Keeping on your path while parenting

I am a big fan of, Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist.  I am starting with one of my favorite quotes from him and ending with one I like as well.      

Carl Jung wrote- “The greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of the parents.”

 Often moms lose themselves when we have kids.  Not by a conscious choice, we do it out of love.  We put our lives on hold to focus solely on the life of our child.  Although it seems a noble thing to do, it is a lot of pressure to put on that child and after the 18 year run, the empty nest syndrome can be devastating.    

I have a visual that helps describe how I see parenting.  I picture myself on a wide path walking forward.  Next to me on both sides are paths that look narrower (unless you are actually walking on them and then they appear larger.)  I am moving forward on my path.  Sometimes there are one or two paths beside me, sometimes I can barely see any path near me, and right now there are 6 separate paths merging with mine.  They are the paths of my husband and children.    

I am clear that my main purpose on this planet is to live and learn the lessons that are being presented to me.  These lessons are the evolution of my soul/spirit.  Our souls are housed in our earth suits for a short time, but I believe they will live on forever.    

Although I am here for my journey, part of my journey now is sharing, learning, teaching, and loving these six other people while they are moving forward on their own paths.  I have not lost myself or forgotten my purpose here, our paths are simply intertwined.    

I have been blessed with a child that has what my mom has but was never diagnosed- Bipolar.  He was diagnosed, has a great team of doctors helping us figure it out and will have a healthy and abundant life.  Through this journey with my son, I was able to see clearly the sadness of my childhood- being raised by an absent mother that wasn’t physically absent.  My son is a gift for me in loving, learning and healing.    

I have been blessed with a daughter that is a lady and has a pure heart.  I am a bit rough around the edges and was a tomboy.  She is teaching me to be soft and quiet.  I am teaching her to be a warrior.    

I have been blessed with a son who has a tender heart and really thrives with calmness and attention.  So when I want to yell or disconnect, like I was taught, my son draws me in and shows me what a richer choice it is to connect.  

I have been blessed with a daughter who is like me.  She is strong, fearless, and thinks she has to do it all by herself.  I get to encourage her fierceness, while not leaving her to do it alone.    

I have been blessed with a daughter that is a miracle.  She was supposed to be severely retarded.  The doctor’s encouraged termination.  She taught me incredible lessons before she was even born: to accept other people’s decisions, even if they differ from mine, to always rely on God, and know no matter what happens, it will turn out okay or usually better than okay.    

Finally, I am walking next to a man that is a gift.  The man that without, none of this would be.  I am flawed.  He is flawed.  But instead of seeing the flaws, we try and see the beauty.  The things that trigger me, regarding him, are things I need to work on.  And work on in a safe place where I can do it wrong and he isn’t going anywhere.  We get beat up a bit in the trying, but stronger with each battle we face, figure out, see and then release.  I have been blessed with a man of integrity, a man of his word, a loyal man, a many with a kind heart.  I really don’t think I can ask for more.  Although our bank account is tight at the moment, I have never felt richer.    

With these realizations, it is clear to me that I must move forward seeking out the lessons I am here to learn.  I must move forward in honing in on my passions, following them, striving for them, and giving them attention- because whatever we give attention to grows.    

I must show my children how to fulfill the life of their dreams.  I must show them how important it is to take care of your self, to love yourself, to feed your heart and soul.  When you are so full of love, compassion, and kindness for yourself, it will bubble over and bubble bomb the people around you.    

Fill your cup let it over flow.  Fill your cup let it over flow.  Fill your cup let it over flow.  Let it over flow with love. (Sung in a camp fire kind of way)      

Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk.  -Carl Jung  

the upside of struggle

i have a good friend who just got some devastating news.  although she knew there were signs of what might come, she felt cold cocked when it did.

my heart breaks for her because her heart breaks.  at the same time, my heart is filled with joy because the foundation of the life she settled into has been rocked.

this gal is one of the most creative, smartest and funniest women that i know.  yet she is sitting in a cubicle at a job she dislikes having a ‘comfortable’ life.  for some people that my be a great life,  but because i know the gifts this woman has to offer, it is not.

i get a piece of her everyday.  i confide in her.  i trust her.  i value her opinion.   she is honest.  she listens when i go on and on and on and on like my mom (who i often have to mute), not many people can.  she has been my friend through thick and thin.  i love her.

i think when god gives you greatness, you must be great.  i think we have all been blessed with something that is unique.  we all have a gift.  we must figure out what it is, then share it.  when we deny our greatest self, when we step out of line with what we are here to do, we are not living the life we were created to live.

the times in my life where my foundation has been cracked, my bones crushed, my heart ripped open, is when i have become my greatest self:  more compassionate, more forgiving, stronger, clearer and more open to god.  from the struggle, we learn the beauty.  heartache shifts us.  it makes our life richer and our souls stronger.

when we get “comfortable” and “settle” in to status quo, the beautiful gift that life can give us is being knocked out of our chair and thrown to the floor.

