Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Self Love. How much do I Love and Trust myself?





I paid a little visit to my older Blog posts recently and checked in with myself from seven+ years ago. It was interesting seeing my promises to myself for the same things over and over. Thank God I have recently decided it's time to show up for myself!  I made a promise to myself  back then that I need to be writing and stop distracting myself by working the restaurants forever-always planning to stop the chaotic running and sit down and get to working on something that serves me on a higher level.
I've always rationalized my lack of doing anything more inspiring as that I'm too busy, I can't concentrate on it daily unless I have zero interruptions and I can't sit down because I'm going to have to be somewhere in an hour.  I've gotta quickly tidy up the house. 
Driving and leaving my house is usually the biggest culprit to my intense anxiety that I have to get organized in my work. Its a tug of war.  And it's also why I'm usually right on time or admittedly, a few minutes late. Until just recently, I always put my writing projects off.  I'd have to get everything done before I was ready to be creative! It's the actual truth on every account.  Feeding the pets, answering the phone, trying to get my workout in.... so true in fact, I really actually have to lock myself up, nail my ass to the chair and cut myself off from most of my world if I want to get my writing time in or work on any of my own things- including my workout.  Like minded individuals and writers and artists who don't go toward what calls on them daily fight this feeling until they finally get the message they need to make a change. Well here's the cold truth and listen up friends.  It's called resistance and lack of discipline.

 The more you resist it the more it eats you alive.  In one of the final edit's of this hugely long post, I decided to look back and read some of my older blogs.  I went back and checked in with myself from five and seven years ago an guess what? I'm talking about getting out of the serving industry so I can get back into my writing.  Hmmmm common trend here. The first book idea? still there. I wrote 1,500 words in two days but the rest is still upstairs- I stopped -was too busy.... I've always kept journals.  I've got at least a hundred hand written books with gorgeous covers in boxes and on shelves around the house. Been writing as long as I can remember.  I don't remember ever not having a notebook at my side. I wrote the same things over and over until I could cross items off the constant lists. It takes a lot of time to write and the payback is slow. Plus, life happens ....relationships happen, kids happen and day to day usually comes first -and now I've been raising my daughter for 14 years and of course being a mom is my number one job and I love being a mom.  I certainly can't blame my lack of writing on my kid-well I could.... but when she was little and I worked for the local newspaper, I used to sit up in my office until two or three in the morning getting my work done pretty much every night and day that I had the chance. Writers always get it done when there is a serious deadline. Compared to then though, I have to say I have way more concentration now that she's a teenager and I'm so grateful I get to be her mom.  My daughter is an amazing young woman now! She's very realistic and sometimes it makes me laugh because we seem so different but we are also so very much alike and in tune with each other. She's my co-pilot.  There is absolutely NO reason why I stopped writing except I had a lot on my plate and had to juggle a lot and I let resistance get the better of me.  Lately, I was urged to start again. Since the New Year really. Don't know why, I just started creating a better routine.  I've been writing more and more everyday and this makes me so happy because I've got a few projects that are very important to me and have been panging at me for years.

I've realized on the dawn of my midlife awakening (and that was turning 40 in January), that I've always put myself last.  I feel like since I was in my early 20's, I started taking care of everyone else's needs even though I really wanted to sit the hell down and read books and write books and articles and anything I could think of... I even became a journalist -but I put it most of my writing opportunities aside as I got heavy in to hospitality(and being a mom).  It was just easier for me to be on the go all the time.  Watching the clock, running, driving and spinning!!!! The journalism diploma came (and so did the baby) and I worked in radio and for a few newspapers and written copy for websites over the years.  In 2007/2008 I even worked in the advertising department of a local paper in an attempt to sell ads for a phone book just before those fuckers went extinct. That was a Hell job delivered in a hand basket. I don't know, maybe they still make phone books but as you can imagine at that time people were just getting websites and no longer paying for print advertising.  Everything was in the wind of change in the dawn of smart phone technology as well. Hardest hit was the newspaper and magazine industry, I reckon.  I basically should have been working for an advertising firm on websites if I'd have wanted a fair shot in that game...but you've gotta start somewhere, Right?.  Just when my job couldn't get any worse, my mom had a stroke and I had to leave the province and be with her and deal with saying good bye to her.  It was awful but also very humbling for me.  It was an awakening to a decision I made and something I've been working on ever since- and that's not to give a fuck about what others think about my life because it's my choice what I do.  And I live by integrity.  If others don't like me, maybe they shouldn't judge.

After my mom died, I had this awakening of sorts and it was the beginning of my promise to myself to stop putting up with people and things that I couldn't deal with-Stop dealing with other people's shit- I stopped giving a shit what people thought.  I realized how much I hated my job at the phone book and ended another relationship with someone because he was trying too hard to pull me in and he lived too far away, and a few other things... I gave up on that and after a series of events eventually, the restaurant industry called me back full time.  My daughter was 5 at the time and I was able to work school hours at this artsy spot called Zest Bar + Bistro. It was a great place to work for like 4 or 5 years. The money was really not too shabby either. It was a fun place in this crazy little town of Port Hope, Ontario, Canada. I really do love this town.  It's been my home for longer than I've lived anywhere else in the country.

Waitressing/serving has been sort of a love hate for me- I've never really completely depended on the income from serving fully, usually I've had another kettle on the fire with it-you kind of have to around here.

