Archive | March, 2013

Broken

30 Mar

5-minute-friday-1You are not broken.  You don’t need to be fixed. That’s what Panache Desai says.   Sometimes I feel so broken.  Sometimes I think the country is broken, but mosaics are broken glass put back together to make something beautiful.  Maybe that’s what our broken is.  We put back the pieces to become this beautiful collage of broken pieces and we shine.  It makes my heart happy to think that everyone can take their broken pieces and create something beautiful, and that everyone can see them shine.  I want to see the mosaic in everyone and maybe be the person who helps them create their picture with their broken pieces.  Now that would be something.  I think of how many times I’ve felt broken and put back together and I’m sure that at some point I’ll feel whole.

Writing in Faith

28 Mar

imagesI just had a huge “Aha moment”. I read the following quote by George Burns and it really rocked my world: “I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate”. Ok, so here’s why this quote speaks to me. For the past nineteen years, I have been a stay at home mom. I love being a parent, hanging out with my kids and doing things for and with them. The one part about my chosen profession that I have never enjoyed is housework. There was honestly a time in my life that I would get angry every time I cleaned the house and would become this really unpleasant martyr. Also, I have a child diagnosed with adhd and as I learned more and more about that condition, I realize that apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. I could not for the life of me figure out how to run a household. In 2002, much to my delight, I found the Flylady system of housekeeping and with it, some success at keeping a home. I still don’t love housekeeping, but I can manage, and with the help of my family, it is a much easier job.

Now, my family is growing up. They have activities and jobs and girlfriends. My husband works an extra part time job to help pay for college. I spend more time alone, and this quote made realize some very important things about my life. The first is that I don’t get to spend as much time doing the thing I have loved the most over the past nineteen years of my life which is spending time with my family. That is a season of life, and I am blessed that I was able to be such a big part of my children’s lives by being home with them. Also, because I’m at home, I began to focus more on my home, which is great, except that having a perfect home has never given me the pleasure it does others, and frankly no home is ever perfect anyway. The biggest “aha”, though, has to do with my writing. I love to write and I write almost every day. Most of it is very personal, and I do not choose to share it at this time. Some of it, though, like this blog, is to share, as is the book I’m writing. It’s my writing, something I love to do, that doesn’t always “fit” into my day.

Today I realized in a deep way that being a success at keeping a nice house is a good thing, but being a success at writing will give me more joy than having a clean home ever will. The other thing I realized, and this is a biggie too, is that I put the writing on the back burner because I’m overweight. I’m afraid that any success I have with writing will be over shadowed by my weight, and that all people will see is the fat lady who wrote a book. Today, because of that quote, I understand that I have to let that go. You see, I hate going to the gym. I have never had success at the gym. For a six month period, I was incredibly diligent at the gym. I did cardio. I lifted. I ate impeccably and I didn’t lose a single pound. I was miserable and eventually just quit going.

So now I’ve said it. I’m fat and I hate the gym, but I love to write, so until the book is done, I will focus on the thing I love to do, keep up with the thing I learned to do and not worry about the thing I hate to do. It may sound easy, but I assure you it isn’t as easy as it sounds. It will require that I tell myself over and over that the writing is more important than having the perfect house which is the yardstick many use for judgment for a stay at home mom and one I’ve used on myself. It means I will have to say stop to the voice that says I should be working out instead of sitting on my already too big butt and writing. It means stepping out in faith and hoping that my gift of words will overcome the fear in and about my body. It’s frightening and exhilarating at the same time.
As they’ve grown up, I have always told my children to pick a profession they love and their life will always feel blessed. Starting today, I will be giving myself that gift with my writing. The plan is to have my manuscript finished by the end of April so that I can submit it to a contest that ends May 1st. Just putting that in writing and being willing to make that public is frightening, but now I’ve done it and I am excited by the possibilities. I’ll let you know how it turns out and will hopefully have some progress reports along the way. Thanks for being you and have a great day!

