Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Nothing Ever Becomes Real

...until it is experienced. - John Keats


 I didn't take a video of any part of this performance.  I didn't wait in line to meet him after the show.  Instead, I savored and enjoyed being surrounded by this moving performance and let it be as it was... just a moment.  It would have been neat to shake his hand, the very hand that creates this music that I hold so dear.  Instead, I walked out, holding the hand of someone that I hold so dear.  And that was all the better.  

The performance tonight did not play any of the music that I had become so attached to.  It would have been simply amazing for that to have been.  However, that did not take away from the actual experience of being part of a live audience, his audience.  It was still amazing because like the quote above... it becomes real.  

Just like it was far more amazing to travel to Portland and to find, touch, and photograph the very tree that I had spent thousands on to hang on my wall.  Just as it was amazing to find the waterfalls... to smell the air, to feel the mist.  Not only does it become real, it becomes your own.  

My New Yorker is very real to me.  What we have is very real.  But in many ways it is real in our own little world.  This little world does include my son.  However, that world needs to expand.  I have met a handful of his friends.  All for a rather short time, but it all went well and it was great.  On Friday, he will be meeting a bunch of my friends.  On Saturday though... my son and I will be meeting his sister and her family.  Soon it will be his parents.  And in May, he will travel with me to meet my family.  

The idea of having our own little world sounds romantic and intimate.  But I don't want that.  I want our world to be our ability to fuse together our individual worlds.  I want the people who were significant to us before we met to maintain their significance.  I want to meet these people and I want to step into his world just as I want him to step into mine.  I want to expose what we have and to share it with our family and friends so they can experience us, as us.  And it will become just as real to them as it is to us (and hopefully I can step out of the dreamlike surreality that I have actually found and met my amazing!)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Holding On and Letting Go

Two years ago, almost to the very day, I shared with you "Arrivals N2" in my post titled "Bliss."  I had just recently discovered Dustin O'Halloran after watching the movie "Like Crazy" and I was captivated.  For well over a year, I listened to that soundtrack atleast once a day.  It helped to fill the silence and the emptiness that I was coping with and adjusting to, and more than that, it helped me to  feel once again.  I found Mr. O'Halloran's music to inspire hope within me and with that hope came other feelings such as peace and happiness. Because of that, I cannot underestimate the role that this music has played in this process of mine in both healing and growing.

Tomorrow, Dustin O'Halloran will be playing here in New York City and I will be there to see him perform live.   And I will not be there alone, I will be sitting beside and holding the hand of my New Yorker.

In yesterday's post, I wrote about how everything seems to make sense.  I can see and understand how and why the sequence of events in my life have taken place.  I took credit for most of what has happened by being an active participant in my life.  However, I cannot take all of the credit.  Call it luck, call it coincidence, call it what you like, but there are other factors outside of anyone's control that contribute as well.  Those surprises are the spices of life.  And timing... timing can be so crucial.

I was disappointed in the summer of 2012 when Dustin O'Halloran was last in NYC for a one night showing and I was out of town.  I was disappointed for not following him to Chicago to see him perform.  However, had I done that, tomorrow wouldn't be as special as it is going to be for me seeing him for the first time and after all the time spent with his music over the course of the past two years.  What is going to make tomorrow even more special is that I will be sharing this night with a man who is just as excited about tomorrow as I am, but for the simple fact that by my bringing him, I am letting him in.  He wants nothing more than to know me better and tomorrow he will get that.

The timing for this event could not be any more perfect.  You see, this man that I call my New Yorker.  He's more.  He is My Amazing.  I know that without a doubt in my mind.  It's been my emotions that have hesitated.  Only because moving forward, truly moving forward with someone means I need to let go of more.  I feel that there is already so much that I have had to let go of and only a bit that is left.  And it's hard.  But he is patient and understanding and I know that once I can let go of the last bit of guilt and sadness that I feel for all of the happinesses that come with find one's amazing, then that's when the amazing will truly begin.

