Sunday Musings

I went with my friend, B, the singer to see our good friend sing Frank Sinatra songs in a fundraiser for his church last night. It was called “Frankie and Johnny”. Our friend was Frankie, and another guy did Johnny Cash. I didn’t realize it would be set up like a lounge show, with tables for 8, and a small buffet, and a bar, and a dance floor. Neither B nor I wanted to drink, we just had bottles of water. It was really Karaoke, but both men were very good. The man who did Johnny Cash was in country bands most of his life and recorded many songs. Our friend P….he just has this awesome velvety baritone voice that is so perfect for the types of old crooner songs he sings.

He was all dressed up in a tux, he looked so handsome! His family had a table, and he invited us over to meet them all. He paid us a lot of attention when he was not singing. At the end, we were leaving and his whole family was trying to take a selfie, like 10 of them. I stopped and offered to take their picture for them, and they got P to join them.

It was a different kind of evening out, but was fun.

This afternoon my bunch of girlfriends is coming over for a first meeting of our loosely formed writers group. We’re just going to eat and drink wine and talk about what we want to accomplish with this group, since we all like to write.  And, like my friend B said last night, “I know what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna drink wine and gossip.”  LOL.   I know I’d like to be able to read some of my work, and have these close friends hear it and critique it. I know my good friend D, the actress-teacher-sculptor-writer already has an idea for a play. She called me yesterday and asked me if she railroaded me into having this, because she said she feels like every time she sees me she’s asking if we can do it again. lol.  I told her no, of course.  We’ve been talking about doing this for awhile, and I wanted to do it before my son came because after that is Easter, etc, and it would get pushed way back probably into May. They love to come here for some reason. I think my deck lends itself to the group, with my Buddha face on the tree and all, lol. It’s a small deck but it works. I have to go put another bug bomb under it though. With the rain we had the other day, I’m afraid the mosquitos have been breeding.

I’m going to try making homemade guacamole for them. I got my sister’s recipe, and I’ve watched her make it a few times. These girls are big guac fans, lol. And I’m going to make some “Glorious Morning” muffins. I’m really making those for my son’s arrival tomorrow, but the recipe makes way too many for just him and I, so I can give some to the group today. They are my son’s favorite. They’re kind of a carrot cake muffin, with carrots, grated apple, walnuts, raisins, and you can add crushed pineapple and coconut if you want. I don’t have any crushed pineapple or coconut, but they’re good without them.

Can’t wait for my son to get here. I’ll need to nap tomorrow, to be picking him up at 10:40 at night, but that’s ok. It was really the only choice he had. He seems excited too! I hope the weather holds for him. It’s been such lovely weather, except for the t-storms we had the other morning, it’s been typical FL, sunny and warm.

Feeling blessed this morning, to have so much good stuff in my life. Love and light, all.

On Not Having to Explain Myself

The other day, when I was at my sisters, she said, again, lol, how she didn’t realize how much it would mean to her to have me so close by. I think for me, it’s been different than for her. I KNEW how much it would mean to me, hell, I wouldn’t have moved here if she wasn’t here. I only knew her and my one friend from childhood. When you move a great distance, you think about those things.

My sis has lived here with her husband, in the winter for 8 years. She has a base here, close friendships. My appearance in her life was one more of them. But we both have realized how awesome it is to have each other. To have someone in your life on a regular basis who lived through your childhood together, who knew how you grew up, experienced all that you experienced. To have someone in your life regularly to whom you don’t have to explain who you are. It’s amazing really.

This morning, I was making my coffee, and thought about how all three of us, my older and younger sisters, and me, drink our coffee the same way. Cream only, and not too much of it. (Although my younger sister, now mostly vegan probably gave up the cream.) I thought about my little sister’s visit in about 10 days. Thought about how cool it will be to go out to lunch with both my sisters, just the 3 of us.

Of course, then I always think about how blessed we were to grow up in the Norman Rockwell life we did. Two parents who loved each other, in a small town in Iowa, in a 100 year old house 3 blocks from the Mississippi River. Days spent on that river together, where at least my older sis and I learned to water-ski, behind our 16′ boat. Minor league baseball games with my dad.