Spiraling Back Up

19 Mar

freevecttordotcomyogaDid you ever have one of those days when you wake up feeling miserable and every thought seems to make it worse? I was having one of those days, starting this morning. I woke up and thought about some insurance issues we’re having. I need to make a call today that I don’t want to make. I also realized that if I don’t get this issue ironed out in the next nine days, some of the financial help we receive will not be available to us next year. Yikes!

I got up and stepped on the scale to look at a number I didn’t like. Why did I eat bread yesterday? Why did I make a cake? Why did I promise to make my kids breakfast sandwiches that take so much longer to make than anything else they eat for breakfast? Then I remembered the forms I needed to fill out for school that are due today and require a check. Then I looked at my new checks and realized that the number sequence is off. The yuck just seemed to be piling on, and I could feel myself slipping into the darkness of anger on the edge of a full blown pity party and its resulting martyrdom and misery for me and everyone around me. This was not looking like it was going to be a good day at all.

I got my youngest child out the door to school and then I got on Facebook. I don’t usually get on Facebook until I’ve gotten more done around the house because I know how I can get sucked in and before I know it two precious hours are gone from my day, and I have nothing but guilt to show for it. There were the usual messages and posts, and just as I was getting ready to write my own post in a private group about how I was struggling today, I saw this article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/margaret-paul-phd/how-to-be-miserable_b_2896874.html. It was as if the Divine was talking directly to me, and I realized I was asking the wrong question. Why?

Maybe it’s because I’m an American. Maybe it’s because I’m a woman. Maybe it’s because of something else, but I have this ridiculous habit of asking why things happen, especially when those things feel negative and disempowering. The worst part is that I know that if I share that misery in an email or a Facebook post that I will get the sympathy and empathy I desperately want. The reason I call it the worst part is that everyone who supports me in my misery has to get down there in my misery with me and feel it too. Ewwww!

Don’t get me wrong; I think compassion is one of the best traits human beings have. I love our ability to care for others, but so often we wallow in misery looking for sympathy, which keeps us stuck, rather than looking for solutions or even a kind word that can bring us back up. How many times have others offered words of encouragement and solutions, and we do everything we can to ignore them or refuse to be comforted or uplifted by them? I have seen this as the giver of encouragement and the receiver of it. The funny thing is that sometimes we’re praying with everything that we have for God to give us an answer or a sign that He’s listening, and when we get it in the form of a suggestion from a friend, we automatically assume it won’t work or give some excuse why we cannot possibly do what the person is suggesting. We negate the answer to a prayer and then wonder why our life isn’t working out. DUH!!!

So here’s the thing I’ll be doing today. Instead of asking why anything is happening to me today, I’ll be asking what I can learn and how I can be better because of it. I have a plan, but if that doesn’t flow with the plan the Creator has for me, I’ll flow with that the best I can. I’ll also be asking what I can do for myself to lighten my burden and the burden of others, and I’ll be looking for the blessing in it all, because that’s how I live when I live my best. Some days, like today, are more challenging than others, but every day upon this Earth is a gift from the Divine, and how we choose to live it is our gift back to the Divine.

One of the other things I do when I’m struggling to live my best is to fill my life with things that bring me joy. Writing is one of those things, as is meditation. I also love watching inspiring videos, and this one recently crossed my path: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p98KAEif3bI. I’ll definitely be watching it today. It is a beautiful story and worth your time. Once you watch it, you will be reminded that you are magnificent and so is everyone else you encounter if you are just willing to see it. As always, I thank you for being you and have a great day!

My Big Fat Fear

12 Mar

ButterflyAbout six months ago I started counting down to my 50th birthday. At that time, I had a plan in place to get my home in better shape, to get my finances in better shape, to get my body in better shape and to write a book. I was optimistic and had so much energy to take on all these areas of my life, and I was making great progress until I saw that my birthday was only fifty days away. I had made great progress on my home with de-cluttering and keeping it company ready most of the time. My husband and I had completely changed the direction of our finances and had paid off the last of our credit cards, leaving us debt free, except for our mortgage. Those two things alone should have been cause for great rejoicing, and I was rejoicing, but there was still some things missing.

