I Didn’t Know My Happy Was Broken

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Every now and then we have an epiphany, an experience of sudden realization that changes our lives in a profound way. It sure doesn’t come when we are searching for it, but has a way of quietly sneaking up and catching us when we least expect it. I think it’s only fair if I first share some of the story that led me to this point.

My son and I were in the kitchen earlier today. He saw me dancing around and wiping off the counter when he said the words that sent me into a tailspin of thinking. He told me he didn’t think anything could make my happy broken. “What did you say?” Again he repeated, “I don’t think anything could make your happy broken. Look, you are smiling for no reason right now.” WOW! The powerful message behind those 9 innocent words. I had just spent years of my life with my happy broken and yet nobody took the time to TELL ME about it. At least not until this 10 year old genius pointed it out.

I have struggled the last few years. At times, I really felt my time was not my own. I couldn’t exactly put my finger on what was wrong, but I could easily embrace the guilt that came a long with my feeling of dreadful emptiness. I had a great life…a wonderful husband who worked hard to give us a lifestyle filled with opportunities so many people would never have. Two great kids that stayed out of trouble who I absolutely adored. A family that is supportive and who I will be eternally grateful for. So, why did I feel all this doom and gloom deep beneath the surface? I should have been floating around on cloud 9 because I had this perfect life, and the guilt was slowly eating me alive, one hour at a time.

I used to always say that people sucked the life out of me. It was easier to blame this on everyone around me, rather than look deeper into myself. Today it occurred to me that I was looking for love, validation, and acceptance in all the wrong places. I counted on the people around me to give me what I needed especially when I was down and out. But with the help of my son and more specifically my yoga practice, I realized where the happy got fixed, at least my happy anyway.

We all have a tank inside that comes with an internal gauge of when our tank is empty, or our tank is full. What we don’t come equipped with though is a menu they helps us order what we need to fill that tank up. Wouldn’t be it be easy and wonderful if we had some clue to what we need, instead of always guessing? Its different for all of us and it changes from day to day. But, it is a must if we are really looking for a way to find our happy. I’d like to tell you how I fixed mine.

When I step into a room that is 100 degrees and I attempt to work out it seems near impossible. At least, it did at first. I would do these poses with my weak body trembling while struggling to take in enough air to help me breathe. It didn’t take long though, until the trembling stopped. I would hold those poses and felt physically strong. And, while learning to focus on my breath, I trusted that just that focus alone would offer the endurance I needed to get through anything, on or off the mat. So now, I felt strong, had endurance, and confidence that would sustain me through the most difficult times. Then came the mind part… It is amazing, the peacefulness that comes along with finding your human garbage can. A place that you can walk in and dump your thoughts, feelings, or your whole day and leave them right there where you would never have to revisit or experience them again….EVER!

So, I am not saying Yoga is the fix for everyone, but I thank God that it gave me what I needed to fix me. Yes, you read that right. The strength, love, acceptance, hope, motivation, and validation are all inside of me. My tank is never empty and no-one else could ever fill it up. I just needed to clear out my garbage so I could reconnect with my inner self, that part of myself that knows exactly what it is I need and is waiting for me to reach in and take it. So, my inner tank will always be full, and my happy can never be broken again. The beautiful part of this story is that other people can see my happy, they notice it, and it spills over and affects them in a deep and meaningful way. Now that I have an unlimited supply I can gladly share it with everyone around me, and what is better than a gift that keeps on giving everywhere you go!

Original Top 16 Stupid Things We Do on a Daily Basis that I just found and thought I deleted!

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You know you’ve done something pretty stupid when:

1) You show up at Starbucks and realize as you are getting out of the car, you forgot your shoes

2) You wonder why your arms are sticking to the side of your body, and then you realize you actually grabbed the hair spray in place of deodorant

3) You try and dial the TV remote and wonder why your call won’t go through

4) You’re call is lost driving down the driveway because you are talking on your land line and left you cell on the counter

5) You are mad at the idiot beeping at you, only to find its your own hand on your own horn

6) You are rushing to get out of the house and search all over for your cell phone, and realize you are talking on it

7) You search frantically for your keys at the local supermarket, when the friendly clerk reminds you they are hanging on the neck of your sweatshirt

8) The person behind the register asks for your phone number, and you ask them what the local area code is to help you get started

9) You can’t find your sunglasses because you can’t see them on the top of your head

10) You have an argument with the front desk person at the doctors office because you are not in their appointment book and when you show them your calendar they remind you your appointment is Tuesday and today is Monday.

