State of mind

Hello dear reader

People say that happiness is a choice. I agree with that only to a point. You can choose whether to focus on the positive things in your life rather than on the negative. That I agree with.

However, there are several reasons why someone can’t be “happy” no matter how hard they try to focus on the positive. Depression can be situational, but is often a chemical problem. When someone is suffering from depression, telling them that happiness is a choice can actually make things worse…much worse.

Depression is a deep dark hole that gets smaller and more confining every day. It robs you of energy and smothers any ray of hope and/or happiness. Guilt weighs on you because you’re depressed, which makes you feelmoredepressed.

Can you imagine feeling that way and then being told that it’s your choice? Or being told to “just cheer up?” Do you think that would help your state of mind? I can promise you that it would have the opposite effect.

So I wrote about depression yesterday. Why am I still going on about it? I don’t really know, it feels important.

Moving on…. tomorrow is my oldest daughter’s birthday. She’s almost to the end of her 20’s. I am constantly amazed at how quickly life goes by. I’m also amazed at how fortunate I feel to be her mother. I loved being “Mommy” when she was little, and I love being “Mom” now that she’s grown. Our relationship is very different now, of course. I’m no longer the person who knows everything, can see through walls AND the back of my head, and always knows when she’s having a bad day. I can no longer solve any problem from a skinned knee to a broken heart with a kiss and/or a cheesecake tart. But I can listen when she needs someone to. I can laugh and/or cry with her. I can give her tips on anything from a roast to a relationship. I can (and do) know that she may or may not follow my advice. She’s a grown woman who can think for herself and make her own decisions. I am so proud of that. I’m thrilled that she asks my advice, whether she takes it or not. In some ways it’s harder to be “Mom” than it was to be “Mommy” because I still want to protect her from the world. I still want to fix anything that hurts. But being “Mom” is wonderful too. I can be her friend now, and she’s a great friend to have. You can’t be a child’s friend and protect them. There are too many times the word “No” has to be said.

I know. I’m ranting again. But these are the things that keep depression from winning. These are the positive things that I try to focus on. I have a great life….a truly amazing husband, great friends, and some great kids (even the ones that aren’t really mine). I live in the most beautiful place there is. I have much to be thankful for. Sometimes I just have to look harder to see past the hard stuff. Sometimes the hard stuff is just too big to see past.

Until next time….

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Lessons learned

Hello dear reader,

The last time I wrote I was trying to explain how St. George is one of the positive things in my life.  I got sidetracked (as usual) but that’s part of who I am and the things I deal with.  One last thing I want to explain about the meals we cook five days a week is that everything is donated.  This makes cooking there different from cooking anywhere else.  Normal cooking involves deciding what to make and gathering the ingredients to make it.  Cooking at St. George is the exact opposite of normal.  When you get there you see what has come in and what leftovers there might be from the day before and you figure out what you can make with what you have.  This involves a lot of creativity and experimentation.  But somehow it always works.  I’ve been working with St. George for over 11 years and there has never been a time we didn’t have food.  We feed, on average, 50 people a day.  One last thing…nobody will ever ask you to come to church, preach at you, ask you for money, etc.  The meals are simply a place where people from all walks of life gather over food and create community.  Isn’t that cool?

Okay, enough about that.  My kids have really been on my mind lately.  They always are, but some times are harder than others.  This is a harder time.  I miss them like crazy.  I would give anything to go back to when they were little and all home.  I can look back now and see so many mistakes I made in raising them, but I did the best I could with what I had at the time.  I didn’t have a “childhood” like many people.  I spent those years wishing and waiting for the time I could leave home.  I was determined that my children would have a childhood where they would be able to look back and remember those days as happy and fun.  I wanted them to have good memories of growing up.  My only guidance in how to parent my children was to do the opposite of what my parents did. 

I do not believe in physical punishment.  All that does, in my opinion, is teach children that if someone isn’t doing what you want them to, then you simply hurt them until they do.  Let me be very clear here…I believe children need discipline and structure.  It makes them feel safe and secure.  They know what to expect and they don’t live in constant fear never knowing what will happen.  I do not believe in physical discipline.  I can honestly say that my children were very well mannered and well behaved children.  I heard that from many people.  Off on another sidetrack. 

The point is that kids don’t come with instructions and even if they did you’d need separate ones for each child.  Hindsight, as the saying goes, is 20/20.  I would have loved to know then what I know now.  My children are all grown and have lives of their own.  That’s what we try to prepare them for, isn’t it?  While I know I messed up a lot, they’re all living happy and successful lives.  They all know how to give and receive love.  As far as I’m concerned, that’s the definition of successful.  So I must have done something right. 

