I’m not responsible for anything…”She said facetiously.”

What makes me start writing again after my hiatus?  Life!  My brain started to burble over with how has our society gotten itself into this mess…the negativity on social media, the lashing out, the mad generalization of everyone, including your friends, based on political affiliation, or because they feel differently about something than you do?

Aah, some people have all ready tuned out; what I’m saying doesn’t apply to them.  It applies to all of us…  Think about it.. Republicans want less government, except when it comes to personal issues like abortion, or gay marriage.  Democrats think government should mandate, except when that govt. disagrees with them like on issues of abortion and gay marriage…  If only it was simple; black and white, but not so many damn issues of gray…

How about if we make a simple start:  Take responsibility for you, for your actions, for your finances, for your peace.  Work an extra job, make your apologies, do yoga.  Really it’s simple.

Then what about your family?  Take responsibility for them, your relationship with them, and their basic needs.  Are the children in your family safe, drug free?  Are your elders being taken care of, like you hope your family will take care of you?  Is everyone in your family fed; do they have medical care; have a place to sleep at night, an education?  Is everyone loved?  Do they know they are loved?  Are you teaching them to be responsible?

Have you accomplished all of that and are still sane?  Now tackle your local community.  I see so many folks who just nag on issues on social media.  Here’s an idea: donate your time to your community, offer to volunteer at the schools, soup kitchens, church, bake cookies for the homeless.  Does your community need more funding for something?  We have the lowest unemployment in 50 years.. there are tons of jobs out there.. get one.. take your paycheck, cash it and donate it to your cause.  Give up your something you don’t need and provide something to someone who does have the need.  We are the govt.; we can’t wait for them; it has to be us.  We have the lowest number of volunteers in a long time, but the highest dissatisfaction with our civic arenas; see the correlation?  It will feel so different to work in a positive way for your cause..It will feel great.

The best thing that will happen from the above suggestions is you will be busy, fulfilled, in control and making a difference.  I am in the process of completing a huge project this summer for money :).  A portion of that has already gone to a family who had an immediate need.  I made a difference, you can make a difference.

The difference will not be made by you sitting safely on your phone, criticizing others beliefs blindly.  Be nice, have empathy, make a difference, take responsibility, be the change…

Imagine if all of the energy that is spent judging others and other beliefs, was spent on creating good: if everyone took care of their own families, before they judged others; if everyone took care of the people in their own communities, before they tried to mandate to others.

We, you and I, have the power….We have the responsibility..

Peace

Thank You….Peace…

Did you notice I went an extra week?  Oh Luanna, can you stop?  I can!  Maybe… I went an extra week because yesterday, the 15th of April, my husband and I started on a raft trip down the Grand Canyon. (two weeks with no internet access?!!)  It’s another challenge to complete!  That’s what blogging for a year was for me: a challenge.  Before I give you some closing thoughts I will tell you what my top 10 blogs were to this date.  It was really interesting to me; was survival as a topic important to you, was it story telling, identifying with my life?

10 & 9.  Tied were You Would Know Four Things About Mom and New Years Resolution. (self explanatory)

8.  If Not Us, If Not You, Then Who?  (Is it our responsibility to talk about our survival to help others?)

6 & 7.  Ties were Motivation? and When You See One, There Are More.  (Why do I feel it’s necessary to blog and my analogy of my abuse)

5.  Let’s Be Honest.  (my defense of others, including gays, and why we shouldn’t judge)

4.  Forgiveness, Slow But Sure.  (self-explanatory)

3.  Quilting Together The Past and Present.  (bringing my life together)

2.  Surviving Divorce.  (self-explanatory

1. It’s Not Your Fault. (overwhelming top read post)

Sometimes blogs are read weeks after they are published; people tend to binge read every once in a while, so a more recent blog might pick up a few additional readers.  It is validating to see the statistics.  It seems a variety of topics was appreciated.  I’m so grateful.

I encourage all of you to write, or video; challenge yourself.   Life is short.  If I can ever help, I will.  A couple of people have reached out to me and asked me to help them write, or get started.  I am so happy to do that, so thankful for the trust.

If you would do one thing for me, as Dave and I raft down the Grand Canyon, please include our safety in your prayers.  If you don’t like us, then forget you know what we are doing.  🙂

I may continue to blog periodically on wordpress.com.  I won’t be publishing on Facebook.  You can certainly follow me there and again if there is anything I can help you with, on your journey, you can always personal message me.