I've worked in some popular spots in my travels in the past eight years, I always showed up - never called in sick and always put all my energy in to my positions.  I know I'm a good server.  Yes, I know I am. I can very easily get along with the general public when it's my job. Despite my education and my story telling abilities, the money was better in the industry.  I have actually almost always had a side restaurant job since I was about 16 years old, the day I got my driver's license.  Not to mention, it's really good way to meet people you would normally never meet or have a conversation and learn something new about people.  The only way to move up in journalism is to put yourself out there.  I wasn't ready at the time- too lazy, too busy with my baby at the time, too scared to aim for the big leagues, resisted, I guess.

A good server is really good at looking after everyone else and putting the customer first. Always...A server becomes this person. They start feeling like their own house is a restaurant and they keep it all organized like they would at work. They should also treat the restaurant as their home and it sucks when someone forgets to do the floors before all the guests show up or they haven't made fresh coffee. When everyone starts slacking it makes me want to just not play anymore.  When you get to work you must forget about your personal shit, forget about going to the washroom, you don't get to eat and you probably won't have time for a sip of water. Oh what break? The 2 minute break that you can go suck back a dart just so you can go outside and get away from all the people for a second? Sure- you can smoke.  I was really good at doing that and usually I actually enjoyed myself. It is a very social environment and a server almost comes to crave the adrenaline that comes with the territory while running around getting things for people-constantly. You also have to be a good people reader. You learn to feel vibes and what not.  It really is normal to be "a giving type, the waitress, the waiter, the wife, the subservient one, the mother, the uncle, the nurse, a 'people pleaser'"....I think it's more of a personality disorder, really---fuck!!---what a reality check for me as of late! I could probably write a thesis on it.... Instead, this time my action is going to be to just bypass the issue. Twenty-four years in the industry is honestly enough for me. The time has finally come for me to fold up the fucking apron, throw in my corkscrew and get back to my notebooks.
The feelings I got from my work environment as of late only hurried along the process. Time to block out all the hungry people paying me to serve them food and drink- the building is nice but some real acoustic issues in there and I had to hear about it often and sometimes it was even hard for me to hear properly. I got used to working though it and reading lips if I had to. At the end of my time at the last restaurant I worked at, it came to my attention that some of my co-workers had some major and minor issues with me and I apparently was over the top according to a few people, LOL. All I can say to that is at least I have energy.  I do re-call one conversation with a fellow server the day before I was called in to the meeting with my manager, that I was trying to give him advice about being patient. More money will come soon- but he was about to take another position up the road and I told him the grass may not be greener on the other side and that he would burn himself out. If you look outside the box folks, there's a lot more to life than running around all day using up all your energy for food energy for other people.  In retrospect though, with this post, I'm not trying to say I regret spending half my life as a server. Not at all- but I'm also not going to miss it at all. And all you servers out there? Do not try and deny it. It can be so tasking and it's not really that enjoyable and you're all resentful because I guarantee you have others dreams too.  I just hope that someday you take care of them and fulfill your soul and are not just worrying about who said what to Sue and why Franks too slow and why they didn't fill up the Goddamned aioli!!! There is a lot more important stuff.

 I've met so many amazing people in my time working at some pretty nice places, including the late Peter Jennings who I met the summer before I went to Loyalist College for Broadcast Journalism in 2001 just before 9/11- before he became the front and center of the news of all that.  I remember my first day of college was that horrific day- a good day for me to finally embark on my career choice.  I found myself in my car in the parking lot of the school listening to the rundown of events in NYC and guess who was reporting? Jennings. ... I saw it as a sign. He was the one who winked at me and said go for it. He asked me so many questions about my life. He was so nice. I'm glad I was working that day because we had a very cool conversation. He had told me I should read the New York Times everyday, which I don't, but I should read it, I'm sure.
 I also met Farley and Claire Mowat many times over the years working and living in the crazy little town of PoHo. I basically watched his grandson, Ben grow up.  In fact I always seemed to gravitate toward the people who were artists and writers. I like to think they were attracted to me and they were part of my lessons.  I'm lucky they came to meet me where I worked in my several  establishments over the years. It certainly made my job much more interesting.  The list goes on. I have had a chance to meet so many amazing and inspiring people.  As Miss Alice Munroe said to me, "A lot the people in the forest talk about writing a book but only a few actually do it and there's no reason to wait for there's never a perfect time..." un how many books has she written?

I would go to work and walk through the motions and hear the banter of muffled conversations in the dining room while I was making a cappuccino or getting my drinks and I'd see people eating the same food day in and day out. Started feeling kind of like the Twilight Zone to me in the last few months.  Anyway, not to insult the menu of my last job but it was just really boring in general. It's just stuffy in there and for every nice inspiring person there were always two of the opposite. I try to avoid the ones that I know are going to try to cause me some kind of emotional anxiety or trouble or try to control me during their visit. I hate people like that. lol. After all that and my awakening of sorts I just woke up one day and realized, I can't do this anymore. 
A good server is really good at gracefully flowing around the room.  My way of having fun with it was feeling like a dancer or a fairy and I played the part really well. Sometimes I would even stop and chat..but you learn pretty early on not to give away too much information about yourself.  It can cost you. You should let the customer talk, not the server.  Unless given permission to engage-it's not all about you and you still you want to let them enjoy their time. They really aren't just there to see you and it pisses your coworkers off. Oh well.