Mostly, and I’ve written about this many times, never ever going to bed wondering if our parents loved us. My God, what a gift that is to give your children. The people I know who did not have that foundation, that gift, of unconditional love have striven for it their whole lives, don’t believe it exists, and have built incredible walls and acted out in harmful ways to ease the pain of a child who doesn’t believe they are worthy of love.

I’m trying to finish up the stuff I need to get done with the house before my little sis comes here. I look at the diamond shaped window in my front door, and the round stained glass flower that this sister made for me which fits exactly in the center of it.

I feel so much peace lately. So much more than I’ve felt in years. My sisters and I hanging out together. The spark of a relationship that has the possibility of becoming something very special, without all the pain and drama and ugliness of my marriage and last relationship. A cute little house in a place where 60 is cold weather. And not having to go to work. Good, close friends. One of them who is almost like my sisters, who has known me forever, and to whom I never have to explain myself. It’s coincidental that the other day L was telling me a story from his youth, and said, oh yes, when I get together with my old friends, it’s still one of the stories we talk about.  Then he asked me, “do you have any friends that you’ve been friends with forever, like that?”  I told him “Oh yeah, in fact last weekend I had 3 girls staying with me and we’ve all been best friends since we were 13.”  He remarked how nice it is to have people in your life who knew you forever, that you never have to explain who you are to, who just know you.  It’s frigging amazing, really.

I have said so many times in the last couple of years, that I believe my purpose on this earth is to learn lessons and evolve my soul. I still believe that. The last couple of years though, I’ve added a caveat to that which is, that my lessons become easy lessons. I’ve had enough of the hard ones. I think I really have. Right now, it seems easy. I mean, the hardest thing that’s happened in a long time is having to set up a new cell phone, LOL. It feels like the Universe has listened, as if the intentions I set are manifesting.

Love and light to everyone.

Old Friends

It was 4:30 in the morning. My 3 friends were sprawled through the house, in the guest room, and on the recliners on either end of my large sectional. I had gone to bed an hour and a half before.

As tired as I was, I could not sleep. Too much junk food. Too much stimulation. I need to have  my downtime and didn’t have it. One of them is staying until Sunday morning.  One will be going back to her home here tomorrow, I think.  Though she may opt to spend the night again tonight. The other will be staying at her boyfriends.

We all got up between 8 and 10, I was of course, the first.  Made the coffee, and we sat out on my deck and just talked, the way old old friends do.  Finally, we made some food, rather, I made some food.  We ate, and I began to fade.  So at 2 pm I laid down to take a nap.  We’re all going out to eat tonight, and I’m going to be exhausted.

I have discovered that having a bunch of people in my house does not lend itself to me sleeping.  I’ve been alone too long, I think.  I love these girls, they are my sisters, but I was longing for a little time to myself.  I couldn’t even write, and that’s always a problem for me.

I finally got up at about 4, and thought I’d better get up, and get a shower in if we’re going out. When I walked out of my room, I found out that there was no one here. As if magically, the two girls who were here had heard me wish for some alone time, and had gone shopping down in the center of town. I am so utterly grateful, so I can write, and recenter myself.

I heard from Tim today a couple of times. He is learning how to use his new smartphone and mastered sending an email, lol. He keeps it short and sweet, as if he’s afraid of intruding. It’s so nice to be treated that way. I’m so looking forward to seeing him Sunday.

I’m looking forward to going out with my friends again, though I am spending way more money than I want to, but it’s a rare occasion for us all to be together. I’ll just have to make it up somehow.

I think we’re about to leave for our dinner tonight, on the beach, watching the sunset. Should be lovely. I hope I have time to check in later.

Love and light, everyone.

And The New Year Rolls In

Happy New Year!

What a great New Year’s Eve. The friends across the street from my sis had this amazing party. I can’t tell you how awesome it is to spend New Year’s Eve outside. They had live music, there was lots of food (everyone brought something), lots of drink. Lots of dancing and talking and fun! And all we had to do was walk across the street, as did almost everyone else there. About 70 people all from the neighborhood. The music was somebody the hosts heard in Key West. They have a regular gig there, but the hosts paid them to come all the way up here, to play for us last night.