Maybe tomorrow will be that beginning.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


For the past three years, I have spent an enormous amount of time and thought trying to make sense of everything.  I've thought about the events in my life.  I've thought about the people in my life.  I've thought about myself and my actions and reactions to all of the outside stimuli that have somehow entered into my own little world in some way.  And it all makes sense.  It fits.  I can see my life as a sequence of events that have built upon one another.  As time moved on and I changed and evolved, so did the situations that I found myself in.  I have been an active participant in my life and I can see how so much of how my life is at this moment is because of the choices that I made.   I created the life that I am living and that knowledge is both invigorating and powerful.

The other day though I came across a blog post that was shared on Facebook.  It was written by a mother to her daughter, a middle child.  Being a middle child myself and being one who sometimes played that card, I was curious, so I read, "A Letter of Apology to My Middle Child."  I couldn't help but to get teary eyed as I read it.  It was the part about finding yourself that really resonated with me.  I was/am stuck between an older sister and a younger brother.  However, it was having an older sister, with whom I was naturally similar to, that really made it difficult for me to find and define myself.  Many of the things that came naturally to her, I had to work hard at.  That instilled in me a desire to never want to be less or to disappoint especially when it was in something that we both did.  Then there was that part of me that tried to do different things just for the sake that they were different, different from her.  I can remember to this day how mad I was that she changed her major her junior year to teaching just after I declared my future major to be teaching.  I wanted that.  I didn't want to be following in her footsteps as I felt I did for so much of my life.  It was hard to find myself and I can't say that I really did, atleast not in high school.  And, I met Dale two months into my first semester my freshman year in college...

Why I was the way I was for the 32 years (prior to the last three years that have made complete sense to me) makes sense too.  I had a great childhood.  My parents were present and loving.  But I'm sure my mom felt alot like the mother who wrote that post.  Three kids, a house, a husband, a job... it's tough.  I know that my parents did the best that they could.  I am not blaming them, or my sister.  She was/is a great older sister/role model to have.  I think the kicker here is perception.  And it was mine.  It was how I perceived things to be.  That perception was powerful and it helped to mold and to create me into who I was back then.

Now, I'd like to say that it is something far more profound than perception that has created the me of today.  However, can we ever escape our own perceptions?  I don't think we can.  I feel comfortable saying that it is my perception that has now changed.  I do see the world differently.  And unlike before, I am looking at the big picture.  Twenty years ago, I was a child.  My world back then was what was right in front of me, within the walls of the small box that I lived in.  And when you are confined to a small area, you may not see the opportunities, the choices, the power and the freedom that you have in living your life.  They may seem too far out of that comfort zone and  out of reach.

That's part of growing up... to grow and expand that box.  You need to experience different things, take some risks, and follow your heart.  That's what will help you to become whom you were meant to be.  And when you do find yourself, that's when everything will fall into place and it will all make sense.
It's a great place to be.  :)

(Terrible title, I know, lol)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Something Magical

Even though it's been nearly three weeks since our vacation has come and gone, I still must post about our vacation to Disney!!!

Disney was something magical.  Truly.  I am so happy that I didn't let any fear or worry stop me from taking my son there by myself.  We had such a wonderful, memorable time.  And... it's all mine.