Following the meeting with my manager recently, I was left with the only option but to spread my wings. There were several items on the list which called this meeting to order and I thank her dearly for the talk. We had a woman to woman and it was good. Good but hard for both of us- and we both almost cried- k, I cried.  The two of us always created a fun flow when working together and always seemed to attract a great crowd. That's always good for business.  It was concluded that I question authority and spazz out and have made it pretty clear that I do not want to have my energy sucked out of me everyday by kissing people's asses over food.... I had gotten to the point that I would come home from work and be too tired to clean my own house and feed my own daughter let alone feed myself.  Too tired to make a healthy dinner and definitely too tired to write.  It's a really unhealthy lifestyle for me, running like that all the time. The work load is hectic and it can leave a sour taste in your mouth when you're paid the server's base wage an hour and it's left to the customers to depend on your wage-while the owner goes away every two weeks and you are never sure what wall is going to come crumbling down next and then you find out that if you can't wear it in a  bank you shouldn't wear it there?  He now expected us to dress like a bank teller? What decade are we in? Give me a break- Cheque Please!!!  I don't want to make a commission off your meal anymore. There are plenty of people who are fine with it but I'm done. I don't think anyone should be drained - no matter what they do- no matter how many essential oils I wear to give me feeling of wellness or energy....The problem was deeply rooted. We have to listen to our heart and our thoughts-life's too short! I'm freaking serious. It's possible.

So here I am. Back to my goals. My life.  I'm feeling creative. I'm healing from it all. I'm tired still and want to spend the next year on a desert island.  It was fun while it lasted but now I want to fly! It's time to put my energy into more creative ideas, my health and not for someone else to get rich off my work and live the dream- I wanna take care of me and take care of my daughter! I think I've finally learned the lesson. And I know there are sacrifices but I also know I will run a tighter ship by doing what serves me now. Everything serves us but when it stops we have to go with our intuition and realize it and deal with it.  And that's where I'm at. Finally! It only took about 20 years to trust myself enough. Ever hear a kid say- "you're not the boss of me!"? Well more of us should live by that. I can make my jobs happen for me.  It's in me. Watch me! I may not get rich from it but, I may.. won't know what to expect unless I try.
Ok so ---I started this particular blog post based on that conversation about the fact that I have a Blog, with someone I worked with before I realized this was my wake up call. Up until recently I've had writers block for about 3 years on this stretch- aside from my daily journals and lists...My plan was to wait until at least June to be honest, but having just realized I haven't even thought that this could have been the beginning of my cries and realizations of the fact that my job was going to drain my ambition to do the things I'm about to embark.  I'm finally finishing this Blog post now- a month later or maybe I started it two months ago.. no idea.  I only wrote a small bit of the idea shortly after the conversation and knew it was worth coming back to. So here I am making it important.  It's a big deal because I decided to start working on pushing away the resistance and make it fun for myself again.
So - do you think I miss my apron? Nope not at all....Will I never do it again? Nope not saying that I won't- I plan to open the best cafĂ© I ever imagined in about 10 years but right now.  For right now though, I'm done.  I am focusing on my other stuff now. I also picture myself walking and running dogs for fun on the side while I focus on my business and the books. I'm so done serving people in high maintenance environments and done looking after all these other hungry people and working with grumpy people who create alliances... I actually can't help but be leaning so far toward fixing all my own meals - If anyone asks me if I want to "go get something to eat" these days, I literally cringe.

It's a very personal thing to share a blog or your work. People are reading your thoughts- so there is a pressure there. I started with my first blog with the new name Capricorn Woman as of late in February- but then I got busy again.....  Every time I caught myself  running from my need, my desire to sit and do My work--- I finally paid attention and got mad at myself for it.  I stopped telling myself  I'm busy and stopped making excuses to myself.  It's replaced with making excuses to others that I can't go out for coffee or out for visits or meals. I'm make time for me and everything I can fit in to my what I want to learn and focus on. I'm starting to pay attention to how everything makes me feel.  If I like it I keep going. That's my new rule. It's like muscle testing on life. If it doesn't feel right within me then I can't do it.  Easier said than done but I see a lot of people in a day who are clearly doing things they don't want to be doing and they are miserable. I will not be one of those people. It all boils down to this.... How much do you Love yourself? I Love myself more than I ever have and this release makes me very happy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Loving the Simplicity of the Seasons



My Blog is a series of stories ...
Reflections of lessons I have learned, things I do that make "me" happy, What I get out of my relationships with people in my life these days and a little bit of advice, I hope, for my readers.
My oily rituals and health hints.  Life Stories and Events, Inspirations, What I'm learning about people, friends and life and Cold hard truths I've experienced and witnessed.

I'm sure I will share a lot because I am sensitive and wise to what's going on around me.  I can see and I believe that we need to make a difference in our "OWN" lives-if we aren't happy with something that's going on, only the person can change that- Nobody else is responsible for it. 
If the people around us don't make a decision to change what it is that is holding them back, then I'm sorry they are not ready. You have to soul search, you have to dream, you have to explore and try and put yourself out there... Try new things and definitely go outside of your comfort zone! Think well, think big, think healthy.
You have got to rise to your calling whether it be as grand as BIG Ben or as small as the tiniest fairy with Zero Fucks given about what anyone says or does to tarnish your dream or plan. Visualize good things for yourselves always, friends.

