The Sometimes Unspoken…..

Words of another single full time working, student & parent

Posts Tagged ‘encouragement

Running in a Closet

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There are days where I feel like I am running in a closet.  A closed in, suffocated, endless run in the darkness.  It is stiff ling and feels like it leads no where.  Actually, it does not lead anywhere at all.  Its a long run in a closet!

This feeling comes when I find myself hiding within.  Rather then share what I am thinking, what the goals I have are or even in some cases who I am, I hide.  I am an expert at this.  I can hide right in front of people and avoid being seen.  Good ole army training!

Seriously, I notice that I am hiding myself and have to at points wonder why.  I know that I hate being criticized tremendously.  It takes a huge toll on me personally.  In fact, I tend to internalize those types of things.  I know that is related to relationships in the past and truly, it is time to let those things go.

I work hard at trying not to take that long run in the closet.  Some days its just harder than others.  It makes me daydream for old friends, that never let me near the closet door.  One such friend had an oxygen addiction.  Anytime we were outside she was the giddiest person I had ever known.  We could make anything pleasurable.  I think the two of us together were just so strong willed and determined that we reinforced the positiveness of life.  Even if we did not want it.

I think back to those experiences and usually it is enough to get me out of the closet.  Yet, lately, I think the closet is not so bad if I just stand.  Boring!  Standing is boring!  I want to move.  I want to run.  I want to do things and to share.

So what to do when you find yourself running in the closet…..?

Simple open the door and head for the light.  Share something quick.  Even a small thing.  Dare to daydream about where you want to be.  It does not have to be realistic, just dream it.

Write it down and look for the points.  Why do I like this?  What is appealing about it?  Hidden within are keys that can gain you momentum outside of the closet.  Now you can have the run of a whole room!  Eventually, you can get outside and run amuck in the world.

The point is, start where you are at.  Start small.  Do not have the great expectations.  In fact, check expectations at the door on your way out.  Go beyond.  One small step at a time.  Rinse, wash and repeat!

Written by neomav

November 17, 2011 at 12:51 am

Awe Inspired Stumbling

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We sometimes take for granted that life is filled with luxuries or those things we feel are necessary, but in reality are nothing more than a nice to have.  I always have to giggle a bit as to where God has placed me in life.

I stand with one foot rubbing shoulders with the wealthy.  Their lives filled with fine clothes, decent cars, the ultimate in television entertainment, gadgets and technology to make any geek or geekette drool for ages to come and access to pretty much any whim that strikes them.

My other foot rubs shoulders with the working poor.  By contrast they are washing clothes by hand in their tubs, public access television is the only available channel, radio is the big thing there, internet is accessed at friends or family member’s houses, the cars do not always work when you need them and sometimes its a tough choice to go to the doctor when needed or wait it out because there are other bills that need to be paid.

Neither set of my friends are discontent with their lives.  I always imagined that those that were very wealthy would have huge holes of loneliness embedded in their lives.  The truth is that loneliness can happen to someone regardless.  For those that were poor I had always though that there was a feeling of being without.  The truth is, its hard to feel without something if you have never had it to start with.

It took me a while to understand that issues and problems are known, felt and experienced at every level, by every person, at any age.  Wealth has nothing to do with it.  It may affect the type of issues and problems, but not always.  Neither is better off than the other.

I listened as one of my friends told me a series of events that were happening in the life of his family and himself.  While he has considerable more money than I have, his problems and issues are not fewer than mine.  In fact, in many cases, his issues and problems are extremely similar to mine.  It doesn’t matter that his house is bigger or that he has money to satisfy any and every whim.  The pressures and stress of life are honestly not very different than what I experience.

Life happens to everyone that opens their eyes at the start of their day, that draws in a breath and is here another day, by the grace of God’s hand.  We are the fortunate and blessed.  We have another day and another opportunity.

This life is awe inspired in an awkward sort of way.  We bumble and trip and stumble on the road as we walk our paths in life.  Each of us learning something, and not always the right something.  Life is a series of awe inspired stumblings.  Somehow, somewhere in that walk, God manages to reach us.  We manage to find truth, even if its just for a moment.  And we repeat this over and over again, each time able to hold onto the truths of life that much longer.

I hope in my life that I can be awe inspired and awe inspire others with each step no matter how silly or crazy those steps can be.  I do not want to be just another person trying to survive the day in this world.  I want to be someone filled with awe, inspired by the very essence of life.  I do not care if I stumble as I go, but just that I am able to go and be that which was intended of me to be.

