Category Archives: Friends

Hmmm … arm candy!

So lately, I have been all about the skies, food, sweets, wine, shoes, and last but not least bangles …  my latest craze in arm candy.  But I think I may have just found another form of arm candy … the younger man.

Yes!  Now I am playing cougar.  Who knew?!  A former co-worker and I have re-connected on social media.  We have met up as friends but now he is pouring his heart out to me about love, relationship … with me.  So, I am trying to keep an open mind.

I have been having issues trying to date in my age range. We all have baggage – some more than others.  Learning, that with a younger man there is definitely less baggage. I won’t have decades of past relationships and other issues to deal with. I don’t have to worry about his ex-wife and children — it will be all about the two of us.  And right now, at this point in my life – it’s what I want and deserve, Growing tired of playing it safe, of being alone.  I like to be chased, adored.

I was always a bit of a late-bloomer, and being with a younger man may just somehow keep me in a forever-inspired mode.  My younger friend may have less, but gives more.  I am in a non-settling frame of mind.

One of my favorite aunts was in town last month and she started telling me how lucky she was to have married a younger man – her second chance at love. She was widowed at a young age with small children when she found her second chance. She had a stroke two years ago and was feeling fortunate her husband is healthy and younger. She also told me that he was less judgmental, less traditional, less bound by stereotype – which has helped her in many ways to being happier, even a better mom. She had me thinking … then bam, he comes back into my life – this time not as a co-worker, but a friend.

Who knows…I am not making any decisions, I don’t need to. I am just taking it one minute at a time. Enjoying life. Trying to worry less, stay sane and get healthier. I am going to stop worrying so much about what others may think, stop wondering what this younger guy sees in me, and just enjoy the attention. I deserve every flattering, delicious moment … so I plan to sit back and continue counting my blessings and start looking for this Maca root from the jungles of Peru.

Looking forward to finally, freely living some more, to have my emotions raw, to the potential and the possibilities of having my body, mind, and soul literally rocked … ah nirvana may indeed be mine. Fulfillment, contentment … indeed … on my journey of living deliciously with grace in my step, hope in my heart. I am back …

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Living with Cancer

Today … was like coming home, after a long trip. That’s what true friendships and love are …. it’s like coming home. I was finally able to meet up with some friends today and it was a good day. Good days have been far and few in between this winter.

I find myself trying so hard to be strong. Sometimes, I feel so alone, going through cancer, trying not to be a burden to anyone … but then you let your guard down and realize who truly has your back.

I try to put a big smile on my face but at times, all I want to do is curl up and die. Just give up. But then I find myself lucky enough to spend a couple of hours surrounded by friends and my smile is genuine. I still want to curl up, but not die. Lately, I have been too weak for much. But today was a good day. A day of genuine connection. I felt a part of something. And sometimes, that is all we need. Today was a day of hope and hugs.

People ask me on the bad days what chemo is like, how I am feeling – and although I consider myself articulate, I have a really difficult time explaining it. It’s difficult to describe the forest from the trees, right? Chemotherapy side effects are worse than cancer, that’s for sure. With cancer, most of the time you’d hardly know it if some doctor didn’t tell you. I mean, I was pretty hard up by the time they found it in me, but sometimes cancer can go all the way to stage IV and you’d never know it.

Chemo, on the other hand, you can never forget that. Not for a second. There’s no ignoring chemotherapy. It invades every cell by the end of it. You spend months marinating in a stew of toxic wastes that are out to kill you. And I don’t think that’s overly-dramatic. You try it sometime and see if I’m not right. The exhaustion, the pain, the numbness, the forgetfulness, the vague feelings, the full yet empty stomach, the nausea… so many things, feelings. The exhaustion never totally leaves me, and I can’t stand very long, and today was not really different, except that I felt okay, accepted, no one made me feel bad. I got to sit like a statue and was surrounded by good friends… making new memories. Embracing life…with grace in my step and hope in my heart. Not giving up – on people, nor myself.