The MariaPortHope series of Capricorn Woman-Warrior Princess is Where I'm at... I am Maria. I am so fortunate to have a daughter. She is my gift from the universe. She has lived the mirror of my life and I only hope that she carries on in her adult life when she is ready, and thinks of me as a good mother/teacher and knows how much I love her and support her everything.
We live in a small town outside of Port Hope and we are in such a good place. This is my daughter's birthplace, not mine. We have traveled quite a bit, the two of us are roadtrip queens and I the plan to travel to new exciting places is in the horizon but to stick around here for the sake of my daughter because she loves it here. It's the closest place to home for me and to her. 
Originally from Vancouver, BC, I have lived all over Canada and would love to go back someday- probably not to live though- maybe in the Okanagan, I would live.... Now, I sit where I live in my big old country house and say to myself, wow! I can't even imagine living back in the city, nor could I have ever imagined being in a place like where I am right now....but life is full of gifts and surprises, really. I can actually see myself really embracing my country girl side --- I have beauty visions of Spring!!! Gardening!!! Ive already lived here four seasons but last year was the process of settling in and acceptance of my space.
 You never actually know how things are going to play out. I'm perfectly content with my home life and my status at this time. A few tweeks will be made during this stage though to open up something new and exciting in the next few months and that is the only way I can think to go about it, and that is just to work away at it. I'm forever evolving. I am getting my work done from here now and I'm literally looking forward to this next story.

I'm Always honored to have friends join my team of love of Essential Oils, Aromtherapy and Natural Health. I am invested in my company and happy to answer any questions.
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Peace and gratitude
Maria

Friday, November 21, 2014

It's time to "Own" Your Own Stuff (Shit)

Confessions of an Only Parent
By: Maria Karampelas




Unhappy Marriage Syndrome vs What does it "feel" like to be a "single parent?"
Most incorrect analogy I've ever heard!

Has anyone ever actually complained to you that they "feel like a single mother"? But in fact, they are supposedly happily married? I don't hear this very often but I have to say, I've heard it about 10 times in my life as a single/(or my preferred title if there must be a status attached), as an "only parent".  I feel it's time for me to say my peace.

I actually find the relation of the analogy rather upsetting and insulting because isn't the purpose of being with-out the other person or singling yourself out so that you don't have stress from the toxicity of something that didn't work? I know as an only parent that I get to make all the decisions and I welcome them and I am free.  If I ever find someone who I share an equality with and excitement about a life together, yadayadayada... then I would consider exploring that but for now I am a very happy "single mom."

To me-hearing that expression, "I feel like a single-mother," from the married person the other day, was the equivalent of hearing her say- "I am unhappy in my marriage and I am unsatisfied... My husband doesn't do enough to help me run the household and raise our child." and apparently there is a missing element there that some husbands are extra work and it is like having an extra kid? So, that also could be why she is upset. I think I would rather be a single mother.  I understood what she meant but I did correct her in saying, "you are not a single mom, you have a dual income family.  I am a single mom-"then I got cut off!!! I was going to offer the idea that maybe their family just has certain roles the couple have taken on- but she was closed- It was the end of the conversation because by that point, I was too busy doing what I was doing to listen to her rationalize it.

I wish these people did not think that being a single parent is unsatisfying or so awful. It can actually be very satisfying when you do it right. There are so many positives here that I have to share my feelings about it because I am coming up to my 10 year anniversary of being a single parent that I think I'm getting pretty good at it and there was a lot to learn along the way.  To be clear I have been an only parent for just over six years- they have two different meanings.
I do feel that marriage is a wonderful partnership but when I hear too many of the repeated complaints that people I know aren't happy about something the couple is at odds with, I'm the first to suggest they cut the charade and get off the bus or work on it. I don't want you to read this and feel stressed out or offended afterward- I don't want anyone to think I'm singling anyone out either- but I feel anxious when I listen to people who are so unhappy with situations (or their relationships) or just life in general and then bring others in to it- in fact they bring in a whole society and then it becomes a statistic.      
I'm just letting it all go here- Thanks for listening and maybe you can relate or learn something from this.

OK - so.  I felt this was a good topic to Blog about because I am the queen of only parenting. Slight exaggeration but at least that's what my Blog is about.  I have many friends who are also masters at single parenting and masters at their relationships with their spouses.  It takes all kinds to keep the world spinning.  I know a lot of people who are just awesome parents and we all do it differently and we all have our good days and better days.  I know I really shouldn't be wasting my energy on things that upset me- however sometimes there are certain points that need to be made, lessons learned and all topics are debatable.  I'm sharing these thoughts and feelings because I think it is very important for everyone to deal with their own stuff and find solutions and be certain and in control of their daily choices and in how they feel.  I am learning and still have lapses with negativity-obviously, but I am finding ways to look on the bright side, so to speak, and not allow other people's shit to affect my own- and visa verca. I deal with my own stuff in many ways. My tool box has gotten pretty well equip and I try not to let others in to it.

With this current feeling I'm trying to make sense of, I realize it has built up over the past few months in conversations with others- and it is not just one person that brings me to this page full today.  It's built up from several conversations I have had with people who constantly blame other people for the way they feel and they are using their vulnerable state by looking for sympathy or something to suck the energy out of others and I want them to take some ownership and stop complaining at the risk of using the old expression, "I don't want to complain because no one will listen."
I think it started with a guy I met recently who was freshly separated from his wife and complained to me about her constantly. I asked him several times to change his energy flow and maybe stop talking about it so much, but he wouldn't listen.  I basically told him he would end up with her again because he hadn't let her go.  Anyway- I have no idea what happened there but I am certain they are still stuck in their toxic problems until they learn to fix them.  My feelings got triggered hard the other day when a person I was speaking with said she felt "like a single mother," cause she does everything around the house.
Oh My Lord, really? You poor thing!  I wish I was able to come up with a quicker response to that one- because it made me think (for three days) how does the way she feels compare to being a single mom- cause she feels she cleans too much? I don't feel like a single mom because I run my ship. I love running things the way I want to and I am very satisfied. I enjoy cleaning my house- I enjoy not cleaning my house.  I don't feel sad about being a single mom and I certainly don't blame anyone for it nor do I ever ask for sympathy. Actually, it is awesome because I don't live with someone who makes me feel vulnerable or frustrated or overworked-children are exempt from this.  I guess she wants equality in her relationship- but it is not about "feeling like a single mother."
Please don't bring me and all the other wonderful single parents in the world in to this. I know a lot of very amazing people raising children in a one unit home and they are doing a great job and they don't pull the "single parent card," too often.