the event or the person who is doing the knocking is the one who catapults us to our greater self.  although it may feel like they are the ones that are supposed to take care and love us, they actually are, by moving us forward whether we feel ready or not.

i am sad today because she is sad.  i look forward to paying her back for the years of listening to me by lending her a silent ear (working on the silent part).  i look forward to holding her hand as she begins to peel off the layers that have been built around her.  hard work lies ahead, but it is the best kind of work- to find out who we really are / why we are really here.  to peel away the stuff that is holding us back, look at it, understand it, forgive it, and let it go.

when one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.-helen keller

no matter what lies ahead for my friend, i will be holding her hand as she walks through the door that has just been opened. 

thank you god for struggles.  thank you for allowing things to happen in our lives that feel awful, but propel us to where we are supposed to be.


stages of sober

in my 3rd month of giving up the juice, i am finding that, like most things in life, especially things that involve change or that i have had to make a big decision about, there are stages.  

like losing my uterus:  stages- 1. devastation, 2. embarrassment / failure, 3. kept it to myself 4. began talking / healing,  5. moving forward

6. sharing,  7. helping others.

death: 1. shock / denial 2. pain and guilt 3. anger 4. depression 5. upward turn 6. working through 7. acceptance and hope

medicating my child : 1. devastating 2. feeling like a failure 3. denial 4. anger 5. information gathering 6. acceptance 7. peace

possible stages for giving up the drink: 1. paralyzed by fear 2. wondering who i am / worried about friends 3. realizing how heavy it is.  4. noticing when i want to reach for a drink 5. redefining fun 6. getting used to it. 7- clarity on alcohol in my life.

i have come to find out that there are 2 kinds of people.  the drinkers- people who wrestle with it a bit and the non drinkers- people who don’t drink or don’t notice if they did or didn’t drink.  when i told the non-drinkers that i was going to quit drinking for a year they said something like, “okay.  did you hear about the score of the game?”  the drinkers would say, “what?  what in the hell are you talking about?  are you serious?  why would you want to do that?”  some of the drinkers feel weird about me not drinking.  like i am judging them or am now on the ‘other side’.  that could be further from the truth.  i am just looking at me.  who i am.  why i drink.  that is all i have time to do.  

one thing i know for sure, i am not my greatest self when i am drinking.  besides my voice getting louder and going up an octave, i get a bit more “ballsy” than i normally am (which is already a lot).  i also say things i regret, wake up feeling like s#*t, and fight with my husband unnecessarily- mind you, sometimes it is necessary.

things that suck about not drinking:

*i thought i would be popping right out of bed in the morning with an extra skip in my step, but i’m not.  i want to stay in bed just as bad as when i was hung over.  

*everyone said, “you are going to lose weight not drinking all of those calories”  that has not happened so much.  i gained 6 pounds the first few weeks because i thought i could eat more because i wasn’t drinking.  now i am back to normal and breaking even.

*i think i exercise better hung over.  maybe because there is still alcohol in my body and i am sweating it out.  my limbs feel heavier sober.  i am way more aware of my body.  i hear my breathing.  i guess i am more present.  i am more present in all of my life which isn’t always fun.  the stage i am at now, being sober feels a bit boring.   

*i don’t want to go out to dinner.  why go to cpk with all of the kids and have to discipline, bounce the baby, and break up the kids touching each other, if i can’t have my two glasses of wine?  why bother?  girls night out?  i can just talk over coffee or on the phone.  the excitement is out of most activities that used to be activities to drink.

tonight i made meatballs with fun moms from school.  last year i drank a bunch of red wine and had a blast.  we all wrote down something naughty about ourselves and people read them out loud and you had to guess who wrote it.  it was so fun.  this year i rolled big fat meatballs that weren’t quite what they were looking for.  no matter how much meat i scooped up, it was a mushy oversized mess.  i thought i would be home by 10pm, but i actually got home at 10:30pm.  back in the day i would stay until the party was over or the wine ran out.  the good thing is, i am kind of crazy fun normal.  so it’s not like i shrivel up into a corner.  i still flit about and kick it.  i had a great time tonight with the gals.  really a lovely group of women.  i had a great time and was sober!  huh?  jan. 1st i might not have believed it possible.  

times i want to drink: to relax around dinner time, when i want to lose myself, when i am stressed out, when i have a social event and am anxious, when i am mad, when my kid has a freak out, when i want to celebrate, the list goes on and on.  now each time i think, “oh a drink would really help right now”, i wait a minute, then i try and go to the next step- why would it help?  exploring what i am feeling or what it is that is making me want to reach for one.  i am starting to notice what is going on in me rather than pouring booze over it.  is it fun?  no.  is it heavy? yes. i need a drink just to think about why i am not drinking.  it is very interesting.  i am learning new stuff about me.  i was so insecure thinking about not drinking at the end of last year, so nervous, but i am doing it and still having a happy life.  