I find it quite ironic that by the time we (parents) finally figure things out, our children are no longer there to benefit from that knowledge.  I think the biggest lesson I learned was how important it is to listen, really listen to our children.  A five year old telling you in detail about everything that happened at school today (who got in trouble, who they played with at recess, what they drew, what they had for lunch and whether they liked it or it was gross, what movie they watched, whether or not they slept at rest time, you get the point) can seem very trivial, even irritating, especially when you’re trying to get something else done.  However, ten years later when they want to talk to you about the pressure they feel from their boyfriend (or girlfriend) to have sex or use drugs, now that’s important to us!  The thing people don’t seem to get is that in your child’s eyes they are equally important at the time.  Here’s the real kicker….if you didn’t stop to listen to them when they were five and what happened at school today was important tothem then by the time what they have to say is important to you they’ve given up trying to make you listen.  The bottom line is that the dishes and laundry and other housework is always going to be there.  Your children aren’t. The things that matter to them are important, no matter the age or topic.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these things. So please feel free to hit that little comment box and tell me how you feel about it.

Until next time….

The wedding

Hello dear reader.

I’m certain that you’ve been on the edge of your seat wondering how the wedding went.  Well you can relax and smile.  The wedding was wonderful!  I’m putting a couple of pictures in here that were taken from a friend’s phone.  I haven’t gotten the ones from the photographer yet, but when I do there will be many more for you to see.

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Our Beautiful Cake (Thank you Cookies with Altitude!)
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George gave me away :-}
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Hmmm.  I’m gonna have to figure out a better way to format this when I get the other pictures.

Tim’s mother came in the Wednesday before the wedding, which I was really nervous about.  It turned out to be a really good thing.  We spent quite a bit of time together and discussed some things that I really needed to talk about.  By the time the wedding day arrived, I felt really good about things between us.  Don’t tell anyone, but she cried through most of the service….happy tears.  She knows how much Tim and I love each other.  As a mother, that’s what you dream of for your child…a life full of happiness, love, and laughter.

Speaking of laughter, Tim and I both got the giggles a few times during the service.  I suppose that should have been embarrassing, but it wasn’t in the least.  It was just us being happy.  Laughter is a big part of our lives, so it only seemed natural for that to be a part of our wedding.

I’m in a rush today, but I wanted to update you about the wedding.  Much more coming soon.

Until next time…

Morning coffee

Good morning dear reader.

Every morning Tim & I sit in bed and drink coffee together.  We’ve done it ever since the first night we spent together.  Now that he leaves at 6:00 every morning, we get up at 4:00 so we have time to do it.  It’s a wonderful practice.  It gives us a chance to connect before the busyness of the day pulls us in different directions.  Even the dogs get in on it, climbing onto the bed with us. 

We’re doing pre-marital counseling (only 3 more weeks until the wedding!) and learning tools to have a stronger, happier marriage.  It’s actually a lot of fun.  What has struck me the most about it is how many of the things they recommend that we already do and have been doing.  While they  don’t specifically say, “morning coffee time” it is something that fits very well into the things they do encourage couples to do.

This morning I started thinking about how many simple things we do that make our relationship stronger and happier.  I don’t know if any of them will apply to any of you, but I’m going to tell you about them anyway.

Communication

I believe this is vital.  We eat dinner at the table (away from the TV) two or three times a week.  Other times we eat in the living room watching the news.  That keeps the table dinners from becoming a chore.  It’s always a little bit special when we do it.  When we reconnect at the end of the day, we take the time to talk about how our day has gone…both of us.  I listen (and sometimes comment) as he tells me about his day, and he does the same for me.  While we’re apart during the day we touch base once or twice.  It may just be a text that says “I love you” or “Hope your day is going well.”  It’s more about letting each other know we’re thinking about them than what we say. 