When I start feeling trapped in some body's stuff, I will first drop a couple hints that means "I can't listen to this conversation." I feel I have worked too hard to get rid of anxiety in myself to have to sit here and listen to this. If you can't listen to my advice- because I have been there, done that and got the fucking T-shirt then I am ending this conversation- please pardon my sarcasm but go talk to a mirror.  

I have to say, it started in my early 30's- or maybe late 20's. I opened my eyes.  I have really worked hard on not letting other people's problems affect me.  Honestly, it really has taken a lot of work and time and I have had mentors along the way and friends who have really helped me. I'm so grateful to all the positive reinforcements and to my network of friends and family.  I have experienced some great loss and some hardship- but I've learned many lessons from them all. I plan on continuing to better myself and learning more about myself, others and how the universe works for the rest of my life.
I have learned to avoid bitch fests, not let life stress me out and to take ownership of my problems and look for "solutions within myself" to solve them- sounds simple and it actually is.  I got tired of seeing the same problems happen over and over again.  It has taken a lot of time alone, many psychology books, spiritual readings and changing my own thought process and habits in order to listen to my heart and myself to find solutions.  Every once in a while people decide they should use other people as a sounding board as to why the world sucks.  Now don't get me wrong-we all need to vent to our BFF's sometimes.  But when it happens when we are not prepared is usually when I feel I am being tested on how well I can deal with the stress they are emanating toward me.  I have to really grow a strength in myself at these times to pay attention and get out of the conversation unscathed. I still get irritated when I get stuck in these sort of conversations.... I just asked, "What's new?," I really didn't want to hear how sick you are or how annoying your husband is, what your ex did to make your life so difficult today or about that jerk woman at the government office who refuses to help you. We all have tests and we all have to jump through hoops. It's the law of the Universe.  The only thing I ask is that the person who needs someone to vent to- is to listen in return.  Is there a lesson in this? I only hope they learn to find a new coping mechanism rather than to complain and lay blame.
Find a way to end the cycle!  To learn too much energy is being spent on the negative.  While they continue fighting the feelings, there is no room for change. The only way to correct it is by doing the work. Or else the same pattern will continue until you, yourself learns a new way to deal with it. To some people this comes naturally. They are lucky. Others need to work on it and they reap great rewards.
I have tried to help some people to realize this but for the ones that just refuse to hear it, I have to step back as I have only learned how to do it myself in the past five years or so.  I, in return will just say politely- "then, I don't want to hear your problems anymore." It makes me sound rather cold and uncaring.  Really, I do care and I want to see them figure out the problem- but I'm not sticking around to help them and take in that bad head space. Until they decide they are ready to put their hands on their hips and learn to deal with their shit.  I've actually ended a few relationships because of this problem. I have found myself being that rebound person only to see them move on to the next relationship and decide to get married again- hope they figured out their shit- or they are back with the ex. Yay- Awesome! Enjoy your misery.

When I find myself trapped in these situations it's so hard get a word in. To offer a thought as to how maybe you can change your reality to not let these problems occur in your life again. I would suggest, become friends with it and not fear the problem -they turn and are like, "No, no, no that won't work." Example; a mom I am acquainted with pushes her daughter to get to an extra curricular on time by getting stressed out and who knows- probably loses her mind and by they time they get to where they are going- mom's stressed and her eyes are about to pop out of her head and daughter has obviously been crying and lost another couple ounces of her self-esteem... Mom then complains to others that she is always five minutes late for everything because her girl doesn't move fast enough!?? . Hmmm, but she can't do anything to fix it? - A few years down the road the daughter will probably quit her extra curricular cause it's too stressful.  Being able to relate with a similar problem when my girl was younger- I suggested she not let "time" stress her out cause it just makes everyone in the house more stressed. ---yes, I said it nicely.
I remember how stressful it was for me only a few years ago- to be five minutes late every day for school or work- so, I offered advice in how we dealt with it- I finally surrendered to it.  I decided if my daughter wants to be late then I will let her deal the consequences of how it feels to sign in late at the office and walk in to class late and letting her "own" that one without apologizing and taking all the responsibility.  To stop completely blaming myself and then beating myself up about it afterward. It's a very negative place to be and it actually takes "work" to overcome.  Eventually we were on time every day for school and we had more time to get ready and there was no or very little stress. We started speaking calmly to each other and stopped arguing about senseless problems.  Now, we are never late for school or dance- she is never late-she wants to excel and we have very little stress in our home- especially in the morning which used to be a very hectic time. This morning, she even woke me up, "It's time to get up Mama," she said so sweetly. It was musical to wake up to such a nice greeting, and I actually never sleep longer than her.  I guess I hit snooze a few times as I was lost in a cozy dreamland. What a good feeling when you over come stress though!
Now, I do know there are always going to be challenges. And I welcome them now.  I have the ultimate toolbox. I'm a warrior princess, donchya know?

