How many times did I hear this phrase or ones similar to it: Time flies, Stop and smell the roses, You’ll miss these days, The days are long but the years are short etc. Of course like most people under 40, I just smiled and went on about my life.
I knew my children would grow up. I knew they would need me less and less each year. I was aware as some point in my life I knew I would become an empty nester. Even with all the warnings, I never saw it coming. One day I was making lunches, hauling children to activities, listening to angsty teenagers call from college, wanting an ear but no advice. And for me the empty nester situation had an added layer called divorce. I didn’t see that coming either.
How many times have I thought if I could just do that over? I was much too focused on appearances and what other people thought, to listen to my children as well as I could have. I lost my temper when I grew short of patience. Longing for those days when my children were young and my marriage before it was destroyed by my ex-husband, comes to me in waves. The waves come less often and are not a intense as they once were.
I have allowed myself to heal. A broken heart and regrets take time to get better and to not be painful 24/7. With counseling, a renewed faith in God and his faithfulness, I am so much better. And I do my best to enjoy each day for what it has to offer. I even have an opportunity to be a better caregiver as I have been the nanny to three young children for the past 6.5 years. I’ve mellowed over the years.
I am still growing and changing. Still searching for the motivation to pursue things that brought me joy in the past like writing, sewing, photography lessons, learning a foreign language. When I had all sorts of time, I wasted it. Now I work 10 plus hours a day, coming home exhausted, it has been a struggle but I found a book called Best Year Yet, A Journal for Becoming your Best self by Chronicle books. One of my problems was and still is I can’t think of anything to do beyond what I’ve already done. This book gives me different activities to do focusing on general areas most people would like to improve. I’ve completed January and February activities and I moved onto March. It’s not always easy, I find excuses but having an actual list has encouraged me to push forward.
Not sure how it became 2023. Time really does fly and I should have listened to those who knew and slowed down.
I enjoy following people on Instagram. It gives me a peek into lives all over the world. Some of Instagramers are exceptional photographers. I love following the bakers and drooling over their desserts. I follow seamstresses whose creations are so incredible it’s difficult for me to wrap my head around the fact someone made them.
I’ve never done anything really well. I have friends who are excellent cooks, a friend who is an artist. I’ve got a friend who makes incredible things from beads. My sister is an outstanding teacher. My mother creates beautiful cards. There is the friend whose garden looks like it’s from the pages of a magazine. Or my friend who loves on a small farm while working as a dentist. My oldest daughter sings like an angel and my youngest is creative. She writes, does photography, graphic art designs and blogs. The list goes on and on.
Me? Nothing. Nada. Rien. Zilch. Zero. You get the idea. All I do well is depression which doesn’t create the life I want. My nightmares have returned which causes serious sleep disturbances.
I’d love to know what you do well? Where do you exceed average? Are you a successful business person? An artist? Unusually creative? A baker? A great cook? Gardner? Great at explaining faith in a way people can understand? A writer? Please share because I’d love know.
I am going to try an experiment. Does writing my depressive thoughts encourage my depression to stay? I’ve made an old blog visible and for the rest of October, I am going to write only positive things and see if this helps my state of mind.
So I am asking my LifeRewritten followers to follow me at A Fresh New Life and find out if I get an answer when my experiment is finished.
Some of you might be asking why? Saying to yourself it’s the way I keep up with my friends. How would I know what’s going on in their lives? My response is simple, Facebook is impersonal. It’s information at a distance. It’s like standing and peering through a telescope at a scenic view. You can see it better but not truly experience it because you are too far away.
Friendship, true friendship is about connection. Connection through a phone call, a letter, a visit. What started out essentially as a site for college students to connect so they could date, has become a public brag book or a place to beg for sympathy. I’ve been guilty of both.
Our society pits us against each other. All you have to do is spend a little time watching television. Between commercials which tell us we can out do our neighbors with the right car, better paint (yes, paint), the better body, faster car etc. and Facebook plastered with all our “friends” successes most of us come away feeling inadequate. We’ve been put on a never ending treadmill chasing meaningless things. Facebook gives power to comparison. As we all know photos can be manipulated and they do not tell the entire story. A picture is no longer worth a 1,000 words anymore. It’s only worth a I’m better than you or feel sorry for me.
Facebook gave me the ability to sit on the sidelines of life. I didn’t have to actually connect with my friends and they could feel they were being supportive by a quick comment. No need to actually pick up the phone. How does a person actually have 800 friends? I’ve have made more progress with my depression since I’ve removed Facebook from my life.