I have not spent New Year’s Eve with my sister, or anyone in my family for that matter, in about 50 years. It was so awesome!!!! It was about 65, cool enough for a sweater, warm enough that it was easy to stay outside all night. I met some more wonderful people, we laughed, they included me. I may have been the only single person there, but it didn’t matter, really. We all laughed, talked and danced til about 1 AM, and then came home and collapsed into bed. I only drank 3 small glasses of wine, really they probably amounted to 2 real glasses. Drank lots of water. At midnight the champagne came out.

I love that 2016 is over. It was such a hard year for me, so many big changes. I just tried, last night, to put it all in the past. The struggle to get the house sold, to move my son to Colorado, to retire, to move down here, to deal with the issues on the house down here, and to finish, once and for all, the relationship with S.

And since I have really and fully closed the door on that old, toxic and painful relationship, it seems maybe someone new is making their way in. I’m not sure yet, but the signs are good. I am WAY more cautious now, about believing what someone tells me. I’m not jumping into anything, but it seems there is something there, coming from both sides. Time will tell. I’m hopeful.

Trying to make New Year’s resolutions, well kind of. I am not a big resolution girl, but I think in light of all the changes in my life I should try to make some sort of plan on how I want to better live my life. Life is so good here, for me. With friends and family, and maybe a new man. But really, if I’m not going to work, I want to find things to get involved with, to give back, to make this little corner of the world a better place.

I’m going to finish the things around the house that need doing. I have to hang the curtains I bought in my bedroom. I need to put together my leave blower and clean up the leaves in the back yard. My handyman is coming in the next few days to do some tree-trimming. I need to scrub the deck down, it has some mildew on it, or else maybe it’s just dirty, but at any rate, it needs cleaning. Then I’ll get a shed ordered, my handyman will put it up, and I can start doing things like landscaping.

In my spare time, I want to get back to making jewelry. There are so many shops in town that will sell on consignment, and I am heartened by the fact that I sold two of the necklaces that were at the gallery in St. Pete. Apparently there is some market for the kind of jewelry I make. And so much more pleasant to make jewelry for extra money than to work. God, I so love not working.

I guess you can tell, I am excited for the future. No big changes ahead, just cruising easily through the things I love to do. In perfect weather most of the time. Last night was so perfect, really.

I fell asleep immediately, but only slept 3 or 4 hours last night. I see a nap in my future today, and it’s supposed to be warm again, warm enough to take a nap outside in the sun lounger. I don’t feel exhausted, I think that the inability to sleep longer is from just feeling so full of good energy from last night, and so much gratitude that my life has turned out this way. It’s crazy. If someone looked back at my blogs this time last year, I was such a mess. What a difference a year makes.

Enough gushing. It’s hard to stop. It’s just so awesome, so incredible, to be happy almost all the time. Not really to be ever stressed about anything. I think it’s one reason I have been able to let go so much more easily of things that no longer serve me since I’ve been here. There’s just no need to hang on to anything that doesn’t add happiness to my life.

Love and light, everyone. May we all have a blessed 2017.

Singing the Song for 2017

It’s New Year’s Eve. Time to reflect, to look forward, to enjoy the moment.

Reflecting….. Last year was a year of huge change for me. Never before have I had so many big changes in my life. Losing my mother. Retiring from a lifetime of work. Moving to Florida, to a completely different way of life. Moving my son away from me to Colorado. Ending a love affair that stopped bringing me pleasure a long time ago, and only brought me pain. And even so, it was a struggle to let go. But let go I finally have, completely.

All these changes were good. Every one of them. Even though I miss my son so much. I know he’s doing well, and happy, and making his own way. Thank God for cell phones, we talk every day. There are new people in my life, new friends, the budding of new relationships that bring a smile to my face.

I don’t deal with winter any more. That is such a blessing to me. I so hated being cold from the middle of October until the middle of April. Dressing in 4 or 5 layers, and still being cold. I hated dealing with snow, and the last few years we had mega amounts of snow up there, with only a few exceptional years. I hated driving in it, keeping the driveway clear and the walk ways, and being housebound.