I can’t tell you without crying, what your support has meant to me this last year.  It has helped immensely with my healing.  I have forgiven my Dad and I choose to love the goodness in him.  Sometimes I have to look darn hard, but it’s there! There are some days I still struggle, but they are few and far between.  Thank you, thank you my friends for your support.

Peace….

(I have been asked how to follow my blog. If you go to the WordPress.com site, search lovingandsurviving.blog, you should find my blogs. There will be a place at the beginning or end, where it says, “follow”. I believe you will be asked to put in your e-mail address and then you will get one automatically when I write it.)

 

Always Assume The Best

I went to a church service with my oldest son and oldest granddaughter, a couple of Sundays ago. It was a video service, beamed in from another city. I wondered to myself, if there was anyway that it could have an effective message without the direct personalization. Writing this has me chuckling to myself, because that’s exactly what I try to do with blogs and live video; share a message through technology. To make it short; it was a fabulous sermon and I identified strongly with it.

How often do we question someone we love, or someone we know cares about us? Something is said with an edge, or as a joke, or written without enough emoji’s to reassure us of the positive meaning of the writing and we assume the worst. We let the putty pop out of the chip on our shoulder and think the negative. What if we assumed the best; assumed that it was miswritten, or that the sarcasm was imagined, or the joke simply meant as a joke. What if we assumed the people around us, who say they care about us and love us, really do? What if people actually do want the best for us? What if people are genuinely sorry for their wrongs?

We save a lot of energy by assuming the best. Are we going to get hurt when we do that? Possibly, but with all of the energy we have saved assuming the best, we will be able to bare it. We will survive. What if everyone in your family assumed the best about everyone else? What would happen to the dynamics? What if everyone in our country assumed the best about everyone else… Ok, let’s take politicians out of the equation, if you can’t get past that. :0)  What if you and I assumed the best ..

I’m not going to take away your desire to protect yourself. We all have people in our lives that are so toxic, so manipulative, that we can’t, in order to survive, assume the best, but those people really are few and far between. Don’t give them your energy; use your energy for good not evil!!

Today, I am watching my granddaughters dance to “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” It’s hard to see or assume anything but good.

Peace….

(I have been asked how to follow my blog. If you go to the WordPress.com site, search lovingandsurviving.blog, you should find my blogs. There will be a place at the beginning or end, where it says, “follow”. I believe you will be asked to put in your e-mail address and then you will get one automatically when I write it. I won’t be putting them out on Facebook anymore after next week.)

 

 

 

Always Say “I Love You”

I had another blog all ready to go today, but I woke up early this morning knowing that I needed to write something new.  In the last three days, while we celebrated life with our families, friends have lost people they love, to death and/or are in the process of losing someone.  Most of us have gone through it: the waiting, the feelings of no control, the penetrating grief that envelops you.  You want the people you love to feel free of their pain, but what you really want is them….always, you still want them for just one more minute.

In the last three years, I have had a sister and a good friend both say to me, “I don’t understand why this is happening.”  I have thought about it a lot.  I like to have the answers, love to research questions, talk to other people, think…..all because I like answers.  I don’t have the answers for my friend and I didn’t for my sister.  I’m sorry. We question our faith, karma, the universe; it’s hard to believe that our losses are random, chances or decisions we made, that we weren’t even aware of the consequences of..  It doesn’t feel fair and it’s not.

Unfortunately, what is fair, or at least equal, is that we will all experience it.  We will all have some loss that we struggle with, albeit there can be lots of discussion about levels of loss, but at the time, our loss, is the greatest loss…  Can we define how many pieces a heart can be broken into?  I remember all of my children’s first loves, the breakups and the heartaches.  I remember thinking, “This is nothing, it get’s worse, you will get over it.”  At some point though, I realized that to them, their first loss was as earth shattering as any of mine, because it was their first.  They didn’t know they would get over it; they didn’t know there would be someone else who they would love, who would deserve them.  Loss can’t be measured  as one person’s against another.  A broken heart is broken.

I have learned, and I’m sure age has something to do with it, that life is short.  There isn’t one unexplained loss, there are many.  I can’t control them: I want to, but I can’t.  Many years ago, I decided that saying I love you is a good thing.  I never wanted to walk away from a conversation with my children, without those words.  I never wanted the regret of something happening to them  and my feeling that they didn’t know.  As I get older and question my own longevity, I’m more diligent.  I don’t want anything to happen to me and have them ever question whether we were ok, or that they always had my support.  Many arguments, with the kids, have ended with me saying, “Ok, well I love you.”  “Remember, even when I’m mad, I love you.”  “Don’t forget, I love you.”