some days seem like great days to drink and seemingly fewer days seem like great days to not drink.  i had one of those great days to not drink on monday.  i shot a huggies commercial with my husband and eve in the morning.  in the afternoon i shot another one of my ‘no mundane moments’.  that night i had some really quality time with my kids.  i just sat and listened to their sweet voices.  just before the twins went to bed i was sitting between them on the couch.  usually i would have one arm around a twin and the other holding a glass of wine.  i noticed the twins were both snuggled up under me with my arms around both of them.  i had such a full productive loving day.  the best day.  

i don’t think about drinking every day like i did at the beginning, but i do still miss it.  there are times i think this would be a great time to drink.  my birthday is coming up in a week.  i usually have dinner at dan tana’s with a group of friends and family.  i get a grey goose martini up with olives to start, then red wine with my veal parmigian.  i wonder if i will eat out?  part of me is like, “why bother”?  a few days after my birthday is st. paddy’s day.  beer beer beer.  can you ever have enough beer?

i am seeing an awesome mindfulness coach.  she told me eventually i will find different ways to “have fun” without being destructive.  i look forward to that.  not sure where that fun would come from?  painting, exercising, writing, meditating???  can those be considered “fun”?

what do non drinkers do for fun?  that might be my next stage.  finding out what fun means without alcohol.

right now i find my self saying to people, “next year i will be toasting with you.”  

i wonder what next year will bring?  i wonder what stage i will be at?  will i not even care to drink again because life is that good?  will i have worked through all of the issues that made me want to have ‘just one more drink’ and be able to drink like a normal person?  or will i give it a shot and have the same regretful mornings?  

this will be exciting for me to find out!  no matter what happens, right now i am feeling good and learning a lot.  

with my birthday and st. paddy’s day soon approaching, i raise my glass of hot tea to you and say, “cheers, my friend.  cheers!”.



yogi man

my new thing is to be totally open and ready for every encounter.  i think little messages and gifts are given to us everyday and when we are open to them we can recieve, if we are closed off, we miss them.  so the other day when i was walking fryman canyon (a beautiful 3 mile walk in the los angeles hills) wearing my baby a woman, i have only met a few times, stopped me and said, “i didn’t know you walked fryman.  are you interested in doing it with me on wednesdays?”  i said, “sure!”  later i was wondering why she was coming into my life right now.  a few walks later i realized it is because we are on the same path of understanding why we are here and what our life mission is.  when we walk, it is a great time for us to share and support each other.

last week after our wednesday walk, i had an appointment.  i arrived a little early to the appointment, so i got out my starbucks coffee and fruit and began eating.  just about that time i noticed a man walking down the street towards my car.  as he got closer i saw him looking at me.  i smiled and he was touching his third eye (yogi speak) and pointing at me, touching his third eye and pointing at me.  i thought, ‘wow, this is going to be interesting”- almost expecting him.  he came up to the passenger side window and started speaking.  i couldn’t hear him, so i unlocked the door and threw it open.  he started talking.  i glanced down and saw my purse, money, cell phone all just laying there, but i knew i needed to listen, so i focused back on his face.  he said, “you are so open.  you have and open heart and mind, but you need to focus.  stop telling everyone what you are going to do.  stop telling what you want to do.  you are so open and you are patient, but when you get mad it is too much.  you are too angry.  you must meditate.  he pulled out a little red bead and said hold this and meditate.  he handed it to me.  you must get quiet.  be still.  the project you are working on now is exactly what you should be doing.  stay focused on the project.  you are good enough.  don’t listen to the ones that tell you different.  you are ready and you are good enough.  april will be the month that the money comes.  you will have a very good year.  you are ready, but you must focus and you must meditate.  when others come against you, don’t listen.  move forward.  you are open.  meditate and stay focused.  you are blessed.  you will be blessed.  april you will see the money.”  i said, “thank you.  i heard you and i accept all of it.”  i grabbed the 3 dollars i saw laying there and held them up to him.  he said, “are you giving me this becuase you feel you must or are you giving it to me with love so that i may eat something or spend it in good health?  i said, “love.”  he took it and i threw the bead into the outside bottom zipper of my purse.     the yogi said, “no!  get it out of there and keep the bead in your wallet.  hold it every time you meditate.”

as he spoke the whole time i ate my fruit bowl and shook my head yes like i was watching a movie that was right on target.  nothing strange about it.

when i got out of the car,  i went into my meeting.  i told the gal what happened and she said, “do you meditatie?  do you know how?”  i said, “yes, kind of.”  she said, “i teach a meditation class on mondays.  it’s free.  you should come.”  i said, “of course you do and i will.”

nothing is a coincidence.  make a little room to be open to what is coming to you everyday.  when you pay attention, it’s pretty amazing.