11) You start the car and ask yourself where the hell was I going anyway?

12) your heart starts pounding because you hear a mans voice in your room and you realize you just sat on the remote

13) you accuse everyone in the room of hiding your purse and then you realize it’s right there hanging on your arm

14) you lock your keys in the car 2 times on the same day while it’s running

15)You back up in the morning to take your daughter to school, only you forget to open the garage door

16) you shower and hurry out the door, only to find out hours later you’re still wearing your underwear from the day before

More great things my parents say that crack me up!

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1) Dad says to me, “I’ll call you the next time I do something stupid.” mom says in the background, “you better just stay on the phone with her.”

2) Mom says, “Stop it! It hurts when all those people are standing on me.” (Hmmm…I think we’ll just leave that one alone!)

3) Mom says while talking on the phone to my sister, “How about the little one?” my sister asks, “are you talking about my Kelsey? mom: No I’m talking about my little toe. Daddy’s cutting my toe nails and he forgot the little one. My sister responds, I’m calling my sister so she can put this in her blog

4) After reading my post that is about people constantly criticizing, mom says to me, “That’s a terrible blog! What is wrong with you? That blog is all about you! I’m done with you! ” And meant every word! Thanks mom! I can’t stop laughing…This will give me something to talk about at therapy this afternoon.

5) 3:40 mom answers phone “where are you mom?” “um, the food store”.
4:30 no answer
6:00 still no answer
7:00 my home phone rings, “where are you mom?”…….”um, just walking out of Aldi’s.”
Hmmm….okay mom I KNOW you were at the casino!

6) Will you stop that! You can’t even find a hole! What mom? He’s jerking the car. Oh thank God mom! Thanks for clarifying.

7) Mom tells Kayleigh to stick a broom in the cake to see if it’s done. Um…Kayleigh, I don’t know anything about baking, but that doesn’t sound like a good idea to me…….

8) Bill, don’t say another word, she’s writing it all down.

9) My sister called me in hysterics after having a conversation trying to explain face timing to our dad. He says to her, I know Sher, its getting crazy I came in on the tail end of the report, but they said you are going to be able to order a part for your car through your phone. Can you believe it, the part will come through the phone. Hmmm…….perhaps it’s not the casino where they’ve been hanging out after all…

10) Mom: I am mad at your father. There are tinker toys all over, things aren’t fixed, the fireplace looks like who did it and ran, this place is a mess and he’s gonna run the vacuum cleaner. Dad: Kim can you hear me, “if I didn’t run it, it would be rusty”. Mom: ” Thats the problem, he turns it on and lets it run but he doesn’t actually move it!

And there you have it folks, my mom and dad!

This Girl is on Fire!

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Everyone has a theme song right? I think it probably changes from day to day. Lately, I’ve been feeling really good and every time I hear Girl On Fire I feel like I am back in my twenties. I stand a little straighter, I smile a little wider and I have this incredible urge to get on the treadmill. Some things cannot be explained because for years I have physically dragged myself to the gym, and just the sight of a treadmill would zap the motivation right out of my body. So, we had a snow day yesterday and I was sitting in my room when my daughter walked in blasting music from her new iPhone. There it was, that song I’ve grown to love. Then it happened almost instantaneously. I jumped up, turned my treadmill on, and I was running. In fact I kept running and running until I actually thought I smelled smoke, because remember I was the girl in that song and this girl WAS ON FIRE! Atleast that’s what I thought until my treadmill came to an abrupt stop from overheating. That’s what I love about this treadmill. It magically turns itself off right about the one mile mark. That wasn’t going to stop me though. I headed out to the kitchen where my lovely daughter was helping cut up peppers for dinner and I thought it was a perfect time to show off what I learned in Zumba earlier this week..