I haven’t exited social media completely. I blog. I have a Twitter and Instagram account. I just have chosen to no longer have a Facebook account.
I have added a blog. I now have Life Rewritten and Life with a Book. I don’t know how I would live without books. They add so much to my life, adventure, comfort, love, knowledge just to name a few. So if you like to read, I’d love to have you follow my new blog.
Over these past few months, my counselor and I have discussed the choices I made in the past. He assures me I made the best choices for survival at the time. While that may be true, I have wondered what was behind the choices I made beside just surviving. And I had a personal revelation. Most, if not all, of my poor choices were driven out of a fear of rejection.
My life, prior to now, was not a journey driven by a confident woman. The driving force of my life was the fear of rejection and humiliation. My life was in a constant state of unbalance. Every time the person I was trying to please changed his/her mind, I had to rush to make sure my decision still made them happy. If it didn’t, then I needed to quickly make a change. By allowing my fear to drive my choices, I never built a strong sense of who I am and what makes me happy. I didn’t speak up. I kept my hurt feelings to myself out of fear of upsetting the other person. I pretended their words didn’t hurt my feelings. I raced around like mad when relatives were coming to visit and the stayed in a state of apprehension and fear. Why? Because I was eaten up with worry, I would be a disappointment. The ironic thing is I always felt as though I was a disappointment. Even if everything went smoothly and everyone was happy, I still felt like a failure because I always believed I could have done better or it was just a matter of time people would see the “real” me, the failure.
It is not always easy to be honest. It is not always easy to make a decision which goes against the tide (or family or friends or children). A person needs inner strength not to waver when a decision is questioned. So much of my life would be different if I had not been driven by the fear of rejection. I battle the fear of rejection and being alone every day. I take on the role of scapegoat. Pointing the finger of blame at myself calms my fear of someone else doing it and humiliating me. It gives me a sense of control when I assume everything is my fault. Sadly it doesn’t provide much opportunity for joy and peace in my life.
Change isn’t easy but it is worth the effort. Change has been a bumpy road. Change has challenged in ways I never anticipated. Change is scary. It is the scariest thing I’ve ever faced. There is a reason “misery loves company” is universally understood. While I might be miserable, it is what I know and having you join me in what I know is less frightening than me leaving my miserable comfort zone.
If you’re like I was at the beginning of my career, you have huge dreams. But sadly, the bigger the dream, the greater the frustration when day after day passes without success. The cause—not starting—looks simple. But the fix—starting (which also looks simple)—has you stymied. You know you would succeed if you could just get…
Demelza is one of my favorite characters from a book. You can find her in Poldark by Winston Graham. She lived near the Cornwall coast in the late 18th century. She lived so close she could hear the waves breaking against the rocks and shore. What else would she have heard? Birds, the wind, Garrick barking, horse hooves, distant voices, Ross in the library, servants in the kitchen, her children? Certainly she didn’t live in a silent world but she also didn’t live in a world where she was constantly bombarded with artificially created sounds which we live with now.
I live alone. Until my divorce in January 2013, I had never lived alone. I had been alone for several days at a time but always knew someone would be returning. During that time I enjoyed the quiet. It was refreshing. Now, the silence is oppressive. I feel as thought I am in a room and the walls are closing in. My apartment is wound proofed well so except for the occasional thump from my upstairs neighbors, I don’t hear anything. I listen. I sit in the quiet and nothing. It’s too hot to open the windows and even if I did I would hear man-made sounds. So I keep the TV on if I am home. The sound fills up the space. I don’t feel so alone.
I don’t think we realize how much constant noise is in our lives until it is gone. And I don’t think we realize the importance of sounds whether they are nature’s music or man-made sound. a lot has been written about the effect sound can have on our spirit. I read that repeatedly listening to sad music can dampen your mood. And when non-communicating Alzheimer’s patients were given headphones and the tunes of their youth played, the awareness of their surroundings increased and their mood were improved.
I believe one reason Demelza was infused with a happy spirit was because she absorbed everything around her, the sounds and the sites. So in the spirit of living like Demelza, I am going to try to fill my empty air with sounds that make me happy whether that is music, an audio book, a nature CD or even my favorite TV show. And I am also going to take time to enjoy the peace and quiet I have been given at this time in my life.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to build your blog readership? I am wanting to change directions with my blog and try to expand my followers. For all experienced bloggers, I’d appreciate any suggestions.