My life changed dramatically and forever when I lost TJ.

I welcome you to follow along as I adjust to my "new normal".

It is not all puppies and ice cream but it is my life....real and honest.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Trusting Your Instincts

Most of the time when seeking advice we already know the answer. We generally only seek advice for permission to trust our instincts. I have stopped that and have begun making choices for myself. I have learned to take a step back and look at things objectively, make a choice, and stick with it.

I think the main reason for this is that I don't have TJ to bounce ideas off of anymore and I don't want to burden my friends with what may seem to them a somewhat minor decision. I must admit that I do "channel" TJ, or at least think to myself, "what would TJ do", especially when it comes to home projects.

Making any decision affects change and sometimes it can be scary to be solely responsible for that change. Often I don't know what the aftermath of a decision will be or if I will be able to deal with the aftermath on my own. I have learned that I need to trust my decisions and not second guess myself.

I am learning. Yes, I have made some bad decisions, but I have learned from those decisions and I know what I would do differently the next time. I have become comfortable with making mistakes. I know that sounds awful, but I used to hate it and berate myself for making mistakes. I now accept mistakes with grace and gratitude for the learning opportunity. I know I made the best decision possible with the knowledge and information I had available.

I read once, "Life is a hard hat zone. We are always under construction".  I know, for me, I have undergone a major renovation over the past few years. Much of me is better than before and parts are still a work in progress. I am at peace with that. Every day I get up and put one foot in front of the other, slowly moving forward, and on some days, just that is an accomplishment in and of itself.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Living Life

I have this print hanging in my bedroom and I read it almost every day. It is by Bonnie Mohr and it reads:

Life is not a race - but indeed a journey. Be Honest. Work Hard. Be Choosy. Say "thank you", and "great job" to someone each day. Go to church, take time for prayer. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh. Let your handshake mean more than pen and paper. Love your life and what you've been given, it is not accidental ~ search for your purpose and do it as best you can. Dreaming does matter. It allows you to become that which you inspire to be. Laugh often. Appreciate the little things in life and enjoy them. Some of the best things really are free. Do not worry, less wrinkles are more becoming. Forgive, it frees the soul. Take time for yourself ~ Plan for longevity. Recognize the special people you've been blessed to know. Live for today, enjoy the moment.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Grief, Guilt & Happiness

One day I could see my whole life stretched out in front of me, and then, suddenly, I couldn't see 2 feet in front of me. Hitting that wall of thick foggy grief literally took my breath away. My life was shattered into a million pieces and I had no idea how to put them all back together.  Many of those pieces I have managed to glue together over the past 2 years. Others are still scattered so widely that I just can't seem to pick all of them up. Some are so shattered that they are not repairable. It is those pieces that will forever be missing from my life.

No matter how hard I work at it there are some wounds that will never fully heal. I have to adjust to a whole new way of living. Things have changed too radically to ever go back to what they were. I am a whole new person with a whole other life. Because I am a changed person now, many things are much clearer.

When I first began to see through the fog of grief and enjoy happy moments I felt guilty. Guilty that TJ wasn't around to enjoy them too. Guilty that maybe it was too soon for me to be happy. Guilty that I was dishonoring TJ's memory by having joy in my life. It was that guilt that would push me back into the fog of grief. I would find myself suspended in the fog until joy found its way around to me again and as quickly as the fog would clear it would reappear as the guilt took over. It was only once the fog of grief cleared completely that the real healing began.

I began to feel true happiness again. Happiness without the guilt. Yes, there are many times when I think to myself that TJ would have loved to be a part of it, but it is with a smile and not a frown. I began to find happiness in unexpected places. I began finding my way back to the things that truly mattered the most. I believe the universe has a way of making sure we wind up exactly where we belong. I now believe I am on that path, although I don't know where it leads. Did a part of me die right along side of TJ? Yes, of course it did, but I have to choose. I have to choose between yesterday and tomorrow. I must pick one and stick with it.