Tonight I sit and write.  I should be studying for exams and taking my Real Estate law class exam online.  My teen is sick and sleeping just a few feet from me.  Concentration is not my thing tonight and it is not that worry eats at my heart.  God is here.  My heart hurts that she has to endure the pains of illness even for a moment.  Even though, in some crazy way, it potentially is good for her, as it brings a reality about that every day even though good, can have moments that do not feel so great.

Yet we are not abandoned.  It is truly good.  Life is here, in our home, even with sickness.  So for now we stumble this portion of the road, maybe fall here and there.  Our hearts are still filled ~ we are awe inspired stumbling.

Written by neomav

November 13, 2011 at 11:32 pm

Beyond the Blindside

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My last post was made a few moments before I went into one of my classes.  I talked about how I was feeling blindsided and then I had an epiphany, leaving everyone hanging.

Before I continue I want to examine what exactly being blindsided means.  One of the definitions is to be attacked from an unexpected position.  Another is to be caught unprepared.  While I chose the word blindside, I did not realize how true of a statement it was until a bit later.

I have been both unprepared and attacked from unexpected positions.  It has been unrelenting and continuous.  The more it happened the harder it was for me to recover in time for the next round. It was like I could not breath, catch a breath or prepare.  I felt like I was going to be dead meat.

Obstacles cropped up everywhere.  Obstacles appeared in front of everything and even behind me.  I was surrounded.  My mind was at a point that was somewhere between desperation, despair and hope.  Such an odd combination, but I know for a fact that my God isn’t going to let me simply die out, unless I myself choose to do so.  I can have hope, even when I do not know the solution.

I have always worked in positions where I could accumulate a heavy workflow by taking on more and more responsibilities.  I enjoy the pressure for some reason.  I truly think, aside from the fact that I love to learn, that this same thing is why I love college so much.

Yet more things are thrown at me that I did not expect to have to take on, or had not been prepared to deal with due to a lack of knowledge.  New experiences on top of the things going on.  I have struggled, pushed, crawled, cried, engaged in temper tantrums, fits and moments of peace.  I kept going with the idea that somehow I have to manage to do it all.

But I realized the last time that I wrote that I was ignoring something.  I have God.  He has wisdom and He has promised that wisdom to me.  It is accessible, but I have to ask for it.  I do not have to walk alone.  He is with me and He has provided me with many people in my family, at work, in church, online in various places and through out the world to walk with me.  Yet, I had been hiding in my safe place, trying to go it alone and stressing out because suddenly that safe place was under attack.  It was no longer safe.

Needless to say, I tend to stay to myself and come out here and there to chat, talk and communicate.  Then I go back into hiding.  God is not asking me to delegate my job or my school work or my parenting.  In fact, the overwhelming part has been that nothing can truly be delegated.  Even if someone is watching my children, I am ultimately responsible.  No one can do my homework or learning for me.  It isn’t about delegating, its about being supported.

Delegation is when you pass off something to someone else to do. For instance, I delegate the responsibilities of cleaning the cat litter, cleaning the dogs crate, feeding the animals and washing the dishes to my children.  They do it.  I just check to be sure it has been done.

Support is when you complete your tasks, but those around you hold you up, they cheer you on.  They are cheering you on when you start to slow down and feel like you can’t go on.  They are holding you up when you feel like you can no longer stand.  When you reach a point that you feel you can not go on, your support system is there (0r should be) to keep you going.  God is central to that support system.  While it is nice to say that one can support themselves, and at times it may be necessary to exert such determination, it is truly a blessing to be able to rely on others and not have to walk alone.  Its no longer I did it by myself, but I did it by the grace and power of God, by His hand in my life and with the help of those He placed there to keep me going.

It is exciting and scary at the same time.  It is a “Wow” moment for me.  It also requires that I make a true attempt at socializing more versus hiding more.  I was overwhelmed so I hid from every social network, from all those around me and have been flying by the seat of my pants.  Guess what?  It does not work!!  People have to be there.  It is necessary for me to encourage, to fill up, to invest in and to desire friendships with others.  It is important that I have those friendships.  Its not just about them supporting me, but it works the other way around as well.  I need to be there for them too.

Now this is truly uncharted territory for me.  I am not really sure how one does that.  So we are onto the exploration of what does it mean to support a person.  How does one give support and how does one receive support?  Does it enhance the relationships and what are its pitfalls to look out for?  These are questions that I need to answer.

