Category Archives: Relationships

Love Myself More

Summer is almost here … so is June – the month I usually start dating and make every effort to be more active and social.  I let January pass by without even a thought to dating.  Anyone who knows me or has been following my blog knows I tend to date in ‘J ‘ months … no singularly one reason … just with new year’s resolutions to be more open and more social and summer months with warmer weather, I try to get out and about.  Just this past November, I wrote how I was going to put myself first and start dating!  Ha!!  I just managed to hibernate longer and further isolate myself this past winter.

I have noticed something about myself this year – I have allowed myself to gain even more weight and dress shabbier.  My hair is usually a mess or under a hat, sweats have become my uniform, my legs haven’t been shaved nor moisturized in months … I haven’t had a pedicure in a year and I have even ‘borrowed’ clothes from my 80-year-old Mom.  Apologies on sharing too much … but this my is safe place, my venting, no judgment zone.

I didn’t just let myself go, I gave up – without much thought.  I found myself walking to Church the other day actually hoping that no one would look at me, talk to me or even notice me.  I prayed for absolutely no contact. Just this morning walking to the train station I caught a glimpse of myself in a car window – I looked sullen and frumpy.  For a second, I did a double take – wondering who that person was.  Talk about out of body experiences.

Then it was like a light bulb went off … I purposely let myself go.  Depression isn’t the only thing at play here … I have let myself go because I didn’t want the attention to only be let down again.  Subconsciously, I put on weight because I didn’t want to look good and be sexually attractive.  I have been using weight as protection.  *sigh*

I lost my dog in February … so less walking.  Still taking steroids … dexamethasone, prednisolone, methylprednisolone… oh my!  I love to eat … especially sweets.  I don’t go to the gym.  I am 51.  Yikes!  I get it.

What the heck have I been doing?  Letting life happen instead of taking it by the horns and l i v i n g …

Need to formulate a plan and start creating the life AND body I want … sure maybe not the body I had in my 20s nor 30s but some semblance of healthy … middle ground for my middle age!

I need to learn how to put myself first, stop hiding behind excuses, make an effort, stop being afraid of receiving attention – positive attention; get healthier and yes start dating … again!  No more weight as a cloak for invisibility.  Find and then do things that make me unequivocally happy.  I need to change from the inside out in order for any dieting and changes to my level of activity to have the most profound effect.   Here’s to commitment … to myself.  I promise to love myself more …  the only real relationship I want this summer and every month that starts with the letter ‘J’ is with myself.  But flirting can be fun.  We will see.  *giggles*

Putting it out there in the universe, holding myself accountable … with grace in my step and hope in my heart.

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My Last Day …

Have been having a terribly long stint of insomnia lately but I have been resting, laying in bed listening to music and prone dancing – yes just made that up.

Heard this beautiful song last in the wee hours of today.  The English lyrics have been translated below – but as most of us know, direct translation never captures the same meaning.  It’s a beautifully stirring song.

As if it were my last day,
I’m going to live with a sincere love
And show those close to me how much I love them.

As if it were my last day,
I’m going to fight for my dreams,
Living without fear and treasuring every minute.
I’m not going to wait until tomorrow because all I have is the present.

If there wasn’t much time, I would stay and take a moment
To show you that I love you and that I am fully content that I have you.
And if your joy depended on me, I would give everything I can to you to make this day the best day in our life.

If this was my last chance to look at you again,
I would make this moment the most important in your memory,
Because in the times of difficulty and stress of this life, we miss the details we later wish we could remember.
And then regret that we’ve forgotten these experiences, and mourn that we cannot recreate them.

If there wasn’t much time, I would stay and take a moment
To show you that I love you and that I am fully content that I have you.
And if your joy depended on me, I would give everything I can to you,
And make this day the best day in our life.

I would enjoy all that God has given me
friends, family and love,
and I’ll make this day the best of my life.


Grief At Odd Hours …

When I can’t sleep I find myself reading, writing, combination of both … picked up Dean Koontz’s book, Odd Hours.

And this quote just jumped out on me. So many people do an amazing job expressing exactly what I feel. Strong words resonate.

“Grief can destroy you –or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. OR you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn’t allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it’s over and you’re alone, you begin to see that it wasn’t just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can’t get off your knees for a long time, you’re driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.”

― Dean Koontz, Odd Hours


Share not Sacrifice …

I tend to get so upset with people, especially my family, when they only seem to remember me when they need me. A very wise person told me that I should feel privileged that I am like a beacon of light that comes to their minds when there is darkness in their lives. Easier said than done. But I am going to try to re-adjust my attitude. I am still keeping my distance since I still need respect. There may be times when you just have to love people from a distance. The same wise person reminded me that everyone can’t be in your front row. Its become quite obvious to me that my family no longer needs me – my sisters kids are all grown up. I guess they loved me enough to set me free as well. At least this is a healthier way of viewing things, accepting all to move forward. For a long time, I felt my connection to my family was tenuous at best, strained. And most of the effort was coming from me, one-sided – I see clearly now that I tend to have more vested emotionally in most relationships. Working on this.