Those conversations have extended to friends.  It’s so easy to take people for granted; then they are gone, or we are gone, and the chance is gone.  I don’t take my friends for granted anymore.  I know how quickly life can separate you from each other, through distance, misunderstandings, and death.  I’ve been trying to: be more compassionate, take more time to tell people that I appreciate them, forgive those I can, and always remember to say, “I love you.”

Peace….

 

Wishes for My Grandchildren

I plan to write more to them someday, but for now I have some very simple wishes, hopes and dreams for the little people in my life:

I hope my grandchildren grow up in a better world, a world where men and women are treated equally and paid for their efforts, but also a world where the boys don’t have to carry the burden of the sins that happened before them.  I hope all chips, on all shoulders are filled, and that people learn to stand on their own two feet and not blame someone else when they fail.  I wish that people who have been victimized in the past, don’t try to heal their pain by victimizing others, instead of forgiving and surviving, and that those who feel criticized quell their criticism of others.

I dream that the grandchildren will be happy in love.  I don’t care what color that person is, what sex, or what religion, but I do care that they respect my grandchildren, love them, and hold their feelings in high esteem.  I hope they are challenged in their relationship, yet find away to grow together exploring life and it’s wonder.  I pray that if the relationship is harmful, that they will have the courage to walk away, to hold their heads high, and to move forward.  If a relationship or friendship is toxic and causes you to question your value, or your life, please don’t walk away, run..

I wish them children, if they choose.  If they don’t choose, I wish for them the good sense to use the best birth control out there.  Children are a blessing; they are not the easy route in life, but are gratifying.  I can’t imagine my life without mine.  Don’t have a child, so that you have someone who loves you; if you have a child it’s because you have love to give.  

I hope they have success, as they see it.  If you enjoy art or basketball, do art or basketball, but if it doesn’t pay the bills, get a job that does and do other things  on the weekends, until you are good enough to pay your bills doing it.  Don’t expect any one else to support you, but don’t sell your value in a relationship short as it isn’t always about the dollar.  Whether you are the male or female, in your family, earning the most money, and the other partner is managing home and children, always remember that nannies, prostitutes and housekeepers are expensive.  There is a price to be paid, never think you have more value, only because you make more money, or less value because your paycheck isn’t as big.  

I dream that my grandchildren will be the kind of people who will help someone across the street, buy a meal for a young family anonymously, and support the causes they believe in.  If you watch public TV, donate to it.  Don’t expect others to support your causes, if you don’t.  Always stop and think about how your actions are affecting others, even the people you don’t agree with.  Don’t be them; be you.  Be an advocate but don’t be nasty about it.  Be the best you, you can be.  

I hope with all of my heart that they have faith in a higher power, that they pray, and believe that their God is standing by their side.  Faith has value; God has value; always be grateful for what you have been given. Say thank you often and with fervor.

I wish that they get an education; keep learning, travel, read and have discussions with others to learn their point of view.  It’s how you grow.  Don’t be afraid, and please don’t assume you know everything, when no one does.  🙂

I am writing so that they are sure and that they always know they have a grandma, who would eat people for them, a grandma who loves them, and wishes everything good for them, whether she is in this world or another.  I will always be the voice on your shoulder, so that you will feel safe and loved.  

Peace…

 

 

The Things We Leave Out

“What an odd thing a diary is; the things you omit are more important than those you put in.” Simone de Beauvoir

I have four blogs left to write; when I saw this quote, I really stopped to think about what I hadn’t written about yet.

There are lots of near death stories: swimming topless in Lake Sakakawea with a bunch of girls, while our friend (as a joke) drove the boat away, as I dog paddled frantically to stay afloat.  Jumping off of the catwalk into the middle of the river because my boyfriend told me he would hold my hand and then let go. Was it an omen for the marriage? Riding with same boyfriend in his car, spinning “cookies” on the lake as the ice made cracking sounds below us…. I survived those times.

I have always loved to hostess parties and there were a couple of great ones, including my friends 16th birthday (the friend who drove the boat away in the above paragraph), which I talked my folks into letting me have at the farm. When the bars closed, adults joined us, going into the house to visit with my parents. Finally at 2:00 Mom asked me to tell everyone to leave. My parents didn’t drink; I don’t know what they were thinking. I got up the next morning and my sister Lisa was out with a garbage bag, picking up the beer cans. I went out to help and she said she had found one sock and one pair of underwear underneath the grain truck.