365 Days sober

i recently said to my husband david, “i am so proud of who i am evolving into, i have worked so hard on myself to be the best i can be, i really like who i am becoming.  but, i have this dark secret.  i drink too much.”

dave leaned over and gently touched my knee and said, “it’s no secret honey, everyone is well aware how much you drink.”

we have all had nights where we poke eva mendez in the back to say hi to your husband because they used to be scene partners in an acting class after he said no thank you for me to reintroduce them, spill a whole bowl of red shrimp cocktail sauce on a funny comedic actress’s new white vintage purse, and end up crying in a booth with a gal from high school explaining why we were a mean girl, right?  or- drank 3 cosmos on an empty stomach before hosting your kids preschool live auction, once onstage with mic in hand and spot light glaring and the bidding in full gear with no cards popping up you shout, “are you f#*!@ing kidding me?  this is for the children!”, then drop into push ups wearing your blue sequence dress, right?   we’ve all been there, right!?

after 27 years of drinking, i have decided to take one year off.  i have decided to experience everything sober one time- for 365 days; every birthday, school celebration, girls night out, , trip to vegas, ski vacation lounging in sexy fire burning lodge, halloween, and even celebrating jesus’s- christmas eve.  the moment i decided this, at the end of 2011, i started crying.  i felt like had nothing to live for.  i know you may be thinking, ‘you have a loving husband and five beautiful kids’, but when you mark your calendar with celebration to celebration or one drinking event to the next and you quit, all of that is wiped away.  gone.  the markers of your life have evaporated.  for a moment that was my truth, i felt paralyzed.  who am i without alcohol?  what will my “fun” be?  will i still go out?  will i still have parties?  will my drinking friends abandon me?  what will my life look like?  a life that has spent a good portion of it’s time drinking?

alcoholism is a broad term for problems with alcohol.  i think there are 2 categories of alcoholics with different degrees of alcoholism in each category.  1. is a person with the alcoholic gene, like my mother.  2. is a person who drinks too much because they are filling a void in their life, like my father.  i am praying i am #2.  the thought of not drinking a glass of champagne again makes me sad and anxious.  my hope is that at the end of my 365 days, i will have faced all of the feelings that i used to drink through, which will allow me to have a new relationship with alcohol.  my hope is that i will be able to have one glass of wine, champagne, or beer in a social situation when i am feeling nervous, not 17.

at the end of last year after a hard night of drinking, i woke up and said to my husband, “i am done.  i am sick of feeling bad when i wake up.”

i found that one of the few times i beat myself up is after a night of drinking.  i am a wild ass sober.  drunk i am an obnoxious wild ass, but still funny in both, i would like to believe!

i have 5 kids, i exercise 5 times a week, i lead a happy life.  i don’t get drunk every time i drink.  i can stop for  awhile, i can have one glass of wine with dinner, most of the drinking times, i don’t “cross over”.  most people would say, “you don’t have a problem, we all have vices.”  i have actually said that to myself for quite sometime.  when people would ask me, “how do you do it with 5 kids?”  i would say happily, “exercise and alcohol.”

i am amazed at how life works.  i made this declaration of not drinking to myself, then out of the blue a few days later, two of the best girl drinking trips were offered to me.  one is a top of the line vegas trip.  wine and cheese in our suite, the best champagne at the best restaurant, and table service at the hottest night clubs.  then, may neighbor’s daughter, asked me if i wanted to go with her and her friends to their girls get away in aspen.  we would fly on her private jet, stay in her home at the bottom of the mountain, and her private chef would prepare our meals.  the aspen hostess lives in wine country and has the best bottles of wine i have ever tasted.  and get this, both trips are FREE!  that is where i really kick it.  no worries on how much i am spending on drinks, no worries getting up and taking care of kids in the morning, no worries about indulging!!!!!!  the timing- 27 years of drinking and out of the blue, when i stop, the two best drinking offers come.

today is january 14th.  this is my 13th day sober (on the jan. 1 i had a bloody mary because we were in an rv on our way home from new years eve in mammoth, so i decided it would start my 365 days on monday the 2nd) and my daughter eve’s 1st birthday party.  for every one of our other 4 kids we have had a baby’s first kegger party.  we would invite all of our friends and have a good old fashion hootenanny, while making sure to get the family picture and baby’s picture with cake on her face.  this year i will not be drinking.  i did put out all of the alcohol that we have left in our house to get rid of it- some vodka, beer and wine.  i will see the cake in the baby’s face without wearing my champagne  goggles.  i will watch super hot tom brady throw the ball without a beer in my hand.  and i will most likely go to sleep at a decent hour.  not sure how i feel about any of it, but i will let you know.

cheers to a new year and cheers to a new self challenge!  (i say toasting with a la croix bubbly berry water).


my smiling heart

my oldest son, charlie, is 12 years old. his life has been an amazing journey so far in those 12 years.

dave and i knew from the moment charlie was born that something was up. we weren’t sure what, but knew something seemed different about him. when charlie was 2 months old he was on dave’s chest snuggling in. dave was pointing to him saying “look, he is letting me hold him. really hold him. he is totally relaxed on my chest.” it was significant because charlie didn’t like to be held, especially for a long period of time- it seemed to make him uncomfortable. dave was so enjoying the moment that i took a picture. when i put my hand under his shirt and rubbed his back, i felt how hot he was. his tempature was 104 degrees. we took him to the hospital where the doctors said that he had meningitis, but he didn’t.