Moving on …

Today is a strange day indeed. I have received texts from people that I barely hear from … fair weather friends. I don’t have many real friends – and I am okay with this. I responded to each text with a more personal note and they kept it short. It figures. People ask how are you, but they don’t really care, do they?! Understanding other people’s motives is nearly impossible now, for they only offer me specific parts of the big picture. Although useful information may be lurking beneath the surface, I am just not interested in spending my precious time peeling layers of the onion just to get to the core. Instead of looking for answers I don’t have yet, just trying to get through the day and work with what I already know. Trusting my intuition. Finally!! Staying away from other people’s drama. I try really hard not to hold grudges. But I do remember facts …even with my chemo brain. Trying to remember that just because I miss someone, moments we shared, doesn’t mean I need them back in my life. Sometimes missing is just a part of moving on … with grace in my step and hope in my heart.


The Year of Betrayal

This year has brought to light many betrayals. My body has betrayed me. Some girlfriends double crossed me. Another friend disclosed some information in the hopes of exposing some little known facts about me. Some friends I want to believe unintentionally revealed little things. But the biggest betrayal was from a person I considered a best friend, the one who knew all my secrets, fears. I have never felt so disillusioned and vulnerable. Mind you, I have family members who are mentally ill and re-write history all of the time. So I am used to betrayal but not to this magnitude, not from the one person I considered sane, in control.

I go to Mass and want to light a candle for all that are lost. But then I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror – and I am the one that is lost. “It is not an enemy who taunts me – I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me – I could have hidden from them. Instead, it is you – my equal, my companion and close friend. What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God.” – Psalm 55:12-15

Of all experiences in life, betrayal by a trusted friend is one of the most difficult to understand, accept, move on from. I find it difficult to breathe some times. My self-esteem was already at a low from my accident, losing my job, dealing with a new cancer, feeling dependent. Betrayals from friends only further produced feelings of worthlessness for having trusted an untrustworthy person. I feel like anger and depression are my only recourse. It raises questions about my judgment. Because of the intimate friend’s knowledge of my situation, such betrayal has great potential for further damage. And I am just not equipped right now, in this singular frame of mind to effectively deal with all of it.

I just quietly pray. Help me, Lord God, to let go of the hurts that have come my way. Amen.

Igniting my own true light out of this darkness.


Lesson for today…

Such a great quote from Sons of Anarchy:

Jackson ‘Jax’ Teller: Maybe that’s the lesson for me today, to hold onto these simple moments – appreciate them a little more, there’s not many of them left. I don’t ever want that for you, finding things that make you happy shouldn’t be so hard. I know you’ll face pain, suffering, hard choices but you can’t let the weight of it choke the joy out of your life. No matter what, you have to find the things that love you. Run to them. There’s an old saying – that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, I don’t believe that. I think the things that try to kill you make you angry and sad. Strength comes from the good things, your family, your friends, the satisfaction of hard work. Those are the things that will keep you whole, those are the things to hold onto when you’re broken.

I agree…. ♥


I know I will see you again …

I get so more melancholy and turn more quietly inward – especially between August through September. I have lost so many people I truly loved. For the past 13 years, I dread today. I dread the anniversary and the repeated replays of the planes, the impacts, the fireballs and the collapsing towers.

It truly is like ripping off a Band-Aid … but my heart feels this open wound. Today, 13 years ago, I lost four true friends, one my irreplaceable heart, my soul mate.

The days will always be brighter because he existed. The nights will always be darker because he’s gone. And no matter what anybody says about grief, and about time healing all wounds, the truth is, there are certain sorrows that never fade away until the heart stops beating and the last breath is taken. Always my heart ♥mm♥ …(Excerpt from Tiffanie DeBartolo, God-Shaped Hole)

I have come to realize that destiny can hurt a person as much as it can bless them, and I find myself wondering why – out of all the people in all the world I could ever have loved – I had to fall in love with someone who was taken away from me.

One day he was there and then all of a sudden, he is gone. There’s less of him each passing year. And you wonder where that part went – if it’s living somewhere, outside of you, and you keep thinking maybe you’ll get it back. And then you realize…it’s just gone.

