Tuesday, July 31, 2007

TRUE LOVE TUESDAY: ORDINARY KINDNESS

It is easy to believe every negative thing that has been written and said about me of late. I have been in the press for the last 4 years. I committed a crime that turned my life upside down. My own self-loathing is greater than anything anyone else could heap on me. What has kept me grounded and sane was the ordinary kindness of people who I know well, and those that I know only in passing. It is truly amazing the way so many have reached out to make sure that I was better than OK. My friends have carried me through when I couldn't carry myself. Even my husband has been a great source of inspiration. I am bouyed by the care and concern of people who could easily turn their backs as others have done. If I thought I knew what love was, I surely was re-educated. Little things matter, small kind deeds matter. A telephone call, a brief note, stopping by and checking in, these ordinary kind things are what makes love sweeter. I am without a doubt gratfeul for these troubling days, I am learning about love and I am learning to accept the kindness offered. I deserve love and I hope for love and I live in love.

Monday, July 30, 2007

MY LIFE: WORK IN PROGRESS

Finally I am starting to feel OK. The last couple of days have been some of the most intense days I have ever experienced. The court experience was quite overwhelming on top of press buzzing around. The next day newspaper coverage was fine. A local news blog had a lot of negative comments from folks--some comparing me to Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan. Hhmm, that's how you know there are a lot of people who could really use a friend. To compare me to those young women is funny. So now I can focus on the next hurdle of getting ready to serve my time. I am just so grateful that all this is starting to move behind me. I have been living with this so long that I am going to have to work hard to get my life back to pre-scandal. The Judge suggested that I get my life back to where it was before all this happened. I am going to do just that---yes, it will take a bit of doing. But as I said, I am choosing happiness. I am walking forward and I feeling good.

Friday, July 27, 2007

MY DAY IN COURT: THE SHORT VERSION

Yesterday was my day in court. It was such a moving and exciting time that I am not ready to think about it or talk about fully...yet. I will in time talk about it. In a nutshell, I was sentenced to 30 days in prison, 5 months home confinement and 3 years probation. This was a blessing. This was way better than I or my Attorney hoped for. I will talk about the day in court and all the drama and excitement later. And yes the local papers have me and my family plastered on the front page. And I don't give a damn. I know what I am facing. So this is my Theme for the moment--this song from Michael Buble--I don't know how to add music to my bog so I haven't linked it, but here are the lyrics...yep, this is how I'm feeling!

MICHAEL BUBLE LYRICS

"Feeling Good"

Birds flying high
You know how I feel
Sun in the sky
You know how I feel
Breeze driftin' on by
You know how I feel
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good

Fish in the sea
You know how I feel
River running free
You know how I feel
Blossom on a tree
You know how I feel
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good

Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean, don't you know
Butterflies all havin' fun you know what I mean
Sleep in peace when day is done
That's what I mean
And this old world is a new world
And a bold world
For me

Stars when you shine
You know how I feel
Scent of the pine
You know how I feel
Oh freedom is mine
And I know how I feel
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me

And I'm feeling good

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

TOMORROW, TOMORROW, THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW!

..When I think of a day that's gray and lonely, I stick out my chin and grin and say...The SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW!

Tomorrow at 12 noon or sometime thereabouts, I will find out what my sentence will be. I remain steadfast in my peacefulness. I am choosing happiness no matter what. If I am sentenced to prison...off I go. If I am home confined, home I will sit. All I know that next year this time, this will be a distant memory and I will be doing my probation. I am changing...transforming. I am a woman growing into her own skin. This has been an ordeal of amazing proportions. I could not dream this up...but I must have. I attracted all this drama by my actions. I have created the energy for all this drama and only I can stop it. I am stopping it. So tomorrow I will go to federal court with a smile on my lips and a song in my heart. I am the architect of my destiny and tomorrow is but a pit stop. I am not going to bed with this on my mind. And this weekend will be a local news black-out--I am not interested in what will be written--it will not be uplifting. I am moving on and it's sunny everywhere I go.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