Now…..when it gets cold here, it’s in the 50’s. And so far, for not more than 2 days, til the temperature creeps back up to the 70’s or 80’s. I can walk every day along the beach. I can see the ocean every day. The water here on the Gulf coast is warm, and calm, and soothing. Usually I am dressed in one layer, and more often than not, it’s shorts, or skorts (the skirts with shorts under them).

To be able to spend time with my sister on a regular basis is such a blessing. We are becoming so close. It has eased the pain of losing our mother last year. We joke all the time about how we channel her for each other. She and I have not lived close to one another since we moved out of the house around age 20. I’m going back there today, invited to her neighbor’s New Year’s Eve party which promises to be a blast, and it’s right across the street!. No driving with the drunks….

The future is looking bright. There is a possibility of a budding relationship. It is moving slowly, at a speed which, while sometimes frustrating for me, is a good thing really. I’m sitting back and let the universe drive the train. It’s fun to feel that way again, and actually have it reciprocated.

Financially I feel secure. Avalon, my home, my place of new beginnings, is coming along. All the big work is now completed. There are some jobs like tree-trimming, putting up a shed, landscaping that need to be done, but they will be done over the next few months.

Mostly, I have given up worry over things I cannot control. I have come to believe that the Universe has a grand design, which we cannot possibly understand in human terms, and that all will work out for the highest good of all. It’s not so much Pollyanna, it’s just that I agree with Marianne Williamson that the universe is self-organizing and self-correcting. It has been the way it’s worked for me, over and over again. I know that many people won’t agree with me, in fact, maybe most. It’s just the way it is from the perspective of my life. Not asking anyone else to believe it.

This year, I think I will try to do more giving back. There are a few things I’ve discovered here which I can get involved with that might make a difference in someone else’s life. I mean, I have such a happy life here. So free of drama and pain, so full of joy. I want to spread that around as much as I can.

Life is for living, for singing a joyful song. I’ve always known that, even though I’ve had a hard time singing so often. Through an abusive marriage, a failed love affair, a long period of terrible financial insecurity, I still always believed I could one day sing the song again.

I’m singing it now. It’s in my head, lol, I still don’t sing in front of people. But those close to me can hear the song. I guess this is why I trust that the universe is on it, organizing and correcting for the higher benefit of all. Because it’s taken me from terrible darkness, to the sunlight of Florida.

Love and light, everyone. Have a Happy New Year!

Thoughts on Unconditional Love

I drove out to my sisters yesterday, to do laundry and to spend the night, but also because she was having  a small dinner party, and she asked me to help.  One of her best friends just had a mass found in a lung.  He had prostate cancer just about a year ago, and now this.  So, my sister brought together a few couples that were best friends with this man and his wife to try to cheer him up.

I don’t know that it cheered him, but it distracted him from impending gloom.  He hasn’t had a biopsy yet, so there’s a chance it won’t be as bad as a “mass in the lung” sounds.

I would call what my sister did, unconditional love, of her friends.  She tried to be there for all of them.  So they could support each other.  She gave them the venue.

We sat around and talked.  Her friends are becoming my friends.  As we talked, we opened up.  Told our stories.  Stood by them.  Laughed at them at times, laughed at ourselves, commiserated at times.  It is what happens.  Unconditional love doesn’t require perfection, it just requires acceptance.

It is the same with any friendship, right?  For the friendship to develop, people have to share their stories, to relate, to let you in behind their wall.  Intimacy only grows this way.  I have had someone in my life who claims to be a friend, but will only share so much with me. Enough to concern me, not enough to either confirm or allay my fears.  I would guess many of us have known people like that.

So what happens in that case?  You back off, when you realize they don’t really want to be close. When the two-way communication, and sharing, and trust stops, the friendship often dies, or goes dormant. This backing off is often perceived as a condition for love.  One friend is constantly trying to prove that I don’t love unconditionally.  Why?  To what end?  To justify, after the fact, that they chose to put a wall up?

Does your backing off mean you don’t love them, unconditionally?  Of course not.  Unconditional love is just that.  Unconditional.  Do I accept someone who chooses to leave me out as they are?  Yes. And I will let them be.  Do I love them still?  Of course.

