Say hello to my family. It isn’t exactly the family I imagined I’d have. My husband, the girls’ father isn’t in the picture anymore, literally and figuratively. For a long time after he left, I felt like a failure. It took a few years, lots of counseling, support from my daughters and son-in-law, and loads of prayer to finally understand I wasn’t a failure.
I did spend lots of time being mad at God. I couldn’t understand why He didn’t answer my prayer to save my marriage. Slowly but surely God guided me to an understanding that sometimes He doesn’t say Yes, but He says I have something better planned for you.
I am no longer on the journey to a 50th wedding anniversary and it still disappoints me, but I’ve experienced so much joy in the last few years, I am beginning to grasp God’s plan. I don’t have the power to see into the future so I don’t actually know which direction God will be taking me next. I’ve moved 6 times since 2012 and have gone from living in 4200 sq. ft house with a pool and home theater to a 1000 sq. ft duplex. I live in a town I didn’t even know existed until a few years ago. I live here because I wanted to be close to my daughter and son-in-law.
In less than 18 months, they will be moving across the country to the Northeast. My other daughter lives in CA. Again, having my girls living so far apart wasn’t part of my plan. I still pray God can work it out so we can all live near one another. I will continue to work daily on trusting him,
My life is going in a new direction and I am waiting to see where that leads me.
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 spent a large part of my time on this blog complaining and lamenting my situation. I’ve expressed a huge range of emotions tied to feeling betrayed by my ex.
God gave me many doors during my marriage to leave and my pride kept me there. I’ve spent the last few months coming to terms with my choice to stay when God so clearly wanted me to leave. Now that I have come through the door to the other side the only emotion I feel towards my ex is pity.
The simplest definition of Pity is: a strong feeling of sadness or sympathy for someone or something. I do feel sympathy for my ex because he is blind to what matters in life. His heart is hardened. He values his image and material things. We know God doesn’t see just the image we project. He sees directly to our heart so while my ex may be fooling those around him, he is not fooling me, his daughters, son-in-law or God. We know the truth about who he is. And he has sadly bought into the lie the world tells about money and possessions. Those things pass away but the love my family and I have will last because it is based on our faith and not on what we possess or what others think of us.
With Father’s Day approaching I realized God had finally reached me and changed my direction when my primary emotion towards my ex is pity. I am no longer consumed with anger although I still feel angry from time to time. What I feel looking back and looking forward is nothing but pity for my ex because he is the one who has lost out not just now but for eternity.
What’s in a name? It is an age old question. First names for newborns seem to run in trends. You can search most popular names by decades. In the 1900s it was John, William and James courting Mary, Helen and Margaret. By the 1950s it was James, Michael and Robert dating Mary, Linda and Patricia. And in 2015 Liam, Noah and Ethan will some day date Emma, Sophia and Olivia. Currently parents try to be original by burdening their children with unusual names and/or spellings.
Why do I say it’s a burden? Because I was given a name my parents didn’t like which is difficult to spell and pronounce for most people. When a new school year began, I knew the teacher had come to my name when she paused. I was given a nickname when I was no more than 2 years old and continue to use it, but that causes a whole new set of problems.
I have often wondered if I could pick my own name what would it be? I don’t think I would select Peekaboo like the skier. I know I wouldn’t pick to be named after someone like I was. I think your first name should be yours alone in the family. Names do carry with them images. Sometimes those images are associated with either a good or bad experience we’ve had. For me all Vickies and Connies will be bitches. Dougs and Floyds will be selfish jerks who cheat. Are those judgments fair? No of course not but we all do it.
No one imagines Gladys or Mildred being female sex symbols or Randy or Robbie being male sex symbols. The names don’t fit the image we have in our head.
So not liking my name, I’ve often wondered if I could choose my name what would it be? Charlotte? Daniella? Lily? Emannuelle? I don’t know. Maybe one day I will begin to ask people to guess my name. Then I will know who I should really be.
***If you are expecting a baby please don’t use some strange spelling Ryleigh for Riley or Matelyn for Madeleine or Aireck for Eric. Keep it simple. Your child will thank you.
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.
If you had to give three words to describe you, what would they be?
Have you noticed how we are rarely without man made noise in our life? It’s cars, horns, TVs, radio, MP3 player, airplanes etc. There is always noise. Even inside a home there are the sounds of clocks ticking or a washing machine going. Most of us don’t take the opportunity or I should say make the opportunity to sit in silence.
Having lived alone now for a few years, I find I leave the TV on even if I’m not watching it. I find the silence in my apartment can be deafening. The longing for the sound of a another person near by is sorely missed. I think about what life was like before the advent of so many man-made noises. No telephones ringing. No alarms going off. No beeps or tweets.
All this noise is a stimulant and it keeps us from stopping to hear the sounds of nature, our hearts, our souls and God. But sitting in complete silence is a challenge for me and I think it’s a challenge for the modern world. But ultimately it’s one we need to rise to and embrace.
Did you know there is scientific evidence that music directly affects your mood? If you listen to sad songs you will most likely experience a downward mood swing. Music and Mood. There is evidence which shows Alzheimer’s patients who listen to music from their youth have marked improvement in mood and alertness. Music therapy for Alzheimer’s […]
I signed up for informal education at UT. The beginning DSLR photography class began last Monday. The class isn’t too large but except for me and one man, no one in the class is over 30. I definitely felt singled out due to age. The instructor kept asking me if I was of understanding the technology. I realize I do remember things that most of the class have never even used. (cassette tapes, instamatic cameras, VHS tapes, phone book etc.) When the instructor mentioned ISO just the two of us had any idea what it was and how it was used. I always had ISO 100, 200 and 400 film on hand. I have a large box of negatives and boxes of photos.
I commented that with digital photography, I rarely have photos printed and because of that, I never really look at any of the memories I captured. My daughter did find a great app called Artifact Uprising. It is an easy to use app that allows you to upload photos of your choice and make great photo books. I’ve used one of the better known sites but I like the look and feel of the Artifact Uprising book better. I ordered a 5.5 x 5.5 soft cover photo book. I had photos from my three months in Tours, France but I wasn’t enjoying them because they were on my computer. I did it all from my Iphone too. You can go to their website Artifact Uprising Now I can enjoy my photos.
Since I titled this 3rd times the charm, it is because this is the 3rd time I’ve taken beginning DSLR photography. I hope this time it sinks in and I take the time to record memories and moments through pictures. Because when I am long gone, they will remain as a doorway into my life for future generations.