What’s it all about Sherry?

Yesterday I posted about my lack of craving and my desire to enjoy my evening with my family – present and sober.  My evening was just as I had imagined, relaxing and easy.  In fact, I spent a good part of the evening reading and commenting on blogs. 

So, as often happens to me, my brain started working overtime as I was driving to work this morning thinking about some of the comments I made last night and why I write this blog.  It triggered a memory of a comment my oldest son made this weekend about my drinking. 

Oldest Child, “Just you know, I could never tell when you were drinking.  It’s probably because my eyesight is so poor that I couldn’t really see your eyes from a reasonable distance, but really, I couldn’t tell.”

Me…crickets accompanied by a blank stare.

Oldest Child, “I just didn’t want you to think you were THAT bad.”

And here’s where it gets stupid.  All of you alcoholics out there know where this is going.  My besotted, shriveled up brain thought…

MAYBE I’M NOT THAT BAD! 

Really????  No really, REALLY????  Are you fucking kidding me?  After all this time?

The thought only lasted an instant before my sane brain took over and thought, “Of course you’re THAT bad you ninny!  In fact, you’re worse!” 

But it was too late – I had peeped into the darkness once more and affirmed what I’ve always known.  The darkness is there…always.  And the demon lives and lies in wait in that darkness.  It’s my job to stay in the light.

Which of course I did.

This morning when I thought of this conversation, my first reaction was – I need to write about this.  I need to put “pen” to “paper” (fingers to keyboard) and write this shit down so I can process through it.  Thank God I found this outlet!  Thank God for blogs and the blogosphere! 

Which brought me back to why I’m still writing this blog and why I’ve gotten so wrapped up in the stats and worried about commenting, answering comments, counting comments, etc.  I mean again, really?!  This is not what it was supposed to be about!

Then what is it all about Sherry?

It’s about this…

I LOVE this blogging community.  I have a list of blogs a mile long that I read EVERY DAY.  I keep up with you all.  I cry for you.  I root for you.  I support you and I feel supported in the process.  THAT’s what it should be about.  Writing down my own thoughts and struggles and hoping, maybe, it touches and helps someone else.  Commenting when I actually have something to say and not just to be heard – ugh…I hate it when I do that.  Reading the heartfelt and welcome comments when someone is moved enough to comment on my blog.

But most importantly, this blog is so that I can stay out of the darkness and avoid the demon.  It’s also so I can dissect my past and all the crap that got me where I am today.  It’s about celebrating successes, acknowledging accomplishments, bragging on my kids, reaching out for help.

Essentially, this blog is my brain in Blogger format.

So if you don’t see me commenting very much, it doesn’t mean I’m not following and that I don’t care, it’s just that someone else has likely already said what I wanted to say.  I am also not going to check my stats anymore either – they really don’t matter.  The fact is that I’m not getting paid to do this.  I’m not curing cancer.  The world will keep on turning if I have 1 follower or 101.

There – I feel better now.  And at the end of the day, that’s really what this is all about.

Namaste

“And it occurred to me that there is no such thing as blogging. There is no such thing as a blogger. Blogging is just writing — writing using a particularly efficient type of publishing technology.”
~Simon Dumenco

Musings on a Monday

Look what was waiting for me on my desk when I came to work this morning.  Forget the fact that I’ve been working with this team for over two years.  Since I’m now “officially” a full time employee of this company, they took the time to mark the occassion.  See why I wanted to work here?

My group didn’t know I started Jenny this morning, hence all the candy and potato chips.  But that’s okay, I have a house full of teenagers that will make short work of all of this.  What really, really touched me was the Diet Pepsi.  Everyone here is a Coke or Diet Coke drinker so for them to take a minute and get me my soda was really sweet.

I’ve spent the day filling out forms and enrolling in benefits.  High quality, boring banker benefits.  Thank the Lord!  We cut the cost of our family benefits by over half and increased the quality of coverage by about 99.9%  (That’s actually not much of an exaggeration.)  As soon as I did the math I had to text the hubs and tell him.  It’s been such a struggle these past couple of years and it was very nice to text some really good news.  And even though it was crappy, I know we were fortunate to have any health insurance during that time…but it sure is nice to have the good stuff again.  Retin A Micro here I come!!!!