What we say and how we say it

Let me start this part by making it  clear that there are always times when things are misread or misunderstood.  Here’s a perfect example:  We had a meeting scheduled with Ali for the pre-marital counseling Friday morning.  I was on the phone with someone I hadn’t talked to in years.  Tim was in the yard with his best friend trying to get Duke and his dog to get along so we could dog-sit for him.  I looked at the clock after I hung up the phone and realized we were supposed to be there in 15 minutes and I was still in my bathrobe.  I hurried down the stairs and to the yard and said, “Do you realize we’re supposed to meet Ali  in 15 minutes?”  Tim’s response was, “And you’re in your bathrobe.”  Long story short, we ended up running about 10 minutes behind which worked out perfectly because so was she.  Yesterday we were sitting on the couch together and Tim said he wanted to talk to me about something.  He said that when I did that Friday morning he felt scolded and embarrassed because he was out there with his best friend and I had been so “harsh” about him forgetting.  I had not even thought about it that way.  I wasn’t upset with him for forgetting, I was upset with myself for forgetting.  I was also feeling very rushed and a little bit stressed because of it.  I’m one of those people who are anal about being on time.  I’m normally at an appointment 10 minutes before I’m supposed to be there.  So you see what happened there?  A total misunderstanding.   Things like that happen to everyone.  Nobody reads things correctly all the time, and nobody says things the right way all the time.

That being said, everyone has a need to be loved, appreciated, admired, etc.  So saying things like “I appreciate you” or “You look nice today”…things like that, can make a relationship much happier.  Think about it.   If you hear things like, “Why in the hell did you do that?” or “You really need to do something about your hair” or “This food sucks” etc., how much are you going to look forward to communicating with that person?  Hearing positive things from someone makes you draw closer to them and want to talk with them.  Of course, nobody does everything right or always looks wonderful.  It’s a matter of choosing to focus on the positive.  Sometimes you have to look hard to find it, but when you do it should be expressed.

An important aspect of how we talk is simple courtesy.  I’ve heard many couples talk to each other in ways they wouldn’t talk to anyone else.  I remember a friend of ours who was amazed that we said “please” and “thank you” to each other.  Think about it.  This is someone you love.  Don’t they deserve at least as much courtesy as you’d give a stranger who was asking for directions? 

Wow!  I really took off with this!  I’ve hardly scratched the surface, but I think it’s probably enough for now.  Seriously, think about these things.  The difference they can make is incredible.  Or…say to yourself that Lynnette is full of crap and forget about it.   Definitely your choice.  Just because these things work for me doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll work for you.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts about it.  Simply hit the comment button below and let it rip.

Until next time…

Lots of news

Hello dear reader.

Before I say anything else, i need to apologize for my long absence.  It was caused by many factors which I’m not going to list here.  Bottom line….. I’m very story.  It won’t happen again.  Please forgive me?

On to better news…

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This is Duke, the newest member of our little family. He is 8 months old. He had a very rough start in life. He was found living under an abandoned trailer at an Indian reservation in Arizona. He was with his mother and a younger litter of puppies. Duke and his mother were both literally skeletal (we have pictures, but I won’t do that to you). The younger litter was almost dead from dehydration since the mother had no nutrients to make milk from. There is a lady out there who goes out onto the reservation rescuing dogs. I don’t know her name, but God bless her! Duke was so afraid of people that it took two months of her bringing food out there to him before he would go with her.

Duke needed a place to feel safe and secure, a place flowing with food and water. It took a couple days (of course) for him to relax. But I think you’ll agree he has done that now…

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He is stretched out on the couch hugging the toy he was playing with when he fell asleep. Yes, the tip of his ear is missing. That’s part of that rough start too.

Duke is a shepherd mix. He howls like a husky and has spots on his belly like a healer…his face kind of has that shape too…so we think he is a shepherd/husky/healer. Whatever he’s made up of, he is just as sweet as he can be!

On to other news…Wow! I heard that in a TV anchor-person voice! Weird!…

I finally got my MRI done last week and will see the doctor to discuss the results a week from Thursday (the 6th). I should know then where we need to go from here to try to get some semblance of my life back. That’s a pretty important date for me. Of course I’ll post about it.

Those of you who are waiting for more of “Shining Moon” won’t be waiting much longer. The next part will be posted by the end of the week.

Thank you for your patience, your support, and your willingness to read a semi-crazy woman’s writing.

Until next time….

Date Night

This week has been really hard on both Tim and me. We need a break from the tears. 

We have a good friend who is one of the stars of “Ice Cold Gold” which premiers tonight. I’d highly recommend watching it for the beauty of Greenland if nothing else.

We were fortunate enough to have been invited to the premier party.  So we’re all dressed and on our way to Denver.  I’m sure I’ll have pictures to share tomorrow.

I think mourning is something you have to take a break from or it can suck the life out of you. It doesn’t mean that we don’t miss Sampson, or that we’re “over it.” It simply means that we have to get through this with our lives intact and our relationship healthy.

Until next time…