Here are some of the best moments...
1.  It started on our drive to the airport.  Car service came to get us.  Car service had some bad gas.  It took me awhile to catch on.  But my son noticed right away.  And he so called the driver out every time by announcing that it smelled like "old soup" in the car.  Lol... glad there wasn't any traffic at 6 am on a Sunday, we got to the airport rather quickly.  Phew!
2.  The wonder and excitement in my son's expression when we arrived at The Animal Kingdom (our first stop) when I told him we were finally at Disney World.
3.  His first meet and greet with characters came the next morning at Hollywood Studios with Chip and Dale!  He ran right up to them with hugs and smiles.  He was SO excited.
4.  My son lost his tooth at Hollywood Studios!!!  Literally, I think he ate it with his lunch, atleast that's when I noticed it was gone.  A lunch with Disney Jr. characters!
5.  My son picked out a snake at the Indiana Jones gift shop.  That snake came with us to every park after that day.  That snake put on a "magic" show every morning on our bus ride to the park.  That snake broke the ice with everyone that came our way.  My son, the people charmer with his sidekick snake.  Lol... I love that kid.
6.  We were up and at it every morning to open up the park of the day.  We stayed all day long.   Only once out of the five days there did we go back to the hotel to "rest" for the night.  By rest I mean go swimming.  My son was a little trooper.  At four, he walked all day everyday.  No stroller!  And he didn't have any accidents.  We didn't even have to get out of any lines to use a bathroom.  He was awesome!
7.  Parades... My son LOVES parades.  We watched the parade at Animal Kingdom.  We watched a day parade at Magic Kingdom.  We watched the electric parade at the Magic Kingdom 4 times!  By the fourth time, we declared ourselves worthy of joining all those who start walking at the end of the parade and joining it.  It was our last night... why not?
8.  A new friend... One night at the kiddie pool, my son made a friend.  He was a boy about the same age as my son, but he had some obvious disabilities.  I think he may have been autistic.  However, my son played with him as if he were just like any other kid.  This boy was scared of the water (a foot deep) and afraid to jump and splash in it.  My son took his hand and "taught" him how to jump.  They had a great time together.  I was so proud of him.
9.  We hit some bad weather on the plane ride home.  The turbulance wasn't bad, but we had some delays.  Our plane even landed at a different airport and waited until the fog lifted in NYC.  We were on that plane for about 8 hours (it was a 2.5 hour flight home).  My son was so good on the plane.  Thank God!!!
10.  We both had our moments, but... I couldn't have asked for anything better.  I cannot express how special this little vacation was other than to call it something magical.

The Animal Kingdom

My son's favorite part... Dino Land!

Hollywood Studios


A Luau breakfast with Pluto, Mickey, Lilo, and Stitch!

The Magic Kingdom

Buzz Lightyear... One of our favorite rides.

It's a Small World... I lost count how many times we rode through this one.  

I used a Fast Pass for both the parade and fireworks... VIP seating, nice!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Knowing and Doing

There is quite a difference between knowing something and doing something.  Knowing lives in thoughts, doing lives in actions.  However, there is a powerful connection between the two.  And if I may, I'd like to quote a one Ms. Oprah Winfrey, "If I had known better, I would have done better."  That quote has run through my mind many times and it especially helped in some of the early days after Dale's death when I was confused and questioned what had happened and why.

After writing my post yesterday, I started to reorganize myself (even updated and printed out a new "Daily Rituals" checklist) and thought about what it is that I need to be doing and what needs to be happening in my life to get me out of the rut that I feel I have been in.  I've made some slight changes and overall, atleast on Day 1, I am feeling better.  One thing that I was reminded of after writing yesterday's post was that on maintaining.  I reread that post which sounded all too familiar to my post from yesterday.  That familiarity reminded me that I actually know what it is I need and want to do, but the problem lies in actually doing it.

So I was reminded of yet another thing... the word itself, maintaining.  I had been searching for a bead to represent maintaining, but just like the bead that I had wanted to get for "the process" nothing jumped out at me.  I didn't know what I wanted so I didn't get anything.  However, yesterday, I did find a bead to represent maintaining.

This stone of courage is said to be named after the female Amazonian warriors. Some say, however, that it is simply named after the Amazon River in Brazil, where it is found embedded in boulders of hard granite. It is also called the Hope stone, since it inspires confidence and hope. - See more at: http://www.trollbeads.com/global/en-us/products/beads/80106(base_usd)#sthash.dDgGla3X.dpuff
This is the Amazonite bead... The stone of courage named after the female Amazonite warriors.
It is also said to be the hope stone since it is supposed to inspire confidence and hope.