Many say it’s easier to burn than to build; many say it’s easier to hurt than to heal…But I say you lose when you give up what you love…And I’ve lived my life without that long enough.

I hold pieces of him; I hold them so tight that they eventually become pieces of myself that am still learning to grow from but never away from. I hold onto them so tight that they eventually become the only pieces that can hold my shaky bones together. They become the only pieces that can keep this broken heart of mine held together…

Have you ever thought that if one thing hadn’t happened, a whole set of things never would have either? Like dominoes in time, a single event kicked off an unstoppable series of changes that gained momentum and spun out of control, and nothing was ever the same again. Don’t ever doubt that a mere second can change your life forever. It can. It has. Everything does really happen for a reason.

I’ve got no more illusions…I know I’ll see you again…but for today, I am allowing myself to fully experience the full impact of my loss. Grieving all over again. Grief…I am following it, crying when I want to, yelling at God, screaming into my pillow, and avoiding most people and definitely the news.

Grief is itself the only medicine I need right now. And anyone who doesn’t understand this or who can’t accept, stay away from me. So fake better stay away from me.

“After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul. You learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises. You learn that loving doesn’t mean leaning and company doesn’t always mean security, and you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much. After a while you learn to build all your dreams on today because tomorrows ground is too uncertain for dreams, and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight. After a while you learn to accept your defeats with your head held with the grace of a woman and not the grief of a child. After a while you learn to plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone else to bring you flowers. And you learn that you really are strong, that you really do have self worth, and you can endure, and you learn and learn, with every “goodbye” you learn…” (Veronica A. Shoffstall)

“I am not the happiest person. In fact, in the battle between joy and misery, I’d say that the latter often seems to prevail. I don’t like this, and every day I refuse, for the eighty millionth time, to put up with another minute of it. But the world does what it does, and I often find it disagreeable. After all these years, I’m kind of resigned to that. But I do have one thing on my side: I have enormous faith. And hope. I am not speaking of the kind you find in church or in the afterlife or in heaven or in the Saint James Bible or in the Hare Krishna’s that we all encounter changing flights in the airports of the world, I am speaking of a simple faith that says that one way or another, no matter how many times I stumble and stub my big toe, somehow life is going to work itself out.” (Elizabeth Wurtzel)

candles


Friendships…

Been sickly lately, tired of running from pulmonary rehab to occupational therapy and still trying to maintain a sense of normalcy…but through all of my ups and downs especially since my car accident last year and cancer scares, I truly am learning more about the people I have allowed into my life. I believe we all have friends at different levels, various stages of our lives, for different reasons. And I think with the use of so many different social media avenues, we have allowed varying degrees of friends into our lives. These days the meaning of ‘friend’ has changed so much. With sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – we call people friends who we chatted to once online and sent a friend request to. These people are our every day, surface friends. We may share a laugh, comment on a funny post, like photos, etc. We have friends who are acquaintances, former or current co-workers, neighbors – those you may see on a regular basis. Some of these friends we may have briefly connected because of work, school, community or travel. Friends from a wine club, photography club, book club, running club, etc., may fit nicely into this surface level of friendship.

We have like-minded friends, those are like lifestyle friends and enjoy many of the same things. More social common interests bind these type of friendships. You can go out, talk for hours and still enjoy their company. Most of these type of friends are there in the good times. These two levels of friendships include people you know well enough to talk with should you meet up somewhere unexpected or offer you a ride as long as it isn’t out of their way. Share a meal with, let you borrow their tools, drive you to the airport if you asked, as long as it’s a reasonable hour. They will judge you. I have learned not to expect too much from these friends. All are needed in the days of our lives. I have been hurt, burned by many people who I thought were more than just a mere friend. So I have had to learn to shift my perspective and change my expectation of them. Some of those friends that in the past, I thought would come to my aid but didn’t are now my feel-good, lifestyle friends. We are friends with each other because of proximity, our lifestyles and really enjoy each other’s company. I realize that these friends of are actually a ton of fun. And they will most likely be the first ones who will invite me to visit, go on vacation, and get together for dinner, etc., when I recover from the life crisis I am currently experiencing.