TRUE LOVE TUESDAY: DEFINING TRUE LOVE

I came across a definition of true love in a book I was reading called The Emperor of Ocean Park, by Stephen Carter. In this fabulous book the main character Talcott Garland was in the midst of marital problems all while following clues his late father left him--check my library link at the bottom of my blog for this book. Anyway, here was this beautiful definition that I believe I was supposed to see at that moment. I had this book for almost 2 years before I read it, so I am convinced that I was destined to read it when I did. Yes this is all so metaphysical--but that is my life. So here is the definition.

True Love is not the helpless desire to possess the cherished object of one's fervent affection; true love is the disciplined generosity we require of ourselves for the sake of another when we would rather be selfish. Talcott Garland, The Emperor of Ocean Park-a novel by Stephen Carter

Sunday, July 22, 2007

JAZZ SUNDAY...IT'S OUR GOSPEL MUSIC

Ever since the children began arriving, we have committed Sundays to listening to nothing but Jazz music. On our way to church we listen to the local jazz radio station and when we get home we listen to various jazz artists. My husband is a big jazz fan, so he has quite a collection of Monk and Miles Davis, incidentally he hasn't taken any of his Cd's to his new place. Anyway, instead of listening to gospel music--which we do occasionally, we listen to jazz. My children have an ear for it now. They know jazz when they hear it, like when we are out and about and they hear jazz music it's always "OuOuOhhh Mom do you hear Jazz Sunday"! So they have lumped all jazz music into the category of Jazz Sunday. They are little now and as they keep listening they will learn who's who. They seem to like it and I am glad. I feel like I am really giving them a gift each Sunday as cool jazz riffs through the house.

Friday, July 20, 2007

FAITH FORWARD FRIDAY: WHO'S TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE?

As I think about my life and the last few years, I see clearly the trajectory of my decisions, both good and bad that have brought me to this point. I see it. It is not by accident that I committed a crime, that my marriage is failing, that I am bankrupt and could lose my home. These things are occurring as a result of my behaviour. I broke faith with myself, my community, my husband, my children. I did this. The harsh realty is starring me in my face. There is no place to hide. My life of late has been playing out in the newspapers, folks are whispering and few stand with me. And yet, I know it will be alright. All shall be well, and all shall be well, all shall be well. The only truth that I am concerned with is my own. The story about me is still being written. I am not defined by my worst moments. However I know my worst moments help me grow. Next week this time, I will know what the court's decision will be on deciding my fate as it relates to the crime I committed. They do not get to decide my life's fate. I hold that power to be whatever I want regardless of anything. I can dream the biggest dream. I am responsible for my own truths. My truth sets me free.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

WAIT ON WEIGHT

I haven't gained or lost any weight. I am pretty much hovering around the same weight--give or take 5 lbs. I must say I have to give myself some credit for being mindful of what I eat. I don't just go off into the deep end. However, I can't seem to focus on this until, well all my other issues are dealt with. It is hard to focus on my health when other thoughts seem to take over. I have this vision of how I want to be in my body. I was not a fat kid, or teenager. I put my weight on after college. Then it was an all out struggle. I know it was simply because I was sedimentary--I didn't have any athletic outlets. And I was an athlete. So here I am now, wishing and hoping and not really focusing on what it takes to lose this weight. So tonight, I am going to really think about this issue of weight-loss and figure out how to give it center stage. I think this time in my life is all about forcing me to look at my life and how I want to live it going forward. I know all my dreams and hopes and wishes and private passions are all waiting for me to reach out and grab them. I am almost ready...almost. The universe is preparing me for my destiny and soon I will be ready to walk into my newness.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

TRUE LOVE TUESDAY: I PROMISE

I have been enthralled with "The Secret" I have been in love with this notion of taking care of oneself--both spiritually and physically. Here is a passage written by Christian D. Larson--as modified by The Secret 2007. This is the state of mind I am working toward:

I promise myself
to be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person I meet.
to make all my friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.
to look at the sunny side of everything and make my optimism come true.
To think only the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about success of others as I am about my own.
To forget mistakes of the past and press on to the achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature that I meet.
To give so much time improving myself that I have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble
To think well of myself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words, but in great deeds.
To live in the faith that the whole world is on my side, so long as I am true to the best that is in me.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

King-Sized Bed for a Queen

Last night was my first official night as a separated spouse. I was way too lit to notice. However around 5:00 am I did notice. It was heartbreaking. But the good part was that for the last several months my husband has been staying out till all hours of the morning--he usually didn't get in till 3, 4, 5, 6, 7:00am. The Strip Clubs are open really late. He would be pissed if he knew I was talking about his Strip Club visits. Hey, I like Strip Clubs too--those women work hard for a buck. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. There is something quite liberating about having a big bed to yourself. My husband is a fool, but I do respect his decision to figure out who he is. I do not have that luxury of leaving...unless I want to add sorry-ass mother to my list of sins. I do not. I am clear about who I am. I always knew. I have long sense realized that you can't find out who you are in the eyes of friends, strangers or ridiculous notions of roles. My husband is in the mist of a crisis--a journey that he must walk on his own. He runs the risk of not having a caring wife, loving children and a community of friends that are trying to respect him. I have seen this movie. My own father was fucked-up like this and he never recovered. I, however remain Queen of my own thoughts and deeds. I have 4 kids to raise--so does he, but for me it is my life's work. So alone I go to my big king-sized bed, feeling pretty safe and ever hopeful about this life that I get to carve out, be it as a single woman or as a married woman. I can roll and roll and roll; hogging all the covers knowing in this moment I am OK! Bring on night number 2--late night movies, stupid TV shows and lots of magazines spread out...hey it's a king sized bed, I GOT LOT'S OF ROOM!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Patron, Negro Modela and a husband says good bye!

Today was fabulous. It was like old times. Hanging out for the day, shopping, taking the kids for a grand lunch. Today was moving day. My husband moved his shit and left us. Hell, I let him use my mommy whip--the minivan. I am more stunned than I ever thought I would be. I knew it was coming. How could a man leave his wife and kids. No matter what, no matter how unhappy you think you are, you don't leave. So I am drinking--Patron Tequila and Beer-Negro Modelo's. I have been careful not to freak the kids out. My 10 year daughter is at a girls only b-day party and the other three are planted in front of the TV. I have been crying for about an hour--out of view of my children. I know, I said no more crying. I was not expecting this rush of emotions. It is like being orphaned. I feel so overwhelmed, I almost can't handle it. And I got the civil suit shit in the mail--they are seeking judgement, the $49,000 I misappropriated (stole) and then another 50,000 in whatever else they need--fees, attorney bills etc.. So I owe $100,000. so that also added to my stress. God help me. I am floating at sea in a raft made of twigs. So I am drinking, Patron and negro modelo's. I know my limitations. I am in for the night. I just feel so helpless and so abandoned and as I write the tears are coming. I fucked up and I know it and I am trying to stare down the rising tide. I can do this. I have four hearts that need me to hold it all together. That revelation trumps heartache everyday of the week.
The thing that I love most about me is that I have the ability to rise above shit. Believe it or not I can handle this. The universe is already working on my behalf and God's got my back. Just in the moments it took to craft this posting. I am already refocused and on point. I am drinking in this moment because ...well I like it! I am feeling pretty damned good. I got this no matter what. Good night.

Friday, July 13, 2007

F.E.A.R.

FUCK EVERYTHING AND RUN or FACE EVERYTHING AND RECOVER.