However, it doesn’t go into effect until 10/1…so I’ll be purchasing a butt-load of bubble wrap in which to wrap my boys for the month of September.

As I was driving to work this morning, I was thinking what a great excuse this would have been to get a good drunk on.  In fact, since I had been on vacation Thursday and Friday of last week, I could have really (would have really) gone on a bender.  A perfect excuse to just drink the whole damn weekend into oblivion.  There was even a cookout at a friend’s house yesterday where beer and wine were flowing.  I could have partaken and gotten a good buzz for free!

To be very honest, there isn’t a bone in my body that wants that.  There is absolutely no craving or want to stop and buy a bottle of wine (or three) on the way home from work so that I can “celebrate”.  I just want to leave work and go home to my family, retreat to my room for a bit to practice yoga and meditate, and then spend the rest of the evening sober and with them – present and not up in my room alone with my mega glass of wine and HGTV. 

Then, around 10:00, I want to crawl into my comfy bed with the nice clean sheets I put on this weekend and fall into a quiet slumber.  No night sweats.  No 4 am wakeup unable to go back to sleep.  No sweaters on my teeth.  No hangover the next day. 

Just a quiet, peaceful night next to the man I’ve slept next to for going on 30 years, with my children snoring away in their rooms, secure in the knowledge that BOTH of their parents are home, sober and ready in a moment if they need us…even at their advanced age.

(Smile.)

Have a nice evening everyone.

Namaste

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
~Maya Angelou

Sundays With Jenny

Went for my first appointment at Jenny Craig yesterday.  “First” is a relative term since this is my third trip down the food aisle with Jenny.  “If you were not successful the first two times they why are you going back?  Isn’t that the definition of crazy you keep talking about?”

Yes and no.

I’m back again because I know the program has all of the requisite ingredients (pardon the pun) to be successful.  The missing, and most important, ingredient was the right mindset from me.  The first time I tried it I was still deep into my drinking.  It’s hard to lose weight when you’re sucking down over 2,000 calories in wine every single night.  It’s a wonder I’m not 300 lbs.

I couldn’t remember when I was in the second time (it was very short lived) so I had the consultant check for me.  Result?  Early 2010.  Around the same time I was detoxing and just before I embarked on a year of travel for work.  Let’s see…how about we travel around the country, white knuckling my way around hotel bars and wine with dinner AND try and figure out how Jenny would have me eat.  Yeah…sometimes I’m a real dumbass.

So what’s different this time?  To begin, I’m in a much better mental place then I was in my other attempts.  In fact, I’m in a better mental place than I think I’ve ever been in my LIFE.  Also, I have no travel coming up any time soon and all of the work events that thwarted my weightloss attempts are over until next summer (except for two and I can handle those).  Finally, we’re financially better able to handle the cost.

So yesterday I went in and sat down and got signed up for the program.  I only had one request…I do not want to see the number on the scale.  I don’t want to keep track of pounds.  I only want to know if the weight is going in the right direction (down) and if I’m on track (1-2 pounds per week).  I refuse to weigh myself at home either.  I’m going to judge success by the way I feel, the way my clothes feel, and what the numbers of my blood work tell me.

I’ve also decided to be accountable to myself and to blog through this journey.  Sundays with Jenny will be where I recount the week past and plan for the week about to come.  I’ll talk about feelings, successes, failures, food and activity.  I’ll talk about planning for the week ahead and how I can circumvent potential road blocks.

I have all my food for next week.  My program starts tomorrow.  I chose only things I know I like and I’m making a shopping list for other things I need – fresh foods like fruit and salad fixings.  I’m anticipating a highly succesful first (and likely second) week because that’s always how a weight loss journey starts…all full of commitment and excitement.  And I’m hoping I can carry that all the way through the next 52 weeks.

My goals?  I don’t want to be a size 6…I was NEVER a size 6.  I just want to shop in “regular” stores again.  I don’t want to be where I was at 35.  While that was a good time for me and my body, I am not 35 anymore.  I want to be a healthy 51 year old.  And, the biggest, hairiest, most important goal I have?  I don’t want to die like my mother did.  I don’t want to be 75, half blind, taking insulin, unable to walk or drive or read a good book, unable to controls my bodily functions.  Oh hell no!