Everyone knows I love country music and years ago line dancing was one of my favorite past times. What they didn’t know though, was that my body stayed completely frozen from the bottom of my neck to the top of my hips. That is until my lovely zumba instructor warmed us up through this movement that was new and foreign to my stiff body. We were arching our back, then contracting our abs and finally I was busting a move. So, there I was dancing behind my daughter as she cut the peppers, popping my mid section like an old pro. I was moving to the left of her, them moving to the right, chopping peppers to the beat of the music while she shot me her best disgusted look, while trying to secretly video tape me on her phone and conceal her laughter all at the same time. I finally got it and it felt great, and sure I was over exaggerating the movement and acting a little crazy but so what? I was getting my groove on to Rhianna and Lady Gaga until all the fun came to a screeching halt……yes, I threw out my back! That is the little reminder I needed that I am NOT in my twenties regardless of what song is playing in the background. It was fun while it lasted though, and I can’t wait until I’m feeling a little better so I can do it all over again!

Mystery of the Hidden Thin Mints SOLVED!

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There we were in the kitchen, just me and Kayleigh, when all of a sudden she says in the sweetest voice ever,

“OH look, COOKIES!”

I could not believe it, that the thin mints my husband brought home from work last night, that I had actually searched all over for, had been in the house all day.. The only problem, I am 5 feet tall on my best day even after weeks of Yoga, and Kayleigh is 5 foot 3. I immediately called my husband inquiring exactly who it was that he was intending to hide the cookies from on top of the refrigerator as Kayleigh snuck up behind me and in her best “Mama” movie psychotic voice whispered

“I’M GOING To eat ALL the COOKIES Mama!”

Love that kid, but hunny, next time can you hide the cookies a little lower?

Top 5 Critical Things Mom Said To Me This Week

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1) Thats a terrible blog post. What the hell is wrong with you? That blog is actually all about you! I’m done with you!

(Actually that was 1-3, so let’s just skip right to #4)

After reading her # 1-3:

4)(and 5)You’re just awful! Why do you do this to me?

Thanks mom! That didn’t take long at all! In fact, it may be the quickest blog post I’ve ever written 🙂

You Can Never Screw Up a Chocolate Cake

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I have had an amazing breakthrough today and I feel the need to share this lesson with anyone that casually comes across this post. I am so hard on my poor 14 year old. She has always been good at a wide array of many things and probably not the best at any. Sometimes, I have sat alone at the end of the day and asked, God, why me? Why did you pick ME to be the parent of this precious life and why did I keep screwing it up? I kept trying and trying, but I didn’t think I was doing a very good job. We just couldn’t seem to connect. I was always frustrated with her lack of passion for the things she signed us both up for. Time that erased enormous chunks of calm from our already busy lives. She was always angry at me and as she scrunched her evil face while staring at me with hateful eyes , would mumble the words, “Nothing I ever do is ever good enough for you.” Hmmmmm,,…, that was one statement that was absolutely true. She could be so much better at everything if she just put in a little more effort and a lot more time. I guess I labeled her in my own mind as a waste of talent. Luckily for me, along with that label, came lazy, unmotivated, uncaring, not dedicated, ungrateful for all the time her activities took from the rest of our family. I was doing that very thing that I loathe about our society. I was judging, comparing, expecting and sending a very loud and clear message to my daughter that she was not good enough. But, good enough for what? Wasn’t a 103.69 in the 100 fly awesome, even if there were a few other kids that were faster? Wasn’t all A’s with one B in Algebra accomplishment enough, especially when she asked for a math tutor and I didn’t get her one? What the hell is wrong with me? Well, for starters, I had become part of the society I swore I wouldn’t be. And it was this teenage girl, that would stop me dead in my tracks, and in MY HOUSE, life was about to take on new meaning. I thank her for this lesson in enlightenment and it will forever change the person I am.

We had a very rare cancellation of school today. Whenever Kayleigh is home for more that an hour a day, she loves to watch Cake Boss. In fact, we often watch it together. So, today she said, I’m gonna make a cake mom!” “Okay, I replied, but not until you clean your room.” I guess she didn’t hear that part, because next thing I knew, the smell of chocolate cake was radiating the entire house with a wonderful aroma.