when charlie was 1 year old we took him out to eat. he sat in his seat for a moment, but after i moved the sugar packs away from him, he lost it; screaming, crying, inconsolable. we took our food to go. dave said, “well, i guess you can’t take a one year old out to eat.” two nights later we went out just dave and i and it seemed everyone in the restuarnt had a 1 year old sitting quietly smiling ear to ear.

when charlie was 2 he was on the floor crying so hard and banging his head on the ground, i thought he was having an aneurism. after about two hours, i called the doctors office and they told me to go in the back door- to their contamination room for privacy. his body was stiff and he was screaming as i rushed through the back door. as soon as i walked in he sat up calmly on my hip and said, “fishy” (they have an amazing fish tank there.) when the doctor entered to check on him she laughed like ‘look at this first time mom’ and said, “that is called a temper tantrum.” i knew it was more.

when charlie got into preschool he wasn’t so great with impulse control. he would grab a toy from his best friend, push or hit him and occasionally bite. the teachers all said this was normal behavior for a preschool child, but somehow i knew it was more. i noticed that his best friend’s mom started avoiding me at preschool. she wouldn’t return my calls. charlie asked everyday to play with this boy. when i could get his mom on the phone, she would make up some excuse why they couldn’t get together. i didn’t understand what was going on, but i was angry and heartbroken for my son.

when charlie got into a great elementary school i was tickled pink. i had always thought i would make most of my mom friends from my kid’s school. that didn’t happen. charlie didn’t really click with anyone. he was fine playing on his own, but did’t want to play sports. he was a bit uncoordinated and embarrassed that he wasn’t as good as the others. he would play make up games by himself, eventually a little boy who liked to act out star wars, would play star wars with him at recess. i was hoping to go to baseball games, soccer games, any games with the other moms and kids. when they had olympic day at school, charlie shot a couple of baskets that didn’t get close to the net, sat down, and said, “please take me home. i hate this”.

“why can’t you just be normal and shoot a fucking basketball? come on! get up! what the hell are you doing? please be normal for once! what is wrong with you?” that is what was going on in my head as other moms watched. instead i sat next to him silent. i just sat. i waited with him in silence. i was going to put my hand on his knee, but i knew he would hit if off. after a while he asked if we could get some water. we did. he was able to go back to class and finish the day. i was worried for him and proud at the same time that he got himself together because i could feel the heaviness on his mind and heart.

as things got heavier and emotions got bigger at home, i went for help from professionals.

after reading every book about what it could be; depression, add, adhd, ocd, oppositional defiance disorder, etc. the one thing that was checked on every check list was bipolar. the more i read about it the more it was clear to me this is what was going on in my little boys brain. and as a matter of fact, what had been going on my whole life with my untreated mentally ill mother. she is bipolar too! what a revelation. it is hard to make a game plan for anything without knowing what game you are playing. i finally had the pieces of the puzzle put together.

doctors don’t like to diagnose children with bipolar because the accepted diagnosis age is 20 or 40 years old.

i had to push for about a year to get the doctors on board. the minute charlie took the pill for bipolar to level out the potholes in his brain, his world changed. our world changed. for the first time in our life we could hold our little boy. i could rub his back when he laid down at night. i don’t ever remember tears that big falling out of my eyeballs before.

charlie asked me that night why i was crying and i said, “because i love you so much”.

i don’t know if there is anything worse, besides death, than watching your child struggle. you feel it almost more than you feel your own pain.

i got a phone call from my son this morning while at school. my heart raced when i saw it was from school. he told me he was chosen out of his whole class to recite one of president kennedy’s speeches at next weeks assembly! everyone had to get up and recite what they had memorized and the teachers would choose the winner. my son won!

this was the morning after he told me he was signing up to play basketball and the girl he thinks is pretty was smiling at him during math class.

i booked a sitter for next thursday night. i am going to get charlie a skinny black tie and gel his hair to look like the handsome jfk. i also gave charlie a great nonchalant tip to connect with the pretty girl. although he told me to stop talking about her and wouldn’t tell me her name, i know he is going to use my tip.

wow. that little boy that was heavy on my heart for 12 years is growing up.

he is wise, he is handsome, he is funny, but most importantly he is kind. i couldn’t be more proud and grateful.

i love who he has become.


i have been doing a lot of work on myself.  i have been working on understanding what triggers my “pain body”- the ball inside me that was put there from my childhood hurts and gets ignited by grown ups who don’t even know it exists.  i have been working on being a great mom.  i didn’t learn so much from mine because she struggled with mental illness locked behind a bedroom door.  i am learning on being a great wife.  not blaming him for all of the things i am not doing, but being a good listener.

i love doing the work.  i love striving to be the happiest, most fullfilled woman i can be while dancing in this earthsuit.

i have also been figuring out what my gifts are and how i can use them to help others.