My girlfriend strongly suggested I read "A Piece of Cake" by Cupcake Brown. It is a tough memoir about her life as a gang-banger, being raped over and over by different adults as a child, her time in foster care, drug abuse, prostitution. You name it, it happened to this child. Well she is a grown successful woman practicing law in San Francisco. Her story was painful to read, so much so, that I had to put it down and read something else. So I finally finished it and I understand why God, through the caring nudging of my Soror insisted that I read this book. The end is so uplifting and encouraging. We all have value. No matter what happens to any us, whether by our own design or circumstance, we all have value. I was thrilled this morning when I woke up. I have FEAR up at the top of my post because it was an acronym from the book. I couldn't stop thinking about this. You always have two choices and this acronym represents my two choices. I have chosen to FACE EVERYTHING AND RECOVER. My Seattle Sister-Friend emailed me yesterday concerned about my well-being, she thought perhaps I could be putting on a brave front in the face of all my shit at the moment. I am not. I am moving forward. I am putting my feet in front of me and I am trusting that God will bring me through. God has always brought me through. I could not have survived all that I have if it were not for the grace of God. Even in my darkest moments when I wanted to kill myself, the spirit of God moved me to take another direction---hold on for one more day. Operating in fear keeps me from receiving the divinity. My faith is very personal and private--even I am amazed that I am speaking so freely about it here. But I must at this moment talk about why I am choosing joy. I am not the sum total of my worst moment. And though I have tougher days ahead. I am not alone. I have a community, a village of kind and caring people who want only the best for me. I move forward with all their best intentions. But most importantly I know who I am and that is enough.
"When God knows you're going to battle he sends his best warriors" A Piece of Cake, by Cupcake Brown

Thursday, July 12, 2007

One Day Chicken, Next Day Feathers

This is how I am feeling right now. I have too much on my brain and on my mind. Children, marriage separation, bankruptcy, federal sentencing, weight-loss, unemployment and overall angst. I believe I am handling all this in stride. I think. It is my intention to weather this storm of sorts with as much dignity as I can--no easy feat. I do not feel alone in the sense that I have no friends. As a matter of fact I have great friends who are tuned into me. It is this season of in the meantime that is unsettling. It's like everything hangs in the balance based on one decision about whether or not I go to jail. That is the tipping point. Nothing can really move up or down until that piece is determined. Try as I might to carry on, there is still this feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. I must say I am a lot better in discerning my feelings today than I was a few weeks ago and a whole hell of a lot better than I was a few years ago. I am hopeful and excited about all the possibilities before me--even if I have to go to jail, I am still optimistic and hopeful. Yet there is this uneasiness of the unknown. I am being still in my uneasiness. I am allowing emotions and feelings that come up, to live with me for as long as they need to hang out. I am no longer fighting them, running from them or desperately trying to ignore them. I am facing all my fears...today. God knows about tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Pool, 6 Kids, and the Possibility of Making it to a Matinee

My 4 kids and my girlfriend's 2 kids had their first FREE swim lesson at the YWCA this morning. It was an adventure getting everyone out the door and into the minivan this morning. I am happy they are learning to swim. There is a psa running on the radio about the dangers of children drowning; it strongly suggests that kids take swim lessons. So here in CT the Governor's office launched a free swimming lessons program. So off we went towels and vaseline in tow. It went well, I was a bit nervous--I am parent and seeing your kid in a body of water in the care of strangers is at best, SCARY! My husband could not do this--he is already hyper-sensitive about the safety of the kids and he can swim. The first day was fine and they are all off to their camps for the rest of the day. Now, I am off to the movies. I have $10.00 and I am going to spend it on ME. Now I am thinking I might go see the new Harry Potter, or the Transformers. Harry Potter may be too crowded, I'll see when I get to the theatre. So off I go to a movie matinee...YIPPEE!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

TRUE LOVE TUESDAY: ALONESS IS A GIFT

I just finished Florence Falk's book "On My Own, The Art of Being A Woman Alone" I was so moved by this book that I wanted to share this passage. It speaks to me on so many levels. I must say that it lights my path and helps me face my future with more courage and a grander sense of purpose. So here is one of my favorite passages from the book:
Aloness is a gift; it can return us to our own self. Instead of avoiding
it, we need to accept it whole-heartedly, even though we fear it. To rid
ourselves of our fears, we first need to understand their source. As our
fears diminish, we have a renewed opportunity to realize a life of our
own. Each relationship in our lives is a teaching; a way to learn what we
want and need for ourselves and what we are willing to give, or not give, in
order to get it. In this sense, aloness is a mirror wherein we may view
ourselves more wholly and affirmatively.