I did it everyone! I really did! I sat there quietly reading some blogs and offered no suggestions. There are no words to describe the beauty in the events that were about to follow. My mom, the baker (not!) had given Kayleigh advice on how to make a 3 layer cake. Who was I to argue right? Didn’t make a whole lot of sense in my mind of reasoning but I figured I’d just watch it unfold. And so it did, her 1st 3-tier cake. I must admit when I walked in the kitchen and the cake came into my line of view, I could not hide the small chuckle that was escaping my mouth. There it was, amazing in its effort, three hand cut , irregular circles, all piled on top of each other, slightly leaning a bit to one side and missing a whole lot of icing that had appeared to have melted away. And at that very moment, she was using those wonderful hands, that had just created that magnificent cake filled with immeasurable hope, to sprinkle a few chocolate chips meticulously on the top. I gave her a great big grin as she said, “I want to try it again.” “Try what again?” You know, to make a better cake.” That is when I asked her, “why, this was a wonderful cake.”

It was in that chance moment that I had an opportunity to be better than the society I had come to loathe. I knew that life and people were given the opportunity to insult, ignore, put down, hurt, judge, and expect something from myself and my kids each and every time we walked out our front door. After all, isn’t this the new movement to replace the outdated and old fashioned thinking and behaviors that our new and modern society has evolved to become? But, in ThIS house, in MY house, we will live life the old fashioned way. There is no President, or government, or media, or anyone for that matter that will call me out or tell me how I should live in my own house! I grew up in a home that taught me that happiness is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. I love that quote, it’s one of my favorites. And I also learned that if you don’t shape your life, someone else will shape it for you. I choose to go back to a time where people worked for what they had and at the end of the day, knelt down on their knees to pray about everything they were grateful for. A time where the people around me told me I was enough and offered me kindness, compassion, and most importantly, unconditional love. These sports, these activities, these jobs that have started to define someone’s worth or success don’t mean a darn thing. But living, and loving, and always trying to do my best, free of my own judgement, and the constant pressure to be the best will be my final moments of gratitude before I leave this modern, critical world. I will teach kindness in my house and kind words will replace critical ones, and I will encourage my children to offer those words of kindness to everyone that crosses their daily path. Because my idea of a perfect world is in desperate need of more love, acceptance, compassion, and encouragement. And that is what we will start to bring.

I told Kayleigh how very proud of her I have become. That for 41 years I have suffered from having to be perfect in everything I do. And because of that, I missed the time I could be putting into things I WANTED to do. It is just recently I have started trying new things. And I have to tell you, I have felt happier and more that content than I can ever remember. How liberating to just be excited about something new, and something different. I often hear people say they would love to do this, or long to do that. I say shut up and do it then! Stop talking, and judging, and thinking, and wanting and just do it! In fact if I came up with that little catch phrase a few years back, imagine how different my life might be!

The best part of this story that really makes me smile is the end. I was in the laudry room as I caught a glimpse of my 10 year old running toward the kitchen yelling “do I smell brownies?” I couldn’t help but peek around the corner to see the grin he fought back on his face as he ducked behind the island so he didn’t hurt his sisters feelings by the laugh he was fighting to hide when he saw the cake. It was in that moment that she whispered quietly, “Chase, don’t laugh. Mom made that cake.” I still can’t stop smiling, and that is when I sat them down for our little talk. I’d like to leave everyone with some of my favorite quotes, words I live by each and every day…

Respond to everything that excites your spirit!

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world, today I am wise, so I am changing myself.

The best day of
Of your life
Is the one on which
You decide
Your life is
Your own.
No apologies or excuses,
No-one to
Lean on , rely on,
or blame
This gift is yours-
It is an amazing journey-
and you alone
are responsible for
The quality of it.
This is the day
Your life
REALLY begins

( Bob Moawad)