if you read in my last blog, you know that i have add.  i have about 152 reality show ideas that are named and started, i have a ton of ideas for my husband (poor guy), my mind is spinning with creativity.  i have been working on quieting my mind.  i have been working on listening.  i am doing some praying and some meditating.  my friend roseanne barr tweeted, “prayer is asking. meditation is receiving.”  i have been doing both.

i recently asked god for clarity.  i told god i know i am good at sharing my life without caring one iota of what others may think.  i have had some huge bumps in my road, many bringing me to my knees and from those bumps i have stood up, brushed off, learned the lesson- some lessons took a while to get- and moved forward, i am kind of funny and i love to connect with people.  how can i use those 3 things to help other people?

i can see my absoluteLeigh brand- the shoes, the perfume, the jewelry (lots of leather and pearls), and built in tutu clothing line and flowers of course, the speaking engagements, the books, the tv appearances, but i am missing the middle part.  i am having a hard time getting from the swirling ideas of my brain to the end result.

i asked god for clarity.  i said, “god i have a lot of pretty great swirling ideas, but how do i move forward with swirls.  guide me.  make it completely clear what i am supposed to do.  i feel all over the place.”

about a year ago i met a woman once.  she was producing my friend’s online show and i was the guest that week.  the producer and i had a small interaction.  i was a bit nervous because she is well known.  i did my part on the show and left.  about 6 months later i emailed the producer and said, “can i do an online show with you?”  this was during my ‘act on whatever you think and move forward-  be fearless’ phase.  the producer responded, “i am no longer doing that, but i have some ideas about you.”  so exciting!  she has ideas about me?  we talked about meeting and never met.  part because we were so busy and part because i was fearful.  who am i?  why would she care about me?  what would i say?  the normal things that our brain / pain body does to hold us back.  months went by maybe a year.

i was in my state of being completely open to receiving clarity when i saw a tweet from the producer and tweeted her.  i said, “do you remember a while back when you said you had some ideas about me?”  she tweeted back, “yes yes i remember!”  we met tonight.  we sat for an 1 1/2 talking.  actually on my part a lot of listening.  a woman who barely knew me sat down and told me exactly what i needed to hear to get me moving in the right direction with complete clarity.  she answered the exact prayer i asked god for.  almost a stranger.  amazing.  truly right now feeling blown away how simple it is.  come to god with specifics of what you want, trust it will be answered and move forward welcoming whenever it may come…and it will come.

she said the exact words i needed to hear.  her words focused my “all over the place add mind” onto the exact avenue i must walk to get to what i know is there.

i am happy and tired.  i am going to finish my mom night side work prepping for the morn.  but before i lay me down to sleep, i will thank god for being who i thought he, she, or it is.  my steady friend and my steady companion.  








groundhog day

did you see the movie groundhog day where the people wake up fresh like the day before never happened?  i experience this to a certain degree everyday.  my short term memory isn’t what it should be.  i do things that we all do like walk into a room, stop, then wonder why i am there.  that feels normal.  i introduce people everytime they walk into my home to the others that are there.  then they usually say, “we have met 100 times.”  i don’t think it has been that many times, but i get what they are saying.

at back to school night the other night i said hello to my friend’s husand.  “hi bruno, it’s nice to see you.”  he smiled, said, “hello” and walked away.  later on i heard someone talking about the same guy calling him mark.  i piped in mentioning i thought his name was bruno and they laughed, “that is the name of the sports bar that he owns.”  oops.  i shook a woman’s hand and said, “nice to meet you.”  she said, “we’ve met.” oops.  i said hello to another couple and asked what grade their child was in and they said, “in your daughter’s class.”  oops.  

later the same night a darling petitie gal was smiling at me throughout our kindergarten teacher’s welcome speech.  she came up to me after and said, “let’s hang out sometime.”  i said, “sure, but i am waiting for you to answer the text about a play date for our daughters. we want to bring your daughter to our house to play.”  she looked puzzled then i said, “it’s no big deal, whenever is good for you.  what time do you get off work?” she said, “i don’t work.”  then i looked puzzled. i looked down at the name tag on her kids desk, she wasn’t the lady i thought she was. i thought she the woman that was a teacher at the school as well as a parent.  gosh darn it!  “i am so sorry, i thought you were that super cute teacher / mom.”  the gal was not happy.   her feelings were hurt.  she said, “you don’t remember me?  i have been to your house.”   now i was worried, i really didn’t remember her being at my house.  later i was reminded she came to pick up a necklace for a friend, she didn’t hang out or anything-that made me feel a little better.

on friday i walked up to my daughter’s soccer practice and sat down next to my new mom friend, amy.  on the other side of amy was an attractive mother i had seen on campus before.  i sat down and said hello to both women.  the attractive mother leaned forward and said, “my name is lisa.  it’s lisa.   i see you all of the time and you always ask me what my name is.  it’s lisa.  do you get it? ”  i felt mildly attacked and said, “yes, lisa, i get it.”  as i sat in what just happened, i thought about how i was feeling; attacked, a bit upset, defensive.  i took a breath and thought about how she was feeling, about how bad she must feel every time i don’t remember her name and  how that build up can be frustrating and make you feel pissed off.  she had a right to act the way she was acting towards me. all i can do is be responsible for how i react back.  so i said, “thank you lisa, i have some trouble with my short term memory.  i am so grateful you took the time to remind me of your name and i will not forget it again, lisa.”  and i won’t.  