My 16th was really fun. I took all of my birthday money (sorry Grandma) and talked my cousin into buying a keg. It fit perfectly in my car where the spare tire was supposed to go. It was an old station wagon my Dad was letting me drive, after I rolled my first car. The party was a huge success.  The police raided it, but I don’t think they really expected us to leave; they just enjoyed watching us run. Some of us girls camped out in the station wagon. Our friend Clyde, showed us a safe place to park, where he didn’t think anyone would bother us. I shudder to think of our naiveté; It never occurred to me that someone would think of bothering us. The next morning, we went in to town early to have breakfast. I remember the looks on the early risers, as we crawled out of that car. We looked wild; we really weren’t.

I have left out many stories that I could use to prove a point or validate a decision I made, but they involve other people, so I hold those back, from you my diary.

I haven’t shared, in much detail at all until now, how incredibly much it has hurt me, that there are friends and family members whose disapproval of my blog sometimes weighs me down like a layer of dirt guilt. The violation of my youth is enough; the missing support adds to the pain and is harder to put away when it is current. Don’t ever doubt that those of you, who have supported me with your kindness, will ever be forgotten by me.

Some of my greatest disappointments were women in my life who betrayed me. Men I was trained to expect it from, but not the girlfriends I trusted. I wished women were more supportive of each other, more honest and less bitchy. We tend to be our own worst enemies sometimes. It is hard to fight the peer pressures and spousal pressures, but I’m hopeful we are learning. Loyalty is priceless; let’s keep learning.

There are other things I wouldn’t put in a diary and wouldn’t write to you; moments of bad decisions, shame, and things that don’t need to be remembered. Posterity, how do we want to be remembered? I told my oldest son one day, “When you get up to do my eulogy, don’t put me on a pedestal and make me sound like someone I’m not. Tell the truth.” He grinned and said, “Don’t worry Mom, I won’t, and I will tell the truth” Now I am worried.! 🙂

I don’t know if anything I have left out is more important than anything I’ve said. What’s important is the outcome: a life well lived, a family well loved, gratefulness for friends, and hopefully a dog, or granddogs, and a bottle of wine.

Peace….

 

 

Contentment

Good morning, would you do me a favor? Grab a cup of coffee and sit down with me. Pour a nice shot of creamer in it; add a bit of sugar, if you like, but sit down and talk with me. I’ve been thinking  and wonder how many of you are worried about content. Maybe you are worried about something large or something small; we always seem to find time to worry about something. In order for you to feel contentment today, what would have to happen? Take a couple of minutes and think, “What would make me feel content today?”

Is it something that you can control? Is it something that’s really important in your big picture? Is it someone else’s behavior, or someone else’s thoughts?

This isn’t my typical way of writing a blog. I have been putting all of them in a word document, so that I can print them off for family. I have made changes back and forth sharing my story and trying to encourage you in yours.  In the process realized I Havent addressed feeling satisfied. Contentment is so important for our survival. Stress is a huge cause of so many diseases and problems in our lives.

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to one of my sons about a new relationship. He said, “Mom, we are both really content.” I felt so much peace, when he made that statement; to have contentment in any area of our lives and not want more? His statement got me to thinking about my life and what makes me content. The forerunner is when our children and grandchildren are safe and healthy. I always think happiness can be a rollercoaster, but their health brings me contentment.

Then I began thinking about my children’s level of contentment, and friends levels, the nations.. I spend a lot of time thinking! So now I am asking all of you in writing, “What makes you content?” Do you feel the need for more money, more sex, more excitement, more respect, more job satisfaction, a happier marriage, good health? If you think about it, and formulate a plan, maybe you can achieve it. If you are looking for the Vikings to win a Superbowl, well I hate to tell you, but you have no control and may never feel content! (I am writing this the week after the Eagles won, good for them…. :)) What exactly is it that you want?

Prioritize: Would you give up money for your health, or your children’s health? Would you give up job satisfaction for more money? Are you willing to give up respect for more control? Would you give up your health for anything? Are you doing these things?

I don’t expect answers back. A friend recently told me that even the blogs she can’t necessarily identify with, make her think.. I really like that she would think about what I write; that’s all I ask, not that you agree or have a “wow” feeling, but that you think.

I wish you contentment. I wish you enough.

Peace……