Friday, July 6, 2007

TGIF!

Yippee, it's the WEEKEND!
And you already know I am in my element. I don't care what's in the paper today, the kids and I are packing our bags and heading to Lo's. That's right, road trip baby. I may or may not blog in over the weekend. So this may be my last post until Monday. So, to take a song from the musical The Wiz: I am easin' on down the road, not gon' carry nothin' that might be a load, I'm just gon' ease on down, ease on down the road.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Independence Day...To ME

I am getting it. The way is becoming clearer. Yesterday I got the news that my sentencing is scheduled for July 26Th. Finally I can begin to get this behind me. As my dearest friend Ron has reminded me: Babz, the clock begins ticking back on that day. So whatever happens there is a definite end point. He is right and I have whole fresh perspective about my now. I am reading a wonderful book On My Own, The Art of Being A Woman Alone, by Florence Falk. I am loving this book. I am seeing my life as my own. I see my future in way that's not completely connected to someone Else's vision that I am now realizing that I have forgotten what it's like to have a bigger dream for myself--my own dream not meshed with someone Else's dream, but my own. This book is like a key to a secret garden...I am happily going in and taking up residence. So today is MY INDEPENDENCE DAY and I am full of hope and happiness. Hell, my future is so bright I have to wear shades-( I know this is very 80's)
Happy Independence Day to YOU.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

TRUE LOVE TUESDAY: THERE'S NO CONVINCING IN LOVE

What I know for sure is that there is no convincing in love. Either you love someone or you don't. Either they believe and feel that you love them or they don't. I cannot change my husband's mind or heart about how he feels about how I feel about him. I love him. But he doesn't believe it, or trust it. After almost 12 years and 4 children later my love and trust are questionable. There is no convincing him otherwise. My friendships with men are now questionable--one in particular who has been my friend for almost 20 years. My husband believes there is "something" going on. This is unequivocally untrue. There has never been any type of romance/dating/booty calls or emotional threads with this person. He has been a constant source of encouragement to me and my family over the years. So I have come to realize that whatever issues my husband is having with respect to my commitment to our marriage is all his shit. His issues. So as he moves out and creates a life for himself apart from this beautiful family that WE built together, my love remains true...I wish for him all the happiness in the world. Regardless of how stupid I think he is being, these are his feelings and I hear them. So in the words of the great soul singer Michael MacDonald: "What a fool believes he sees"

Sunday, July 1, 2007

FREE Summer Camp is a gift from God

Hip Hip Hooray,

My kids are going to summer camp starting next week. It is free. FREE. My girlfriend is always finding free stuff for kids to do. She has two beautiful daughters who I keep often and pick-up from school from time to time. So on any given day I am rolling six deep with kids. Anyway, she found several free summer activities--free swim lesson for 6 weeks, 3 weeks of academic enrichment, 3 weeks of recreational activities, another couple of weeks of academic enrichment. Yep we're talking overlap of activities. My girlfriend is fully aware of my situation--so she makes sure that I get applications and forms etc, so that my kids can participate. She has been a life-saver. I was afraid that they were going to have a stay-at-home summer experience because of the lack of funds. Mind you that wouldn't be so bad, since we would go to the beach every single day, but it is nice for them to get a chance to hang with other kids. And I can get my butt back to the gym. I had a nice routine for a minute until school let out. I made a promise that this would be my last year fat and I mean it. But back to summer camp and my kids--this is going to be great for them to hang out with other kids who don't go to their school or church. I hope they like it and if they don't...well, they will deal with it.