I’ll take any prayers and good wishes I can get so if you’ve got any to share…feel free to lay it on me.

Namaste

“You know, diet is about willpower, and lifestyle is about skill power. And diet is about deprivation, and lifestyle is about moderation.”
~Jenny Craig

Solitude

Sitting here in the wee hours of the morning just…being.  I’m up early with the dogs because the hubs was up late waiting for the teenagers to get home.  You think you lose sleep when they are infants and then they become teenagers.  I sleep way less now.

Haven’t turned on the TV yet.  That’s unusual for me.  I normally need it for background noise.  When I travelled it was the first thing I did when I walked into a hotel room.  The simple act of turning on the TV accomplished so much.  It made it feel more like home.  It filled the quiet.  It kept me company because I couldn’t stand my own.  I wasn’t someone with whom I wanted to spend any quality time.

It didn’t happen when I first got sober, it waited until I was well into recovery.  It happened gradually, little snippets of time when I didn’t mind being alone, in the quiet, with only my thoughts to keep me company.  Those times grew, came more often and somehow felt like it was the right way to be.  Like it was what I needed.

Eventually I began to crave the quiet time.  The solitude.

I remember when I used to be like this.  I always say that I’m not a morning person, but I remember a time when I was.  When I was the first out of bed.  When I craved that little bit of morning time before the hubs woke.  It was a time to sit quietly with my thoughts.  To just be.  Over the last several years, I’ve often wondered what happened to that woman.

Then kids came along and there is no solitude when you are raising little ones.  I used to put my novels in the bathroom and read them a chapter at a time while I was…well…you know.  There were times when I would escape to the potty and I didn’t even have to go!  It was just the only place and the only time I was truly alone.  But I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

As the boys grew and the drinking escalated, I stopped wanting to be alone anymore.  I dreaded traveling because it meant that I’d have to be alone with myself.  I didn’t know why at the time.  I just chalked it up to changes.  I slept late telling myself I deserved it.  That I was no longer a morning person.  Let the hubs take the morning shift, I’ll take another hour or so of sleep.

Plus I was usually hungover…duh…

Then I got sober and still I couldn’t stand to be alone.  TV went on as soon as I entered a room (even to clean it).  Meditation and yoga were out of the question because they made me sit quietly with my own thoughts.  I couldn’t do that.  I was too busy beating myself up and going several rounds with the Boxing Bitch and just generally doing penance to even think about any quiet time…let alone solitude.

Slowly I started to recover.  I learned how to let go.  I started listening to what God had to tell me (or at least trying to).  Most importantly, I learned how to forgive…even myself.  And slowly, very, very slowly, I’m learning to sit with myself and my thoughts and enjoy the time.  To savor it.  To crave it.

I’m getting to know my sober self.  So far I like what I see.  I can sit with her and be quiet and let God speak and we both listen…me with my head and she with her heart.  Together we’re a pretty good team.

And that my friends, is nothing short of the miracle which is sobriety and recovery.

Namaste

Blessings Are Chasing You Down

When I was in Mary Kay, “blessings are chasing you down” was a common phrase among Directors to help inspire the troops.  It always made me think, “Why are they chasing me?  I’m right here!  Catch me!”

The fact is that blessings have always chased me down and I’ve always let them catch me.  I’m not sure if it’s my attitude, my faith or just plain luck but whatever it is and despite a less than happy childhood…I am really, really blessed.

There was a time that I would have let myself feel guilty for my blessings.  You know, “Why am I so blessed when so and so is struggling so much.”  “What makes me so special?”  I felt bad about how lucky or blessed I was.  So much so I would hide my blessing from family or friends and stuff them down because I didn’t want to make anyone else feel bad.

Really?  WTF is that?

No more.  I am a blessed and highly favored woman.  The fact is that God loves me and good things always come of that.  I will no longer feel guilty or apologize for the fact that God loves me.  Another fact is that I have worked my ass off to make sure I, and my family, are blessed and I will not apologize or feel guilty for that anymore.  It’s mine.  I’m going to own it.