The first was the book. I know what the content of the book will be, but I just can’t bring myself to get it on the page. I’ve stopped and started so many times. I’ve tried different formats. I know the stories are there. I know the stories are good, because I know how they’ve affected my life and how they can help others in a positive way. I just can’t seem to get them on the page, at least not in a way that feels right.

Then there’s the weight, the stupid weight. I spent most of my young adulthood under 140 pounds, thinking I was fat, and just in case I wasn’t sure about that, I married a man who reinforced my already skewed view of my body. When we split up, I lost so much weight that my doctor threatened to put me on medication, so I began to eat, a little. I maintained my weight and even gained a little bit when I met the love of my life that has been my husband for nearly twenty years now. Then I got pregnant.

My first pregnancy was easy and fun. I gained exactly what I was supposed to, and I felt great. I loved being pregnant, and other than the 23 hour labor and hour and a half of pushing, I had nothing but good things to say about being pregnant. I was playing volleyball three weeks after giving birth and was within ten pound of my pre-birth weight. The extra few pounds really didn’t bother me because I felt good and looked good.

During my second pregnancy, my father was diagnosed with cancer and he died 28 days after my second child was born. We buried him the first week of April and less than four months later, we buried my father in law who also passed from cancer. So in one year’s time, I got pregnant, had a baby and lost both my father and father in law. Couple that with an unquenchable craving for brownie sundaes while I was pregnant and Hello 65 pound weight gain! I was also raising a three year old and coaching a club volleyball team. Life became much more about surviving the day than enjoying the ride.

Then came child number three. If you follow my blog, you know about his unusual and rocky entry into this world and the resulting havoc in my own body. If you don’t regularly follow my blog, you can read the story in more detail at https://karenbemmes.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/my-miracle/. At that point, I basically went into auto pilot mode and being mom became the focus of my life. The “me” part of me got put on the back burner, and to this day, I wouldn’t change that because it was exactly what I needed to do to raise the family I have. I am so very proud of each of them and the choices I made helped them to become who they are.

Now, however, as they get older, I am faced with deciding again who I want to be and who I feel I’m supposed to be. I guess this is what they call a mid-life crisis, and I realized this morning how much fear is involved. Being a mom has been the most fulfilling time of my life. It is a job I feel I was born to do, and I’ve loved it most of the time. Now, though, it’s a job that requires less and less of me, which leaves me with more time on my hands, more questions about my life, and that weight, that damn weight.

This morning I realized, with a lot of help from materials I’ve been reading lately, that the weight I carry is fear. Some of it is the built up fear of the past; fear of something happening to my husband or one of my children, the way something happened to my father and father in law. Some of it is the fear of not having done enough as a mom, even though I know I have done my best in the past and I am still giving it my best every day. Some of it is fear of who I’m supposed to be now, and do I have the talent and skill to be the person I feel called to be. For me, that fear manifests in weight that I wear like a coat of armor, and I desperately want to take it off.

So here I am, baring my soul and my fear to the world, hoping that this is my first brave step to shedding the weight and becoming the person I aspire to be. It seems that every time I “come clean” to my readers, I’m able to figure out the next steps I need to take and they come so much easier. I want to be brave. I want to write a book that will inspire. I want to be healthy and fit, and I want to help as many people as I can become everything they were put on this Earth to become. If we can all do that for each other, we can stop wars, heal our planet and ourselves. It’s a huge undertaking, but I want so much to continue to make a positive difference and be the best I can be, and I want that so much for each of you. So I pray you’ll join me in looking fear in the face however it manifests in your life so we can help each other get to the other side of fear and become the incredible human beings we were created to be. Thanks for being you and have a great day!

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