I'm so glad my daughter and I are both moving in the same direction these days (most of the time) and when she or I decide to lapse we both quickly go back to the more desired time zone. When I tried to say this in an understanding way the other night to this mom- She abruptly snapped,  "Nope- cause when I don't push her she takes even longer."  So, I just said "Oh, that sucks."  I guess she is not ready to leave that head space.  And of course she only gave me like enough time for one sentence.  All I know is that it's not a nice place to be and everyone is much happier (in my household) when we are not fighting time and each other.  She probably even feels like a "single mother," like the other person I conversed with- but guess what? I think it means she blames her hubby for not helping or being home enough- not that she feels like a single mother-she doesn't know what that feels like- she hasn't done that- apparently it's easier to stay together!!??.  I don't even get stressed if I'm a few minutes behind cause I'd rather get there in one piece or without blowing a gasket. So that's a part of this "Confession of an Only Parent" the topic I was feeling a bit annoyed by.  I just knew I needed to clarify a few things and I am not trying to sound like a major bitch in this.  Just setting a record straight.

It took some time for me to get into a more relaxed head space over the years that's for sure.  But, I feel like I have never really complained that much.  Getting here involved listening to myself and spending less time with people who are still stuck in a rut. What I'm saying is, now I really can't spend too much time with people who have too much drama in their lives.  I accept that and I'm open about it.  As soon as I hear that warning go off in my head say "don't go there Maria,"  I listen to it. I don't try to help by sticking around too much anymore or offering advice more than once.  That's what works for me.  I find it particularly upsetting trying to spend energy on listening to people complain and then it takes me about two days to recover from just one high anxiety conversation.  I really don't want to take on those problems cause the only person who can fix it is them and definitely not me.

To finish this off on a very good note, in between finishing up this writing, and going out for a walk today, I ran in to someone downtown whom I haven't seen in at least two years. I hadn't published this Blog yet only "worked" on it all day.  It actually crossed my mind that I was going to get trapped in a conversation with this guy.  In the past he has been known to have many demons and suffers with mental illness.  So needless to say I've been stuck in a few intense one way conversations with him.  But,  he was smiling and looked good considering he has apparently been through a lot lately.  I was pleasantly surprised by what he said.  He said he was doing pretty good and "working on his stuff" lately! He was accepting the help available to him instead of fighting it these days and that he felt he was going in the right direction.  I was so happy to hear those words from him. I was like- Wow. The Universe is amazing! That is what I'm asking by spilling my thoughts out here.  He is doing it and he has received the message.  So, it was good news and I am happy for him and I am happy that he is working on himself.  We all need to do this.  We shouldn't have to hit rock bottom or lose our health before we decide to take care of ourselves.  The soul needs to be considered and everyone deserves happiness and love.  Thank you for considering it.
Love,
Maria

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Finnegan's Walk



 


It’s been a full life for me as a dog. I’ve had the joy of freedom, love from my mistress and many furry friends that have grown up with me. When I came to live with Miss Maria, I was just a wee pup. She always told me I came from doggie heaven where the dogs roam free in Lakeport, Ontario. I remember my momma, she was also a hound cross- beautiful tan and red- I’ll never forget how sweet she smelled. There were seven of us pups. We were born in the summer and lived under the porch in the back yard. My momma’s people couldn’t keep us all so they advertised us in the paper. So when Miss Maria and the man came to the yard that day, I hoped they were going to pick me but they left. I was too young to understand but Miss Maria promised to be back. She seemed so happy to see me and I didn’t even know her but I knew she would be someone I could trust, even though I didn’t really want to leave momma.

 
Before I knew it, she came back all by herself one day and picked me up and placed me in the front seat of her car. She talked to me the whole journey back to her town…

“We are going to stop and get you a collar first little guy, you are so sweet… I love you already… I can’t wait to walk you everyday! Finally! I have a walking partner, someone to go for my walks with so I don’t look weird walking aimlessly around town,” she jabbered on, making me feel excited and confused all at the same time.

I grew into my collars and the walks started off small because I couldn’t walk too far at first. But my legs grew and soon I learned to love walking around town and meeting all these nice people who stopped on the street just to pet me and talk to me. I quickly learned that going for walks and exploring the beachfront and the woods were my favourite things. Sometimes, Miss Maria and the man would get a bit annoyed with me as I couldn’t resist rolling in animal dung and dead fish. But hey, it’s what dogs did. I always made sure I was good in the house, even though we lived on a third floor apartment at first- I never peed in the house and she always took me out when I had to go.

 
I have always been a bit of a whiner. It’s what we hounds do, but the pain inside me has been there for quite a long time and Miss Maria didn’t really realize it because I always put on a strong front and would always go out and walk it off. But, now things are changing. My legs have started failing and it’s getting too hard to ignore. She gives me a sweet piece of bread everyday and for some reason my pain goes down a bit but I still find it difficult to get up. I keep having all these dreams that I can run again and I’m in no pain. I think someday I will probably go look for my momma and my sister in my sleep. I even had a few dreams about the man who just disappeared. Maybe I’ll find him too.  Miss Maria told our girl, Emily, he went to heaven… Is that where we go when we just disappear? Do we get to run free there? I don’t know- I would like to find out though. I really did like the man-even though he was a bit moody. I always tried to please him and he gave me a lot of freedom. He would let me run on the farm that we moved to years ago, after baby Emily came along. Sometimes I would go too far and the truck would pick me up and take me to the doggie jail. I always got in trouble for that too, for some reason. But he was the one who let me out for hours- what’s a dog to do?

 
Now I’m not sure what has happened, we have moved again to this place that they put a lot of that burning stuff on the ground to melt the white stuff. It was so hard to go for walks this winter. I think it was the first time in my life that Miss Maria didn’t walk me everyday through the winter. I think she wanted to but she didn’t want to hurt my paws. That’s what she told me. But, it’s ok because for some reason, I can’t seem to get up the way I once did. My legs just don’t want to work for me and I am feeling a lot of pain in myself. I don’t really know what’s happening to me but it makes me feel sad.