Then there are those true blue friends…you know those friends who don’t judge you, are there for you in good times and bad. They know your weaknesses and strengths, yet still accept you for who you are. They can be honest with you (and you them) even when it is something you don’t want to hear without it destroying the friendship. They are willing to tell you the truth, and not just what they think you want to hear. Your friendship may have been through rough times, but it has not been destroyed. Instead it may have become stronger. A true friend does not abandon you when you need them. While a basic friend may only be around you when it is convenient for them, a true friend will go out of their way to help you and stand by you when others don’t. Your friendship is more than surface level, its skin deep. These friends are the ones you may not see them for years, but time doesn’t change the relationship, the love you have for one another. You pick up exactly where you dropped off. They are like part of your family and sometimes even closer than your own blood family. They are a part of you. A best friend, or true friend is someone who knows your faults and loves you anyway. A true friend is unique, if you have one count yourself lucky – after years of going to school, working on careers, having kids, growing your family, divorce, sickness, or one of life’s other issues – you call them up and ask for a huge favor and they drop whatever they are doing no matter the hour to help. Both of you pick up where you left off as if only a single day has past. They are the people that at your funeral cry because you are gone, at your birthday parties they are the ones that stay after everyone else is gone to clean up because it’s your birthday and you shouldn’t have to clean up, they are the ones that know when you are having a tough go of things to just stop by with a meal or a drink or just a smile to see that you are okay. It would never occur to them to judge anything you do.

You don’t really know a person is a true friend until the relationship has been tested. You may think they are a true friend, but you only know for sure when you go through a rough patch and they are still there for you. If you are lucky you have at least one…I have learned I have more than one. I am a lucky lady indeed. You may never know who your true friends are until life throws you an unwelcome curve ball or two…or three. When this happens and the friends or family you thought would help carry you through don’t, you go through stages of grief. It’s devastating. As time passes, you can either be resentful, bitter and heartbroken, or you can be so incredibly thankful that you’ve learned a valuable life lesson. I am learning to be more grateful and forgiving. The people who do step forward to be by your side are your true friends. You’re blessed to find out who these people are, so love them up. Some people will never have this luxury; they’ll spend their entire lives surrounded by people who aren’t their true friends.

Three simple levels I tend to believe when it comes to being friends and sharing news:

1. A friend, acquaintance is someone who you tell about it weeks later.
2. A lifestyle, close friend calls to talk and finds out about it.
3. A true friend doesn’t need to be told because they are already in the kitchen making soup because they were there when you started getting sick.

Once I was able to make a full emotional and logical shift in the way I viewed my friendships, I experienced appreciation for all my friends! I now feel absolute caring, love and joy for all of them. There’s no hidden resentment or underlying sadness. I feel blessed that I have learned this life lesson.

My truest bluest friends will always come first in my heart and life. I also love my lifestyle friends, because as I heal, I love having a wider circle of friends who will go to wineries, bars, games, have dinner, or go for a walk.

You can eat and drink together, talk and laugh together, enjoy life together, but you are only real friends when you have also cried together. Love to all. ♥


Cleaning Up My Facebook…again!

This is my second attempt at cleaning up my Facebook friends list…I created FB at the insistence of family cousins, but somewhere in time, my friends list grew to include former co-workers, friends of friends, etc. Tiresome – too many posts getting lost in my newsfeed. So, today I went through my Facebook friends list again with a metaphorical machete.

I un-friended all of my co-workers, past and present. These “friends” are really a professional networking contact, and that is what LinkedIn is for.

I un-friended those acquaintances of friends that after meeting me once, wanted to be “friends”…and if they played CityVille or Farmville, I happily accepted them. But that was when I was home more, unemployed. Now who has time for all of those FV games?? Not me. So delete, delete.

I want to keep my Facebook profile for family only. We are all scattered through the States and it is a great way for them to see pictures of my dog, and all the great desserts I devour. 🙂

So, now I have reduced my friends list by about a third, making it more manageable and more meaningful to me. One last bit of advice: don’t worry too much about hurting people’s feelings. Maybe if someone is truly hurt I can always add them back. Besides, trying to ferret out who will pout and who won’t care is a guessing game that will paralyze me.

