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Friday, December 31, 2010

Evaluation Post 1

It's New Years Eve!  We have nothing on the agenda.  Allowing my "baby" girl to go to a party with friends.  Don't worry - it's our Pastor's daughter and a couple of others - not your typical party atmosphere! Tough decision to make since it's our last New Years Eve with her officially home - but - she is almost 18 and it was time to let her go.  Besides - when your kids make great friend choices, you have nothing to worry about.
WAY off subject there!!
Okay - so I've been thinking a lot this break.  As I explained in my last post - my emotional status has been strained as of late.  I've also said before I'm a pull-yourself-up-by-the-boot-straps kind of person and I can only stay in depression mode for a short while before I get fed up enough to do something about the crap in my life that is stressing me out.
So - time to evaluate the things that are upsetting me the most.
1.  Finances.  It's a mess as I've already stated.  I'm sick of it, frustrated with it.  It so consumes me that there have been days I can not function & my husband has to literally pull me out of bed.  I have been talking about getting a job for a while - yet I have stalled.  Maybe it's time to admit the real reason for  stalling instead of making up crap to put people off when they ask me how the job thing is going.  The reality is - I have not worked in 18 years.  18 years people.  I have no job skills, no degree.  I have nothing to offer the work force.  Just THINKING about going back to work sends me into a panic.  I know that sounds crazy weird - but it's true.  I've been working on (I mean that) getting all the paperwork stuff in to sub - yet - do you have any idea how much panic courses through me when I think of standing in front of a classroom full of kids?  I'm honestly terrified.  Plus - at this weight - who would hire me - and what kid would take me seriously?  That's the truth.  Fear is keeping me from moving forward in this area.  However - as fears go - this is one I know in my head I must face head on.  It won't go away if I don't move forward and just do it.  So - as far as finance evaluation goes - we've cut down as far as possible - now it's time for me to work.  I must stop whining, stop being afraid - and just do it.  On that note - anyone have a job offer??  (Yeah - potential bosses will read this blog & think I'm nuts!)
2.  Location of life.  This one goes along with the whole coaching thing.   We've never liked it here, never felt at home.  We've taken an enormous amount of nonsense since living here.  I feel like Hurley on Lost where bad luck follows him everywhere.  No, I don't believe in bad luck - yet living here has been a pain in our royal tosh's for a very long time.  Yet - here we are.  Still being treated horrible and  still here.  People in AA ask Marty all the time - WHY do you live THERE?  JUST MOVE.  I'm sorry if you live here and I have just offended you.  It's not my intention.  To use the Lost example again - the island treats some people well - and others not so much.  You may fall into the well category.  It's also not in my head - so if that's going through you brain - please set it aside and hear me out.  Okay - so - don't get all excited you soccer stalkers about this (because if I hear it, you can guarantee we won't go anywhere just to spite you (oh my, that was such a godly statement - sigh) ) - for the first time - it's on the table that we may actually look for a job someplace else.  Little man said to us "I don't care - I hate it here" - and he was the main reason we were sticking around.  Waiting for the kids to finish high school and then we planned on moving on.  Of course, we have to look at retirement and how many years Marty needs to put into the district before he could leave.  Anyway - the point is - just thinking about it gives me some relief.  It's an option - although not a very serious one - but at least it's a thought and that's more than we've had before.

Okay - well - this has turned into a ginormous post now hasn't it??  And I still have more evaluating to do!  It'll have to wait for another day.
On a final note - all the evaluation in the world is pointless if you don't do something to change.  Change is difficult - always.  That is what I must keep in mind.  Nothing is easy - and that's okay - but you can conquer things.  It will be hard.  It will hurt.  Deal with it.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 in review