i always thought i was absent minded kind of like a nutty professor.  i made up jokes and excuses for my missed appointments, forgotten names, and uncompleted assignments.  it wasn’t until i realized something was going on with my son, charlie, and had him tested, did i figure a little more about myself.  i took charlie to a psychatrist to try and put together the pieces of the puzzle of his various struggles.  the doctor gave me an add written questionaire to fill out for charlie.  i was filling it out and about a third of the way through i noticed every answer for me was yes; i was always in the principles office- check. i was the class clown-check.  i made average grades-check.  i got in fights in elementary school-check.  every answer i was yes!  charlie was 50% 50%.  i said excitedly to the doctor, “oh  my gosh!  i am yes to every question.”  the doctor got me back on task by saying, “we are here for your son.  if you would like to take the test for you, you must schedule a seperate appointment.”  i did.  i went back and filled out the forms, then chatted about what my life was like as a child and today.  the doctor told me that i was on the high end of the add spectrum.  that explains why my sister never wants to talk to me on the phone because i jump all over the place- she thinks i am not listening.  but if i don’t shout out what pops in my mind that i know she needs to know, it will be gone.  that is why i can not complete a project.  that is why my desk is a mess as well as my purse.  that is why names pop out of my head as easy as they come in.

oh it felt good!  it felt good to have a name / diagnosis for what was going on in my brian.  i wasn’t just lazy or scatter brained!  i shared this with my husband, so happy to start a game plan to make it better.  that is when my husband informed me he thought my absent mindedness was from a brain injury i had when i was 13 years old.

(i was at kanakuk kamp climping and repelling the mountains of boone coutny, arkansas, when i turned to throw a daddy long leg at my girlfriend behind me and fell off the cliff.  the cliff had a 20 foot drop then a 200 foot drop.  i landed on my head on the 20 foot drop and rested there until the couselors repelled down and belayed me up.  they put me on a gurney, ran back 3 miles to camp, then a 20 minute drive to the boone county hospital.  i woke up in the intensive care and couldn’t remember much of anything; my name, what year it was, or what happened.  within 24 hours my father was on a life flight helicopter to transport me to his hospital, st. joseph medical center in kansas city.  i was in intensive care a few days until i was stablized.)

this shocked me.  my husband had never mentioned anything about my forgetfullness or my organizational skills, but he had a theroy about it all along- he thought it was from the brain injury.  i was surprised and thought it was kind of sweet he never said anything to me about it after all of these years.  he loved me despite my flaws.

regardless why i do what i do, it is real.  i never forget a face, but names don’t stick.  i need to practice saying, “nice to see you” instead of “nice to meet you.”  i need to stop introducing everyone.  instead try, “hey everyone, look who it is.”  i need to start saying,  “hi there” or “hey girl”  or “hi friend” to people i am not sure their name or am having a brain freeze.  

we are all built differently.  we are all quirky in one way or another.  something cool about getting older is getting to know yourself more.  i am working on being comfortable in who i am, quirks and all.  i have apologized for so many years about reintroducing and asking for one’s name.  not any more.  i am going to embrace it and apply the tricks to avoid the conflicts / hurt feelings.   if i slip and say, “what’s your name?”  please don’t take it personal.  know that you are important enough for me to ask.  as always, i am a work in progress and i wouldn’t have it any other way.    

have a great day…friend.  



don’t judge a book by it’s cover

i go up and down 10 pounds with my weight .  my feeling good weight is 125 and  i am currently 135.  although it is not huge, i don’t like how i feel at this weight.

i went with my family to a party a few weeks ago.  i was wearing my “fat skirt” .  it is the skirt i wear when i want to hide and can’t fit into my jeans, the cute ones anyway.  i looked frumpy and felt frumpy.  i mingled for a bit, then passed my baby to a friend so i could head to the food table.  i got a big pile of food.  lot’s of dips n chips, crackers n cheese and a hot dog with a white bun.  i looked around for a place to sit.  i saw one chair and started making my way towards it.  as i got close i noticed the woman sitting next to the chair.  she was beautiful.  she had piercing blue eyes, long brown hair, a skinny skinny earthsuit and the latest in trendy jewelry and clothing.  i thought ugh!  i feel like crap and sitting next to that perfect polished trended out woman seems like the last thing i want to do.  i sat down anyway.  as i got situated in the chair with my napkin and food on my lap i glanced at my feet.  i had just broken both of my big toe nails.  one from jumping off a boat and smashing it on the dock and the other from my tennis shoes i think.  i don’t know if you have done that before, but when you don’t have a big toe nail or part of it is gone, it looks like something is horribly wrong with the whole foot on top of it, i was wearing my flip flops that i sewed a flower on trying to be crafty.  