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My Wish For You

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Dear friend I care about,

I know you want to believe that what you have is love, but am here to tell you that love is not pain. I hear it in your words, and feel it in your hope. I feel you holding on to nothing, as the nothing drains every ounce of oxygen from your lungs. I see the pain in your face that you hide behind your smile. I see the change in the person you’ve become as I’ve watched you lose faith in the person you really are. I see you hold on to an image in your head of the way things used to be, but please know images are sometimes distorted. I watch you settle and accept pain because you think that is what love is. I watch you search for help and hope only to stay stuck in the same lonely, dark place. I see the anxiety you feel in your soul as your quiet, calm has become unsettled. I see the desperation to hold on to something that will never be because looking back is less terrifying than looking ahead. I see you breaking apart from trying to fix someone that is beyond repair. I want to take you back in time to see yourself back then, before him. I want to tell you how much I’ve missed the person you used to be before you became a prisoner to him. I want you to feel love again, love that is fulfilling and real. I see you dying inside as I root for you to live again. I know you are looking in all the wrong places for all the right answers and I want to sit you down in front of a mirror, because sometimes you just have to be YOUR OWN hero…..

Surviving a Sobriety Checkpoint

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I moved away from family nearly 12 years ago. When my kids were little I used to go back and visit for 3 weeks at a time. On this particular visit, I was planning a big night on the town, with my little my brother and my favorite sister. We didn’t have the chance to get together very often, so this was our night to get out and have some fun. Hour after hour rolled by and before I knew it, I was drunk. For those of you that don’t know me, having a drink when I’m out is NOT a common occurrence. Considering mom and dad were watching the kids, and my brother was driving me home, I figured what the heck. So, somewhere around now is when things started to get fuzzy. I can’t remember exactly how much I had to drink but I remember reclining my seat back as soon as we got into the car and falling asleep. That was the night I realized my little brother was no longer a little boy and had become somewhat of a responsible man. I remember him saying “Kim, you might want to try and sit up” Why? I replied. You’ll see, just go ahead and sit up.

My brother describes me as a bobble-head in that moment as I fought my lifeless body up to a sitting position. I couldn’t see real well, but through my half opened eyes and blurry vision I thought I saw in the distance oh My God Police Cars! Please no, I can’t go to jail ! I have 2 little kids! That is the moment I had a complete panic attack. There we were entering the tiny town I had lived most of my life, where absolutely everyone knew everyone, and all I could do was try to shake the complete sense of dread that had taken over my entire body. I couldn’t help but envision the headlines of tomorrows paper. There I was, my picture plastered on the front page of being tucked into a police car in the parking lot of that baseball field, mascara running down my face, bloodshot eyes filled with shame. It is that image, in that moment, that I found the will to sit up a little straighter. I just wouldn’t have it. No way! Not me, who never got in trouble a day in my young life. I would make it through this sobriety checkpoint, but I sure didn’t know how. I remember how calm my brother was that night, as we sat in line, waiting for our turn. I believe the pure sense of fear at that moment sobered me up enough to at least look wide awake. Just stay calm he said as tons of his old buddies waved wildly at us as they were taken away in handcuffs, falling to walk that straight line of doom. I don’t know how he pulled it off. He smiled at the officer and was polite. The officer asked where we were headed as he glanced in the back seat, and my brother said “just on our way home sir”. I am pretty sure it was the sight of my children’s car seats that led the police to believe we were not part of the foolish gang being driven away! Just for kicks though, we called my sister to tell her the story only we left out the part that we were the lucky ones that got away. ” Sherry, we are in jail and you are our one call, will you come get us and please….don’t tell mom.” That is when we inflicted her with the same sense of dread we had just luckily escaped ourselves. What a fun night!

There’s Nothing Quite Like Laughing

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Have you ever had one of those days when every thought in your head strikes you as hilariously funny? I don’t mean the kind of funny that makes you smile to yourself, but the kind of funny that makes you laugh completely out loud like you are going mad. There I was riding in the car laughing so hard I had tears coming down my cheeks. So, I call my dad to share my funny thought, and before I could get any words out, I was laughing so hard that he was laughing along with me. Then, at dinner, I am sharing those same funny thoughts with my husband and daughter, again laughing so hard I had to hold onto the table to keep from falling out of my chair, and they couldn’t resist the desire to join in with me..The best was laying in bed a few minutes ago all alone and laughing so hard my stomach actually began to hurt. I am so grateful for days like this. I love these funny voices in my head and hope they stick around for a few more days. Today, I am wishing everyone that reads this a ” Laugh Out Loud kind of day” because it is true how the saying goes, laugh and the world laughs with you!