I struggle as I write this.  The truth of the matter is much of 2010 is a blur.  Too much, too fast, too everything.  I can't even remember January - March!
Let's see, 2010 we celebrated Elyse's 17th birthday, Jon's 14th, Marty's 39th and my - gulp - 40th.  We celebrated 18 amazing years of marriage.  Elyse went to Haiti on another faith filled journey.  We struggled, we learned, I hope we grew.
The end of 2010 brings hardship and I am praying for a better 2011.  The economy has hit many people hard and we are no exception.  Since August, Marty has taken a pay cut of 1,000 a month.  It has killed us financially.  We face 2011 in much financial uncertainty.  We are tired, we are worn out - we need a change.
In 2011, I must find a job which may or may not help to keep us afloat.  Elyse will move off to college (Lord willing).  Jon will enter high school.  Marty will turn 40.  I will celebrate 5 years cancer free.  (a blessing)
I struggle as of late to find much to be happy about.  My emotions are raw and my temper is edgy.  I have tried to look at the positive as I mentioned in a previous post - yet am finding it difficult.  (Thus the lack of posting).
I have always been a transparent person here on my blog.  It doesn't always earn me points or friends - but some people do send me private notes telling me they appreciate my sharing my struggles.  It is therapy for me - a way to talk through, work through, the difficult times in my life.  The funny thing is - if you met me face to face - you would see little - if any - of the me you see here.  I'm quiet, reserved, shy - private.  This is my outlet.
On that note - let me be a bit more transparent.  I find myself facing a new issue here at the end of 2010.  Trusting God.  Maybe it's always been there - an ugly remnant of my past.  I have shook my fist in His face more times than I can count in the last couple of months.  I have hit my knees, begged Him to tell me why.  I have asked Him if I haven't already suffered enough.  I have withdrawn into myself.  I don't hear His voice nor feel His touch.  What I know in my head is no longer making it's way to my heart.  Christian platitudes do nothing more than make me angry.  No, I have not given up my faith.  I have not walked away from the God who has given me so much.
But I am questioning Him.  I want answers.  I want to hear His voice.  I want Him to tell me everything is going to be okay.  But all I hear is silence.  Deafening silence.
I don't know what 2011 will bring.  I am afraid of moving forward.  Will we lose everything we have?  My daughter going off to college - whew - that's one I can't even fathom at this point.  What new challenges will we face?  How many more burdens will I carry?
Well - wasn't this just the most depressing post ever??  I'm sorry.  I just needed to put it out there.  If you see me - or if you don't (more likely when I'm in a funk) - just know it's not you.  It's me.  I'm on an island and I'm trying to figure this whole thing called life out.  I feel change coming - growth in the midst of the storm.  The storm has brought me to my knees and I have nothing left to give.  I know in my head that is where God will find me - or rather - I will find Him.  At least I hope so because I really can't deal with a whole lot more.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Long time, no blog

Too much time has passed - I have been a lousy blogger as of late!  No real reason other than nothing much of substance to say.

Currently, we are hanging out with my in-laws in Texas.  I am so glad we came.  I needed to get away for a while and nothing like someplace warm to allow the stress to fall away.  Also nothing like not having to cook, to clean, to do anything!  Something about THAT sure is peaceful!!  It's nice to get away and forget about your troubles every now and then.

While here, a few things have become super duper clear.  First - I need the sunshine.  I have always jokingly said I would move south one day - but being down here has pretty much solidified that in my head.  Unless God chooses a path different than the one I'm currently on, I'll be someplace warm when I'm my in-laws age!  To be outside, to enjoy the sunsets, to see the sunshine, no clouds - it helps me to reflect on life a little easier.  They say things seems better in the light than in the dark - and this is similar to that.

Second - and how many times have I said this before - I'm tired of complaining about how I look.  I'm tired of looking in the mirror - or avoiding mirrors - because what I see is not who I feel I am on the inside.  I can't say I've had some pivotal moment or reached the bottom of the barrel - but I have come to the realization that I will have to work hard if I want it to happen.  I'm not the woman I used to be - and I believe my weight brings me down emotionally more than I realized.  I do feel powerless over it and I don't see a day where things will be any different.  Yet, at the same time, I don't want to be this physical person I am today.  Things need to change - one day at a time.