i took a bite of my hot dot and glanced at my stunning neighbors feet.  her feet were perfectly  manicured with darling shoes.

i get my groove on with fashion quite often, but i am rarely polished from head to toe.  this girl was not messing around.  i wondered how shallow our conversation would be if i had to talk to her.  would she talk about the last sale she went to and what great deal she got on her name brands i haven’t even heard of or will she judge my toes?

as i ate my hotdog and finished the chips, my friend brought my baby, eve, back to me.  i set down my plate and opened my arms.  eve and i sat and i chatted at her because she can’t talk yet.  i saw trendy glance over at me.  i kept chatting with eve.  then my other 2 daughters came over to touch base.  when they walked away trendy turned and said, “are those your daughters?”  “yes,” i replied.   “they are beautiful,” she said.  i knew she was speaking the truth because they are.  i am always a little shocked with all of the traits they could have pulled out of the gene bag, they each pulled the good ones.  “thanks,” i said while i was bouncing eve on my lap.  trendy started telling me she has all boys,  3 of them and how she always wanted a girl.  we kept talking.  she was so normal, interesting and engaging.  as we went on, she shared how 16 years ago she gave birth to a baby girl that died 7 days after birth.  she told me how her husband kept it from her that something was seriously wrong, he thought he was protecting her.  when her daughter died on the 7th day, she was in shock, devastated and numb.  it was the worst thing handled in the worst way.  it took her years to heal from that.  her marriage couldn’t survive the ordeal.  she lost her baby and her husband.

i was dumbfounded.  the story broke my heart.  i couldn’t even imagine the pain she went through- unbearable.  i had so much love and compassion for her at that moment.

i realized that we are all connected.  it does not matter what your earthsuit looks like, it matters what’s inside.  we all have and have had struggles.  we are all dealing with the same issues now or will be in the future.  i let my insecurity put the judgement goggles over my eyes.  i was unable to see her for who she was, my sister.  she was woman going through this life doing the best she can.  

it is so easy to let the ego drive our thoughts.  i am working on letting my open heart have more power than my ego.

she was beautiful on the outside and even more so once i saw her true self.  that was a lesson in the old adage, don’t judge a hot trendy lady by her cover.

lesson learned.


say yes!

i believe that things are brought to us out of the blue because we need to experience what ever it is.  like when someone told me i should attend a book wirting conference (without even knowing i wanted to write a book), i did and learned a couple of things that i will apply to the rest of my life: 1. shower everything you do in prayer.  2. start everything you do with how can i help others?

i say yes to almost everything- especially when it comes out of the blue.

i went out friday night for our 4th grade parent / teacher welcome back to school party.  i had a few glasses of wine and gabbed with the teachers and other parents.  i loved talking to margot’s new teachers.  i got to know them, what they are like, and got a glimpse of their hearts.  it’s good for me to know the teachers who are teaching my kids because i have a better meter on how to react to stroies my child comes home with throughout the year.  i can prep myself and my child when i know who the teacher is.

after the lovely parent / teacher party, a group of parents went to a local pub for more chat time and for me hopefully, a little dancing.  i love to dance.  (if i could have a do over, i would have taken hip hop and been a fly girl or a laker girl. after i retired, i would have been a judge on american idol (sounds like paula abul or jlo, but not exactly what i was thinking) and my kids would be on the front row kicking it.)

at the after party, i sat with mom’s i knew and a couple i didn’t know so well.  one of the mom’s and i got to gabbing and she told me she enjoyed my website-which tickled me pink because i never think many people are looking at it.  she did notice there isn’t much traffic to the site.  she mentioned that i start mommy blogging.  i have never done that before, but heard mommy bloggers are ruling the world- kind of.  she suggested that i do the red carpet this upcoming week for the final season kick off party for a super hot show.  i love doing red carpets with my husband and being in front of the camera, but haven’t thought about being behind the camera.  i do love to write and i do love to gab and i do love the red carpets.  then it clicked- this is one of those things brought to me out of the blue – of course i will do it!

now off to prepare for the night.  a bit of research, finding a cute dress and figuring out how to shoot it- flip cam with microphone?  i love new adventures and trying new things.  i may rock the house or i may be awkward and a bit unpolished, but i am going to give it my all.  stay tuned to see how it pans out.  

be open in your day today.  listen to things that people say to you, especially if they seem a little out of your comfort zone or something you have never thought about doing on your own.  figure out a way to try it, make it work, then go for it!  say, “yes!   i will try it,  i will do my best, and  i will push through whatever has held me back up until now!”  the good stuff comes when we are afraid and do it anyway.  i can’t wait to second guess what to say or how to say it, to possibly put my foot in my mouth, or to miss the perfect question.   what i know for sure is, i will embrace the experience,  listen to the lessons, and hopefully get a chance to let loose on the dance floor at the party.