Sunday, August 29, 2010
This is intensely personal & if you don't want to know... you've been warned to stop reading here.
I was married for nearly twenty-two years to a man who for all the good things I saw in him, could not stand me expressing joy. He didn't like it if I sang (my son to this day associates me singing with arguments in the house). This is NOT because I have a bad voice, people. I'm passable. And singing is a way to express the internal joy and happiness that just bubbles over at times!
If I came home bubbly and happy over something that happened at work, I was chastised for it. "How do you think I feel?" He was miserable and wanted me to be down there with him.
For years I conditioned myself to take the happiness I felt and "stuff it" away so I wouldn't make him upset. I pretended to not be happy unless I tested the waters of HIS emotional state first.
I ran away from the misery... my earlids shut down on him... I played video games. I read books. I went to work and was happy there. But when I went home, I shut down the happy.
Even now, with so much joy... I don't particularly want to phone him to rejoice over our son's homecoming because I know what will come next: "how do you think I feel? I haven't seen *son* in X years."
I never said the honest words to him: "Well, sorry. I love you still, despite being divorced for seven years, but I can't live with this attitude. You can sit there and feel sorry for yourself, but I cannot respect an attitude that doesn't TRY to improve your situation. You are alone because you wouldn't let those around you be happy independently of your control."
I wish he was happy. But that's one of the things I cannot change. It took me a very long time to come to that realization.
What I could change is this: I am no longer afraid to be happy myself.
Today, I am full of joy. I hold in my heart the recognition that not everyone in the world shares my joy today... that is the gift of my 22 years with ex. But this I now know: having personal joy does not mean you don't have compassion for others. It does not mean you are unkind. It just means that right now, in this moment, something has come for you that needs to be cherished, because if you ONLY feel the bad emotions, and never the good... you won't like yourself or anyone else. Joy is the reward after working through the pain... if you never accept the reward... where are you?
Today, I choose to feel this joy. Today I pray for the comfort of others who may be feeling sorrow, or pain, grief, or anger, or fear. But for me, today there is joy, and I intend to cherish it.
And that is a mental / emotional health victory.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
The flight was only about 15 minutes late (says the mom who paced back and forth and fretted over whether daughter in law would make it in time!) The funniest thing that happened was that she DID arrive, right on time... and I went skipping down the stairs in my skinny jeans and polo shirt to greet her. She went right past me, kind of ignoring me or giving me the cold shoulder and I thought, "What have I done? Is she irritated that I horned in on the welcome at the airport? Did she want this moment alone with him?"
Anyway, I backed off... kind of feeling guilty. She ducked into the restroom, and when she came back out she did a double take and gave me a grin and a smile... she had NOT recognized me! Seriously. My own daughter in law didn't know me in skinny jeans at the airport! We had a bit of a giggle over it.
Sorry, no pictures... left the camera home out of privacy for the kids! He was the first passenger down the gate to us! We saw ACU's coming, and then I looked at how he moved... and gave her a little nod... "go get 'im girl" so they did the classic homecoming PDA to the approval of others who were waiting for their own loved ones. Mom got the second hug, as appropriate & it was SO worth it! And it was enough...
Waiting for his bags, he had one arm around his wife, and the other 'round his mom... then we packed his bags into her car and off they went and I floated home, completely at peace. Great sleeping night, then...
Pre-dawn workout one of week 2 of Couch to 5K program. Here's the deal: I wanted to go in a certain direction, thinking the sun would come up while I had some great views. I had barely turned for home when the workout time was over... so I kept on walking home, another 30 minutes! OK, so I kind of overshot the workout, but that's OK... remember, I was still kind of walking on air!
Oh, and I had a "close encounter" with wildlife: a skunk! Not too close, thank goodness, but we startled each other, and he (or she) lifted the tail... but we both were moving in opposite directions. It was right beside the running/biking trail!
Friday, August 27, 2010
The phone rang, per my co-worker, at 8:02 a.m. Son was in a great mood. His flight gets in to the LOCAL airport (don't have to drive even the hour to the next nearest one) after the work day... BUT I was bouncing off the walls. So I sent an "outage" note and came home, where I hopped on the treadmill to work off some of the springs.
Oh, and in the background, I heard another "Hi, mom!" Apparently some of his buddies have adopted me, too. How cute is that!?
Friday, August 27, 2010
Got a phone call from my son last night as I was getting ready for bed. He says if all goes well, he'll be out of that base by 10 a.m. today. He promises he WILL get home today, whatever airport he has to fly to. I told him and his wife the same thing: I won't horn in on their homecoming but I'm anxious for that mom hug. He got real quiet and said "gotta go"... methinks there is a lot of emotion attached to coming home.
So I woke up at 3:09 a.m. and tried laying back down but to no avail. The mind is running. I'm up, I'm dressed. I really want that first hug. No reason to neglect self-care... can't will it to happen faster.
So, slow down, have a good breakfast, walk a bit before work, and wait for the news about flights, which will come some time after 8 a.m.
Edited to add:
So, what to do while waiting: I chopped veggies. And my mind started doing this little thing it does sometimes (as some of you already know):
"When the going gets tough..." my Mother's Day card starts out. My brain took it to ... "the tough chop onions!" This spun from my son's quick phone exit last night. The tough can't show their emotions, or they'll crack. If you chop onions, the tears can be blamed on chemistry!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
All right, I just put workout 3 of week one of Couch to 5K "in the bag" this morning. I feel fantastic. Those endorphins are a-bubbling! I'm making this commitment as publicly as I can: my work-out tick-marks are being posted in my office, on my FaceBook status, and of course here where I have my Spark buddies to cheer me along.
Keeping a promise to yourself in incredibly energizing! I feel it when I do my little ten minute Spark strength sessions... two sets of crunches. Not much time... but I DID IT! And then I'm energized for the next challenge.
One of my sisters is a naturally neat person (I'm a messie). She tells me she gets her house and yard in order using a "do one thing" philosophy. This works for nutrition and exercise, too. If I do ONE thing, like drinking my water... it energizes me to make healthier choices in my food... which in turn energizes me to take that walk on my break instead of skipping it . A chain reaction that is featured in the book The Spark... the cross over effect.
So here's to living our lives TODAY (one day), in the PRESENT (mindfully), doing ONE THING, to KEEP A PROMISE to ourselves. We are worth it!
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