I started thinking about this yesterday because my nephew’s baby mama has friended me on Facebook and it’s giving us a chance to get to know each other before we actually meet.  She’s due around the first of the year and so I’m going to want to go and visit once the baby gets here…after all, a boy needs his mama at a time like that.  Don’t worry, I will not be THAT kind of mother-in-law.  The girl has a mother who is very involved.  I’ll just be there to support and love my nephew and let him know we’re behind him and his new family.

Anyway…if I go out to see them, there’s a very good chance that I will inadvertently run into my sister and even though I’ve processed through a lot of crap in recovery, the fact is that the bitch can still push my buttons.  She also has a way of making me feel guilty for my blessings.  AND she will be trying to claim my nephew and the baby because…well that’s the kind of person she is.  She loves to show up and claim the boy (man?) when it provides her with something..  “Oh look at me!  I’m a new grandma!”  What the fuck ever.

Oh…and she’s still an active alcoholic and drug addict.  Yeah…there’s that too.

So I’m screwing my head on straight now and applying a little extra torque so that when, and if, I get my ass out to see the baby and when, and if, I run into her, I can visit and leave my buttons unpushed.

In the meantime I’m buying baby stuff on sale and loving every minute of it.  They’re young and the odds are against them but that doesn’t mean I can’t be there for my nephew.  I make a point of being there in the good times and the bad.  That’s what moms do.

Namaste

“Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward the life that God intended for you with grace, strength, courage, and confidence.”

~Og Mandino

Seniors

My little cottage on the water…one day…

School starts next week here in my neck of the woods.  My oldest will be starting his second year of college at a local community college (due to the disaster that was his last semester) and my twins will be seniors in high school.

Seniors.

I’ve been trying for awhile to process what this means to me without much success.  I’m not sure if I’ve stuffed all the feelings down or I just don’t have any.  I feel…ambivalent.  That can’t be right…can it?  Aren’t I supposed to be all whacked out and teary because my babies are going to graduate from high school next year?  Shouldn’t I be planning to redecorate their rooms?  Shouldn’t I be losing my mind because I’ll have three in college at the same time.

Well…I’m not doing any of those things and I think I know why.

First, these are amazing young men.  They are kind, considerate, honest to a fault and trustworthy. (No…they are not and never were Boy Scouts because I don’t agree with the Boy Scout’s position on gay scout leaders.)  They are responsible.  Plus…they will be living at home.  I won’t be getting rid of them for at least a couple more years. 

Second, I’ve never gotten very teary about high school graduations.  Preschool? Cried like a baby.  Kindergarten? Cried like a baby.  Middle School?  Sniffled.  High School?  Dry eyes.

The more I see how they are growing and what great people they are, the more I know that I’ll never lose them.  They’re mine.  God lent them to me and their father for as long as we inhabit the planet.  We have a wonderful relationship with all six (okay…five) of our kids.  They want to be with us.

And we want to be with them.

I know there will come a time when there are just too many adults in the house. It happened with my daughter.  She left for college a teenager and came home a woman.  It was a little…weird.  It didn’t take her long to feel the need to be on her own.  It kind of happened organically and I was ready.  She was the first to leave the nest .  I hope I’m ready for the last to fly away also.

Maybe the hubs and I will just buy a little cottage on the water and leave the boys in the house.  That may be the easiest way.  They can take over the mortgage and move their spouses in when they get them.  Cause let’s face it, I’ll still be underwater in the mortgage so they won’t be able to sell it.

The other thing is that I’m having such a good time watching them navigate their high school years.  Since they’ve never had an option about college, they’re just moving from one school to another.  It certainly wasn’t that way for the hubs and I.  In my senior year I was working part time, planning a wedding and trying to find a full time job so I could go to college at night.  The hubs was planning his wedding and preparing to go to Vietnam.  It’s fun to watch it the “Leave It To Beaver/Father Knows Best/Ozzie and Harriet” way.

There just isn’t any sadness.  Nostalgia..oh hell yeah!  I miss having little boys running around the house spreading mayhem and mischief.  But it hasn’t been that way for about five years now so I’m kind of conditioned to it.  But I’m not sad.  I’m actually happy and excited to see how all our hard work is going to turn out.

So here’s to looking forward and not back.  To children with careers and lives of their own who want to come home and hang with the ‘rents.  And to me and the hubs in our little cottage on the water that’s only about 15 minutes from my highly successful yoga studio.