Third - because of said above thing - and because of how far down emotionally I realize I have come - I have deprived my children of a happy-go-lucky care-free Mom.  I was not this way when they were younger.  I feel a tremendous sense of guilt over this.  At the same time, I am a "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" (seems appropriate in Texas!) kind of person and I can't change the past.  I can change the future and it's time I take a chill pill and remember how to be more fun again.  Start over in this arena.  I don't think this will be any easier than the above mentioned thing - but it's something that requires work. Maybe even - gulp - the assistance of a counselor.  And you know what?  That's okay.  No, I do not feel it has anything to do with my past or my growing up years (people love to bring that up if I have a down time) - but I DO strongly believe it has to do with difficult experiences - difficult people - in the past 10 years or so.  Slowly but surely, circumstances have sucked the life out of me and for goodness sakes - enough is enough.

Finally.  The people in life that really truly matter - are your family and friends.  No matter who you are or what you've become - these are the people who stand by your side.  Through thick and thin, good and bad - you must surround yourself with people who will love you no matter what.  Then you must not shove them away (like I am in the habit of doing) but allow them to put their arm around you and walk with you through.  Sometimes you need other people to help.  It's okay.

That, my friends, is a rather serious reflection on Texas.  On a non-serious side - we've had a terrific time!  The weather has been gorgeous, the sun shining bright (until today but that's okay!) and lots of laughter and fun!  We've gone shopping, eaten great food, enjoyed a Safari (which y'all (lol) know was the highlight of my trip thus far).  We've still got the beach and NASA on the agenda - and you know how much that whole beach thing has me excited!!  We've seen some beautiful animals, beautiful scenery - and beautiful people.  The south is NOT the north and the culture is crazy different.  Do you know they do not serve bread with butter???  They don't even HAVE butter to offer you?  WHO eats bread without butter??  Lol - kidding - but it's true!!  And they call ponds "tanks".  Who knew??

All righty - this has been a looooooong post (making up for lost time!).  Thanks for sticking with me my few faithful blog friends!  Have a very Merry Christmas and we'll see you next year ;-)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Decorations

I was reading my friend Jackie's blog and saw she posted pictures of all her Christmas decorations.  Like Jackie, every year I hope to have enough cash flow to turn my home into a Christmas Winter WONDERland - but that was not to be this year.  However - I do like very much what we have done and would like to share it with you.  I apologize for the quality of my pictures.  My camera does not do a good job taking inside pics!!  Hope you enjoy!!

Larger nutcrackers.  I'm not sure exactly how many Jon has collected over the years - but there is a lot.  Last year he stopped asking for them :(  This year I will need to start my own collection!!  This was all Jon on decorating this area!

The blanket and lights are ugly, I know.  The villages are amazing.  They are way bigger than they look and they light up.  There is a word for it that I can't think of.  I got them years ago at an after-Christmas sale at Bath & Body works.  I've looked every year since to add to my collection and have never again seen them.

All our handmade snowflakes!!

Nutcracker collection in kitchen

The tree with one gift underneath!

Jon's countdown to Christmas and Texas!

 Most important part of Christmas and by far, my most favorite decoration - the nativity set.

Some more villages - half the size of the other ones.  These are also cool - got these years ago in Canada.  I love them and have never found a village I like as much as this one (minus the big ones in the previous picture).

The pole :)  It's crazy, I know - but I still love it!

The stockings - not a great picture.  They are not spaced right which is killing me but I don't want to correct what Jon has done!

That's it folks - all of our Christmas decorations.  What about you?  What do your decorations look like this year?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Eye Opener

Today I saw an application on facebook to have like a year in review according to your status updates from the year.  I thought "well that looks like fun!" and clicked on it.

Wowzers.  I began to read the status's (status'??) they chose of mine - and at least 80% of them were negative.  I went to the part where you can read every status from the past year.

I read.  And I read.  And I read some more.  My jaw was on the floor when I finished.

When did I become so negative?  I know I've been struggling - but - wow.  It was a true eye opener for me.  My heart is not in the right place.  I defiantly was a glass half empty instead of half full person this past year - and I suspect it's gone on longer than that.