This bead looks strong to me.  And when I read the caption about it, it seemed fitting.  Fitting enough to be my next bead to represent maintaining.

After this bead, I think that I have room for two more.  One spot is already taken for "The Process."  I had to send back the rainbow bead I bought for it because it didn't look like a rainbow at all.  I have yet to find a bead to represent that important life reminder.  I'm still looking though.  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My 19 Day Hiatus

Where have I been for the past 19 days?  Other than the 5 days I spent at Disney World, I have no idea.  Things are going very well for me right now, awesome actually, but I feel like I am such a hot mess.  I really am in a disarray and I am fighting to balance and reorganize, but I am not doing such a good job.  Do I really need to dust off The Happiness Project (or atleast draw inspiration from the first month's theme of organize, organize, organize) and attempt it for a third time!?!

As I have shared so many times before, this summer I turned a big corner in my life and it was quite an adjustment.  I was having difficulties with the new found peace that I was feeling because so many of my other feelings and memories had subsided as well.  And although that process was both necessary and important for me to pass, it was still bittersweet nonetheless.  So that threw me off a bit.

Then I got sick in the fall.  Not sick, sick.  But the low energy, nagging dull headache, cough, and sniffles sort of sick.  That lasted forever!  I coughed my way into January and although I feel better now, my energy is not up to par.  I'm sure this incredibly long and extremely cold winter has something to do with it, but it still bothers me.  It bothers me because I feel as though I have become lazy.  Extremely lazy.  This fall I started watching t.v. and really getting into shows that I made an attempt to watch every week.  I haven't done that in such a loong time.  I stopped working out.  First, it was my sickness, then it was the weather.  I signed up for a gym membership last month, went twice.  And I can feel and see the effects of this lifestyle that I don't enjoy but can't seem to break from.  Jiggle. 

I was supposed to start p90x (I quit my gym membership) on Monday.  I started it last year at this time and I really enjoyed it.  It was tough working out 6 days a week, but I dedicated myself and although in the end it was more like 5 times a week, I still finished the program and I looked and felt great!  This year, I want the results, but I know how difficult it was to put all that time into the program and I am having a hard time finding the time.

Time... I have become unorganized in my routines.  I am not accomplishing all that I need and want to each day.  When I don't, it just carries over into the next day and it builds up.  I am finding myself looking for time to blog, workout, even spend with my son.  I don't have any less time (not really) but I don't know what I am doing with the time that I have.  One thing that I do know is that I am going to bed earlier.  Sometimes I'd stay up to 12 or 1 am to finish a blog post.  Or I would start my workout at 10 pm or later if I needed too.  But I am just having a difficult time doing that now.

I also have someone special in my life now.  And as happy as I am that I do, it is an adjustment.  We see each other on average now about every 3 or 4 days.  When we don't see each other, we talk on the phone.  Our conversations have rarely been less than an hour these days.  My relationship is taking time that I used for other things.  (NOT complaining, but it's just reality.) 

I hate this dishevelled state that I am in.  So what do I do?  I think I need to make a list, lol.  Sometimes you need to go back to what works best, and I love me my lists.  Apparently I need a daily checklist of tasks and goals that I want to accomplish each day.  It worked before in the toughest of times, why not when times are good.?.  Once I reorganize, I think that I will find that more time will open up.  With more time (and the NEW p90x3, which is only 30 minutes a workout compared to 60 minutes plus!) I won't have any excuses for not working out.  Working out will help me to increase my energy.  The more energy and time that I have the better the mom I will be.  All of these things will make me feel happier.  And the happier I am the better my relationship with my New Yorker will be and that will make me even happier!

So to sum this all up...

If H=Hiatus, L=Lists, O=Organization, T=Time, E=Energy, HP=Happiness then

-H= HP ( O + T + E)         

Or in simple Nike terms... "Just Do It!"