Namaste

I Surrender

How often I’ve thought and even uttered those words…I surrender.  But how many times have I actually been able to follow through with that threat? 

Answer:  Very few.

Surrender, for me, used to be the equivalent of giving up and since giving up meant I was weak and society tells us to never give up…surrendering was never an option.  It was what cowards and weak willed, wishy-washy people did.  I was strong, stubborn and brave…surrendering was not an option.

The world was very black and white to me when I was young.  I’ve since learned that there are many (at least 50?  Ooops…sorry) shades of gray.

I’ve learned that the act of surrendering is not, necessarily, giving up.  It can be a very brave and wise thing to do.  In fact, a sign of a good military leader is one that knows when to surrender and when to keep fighting.  When to save the lives of good men and women and when to risk them.  Surrendering is the act of letting it all go and turning it over to another power. 

I guess that’s the key for me.  It’s how I came to grips with the term when I first entered recovery.  I wasn’t weak or a coward or giving up.  In actuality I was strong and brave.  I knew it was time to turn it over to another power.  For me that was God.  The words look easy…the act was not.  I had to fight years and years of conditioning in order to just begin to surrender.  I’m still not sure I’ve completely accomplished it – but I try every day to let go and turn it over to Him and that’s progress.

Progress not perfection.

I wasn’t able to do this when I first got sober.  For the first year or so I clenched and white knuckled my way through, convinced that sheer willpower would be enough.  It wasn’t.  I entered the AA rooms, learned a new way and embarked on that journey…that’s when I entered true recovery and began to surrender.  I don’t attend AA anymore but I value what it taught me and I carry those lessons to as many needy souls as God places in my path.

So now I’ve decided to surrender to the food thing.  The fact is that I just can’t do it alone.  If I were at a more healthy weight it wouldn’t be a big deal but I’m not – my BMI is way too high (almost in the obese range) and although my blood work is good, I know for a fact that it won’t stay there long.

And the absolute, most important reason I need to take off this weight is so that I can get back into my stillettos without them hurting my feet and my knees. I am just carrying too much weight to wear those shoes.  I’m getting hammer toes and bunions and it’s all coming from the weight.  How can I buy a pair of black Louboutins and not be able to wear them. 

Answer:  I can’t.

So I surrender.  I’ve made an appointment with Jenny Craig for this Saturday and I’m going in and this time (I’ve done Jenny twice – it doesn’t work too well when you’re slurping down two bottles of wine a night) I’m going to actually work with the counselor and do everything they tell me to do.  My particular issues with eating and food (portion control and sugar triggers) are very conducive to this kind of plan.  Plus the food actually tastes good.

So I surrender.  I’m turning it over to God and Jenny and we’ll see where it takes me.  I’m excited and scared all at the same time.  I’m excited because I know surrender can work.  I’m scared because I’ve failed so many times.

Progress not perfection.  I think that will be my new mantra.

Namaste

“The essential surrender happens within you, it has nothing to do with anybody outside you. The basic surrender is a relaxation, a trust — so don’t be misguided by the word. Linguistically, surrender means to surrender to somebody, but religiously, surrender simply means trust, relaxing. It is an attitude rather than an act: you live through trust.”
~ Osho

Contentment

Went to see “Hope Springs” with the hubs this weekend.  It wasn’t exactly what I had expected but it was close.  I expected to laugh and to love seeing Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones on the screen together.  Check.  I expected to love Steve Carell because I love everything he does.  Check. What I didn’t expect was to cry the entire way through the movie or to shift uncomfortably watching people my age try to “get their groove back”.  Some things are better left to the imagination.  Check, check and re-check.

What I also didn’t expect was for it to stir up all of these emotions and feelings that I have about aging and my relationship with my own spouse.  When the hubs and I were young, we used to sit in restaurants and look at the couples sitting across from one another and not saying a damn thing.  Hell, half the time they weren’t even looking at each other.  They’d order, they’d sit, they’d eat, they’d leave.  I made him promise that we would never get to be those people.  That we would work really, really hard to keep our relationship about us and not devote every fiber of our being to raising our children.  That way, when the kids left, we would still have each other.