It has nothing to do with whether or not I love anyone.  I once told my son’s therapist (court ordered, when his father and I were getting divorced) that there was nothing my son could do to make me stop loving him.  The therapist said, “Oh I am sure there are some things…”  I said, “No.  There are behaviors I would not support, or accept, but I would always love him.”  The therapist looked at me and said, “You’re right.  Unconditional love and unconditional acceptance are two different things.”

So, this is still true.  I will always love my son, I will always love the friend who now chooses not to talk to me.  I will be there for them, if they change their mind.  I don’t hold a grudge.  (Sometimes I wish I could, but I’ve never been able.)

I say a lot, “Love always and all ways”.  That comes from Byron Katie, one of the greatest teachers I know.  She teaches unconditional love, and acceptance of what is.  So yes, I still love that way, even if someone shuts me out, or behaves in a way that is hurtful to me, or to themselves.

Love and light, to all.

 

 

Self-Absorbed Updates

self-absorbed

Ok, I need 10 minutes. Maybe only 5, I don’t think it will take that long to read this, lol. Just feeling totally self absorbed this morning. I don’t really like it, but hey, I guess I need my moments. Anyway….it’s how I woke up, and the only way to get through it for me, is to write about it, publish it, and then look at it and go, “YUCK. Get back to yourself, and stop all this whining!” So I apologize, but I’m doing it anyway. Therapy.

I need to go through my mail, and unsubscribe to a whole bunch of it. Notices and coupons from stores back in CT. Ace Rewards, from the local hardware store. Who’s playing at Angelico’s Lake House, the local watering hole beside the lake. I need to update my Groupon and Living Social offers, so they are for offers down here, not for massages and car detailing up in CT.

Seems a small thing, but it makes me a little homesick. Not that I’m not happy here, because still, I have to characterize my life as happy. It’s just they remind me when everything was on an even keel. When I went home to a house where everything was in it’s place. Where I didn’t have to use GPS to get anywhere. Where I had lots of people around.

Sleep evaded me for a long while last night, even though I was so tired when I went to bed. And even though I took an Ambien. I need to get back to myself, and my normal positive outlook on stuff. I need to finish moving into this house. I am sick of being unsettled.

I didn’t go to sunrise this morning, because it’s cloudy, solid clouds. So I am holed up in the house. It is much cooler out these days. It was 70 this morning, instead of close to 80. But my windows need replacing, the screens do not all fit tightly, so I leave the AC on and don’t open the windows. I would be inundated with bugs if I opened a window. As it is, they get in the house, I suppose just by opening the door. I am missing the fresh air.

But ok, I can’t stand feeling sorry for myself for too long. Yesterday afternoon, my friend Pat called and asked if I would come to her house for awhile, because her daughter and grandkids were there and she’d like me to meet them. I’ve been wanting to, so I went. Her grandson is 8, and an amazing smart, well mannered, articulate young man. Her granddaughter is almost 3, and the cutest thing ever, and reminds me so much of my son because she talks incessantly, and can carry on a real conversation with people. Mostly with Pat, I can see she just adores her grandmother. Her daughter is like Pat, so similar. She is beautiful, and real, and has the same sense of humor. Plus like Pat, her life is full of amazing stories, and she tells them so well. I got there and she was painting a picture frame. I asked her if her mom taught her to paint, she said, no she never had time. LOL. Pat had to take care of her two kids basically on her own. Her life was hard. But her daughter is married to a wonderful man, she has a beautiful home, and a condo on the beach, and the two amazing kids, so I think Pat can say, she did right by her kids.

It seems odd, that I have known Pat 52 years, and I’m just now meeting her daughter. But that was the gap caused by an abusive marriage for me, a marriage to a man who wanted to isolate me from everyone else who loved me. He couldn’t do it with my family, but he did for many years from my friends. Well, I let him, right? Yes, there were some battles with him I just couldn’t fight. I got them all back, that’s all that matters.

And now, to get myself back. I will take a kind of a breather today, except for the appointment for my windows, and with the dr. My handyman is coming over to fix my fence this morning too. Then tomorrow I’ll go pick up my new car, and get back in the groove of finding a washer dryer, a shed, getting my stuff up on the walls, calling the town to get a special pick up of some of the rest of the boxes that I can’t take to the recycling center myself, or fit in my recycling bins. Just some of what I need to do.

Onward. Love and light, all.