I like it when people ask me to help them; often it means that they respect me and my opinion enough to request it, and I appreciate that. Who doesn’t want to feel needed? But when is the relationship is always one-sided – that no longer works for me. I have had to toughen up and learn to be more selfish and set boundaries. I am always willing to help anyone, if I am capable of it, and certainly don’t do something because of what I may get ‘in return’ but there does need to be some element of reciprocity and respect. I used to drop everything instantly to help my family and friends. I have learned that inadvertently I may have caused people to think less of me. When you always say ‘Yes’ without hesitation, they respect you less. Sadly strange I know but learning it’s true. Many may also get the impression that you’ll do anything for them and that they don’t have to do anything for you. It sets up a very unbalanced relationship.

I think there are two kinds of people, those who give and take and those who just want to take. I no longer allow opportunistic acquaintances in my life.

I think the following quote sums up, for me, what friendship means: “I value the friend who for me finds time on his calendar, but I cherish the friend who for me does not consult his calendar.” – Robert Brault

I get lost too easily in the thought of being kind; of turning the other cheek. Too many times, my forgiving heart, my kindness was mistaken for weakness – even I am guilty of doing this to myself. Learning how to find balance and happiness within boundaries and limitations. Learning how to share, give of myself without sacrificing myself. Or losing myself and letting resentment control me.

It’s surprising how much healthier you can feel when you let go, or at least minimize your time with draining, negative, incompatible, not-going-anywhere relationships, friendships, and family … with grace in our steps and hope in our hearts.


Giving myself permission …

I feel like an orphan but it beats being the black sheep, the victim, the scapegoat, the whipping boy – well girl. Giving myself permission to walk away, stay away, limit my interaction with my dysfunctional family.

Today was my niece’s wedding and she looked beautiful. I used to think it was a shame that I didn’t really have a real, warm nor loving relationship with her. But she is 30 years old. Not a child. And she has made no real attempt at being connected with me. I have three older sisters who have always made me feel excluded, different, unloved. And sadly that just spilled into their children.

I debated for months to attend the wedding or not. But I chose to attend. But after learning where my assigned seat was, and being there for an hour and no one really spoke to me, cared if I was there or not – I left. I have also decided I am done. I no longer feel the need to attend any more family gatherings out of obligation, guilt, etc. I am done being ostracized, ignored, blamed for their own lack of awareness and insecurities.

For the past 40 years, it has been extremely painful for me trying so hard to fit into this dysfunctional family I was born into. I have always been the sickly, nerdy, introverted one. I feel like I have spent a lifetime trying to win their love and approval, but my efforts have consistently been met with indifference, coldness and even disapproval. I have spent years sacrificing my physical, mental and emotional health in toxic relationships under the notion that we have to because these people were my family – but no more. Yes, it’s time to terminate these relationships when the only contact I have with them is really just negative, strained. This contact only serves to bring me down, makes me feel I am not good enough, or I haven’t done enough for them. No more.

I am learning to accept that when my family members exclude me, it has very little to do with me personally. It’s all about them, who they are, their past experiences, their unmet needs, their inability to communicate in healthy ways, their fears, etc.

Rationally, logically – I get it. But I am so sad, hurt, lost, alone … yet I know I have to just find a way to calmly let it roll off my back. It hurts a lot to disengage fully but I know I need to. I have tried repeatedly in the past, but I am done. I need to be done. I deserve to be happy. My pain and wounds run deep. But my wanting, trying and failing at having a real relationship with my family leaves me feeling more alone. And then if I tried anymore, it would just bring out the worst in me, regardless of how evolved and self-aware I know I am. And the stress wreaks havoc on my health – which right now is too precarious to further compromise.

As I got older, I couldn’t understand why there was such a disconnect between us and why our relationships were so superficial. They have rarely shown me any willingness or ability to improve the relationship and all my past efforts to improve it, left me feeling worse. I used to sit, think, make myself sicker with anxiety and question all. Was it low emotional intelligence, poor self-esteem, bad upbringing, jealousy, or narcissistic personality … I am beginning to accept I will never fully know. I am so tired of my confusion, my grief and angst. Tired of my expectations not being met.

My heart is forever broken – I wholeheartedly thought my family was supposed to love me unconditionally and support, encourage me in good times and bad. But throughout most of my lows and highs in my life, they have not been there, they have shown very little interest in me, and sadly I don’t think they even know who I am. I know they don’t know who I am – impatient, sensitive, thoughtful, wistful, quirky, quick-tempered, brutally honest, super smart, socially awkward, brave, scared, lonely, tired, dying slow death…I know they don’t know how I feel too much, think too much and wish too much to be normal, physically healthy, and just fit in.

It’s my time again to be selfish, keep to myself. I will forever love them, but from a distance. I can no longer put myself in situations where I feel more estranged, alone. I don’t deserve it. I will continue to keep my heart open, with understanding even compassion but for myself as well. We will all have to learn how to cope with our own bitterness and regret, and continue to find the emotional strength and motivation to create positive change in our lives.

Today was hard. But it will prove to be beneficial to me in the long run, since it makes me aware of my deepest fears, wounds, and longings. I have the courage to look in the mirror and use what I see to work on my own growth … with grace in my step and hope in my heart.


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