I am standing beyond the blindside right now and looking at it from an outside perspective.  Strange, out here it doesn’t seem all that complicated.  Yet within it, it feels insurmountable.  The truth it, its not difficult to overcome.

Life has become a quick series of new chapters.  Very short ones, but intense.  They are filled with lessons I could not have imagined and situations that need to be addressed.  Beyond the blindside, I can see and I understand that there are somethings things that a person can not walk through alone.

Written by neomav

September 24, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Filled versus Full

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I have been on a sort of mini vacation the last couple of weeks, just enjoying the girls and working.  Hey, I did say it was a mini vacation.  To me that means I go to work, do my thing, come home and try to deal with the girls issues, laugh at the goofy things they do (and are also laughing at) and generally put off many of my tasks to provide whatever might be needed in the moment.    Some days I did not have to put off anything, but there were days in which I had to.

My teen had a serious dance with peer pressure, which I am pretty sure is not over.  When is that really ever over?  Inside my heart breaks because she has friends making some very poor choices which will have a lasting effect on their lives and relationships in the future.  I try my best to encourage honesty.

Everyone has their issues, including teenagers.  Life is never ideal, nor is it fair.  However, we seemingly have been blessed enough to be able to make our own choices.  Many peoples lack this gift, and it is a gift.  American children seemingly do not understand why they have the ability to make choices to do the things they do and simply take the American lifestyle for granted.  After all, in their minds we all “deserve” it as a basic right.

Kat has some friends that have a very difficult time in appreciating what they have, where it came from and why it is there.  Pretty much these friends come from families that can afford the activities such as horse back riding, dancing, singing lessons, and other such type activities that have a huge price tag to them.  They do not have the understanding that someone worked hard for their smart iphone or droid powered phones and to provide them with opportunities and experiences many other kids around them will never have the opportunity to have or do.  Each of them have lives that are very full.  Many activities and many opportunities to stray without a parent realizing it.

That had me realize what a blessing I have in my children.  They are no different in the fact that they each have lives that are very full with activities that showcase their talents and desires.  We have singing, running, playing instruments and poi.  All perform at some level.  They are artistic and inquisitive, almost to a point that can be dangerous.  They desire to understand their friends.  Yet, they take the time to eventually talk to me about what is going on in their lives or to come clean with something that they may feel really guilty about.

It scares me sometimes.  My heart skips a beat, but it lead me to wonder, why it is not so for their friends.  What is the difference?  What makes a teenager feel compelled to talk to a parent when all of their friends are telling them not to do so?  Ironically, in this situation, it was not something terribly bad per sea, but could eventually lead to a walk on the wrong side of the fence based upon where these friends are walking in life.  So what makes one teen want to talk to their parents and another hides everything from their parents at all cost until things are too late?

Our children lead very full lives, but I think the answer is what we feed them and what we fill them with.  If all of my responses are based with anger and resentment each time an issue appears, am I filling that child with anger and resentment?  Am I teaching them to strike out as their first response action to a situation that is alarming?

If I listen, even if my face shows concern or shock, and ask questions to fully understand what they are trying to tell me and where their understanding sits, am I teaching them to listen and process?  If I can remain calm and take a deep breath, even walk away for a moment, will they learn those coping skills?  And when I lecture (which I do by the way), will they learn to lecture?  Will they somehow be able to take all different pieces of information and put it together to create a whole picture?

And at the end when I tell them that I love them, when I reassure them what is going on in my mind and how I feel, do they learn to honestly express themselves?  Do I just provide them with a full life and do whatever I need to skate by the moment as a check it off the list to do item or do I take the time to consider and choose to fill them up with compassion, mercy, love and reason?

I am a far cry from a perfect parent and my children are a far cry from perfect children.  The truth is, none of us have achieved perfection in anything.  This to me is not a bad thing, because it is an impossibility.  However, I want to be and hope to be a parent that my children can come talk to no matter the situation and feel comfortable with doing so.  I do not want to be their best friends.  I simply want to be their mom and the best mom that I can be for them.

I have to work more on the filling and not worry or focus on the pressures from the full.  They need to understand that we make choices everyday.  They will make poor choices.  What then?  They need to know what to do after a poor choice, just as well as what to do after a good one.  They need to understand and feel compassion.  They need to understand life without condemnation sitting at the door all of the time.  Fear is the biggest reason I see for teenagers today.  They fear parents will be angry.  They know we will be angry.  They fear our disappointment.  This isn’t to say to not be angry, but to say that our response and how we display that anger can have a long lasting affect on how they in turn respond to those around them during the same moments.