For the most part, we’ve been very successful.  But what I realized while watching that movie is that couples don’t sit across from each other not speaking because they’re angry or bored necessarily, they sit across from each other not speaking because they’ve said all there is to say!  After you’ve been together 30 years you can almost read each other’s minds.  You can finish each other’s sentences.  You can infer meaning. 

You know what that means?

It’s means we’ve become those people.  Shit.

Okay, maybe not totally.  We still touch and laugh and giggle together.  We’re very affectionate.  We embarrass our children on a regular basis.  Once, my oldest at home came down the stairs and, seeing us kissing said, “Get a room.”  I pulled away quickly, a little embarrassed and then said, “Wait…this IS my room!” and promptly locked lips with his father once again.

But I remember when a date meant a four hour dinner when we (okay…I) didn’t stop talking the entire time.  We talked about everything and then we talked about it some more.  But there was alcohol, and we were new to each other, and there was the drama my family always provided, or work related issues that needed sorting out.  Hell, if all else failed I used to pick out a couple and we’d make up a scenario about them and use them as conversation.

Now if we get the chance or the money for a date night out it’s more like…well…crickets…

Okay, it’s probably not that bad but things have CHANGED.  I’m sober, I’m through menopause and my libido has…um…well it ain’t what it used to be.  I feel ugly because of the extra weight and just carrying around the extra pounds makes me tired a lot.  Did I mention I’m sober?  The hubs’ hearing ain’t what it used to be and he’s too vain to have it checked out so I speak louder than I should.  His energy is better than mine (and he’s 13 years my senior) but he’s tired also by the end of a busy day, often falling asleep in front of the TV.  Oh, did I mention I’m sober?

And to top it all off, the kids will be leaving soon.  The last two are seniors this year and although they are all living at home while attending college, it won’t be long before they’re on their way to their own lives.  And they are such good kids we don’t even have to talk about them much either.

Me: “The boys need shorts for school.  I’m thinking American Eagle for a couple of pair and the rest from Old Navy.”

Him:  “Yeah…sounds good.”

Crickets.

Him:  “I need you to sign this authorization for our (insert account name, billing address, tax information here).”

Me:  “Okay.  Just put it on the counter and I’ll do it.”

Crickets

I’m not saying any of this is bad necessarily.  I’m just saying it’s different.  I have a wonderful husband who, after all of the shit I’ve put him through, still loves me…a lot.  I am on the other side of sober and I am still hopelessly in love with him (he can still look at me and make my knees turn to jelly) which I know doesn’t always happen.  In fact, more often than not, it goes the other way.

It’s just…different…and a little scary.  But not all bad.  I’m also very content.  I used to think that being content was a very, very bad thing.  That it meant you were boring and had no fun in your life.  That was the alcoholic thinking/talking/being.  Always looking for the next thing on the outside to make me happy because what was going on inside wasn’t cutting it.  I know now that being content just means that what’s happening on the outside really doesn’t matter.  If I can find peace and serenity and contentment on the inside and with my spouse, then it’s all good.

And have you ever noticed how quiet peace and contentment is?  Hmmm…I may be onto to something here.

Namaste

Following My Bliss – Part Deaux

The entire time I was writing my post yesterday there was a little voice, way down deep, that kept trying to make itself heard.  It came through as anxiety which I addressed with an extended yoga practice. It quieted…but it didn’t leave.  Until our date.

I choose a theatre that we often frequent because it’s seldom crowded and the seats are comfortable and they rock (no…they really rock – like back and forth).  Plus, there are a number of little restaurants in the little planned community that are a great place to grab a bite either before or after your movie.  It didn’t disappoint.

We were early so, after lunch, we decided to take a walk up and down the main street and check out the (mostly vacant) storefronts.  It’s a really cute location where all the storefronts look like houses in downtown Charleston, SC.  Unfortunately, for whatever reason, this particular community never took off.  Location, economy, whatever – if it weren’t for the theatres I think it would have fallen into ruin long ago.

As we were walking around I looked in one of the windows and said, “This would make a great yoga studio. You don’t need much room and I bet you could get one of these cheap.”

And that’s when I realized that my entire post yesterday was bullshit.  That I’ve been carrying that particular dream around since I graduated from college and realized that I could have majored in English and still have gotten hired by the bank.  I could have actually enjoyed my college career.  That was the bliss of a 25 year old and it has been hanging over my head making me feel like I cheated myself for 25 years.  Wow.  Face palm wow.