I'm going to need to think this one through for a while.  Here are some immediate self-reflection thoughts.

First - Soccer is a killer.  It kills our schedule, and it kills my happiness.  Dealing with the constant conflict and the insane schedule has left me ragged.  Either we eliminate soccer from our lives - or I learn to turn things over to the Lord and allow HIM to handle the people I can not change.  Which is like everyone of course.  I also need to let go of the bitterness.  These people are not worth the space in my head, or the space in my heart.  It's time for some closet cleaning of hurt, anger and bitterness.  It's going to take some carpet time (time before the Lord) to work through this.  Yet - I must.  I can not live with all of that junk inside of me any longer.

Second - I complain.  A lot.  About everything.  I didn't realize I had become this way.  I am in shock.  Do I really believe the message of this blog?  He makes EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL in His time?  If so - then what in the world am I doing??  Where is the joy people, where is the joy??  My negativity is not reflecting beauty - that's for sure!!

Third - On a positive note :)  Although raising teens in nail biting, hair raising and rough - I have great kids.  I also have a great marriage.  I think my husband is stinking good looking and amazing.  That was reflected - shouted - loud and clear.  For this, I am thankful.

Fourth - Cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, money - it's not that big of a deal now, is it?  Really?? Come on now Tami - EVERYONE has money troubles and no one likes to do laundry!  Get over yourself.  Be thankful for what you DO have and stop focusing on what you don't.  I could slap myself upside the head over this. 

Anyway.  I'm sure there is more I can glean from the year in review.  I think what I need most is time before my Jesus.  I have some closet clearing to do - and the only way that will happen is through the strength and power of Jesus Christ.  I have allowed people and circumstances in recent years to muddy up my view.  Time to pick myself up and dust the dirt off.  Time to clean the glasses and take a fresh look at the life surrounding me.  It's time to find the beauty in life again.

PS - The photo is the copy from facebook.  Let me mention that this particular set of status are ones I hand picked.  I have to admit - the original just embarrassed me.  So, I went through and chose the positive in the year.  I thought it would be better that way and more reflective of the times I did allow God to work in my life - and yes, just not as humiliating.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Random Post

I was on a blogging frenzy for a while, wasn't I?  Yep, I was.  Now, I'm not!

I do apologize.  Life has been.... frustrating as of late.  I'm not going into details here.  Just know I've spent a lot of time questioning.

Anyway.  There is good, and there is bad in life - as always.  The good is we are going to Texas for Christmas - courtesy of my in-laws.  I really need to get away right now - so for this, I am very thankful.  The house is decorated, the tree is up.  That's a good thing.  Jon has been into the decorating, which has made me smile.  Yes, I'm fighting not putting everything exactly the way I like it, but allowing him to do what he wants to do.  I know the day will come when I will have all the time in the world to decorate exactly the way I want.  For now, I'll sit back and let imperfect rule.  The kids had a great time getting the tree this weekend.  It was bittersweet as it's the last time, officially, that Elyse will be home to go out and get a tree.  Next year she'll come home from school after the decorations are up.

Outside of that, I don't have a lot to say.  As I said, life has been frustrating.  I don't understand God sometimes, and this is one of those times.  You try to do everything right, yet things don't work out the way they should.  I don't get it.  Some days I feel like shaking my fist at the sky and asking just when my life could get a little easier.

On the other hand, there is always someone suffering worse than you - so count your blessings when and where you can.  This is a tough lesson for me to learn.  Things go out of what I thought they should be, and it sends me into a panic inside.  I like things nice and stable, predictable - and when it goes out of that pattern, I don't respond well.  I'm trying - and failing.

So :)  That was a nice downer (and vague) post now wasn't it??  I apologize.  Now just isn't the time to share details.  Maybe, Lord willing, it'll all work out and not be a big deal in the end anyway.

For now - here is where I'm at.  Trying to enjoy the season - and realize that all I need is my family, my friends and my God.  If nothing else is left - then that is enough.
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