Life….


Frenemies…

The worst kinds of enemies are those who pretend to be your friends…yes, sadly true…and all around me.

I have no real need nor time for people who come to me when they need me, then throw me aside when they are fine.

Learned the hard way that fake friends are like your shadow, they follow you in the sun, but leave your side when it gets dark.

My accident this past January has really opened my eyes as to who my real friends are in my personal as well as my work life.

It’s really hard to trust people these days. I find myself always looking over my shoulder these days, waiting for the back stabbing knife in my back. We must be so careful who we share our weaknesses with. Learning that some people can’t wait for the opportunity to use them against us.

False friends, frenemies, are people who pretend to be a friend and then turn out to be just the opposite. Yup!! There are some people who get close to you for the specific reason to make fun of you behind your back, delight in the misery you endure, use you for whatever you can give them, and find out about your life so they can gossip about it later. Sad…especially when we are no longer in high school.

Because we generally want to see the best in people, we may give false friends several chances to prove that they are more than an enemy in disguise. However, when you discover a false friend in your life, you should distance yourself from them. Life is too short to be surrounded with people who don’t really care about you. So negativity be gone. I have cut people out of my life…who have proven they are no longer a true friend.

There are different types of friends – so called friends:

– The Opportunist: Use and abuse, and never return a favor.
– Egocentric, self centered: Always talking about themselves, brags a lot.
– The woe is me friend: only seek you out for therapy, and tend to hold grudges.
– The true fake friend: Smiles in your face, talks behind your back.
– Snobby friends – lack mutual respect.
– Spy friend or interloper: uses, interferes, intervenes, climbing on you – these are the jealous ones, they take ownership of your ideas, efforts, etc. Watch out for the blackmail. sigh
– Ignores: They meet someone, start a new romance and all of a sudden, they don’t return calls, break plans, etc.

All of these “friends” are missing out on a very important part of their emotional life. In the long run, they are ones that will lack the balance and support that friendship can give. And us poor gentle souls are better off without them. These fair weather friends only want to come around when they need your sun to shine on their dark and gloomy days. I know I have enough sunshine but I no longer need the shadows.

And because I have a big heart, have been accused of being naive and gullible…I tend to give people many chances. But knowing when to leave a friendship is more crucial to me these days. Choosing to let friends go is never an easy thing. If your friend has consistently shown you that they will leave you high and dry, it may be time to walk away. Sometimes we give people the benefit of the doubt and immediately think of them as our friend, when they perhaps don’t feel the same way. Maybe they are using you, or maybe they just don’t know how to be a friend. Either way, wish them the best and mean it, and then return to the people in your life who do treat you well….I am….♥

‪#‎ThingsThatAnnoyMe‬: Why try and be fake when being real takes less effort? ‪#‎HateFake‬


I would die for you. But I won’t live for you….

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”

“I don’t know if you’ve ever felt like that. That you wanted to sleep for a thousand years. Or just not exist. Or just not be aware that you do exist. Or something like that. I think wanting that is very morbid, but I want it when I get like this. That’s why I’m trying not to think. I just want it all to stop spinning.”

“It’s much easier to not know things sometimes. Things change and friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody. I wanted to laugh. Or maybe get mad. Or maybe shrug at how strange everybody was, especially me. I think the idea is that every person has to live for his or her own life and than make the choice to share it with other people. You can’t just sit there and put everybody’s lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can’t. You have to do things. I’m going to do what I want to do. I’m going to be who I really am. And I’m going to figure out what that is. And we could all sit around and wonder and feel bad about each other and blame a lot of people for what they did or didn’t do or what they didn’t know. I don’t know. I guess there could always be someone to blame. It’s just different. Maybe it’s good to put things in perspective, but sometimes, I think that the only perspective is to really be there. Because it’s okay to feel things. I was really there. And that was enough to make me feel infinite. I feel infinite.”
― Stephen ChboskyThe Perks of Being a Wallflower


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