Healing is not a team sport. It is a solitary, long distance run. It is long, it is exhausting, and it is lonely as hell!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A List and Some "Shout Outs"

I don't normally do the question/list thingy on my blog but one of my very favorite bloggers tagged me and I just couldn't say no.  If you don't already read Pamela's blog then you must click here and hang on for a ride! She tells the greatest stories about her family, including her extremely good looking husband, Eric, and of course Petey, the one-eyed wonder dog.
1. Who was your favorite teacher and why?
I really put some thought into this and since I hated school from day one of kindergarten all the way through college I could not even remember any of my teacher's names. Pretty bad huh? I must be one of a handful of people who never had a teacher that influenced them.

2. What were your sports of choice when you were younger?
I was a runner. Those that know me are probably freakin' way! In high school I ran 5 miles every morning and 5 miles every night. I never competed in running though. Because I grew up on a lake I was a very strong swimmer. Powder puff football and field hockey were my other two favorites.

3. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a large animal vet. That is until I learned how much college was involved. I hated school and had no intention of attending school that long. See question #1.

4. What profession did you ultimately end up in and why?
Accounting. I mostly ended up in accounting because I was always good at math and it came easy for me. No need to attend all classes as I could just read the text book. Once again, see question #1.

5. What is the single most important thing you think parents should teach their children?
Personal accountability. I think it is something that is lacking in this world.

6. When you run, what is the one thing your mind turns to the most often?
I don't run anymore, but I do walk on a treadmill frequently. The one thing I think of most often is the things I still need to do around my house. It is still a work in progress.

7. What is your favorite book and how many times have you read it?
"Illusions" by Richard Bach. I love, love, love this book. It is my bible of sorts. I read it whenever I am down. Often I will begin it again as soon as I read the last page.

8. If you could only pick one movie to watch for the rest of your life what would it be?
Under The Tuscan Sun

9. Are you more comfortable in the city or the country?
"The Shack"! of course. For those that don't know that is what I call my property in Southeastern Arizona.

10. If you had the option of spending three months of the year in another place, where would you choose?
I guess I would have to say "The Shack". Since I live in Arizona I am already in paradise and leaving this state holds no interest for me.

11. What is your all time favorite museum to visit?
American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum. It opened in 1991 and I actually have not been there.....yet. I know that once I do go it will be my favorite though!

Many of the bloggers that I love have already been tagged in this so I am not going to tag anyone, but I am going to take this opportunity to give a shout out some of my favorite bloggers and if you haven't been tagged already then please feel free to copy these questions to your blog. Check out these blogs...they are all fantastic bloggers!
Terri @ Terri Sonoda
Pauline @ The Paddock (I love this woman!)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

These Are the Good Ole Days

I have been obsessed with this song lately so I thought I would share it with you all.

My favorite line is: "Ain't gonna live my life through no picture frame." made ya smile didn't it?

Go ahead....go to iTunes or where ever you buy your music and get it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Embracing Impermanence

This past weekend I attended the Arizona Sun Circuit Horse Show and sat through 5 hours of lectures/demonstrations. All were very interesting with the exception of hour 2 and that was when the phrase "embrace impermanence" popped into my head. 

Impermanence is usually something we try to avoid. I prefer things structured and dependable. I like the security of knowing what is going to happen on a daily basis. Because of fear we try to hold onto whatever makes us happy. We hold on because we don't want to feel the alternative. But the reality is that nothing lasts forever.  It is because of impermanence that not only do the painful times pass but the joyous times as well.  Change is inevitable and we must learn to expect and accept the changes in life. It is when we resist change that we suffer the greatest.

The next time you find yourself in a joyful moment remember impermanence. The next time you find yourself sad or depressed, also remember impermanence. It is impermanence that allows us to appreciate the moment. Because of impermanence we should try to find the positive in every moment and not dwell on what we have lost. The unknown can be a curse or an adventure. It is up to us to choose.

"When you truly embrace your human impermanence you connect with the power you have, and influence you have, over the time you have." ~ Steve Maraboli