I’m trying to find the happy pup inside me but there is no more beach and the last time she took me to run in the woods with my BFF, Princess and Emily, it took all of my energy and I was pretty sore afterward.

It seems I can just sleep these days, but sometimes even that hurts. Miss Maria is down on her knees and petting me a lot, she has pulled the cushions off of my couch so if I feel like walking all the way into the living room I don’t have to jump up but I can still sit with the family.

 
Miss Maria has taken care of me my whole life. I do remember once though, there was only a few months in my life that we were separated. She left me at the farm with the man and took, Emily (who was just little at the time) and Marley the big cat who has been with me my whole life and moved back to town. That was when I started going a bit wild. But, it was fun- I finally got to do what ever I wanted. He tried to move me to another town and left me with this old lady but Miss Maria came and got me one day and brought me back to her home back in the town where I grew up. That was when we were reunited and never separated again. I liked being in charge of the house- My job was to protect them and make sure no one caused them any harm. I always watched out for Miss Maria and Emily even if they didn’t know it. I had to chase off a few racoons and foxes sometimes but life there was really pretty safe. She was so good to me and always came back for me.

This past summer we went for a really long drive. I don’t know why we all went but Miss Maria said we were going on a cross-country adventure! It was long and even though all of us were in the car; me, Princess, Marley and Emily’s cat Lily and my ladies, I was still happy because we were all together. Somehow we ended up getting to this mountain town and staying for a bit. Then, we got packed up and went all the way back, again to my hometown where we stayed for a couple days with friends. That time she told me she was going to leave me there with her good friends and that we would see each other again soon…. But no way- I was not being left behind- not after we had gone so far together. I wouldn’t let those girls out of my site and when they got the car packed up again to go where ever they were going. I looked Miss Maria in the eyes and she knew what I was trying to say.  I ended up getting to sit in the front seat the whole way, which took something like two more days of traveling.

 
Miss Maria seems so sad these days too. I think she should go back to our hometown-we had so much fun there… or at least the town nearby that we lived last year where there was all that water. Wow, we have moved a lot and seen a lot, but I know we are always happiest near water. I wish I could walk with her now and help her clear her head. She always said her walks are her favourite time of the day. But, since I haven’t really been able to go, she doesn’t seem to go walking anymore. Maybe she doesn’t want me to feel left out. To tell you the truth I do feel a bit sad if she goes out with just Princess but I don’t get mad at her because it hurts too much anyway. I really just want to rest.

One thing I know is that home is not the house we live in. It’s where my people and friends are. Home is where I am loved and I will always know where home is because I have felt so much love and had a good run in this time I’ve had. I don’t think I’m a little puppy anymore and I feel like I’m at a point in my life that things are changing. I just know that Miss Maria will make sure it’s ok. I can’t figure out why my little friend Princess seems so worried about me all the time.

Marley the cat is still here but he says his leg bothers him a bit these days too. Maybe I’ll meet him again after I go check out this heaven place. I’ll wait for him there- and of course I’ll wait for Miss Maria and Emily too. I know I have had the pleasure of experiencing great love. I’ve been well loved and included my whole life with this family and they have never left me out in the cold and always made sure I had what I needed. I hope Miss Maria finds happiness again and can enjoy some good walks soon. I’ll definitely join her… I just have to have a little nap first and I think I will feel better after that. 

 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Good Bye To Confessions

It's just time to close this blog-  I have just deleted more than half of my posts.  Thanks to my friends who have read them up till now.  I just deleted a year's worth of writing because it is not necessary to keep the thoughts, feelings and struggles I have publicized available for anyone to read forever- for now- I can re-write parts of it later if I want.  I guess it could be considered a bit drastic- but I just felt it was the next best thing to do-  I was able to get a lot of emotions and thoughts out about my parenting choices, and life choices by writing in My Confessions of an Only Parent.  But, it's really too private and I don't want to do it any more.  I think it is time to find some new topics.

In the past few years, I have learned many things about myself.  I am now in complete surrender to the present- I love myself and others- I am rid of my negative emotions- I try not to let others bring me down.  I am grateful; for all i have accomplished on my own and with Emily.  We are a great team- but now I am going to just have to see what is next.   I have to find my new creative side and I have to be fine with whatever it is and it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.  This is it- My next writing will be more worth my while.

I am going to strive for a few new mediums.  I am not afraid of anything for I am a Warrior Princess Capricorn Woman- and that is not something to be taken lightly.

.....Blessings

Sunday, May 6, 2012

That was a Powerful Message

My life really isn't that dramatic. I should say I don't try to attract myself to drama, and when I do, it's usually a different kind than others look for. I don't freak out much, I can handle tons and I am pretty easy to get along with. But, it finds me every once in a while when the planets are aligned in that intense trine and tries to shake things up for me a bit. I remember sitting with my coffee one morning before Emily woke up, not too long ago, thinking, "things have been going pretty smoothly for me for a bit- haven't had anything really great or really bad happen in a while.....something is surely going to give soon....." anyway, I think it was a quick and random thought- there one second and gone the next. Sometimes those are the thoughts / premonitions that can be the most correct. When you don't even think about it.

As my subconscious predicted, circumstances turned at some point by the end of March or the second week in April. It was a slow cycle where my whole life basically purged on me. And I was left to pick up the material and emotional pieces. I just have one thing to say about what I still have- Is I'm so grateful to have my daughter's and my health-really because we are so strong and healthy that we can deal with the loss of a car. I will briefly mention, two weeks ago someone lit my car on fire in the middle of the night. After my message to the universe, which is posted in this blog. It was totaled. What a powerful act.