What I realized is that what I  really want to do is to open and operate my own yoga studio.  I want to travel to India and study with a real guru and then bring it back to my little corner of the world.  I want to become a yoga teacher – a yogi.  And I want to do it right- to follow it as a way of life and not just something you do because it’s popular or because you think it will help you lose weight. I want to immerse myself in the peace and serenity of true yoga and I want to share it with others.

Then my brain started going 100 miles an hour.  I would need capital and someone who was already a yogi to guide me and be a partner in this effort.  The business side of my brain kicked in and I started mentally making a checklist of what I would need for a business plan.  And although I know this is a huge long shot and that I’ll likely never get a real opportunity to do this, I LOVE uncovering what I really want to be when I grow up.  I love having a new dream, one born of and seated firmly in my heart. 

As soon as I came to the realization of all of this, my anxiety lifted and my heart felt lighter.  That’s what always happen when I find and release the truth.  I could have started skipping if it hadn’t been so freaking hot.  I laughed it off with the hubs like a “Yeah right…like that’s ever going to happen.”  But in my heart and way down deep in my soul I knew, I had found my bliss and it was time to put a plan in place to follow it.

It’s also now time to start praying for God to give me what I need to make this happen.  Courage, determination, money (yes, I pray for money).  And as I type this I’m watching Joel Osteen talk about praying bold prayers; about asking God for what you need to make your dreams come true.  I started this post before his show came on – I had no idea what his sermon would be about today.

Coincidence?

I don’t believe in coicidence.  I belive in God moments.  God is just speaking to me the way He does sometimes – and I’m finally learning to shut up and listen.

Namaste
“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
~Joseph Campbell

Following My Bliss

Graduation from high school, for me, meant planning a wedding and finding a full time job and then, maybe, going to night school for a teaching degree.  The practice marriage ended after two years.  The full time job turned into a career.  School got put on hold for seven years and when I did earn my undergraduate degree, it was in business because I was already firmly ensconced in my banking career.  The saddest part was that even without a degree, I was already making more money than a teacher so really, I couldn’t afford to follow my bliss.

What is wrong with this country?  That’s another rant post for another day.  Suffice to say, it really pisses me off.

I really hated school and college was no exception.  With the grace of my wonderful husband, I was able to quit my full time job and go back to school where I got a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business with a concentration in Finance.  Try to contain your enthusiasm.  I went full time and committed to four years because I knew I would never do it at night on a part time basis.  First because it would take too long, second because I was only doing it to advance my career (not because I was particularly passionate about finance), and finally because it cut into happy hour.  That one was the deal breaker…duh.

At last count, I have been accepted into four different graduate schools to get my MBA and I’ve attended two of them.  One I dropped out of because the boys were very little and it was a 45 minute drive, each way, at night, to attend.  The second school was ideal, only five minutes away from home, a great part time program for working adults with great instructors.  This time we moved.

When I got laid off I applied to two more schools, this time for teaching degrees.  I quickly found out that I still couldn’t afford to do what I’d always wanted to do which was teach Literature (American, British, English or World…doesn’t really matter) to eleventh and twelfth grade students.  (As a matter of fact I have had my head examined.)  So I dropped the idea and found, yet another banking job.  At least, over the years, I’ve made my way into the learning area of the companies for which I’ve worked.

It’s not that I hate banking because I don’t.  There’s a big part of me that loves to crunch numbers, help businesses grow and managed their capital.  But there’s a bigger part that yearns to follow my bliss…to get a Master’s Degree in Literature and see where that takes me.

So that’s what I’m going to do.  Somehow, someway and in spite of the fact that I will soon have three kids in college.  I’m investigating online options which are ridiculously expensive but my new company offers some tuition reimbursement so that may help.  I’ll look for grants and scholarships for old ladies looking to return to school.  I’ve already taken the GRE and my verbal scores are excellent (math sucks however) so that part is done.

I think all of the other fits and starts were God’s way of saying, “Nope…not this time.  You don’t get to go to graduate school until you follow your heart, your bliss, what I built you to do.”  I guess we’ll see.  I hope we’ll see.  Wait…I know we’ll see. 

Namaste

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”
~Joseph Campbell