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.

Flashback

A blast from the past. I don’t watch much TV. I turn it on in the evening, and often pay no attention to it. It’s just for the noise.

Tonight I’m watching the news, which is something even more rare than watching at all. I hate the news. At least, network news. But tonight there was a story about the CT Supreme Court reversing the decision on Michael Skakel and sending him back to prison for the murder of Martha Moxley. They showed the Supreme Court Room, and boy, did that bring me back to some difficult, yet triumphant memories.

December 2, 2010, exactly 2 years after the first day of our trial in Superior Court. More than 3 1/2 years since I had left my ex.  2 years since my son had come to live with me.  I remember sitting as a spectator, because that’s where the actual parties to the cases sit, in that auspicious room. The pomp and circumstance was palpable. Classrooms of students from local colleges filed in to watch the proceedings. The officer in charge of the courtroom gives all of us instructions. There was not an empty seat. Classrooms have to book it way ahead of time. The Supreme Court hears 2 cases a day. I had been waiting for 2 years to be heard. Two years from the 3 day trial my ex and I had, as he attempted to make sure I got less than 10% of the estate from a 32 year marriage. He lost that first Superior Court decision. He appealed, and then requested to have the appeal raised from the Appellate Court to the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, every asset from our 32 year marriage, every dime, was in his possession.  I had a paycheck.  That was it.  (And just for added stress, my son was in a bad car accident 4 days before, broke his ankle, totaled 2 cars.  Of course the man with all the money did not contribute one cent to the deductible for his health insurance, or on a replacement car.)

7 chairs at the bench in the front. Like 7 thrones. The people who sat there would decide my future. I hoped they were just, I hoped they could see the truth about what had been done to me. Each atty gets a certain amount of time to make their case. My son’s GAL (guardian ad litum) sat with my attorney, to help her if needed. Because, he got it. It took him awhile, but he finally got it, and for the last year, and during our initial trial sat on my side. When my atty made her case, she didn’t even need all the time allotted. The judge in our Superior Court decision could see my ex coming 100 miles away, and did a ton of research for us, since there was no law regarding our issue. He wrote 7 pages, citing cases in other states. It was all in our brief, not much needed to be said. The point was that for him to prevail would have done a grave injustice, I think is what it said.

The justices argued with my ex’s atty. Not mine at all. They had some questions, but not many. They had a lot of questions of my ex’s and some actually argued with him, telling him that what the judge did, he was supposed to do.

In the end, I won. The decision was released April 18, 1 day before my 60th birthday. I had been secretly asking the Universe to give me the decision for a birthday present. Really.

They called my ex “unconscionable” 9 times in their lengthy decision. Unanimously.

And, my case made case law in CT. No one will ever be able to do to their spouse what he tried to do to me again. That makes me proud, really. And really, eases some of the pain of waiting 4 years to finally be free of that man.

A couple of years later, a Yale 1st year law student contacted my atty. His first assignment of the year in contract law had been to write a brief on my case, and could he come and see her for about an hour, and see some of the files. Imagine that. My case, my 4 year struggle ended up being a case which Yale University used to teach contract law.

I could go on, about how my life changed that 60th birthday. How I went house hunting, and bought my dream house, and later segued that house into this lovely life I now have in Florida. How I didn’t even consider having a date until I was moved into my new house. I hadn’t wanted to embroil anyone else in that mess. I learned that avoidance of something doesn’t mean you’re ready for it. I fell in love with someone who devastated me emotionally as badly, if not worse, than my ex did as he tried to separate my son from me, and hurt me financially. What my ex never did to me, my first love after divorce did. No need to expound on that. It’s all in the pages of this blog. I’m pretty cautious now.

Funny what just a flash of one picture can bring back.

Love and light everyone.

Haiku No. 144: Let Us Rise Strong

Brave and broken hearted

Today is my day
To live, to love, to enjoy.
It’s yours too, my friend.

How will you spend it,
This gift, a glorious day?
Let yourself feel love.

Don’t let the pain steal
From you the joy that is yours.
Your birthright, my friend.

Let the pain transform
You, more lovely than before.
Don’t let it own you.

Feel it til it’s gone,
Then see who you really are.
Rise, my friend, rise strong.

Finding Your Own Way

https://www.facebook.com/GilbertLiz/photos:

I had a conversation about this today.  It’s so easy for us to do what others want, or expect us to do. To stay in a marriage or a relationship because it’s easier than leaving it, even if it leaves you cold, or alone, or unfulfilled.  Lord knows I have done it.

Lord also knows that I have learned the lesson now, that my life is mine, to decide what I want out of it.  And I will fight my way to the light if I have to.  But I won’t settle for less than I want.  I am lucky, I know what that is.  I know what I want, I have some idea of how to get it.

But I intend to extend my hand to those still seeking.  Not to do it for them, but to support them and cheer them on in the quest to give their lives meaning.  No one should settle.  Life is for living, fully, passionately. As people have supported me, I will pay it forward.

You are enough.  You are so enough.  It is unbelievable how enough you are.  (another Liz Gilbert quote)

MANIFESTO OF THE BRAVE AND BROKENHEARTED

Brene Brown ended her interview with Oprah with this manifesto, which is at the end of her book, Rising Strong.  I know that there are many of us who have just gone through this, many more that have gone through it at some point, and many more who will.  So, I googled it, and thought I’d share it here.  Because I feel like I have finally risen from the floor of the arena, and I’m ready to go in again.

MANIFESTO OF THE BRAVE
AND BROKENHEARTED
There is no greater threat to the critics
and cynics and fearmongers
Than those of us who are willing to fall
Because we have learned how to rise.
~~~~~~
With skinned knees and bruised hearts;
We choose owning our stories of struggle,
Over hiding, over hustling, over pretending.
~~~~~~
When we deny our stories, they define us.
When we run from struggle, we are never free.
So we turn toward truth and look it in the eye.
~~~~~~
We will not be characters in our stories.
Not villains, not victims, not even heroes.
~~~~~~~
We are the authors of our lives.
We write our own daring endings.
~~~~~~
We craft love from heartbreak,
Compassion from shame,
Grace from disappointment,
Courage from failure.
~~~~~~
Showing up is our power.
Story is our way home. Truth is our song.
We are the brave and brokenhearted.
We are rising strong

Getting Through The Day

This describes weekends for me.  I got through Saturday ok.  Sunday has been a real struggle.  It will be nice when I can make it through the whole weekend. I guess one day is progress. Never thought I’d be glad to see Monday come.  I guess the good news is that I made it through.  Next weekend I’ll try to sleep through Sunday morning, that seems to be meltdown time.

Peace out.

It Will Beat Again

If I met you today

I would love you all over again.

I would set myself up for the heartbreak

all over again.

I would see you

And feel you

I would lavish your body with love

All over again.

But I know you already.

I see you.

You have reached into my heart.

I know your fingers

I know your breath.

You pull out my heart and squeeze it

Between your fingers

Until it stops beating.

Someone else will come along

And breathe life back into it

While you still hold it in your hand,

my life blood on your hands.

Someone else will come along,

Gently take my still heart from you.

Nourish and nurture it

Until it forgets the feel of your fingers,

The smell of your breath,

The cold gleam in your eyes

As you watched me struggle.

It will beat again.