. I risked it. I did the thing. I texted him. “I’ve been thinking about you…” He texted me back the next night. I din’t fall off the limb. I didn’t regret doing the thing. It was worth the risk. I’m not going to share the details with you.. somethings are meant to be kept private. I don’t know where this will go or if it will go anywhere at all. What I do know is that I am glad I did it. No matter the outcome I know he still cares.

I’ve learned in therapy to not look at the past or to the future, to live for today. You can’t change the past so there’s no point in camping out there. You can’t predict the future because there is free will and no guarantees. The only thing you can do is live for today. When I expressed my fear that I had made a mistake she reminded me that there are no mistakes only lessons to be learned. Maybe we still have lessons to learn together. Maybe we don’t.. I don’t know and honestly I don’t care. What I do know is that our paths crossed again for a reason. One of my best friends says it best when it comes to those who have come into our lives, “A reason, a season or a lifetime.”

So… text the man. Text the woman. Pick up the phone. Go on that date. Flirt with the sexy one. The one who gives you butterflies that feel like birds are flapping around in your tummy. The one who brings a smile to your face simply by seeing your name pop up on their screen. Love like there’s no tomorrow. Better yet, make love like there’s no tomorrow. Say, “I love you” if that’s how you feel. Buy the purse or the shoes. Eat the chocolate. Drink the latte’. Your pants will forgive you…mine always do. Most importantly, live your best life everyday.

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