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.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ride The Wave

"Just ride the wave Sandy", a very good friend told me a while back. "It isn't that simple for me anymore", I replied to her. Really, it just isn't. Years ago I was able to just accept the good; life was expected to be good. I am tarnished now though. I expect things to go wrong in my life. Not just a little wrong....horribly wrong is what I anticipate.

My life is rolling along quite nicely right now, yet I expect to go hurdling head on into a block wall at any moment. I don't know why my brain thinks this way. Is it possible that my brain is against me? Is it simply easier to be unhappy than happy?

For the past few years I have been focused more on avoiding pain than seeking pleasure. It became a habit; a bad habit. Nothing bad has happened for a while, yet my brain is still focused on avoiding pain. This means I am focusing on what is wrong rather than what is right and things that I should be grateful for.

Maybe it is time to retrain my brain. Train my brain that rather on focusing on basic survival it should be focusing on making me happy. I have no doubt that making that shift will be easier said than done. Although I do believe it is possible.

I can't change the world around me by fighting it in my head. All the stress, anger, disappointment, regret, frustration, and bitterness that I harbor will not alter what is. It is only after I learn to accept things as they are that I will be able to create the change I am seeking. I must not and will not give up on the possibility of a good and peaceful life.

"The wave is the signature of every experience of life. By understanding the nature of waves and their characteristics, and applying that understanding to our lives, we can navigate life with a little more grace." ~ Jeffery R. Anderson


  1. you said a book full here. it is so true - we fight so many battles in our head and can get mired in the bad and fearful - so much that we miss the good things all around us. i know your level of grief and the battles you fight with yourself are different than mine, but the principal remains the same. i need to retrain my brain, too.

  2. Hi Sandy, I believe it is still a part of the healing process that is causing these feelings. I think if there are goods times, that its not right or fair because of some of the struggles that my husband and I had. Why should I be happier now then I was during some of the bad times of the past? I have been reading a lot of books lately about Zen, being in the moment, etc and it has been helping with my thinking/brain. I'm hoping you are feeling better about things soon.

  3. It's hard to expect the best. Like you, I always expect the worst. I'm optimistic, but deep down I'm always waiting for the brick to fall and land on my head. Being aware is the first baby step to bring about good expectations.

  4. Avoiding pain is where you've been the last few years. That makes total sense.
    I'm not walking in your shoes, but I have my own issues. Don't we all have our paths to travel? My thought, though, is that I have a finite amount of time left on this earth. I'm trying to find my way back to seeing some wonder in my day, some joy in my existence. Am I there yet? Not yet. But I think being aware of that is a big step. That is what I'm wishing for you!

  5. Oh Sandy you deserve and will find this."Oh Happy Day" song comes to mind. HUGS B

  6. Sandy

    Your pain often comes through loud and clear in your blog posts, but I also know that you are a person who loves your part of the country, your dogs, your pool, and living your life. You know that I am experiencing that same "survival mode" feeling right now, and I hate it. I feel that at this point in my life that I should have more to show for my years of hard work, my sacrifice, and my denial of self. I should be more comfortable. Life should be easier. Well, the fact is that I don't, I'm not, and it isn't! That doesn't mean that I can't enjoy some parts of my life even while dealing with the parts that are shit right now.

    They say that Abraham Lincoln was such a good wartime president in part because he could see things as they were, not as he wanted them to be. I know you are striving to do that. The best decisions are made based on reality and fact, not on dreams and fantasies. However, that does not mean that dreams have to go out the window. Not at all.

    My constant wish for you, my Twitter buddy and friend, is that you can find some peace and enjoy, really enjoy the rest of your life. You deserve that, Sandy. You really do.


  7. It is true. It's so hard to change patterns of thinking, but it is very much possible. I hope you find the inner peace you seek Sandy!

  8. I used to think this way some years ago when my situation was so different than it is now. I've learned that there is really no good or bad in life -- just things that happen, sometimes for no rhyme or reason. All we can do is try to make the best choices we can for ourselves and hope for the best.

    Recognizing that you would like to think differently is a great first step. Big hugs Sandy.

  9. I just found your blog and have been reading a lot of your posts. I lost my husband of 50 yrs in 2007. I was 16 and he 25 when we married. His leaving was a shock for sure. Your post about 'after 3 yrs it was time to do something about the landscaping', so true. So true and I finally did after 5 years. I am sure you have heard all the old cliches--life goes one etc--but it is hard putting ones life back together after half of it is gone. But we do. We have too. and we will. Smile at happy thoughts. MB

  10. Oh I love Greg's comment. HUGS Sandy. B

  11. I can understand and appreciate what you're saying. This past year has stunk, major league for a lot of people. When Dave died, I wanted to die but that didn't happen. Now, I expect God to take care of me...provide and protect; it's His job, now that Dave has died. He's doing a good job of it too; not what I'd do but I also trust Him to know and do what's best for me. Faith is a rocky road.

  12. I think it's ok to expect the worse, as long as you can enjoy the present. You already know you can survive the bad parts, and that the good parts are worth enjoying even if the bad parts are coming. Remember to enjoy the gift of happiness even as you have reached a very practical stage of maturity where your eyes are wide open to the pain in the world.
    My two cents :-)

  13. I too hope that you will find your way to peace. You see yourself and your brain so clearly and that's a good first step. I know that gratitude for the small things in life helped me find peace, but that is in my nature and may not be in yours. So no advice from me, just sending good wishes and hope that you will struggle through this and find your peace.

  14. Oh my goodness, Sandy. I know EXACTLY what you're talking about. I did not lose my husband, but I went through a terrible trial about four years ago {and am still dealing with it} but I've thought just like you for these years since it happened. It's like I have set up guards around myself and I don't want to let myself experience happiness in case it gets dashed. I'm trying to avoid sudden disappointment and have, instead, found myself living in fear and anxiety. And you are so right about training your brain. I think that these thoughts just kind of get stuck in there. It's habitual thinking. But it's bad habitual thinking, and I can say that because I'm right there too. This is certainly something that God has been working on with me, especially in the last year. It's just so hard though. But I do understand what you are saying.


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