The loss of my friend was the hardest to accept because that was an emotional connection and it was very hard to let go of. But, clearly we both had several things coming up that we needed to gather ourselves to take care of our families. Oh and my dog had gotten ill. I now have the perfect ingredients to write a good country tune. But really, when I think I can't possibly deal with more shit, the Universe always takes me further and says, "Oh yes my dear, this is happening so buckle your seat belt- cause it's not over yet!" It's a blessing for sure- in disguise. It's also nothing like what I dealt with in 2008 when we actually had to deal with the death of my mom and Emily's dad in a seven month period. The crap that I have had to deal with lately, woke me up again. My winter hibernation was nice and relaxing. Very mellow. It was nice to have a little company - something I told myself I was not going to do- get into a relationship over the winter months- but it was nice. There is a lesson to be learned in this and I'm going to figure out the puzzle- once it's said and done. I guess that is the mystery in it. The time it all takes to unravel and show me what will be going on next- where the pieces are going to land. I know it will be fine though.

My dog is getting better. I think I have found a car, and as far as the guy who recently broke my heart goes- well, we'll be friends again. Even though I could just turn my shoulder and move on, I won't. I'm too nice and caring. I will always have a place in my heart for him. Even though he is incapable of emotion at this point in his life, I will not let it affect the fact that I can say, "yes, I really care about you." I have been through the steps. I have experienced everything I need and I have forgiven everyone I need to for my new beginning. My new beginnings are on their way. Onward and upward I go and someday Love will find me. Until then I will be happy with who I am and how I live.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Happy Birthday Mickey Mutt

It's Friday, April 27, 2012. Today, I remember my old dog Mickey. My best four legged friend that stuck with me as I was growing up. My little walking buddy, my guardian. I declared this day his birthday the day I got him. I was eight-years-old. I believe it was 1985. My mom had finally given in to my sister and my pleads for a dog- or at least she had given into the fact that we could go look. So I remember very clearly, it was a Saturday and we had to go to Greek dancing class, but afterward our mom had promised us we were going to go look at dogs. After the dance lesson we got in the yellow Omni and drove to the Vancouver SPCA.


There were quite a few mutts in the kennel area. Everyone barking their hello's and begging "please take me!" It was very loud in there. I had my eye on the white Terrier- he was so cute, but my mom said it was too yappy- so we continued down the aisle of homeless K9's desperate for a loving family to take them home. Then we saw Mickey. A three-year-old, medium sized long haired black dog with a Pomeranian tail and a pointy snout. He was sitting ever so quietly in the back corner in the cage. Just watching-not saying Boo. Boy did he know how to set himself apart from the others.
My mom liked him, and we were thrilled. We got him leashed up signed some forms and my mom paid some bail out money and out the door we went- Mickey on the other hand was so happy to be leaving that hole that he left them a poop right inside the entrance before he left the SPCA forever. We hadn't told our dad yet that we were getting a dog. That would be a surprise and it would take several months for him to warm up to Mickey. Being Greek, my dad wasn't a dog guy. In Greece most dogs are wild, homeless and dirty according to my dad. But Mickey managed, eventually to warm him up.
So we got home and we weren't in our fenced in backyard for 10 minutes before Mickey found a hole- and he took off! Oh, I was devastated. Did my new dog not like me? He just got home and now he's running away? Well, we quickly learned to patch up the holes and that Mickey was not very obedient or faithful if given the opportunity to run free- He never learned to walk without a leash-because it was a great game for him to run and be chased. I chased him many times over the years. I remember back in those days, being so young and walking my dog down the sidewalk on King Edward Street, (Vancouver). It is a very busy street. Mickey got free and went flying down the road. He could have run in the road and that would have been it- probably for both of us, but he was smart he went around the loop to the alley way and finally I caught him again. Nowadays you would never let your eight or nine year-old child go walking with the dog on their own in Vancouver- I wouldn`t even let my girl go by herself in my small town now, but hey, it was the 80`s. Times were a bit different.
So fast forward 7-13 years.... My sister, mom, and I moved to the East Coast. Of coarse Mickey came too plus our other dog Blue and our two cats, Paula and Snowflake. We left my dad behind, but clearly that is another story.... Mickey stuck with me until I finished high school and I had decided to move back to Vancouver. I remember when I moved it was almost hardest for me to leave my little Mickey than anyone else. I left him with my mom and I told him I would be back and to wait for me.
I was away for almost two years, by this point he was 16 years old and I was 20ish. He had greyed a great deal but was still a great little protector and was full of spunk. He was a little fighter. Eventually his fight came to an end though when I found out that he had a tumor in his stomach. He only lived six months after that. The year was 1998. At 17 years of age my little guy took his last breath-in my arms. I remember the day perfectly. I knew it was the end. I was very worried, but I would`nt let him see that. I held him and talked to him and said prayers for him. I told him how much I loved him my whole life. My little Mickey.... I buried him in my mom`s back yard with the `Bleeding Hearts` and `Sweet Williams`.

I ended up getting a new puppy again in 2001, after moving to Ontario. Now Finnegan is 11-years-old. My Beagle cross, is a very nice dog- always been my faithful companion. My little walking partner and never would he refuse a walk with me. I love my dog as I loved Mickey. Those two boys actually hold some very similar traits. So today as I took Finn out I thought of Mickey and gave Finnegan some good hugs for Mickey. He was one of my first responsibilities and I learned so much from him. I hope my mom knew how much I loved my dog. So glad she let me get him.