We forget that they still learn the same way they did when they were babies.  They mimic what they see.  They mimic what they hear.  Not all of it is from home.  Some of it is from television, the internet, school, friends, teachers, family friends and neighbors.  But they do also mimic parents.  I hope to be one that fills them with something of substance that can serve them well, enrich their lives and the lives of those around them for all their years.  Not simply a moment.

Written by neomav

June 19, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Enter a New Dawn

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Recently, I had written in Opening Pandora’s Box, the feelings I have held in regard to a project that will put me out there.  It is nerve wracking and brings up within me every insecure feeling I could possibly muster.  Phase I of this project is now completed with its basic website design.  You can check it out at Once Darkness.  The blog is just getting started.  I have uploaded the website this evening.

I used a template because I wanted to focus my work on the graphics.  They may not seem like much, but they still consumed a good bit of time nonetheless.  Making sure the links worked was another matter.  My mini adventures was on the website’s upload.  For the life of me, I could not figure out why the graphics were not loading.  O.o It was very frustrating, only to find out that the ftp failed on the image files.  The simplest issue to solve and I was there checking the css code, making sure references were stated correctly and verifying that I had created the graphics in the right format.  My paralyzed hand sometimes gives me renegade clicks, which it did on the ftp server side image folder.  The image folder screamed at me that it had nothing to show me…that is when bells went off.

At any rate, there it is and I am now holding my breath.  Tomorrow I start on content creation.  I have so much sitting in wait to write up and walk through.  Here is to hoping and trusting in God, because this was and has always been His idea.  I would prefer to sit in a corner somewhere and just listen, watch and nod my head a few times.  Now we will be cutting to the core of my being.  Uncomfortably close, where it will hurt when others feel angered or bothered.  We are funny that way in our humanity.  I read some things that get me so disgusted and angry at times.  This is based on one of those topics that people get those strong feelings with, but if it inspires or helps just one person, I have to say, it will be well worth it.

I will still be blogging here.  This blog is more for my renegade thoughts, my feelings and the crazy things that I do as I work through things in the single mom world.  Once Darkness may be written mostly by myself, but for the most part, it should apply to everyone and hopefully encourage everyone.  It is the start of a new dawn and I pray and hope.  Not for anything in particular.  I just pray and hope.  😀

Written by neomav

June 5, 2011 at 10:40 pm

The Weekend Plan O Funage

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It is Friday!  The start of a wonderfully busy weekend and that pivotal weekend when the world is suppose to end according to various students of a few methods of thinking.  My response to that, time passes and as it does, we live and breathe until – well we stop.  At that point, we move onto whatever comes next.

I am going to live each day as well as I can.  I will be the person God created me to be and learn through the series of mistakes that I share in common with many other humans doing the same thing on this planet.  Each day my eyes open and I  take a breath is another opportunity for an adventure and I have a hard time believing that it is without purpose.  In fact, I know it is with purpose.

So in true sassy style, I will go about this weekend like any other.  Tonight I will focus on getting my website together, some photography needed for that same website and content creation plans to fill in the portions of the website.  I shall have a live website by Sunday, regardless if all the content is available or not.  The fun with websites is the fact that they are ever developing.  😀

Saturday I have the normal grocery shopping, bill paying and errand running activities coupled with one of my daughters track events.  First thing in the morning I have to mow the lawn and do a few maintenance tasks.  My neighbors will hate and love me in the same instance because of how early I have to get it done.  By the evening, it will be back to content creation and writing with a game or two to de-stress.

Sunday brings about the normal church fun and family time.  A time that carries me through the week.  I need both.  Many might not agree with the church, especially if they categorize it as “religious practice”, but whatever.  What I know is that there is something in the gathering of a people that fill you with encouragement, that cheer you on, that celebrate your successes and cry with you during times of pain.  It has nothing to do with religion.  It has everything to do with relationship.  Relationship with fellow members and most importantly a relationship with God.  Just my two cents anyway.

After that it is prep time for the week, getting ready for work, getting the house settled and finishing up any leftover activities.  Its a wind down and a wind up at the same moment in time – where one cycle ends as another starts.

Potentially, my oldest may be arriving this weekend or she may be leaving from her starting location.  Not sure what those plans are/were and if they are being carried out.  Flexibility with this child is key and not something I do well.  That should provide for an interesting visit when she arrives.

Much has changed since the last visit she had here and much has stayed the same.  Many of the changes are actually within myself and what I am willing to deal with in life.  I find that over the past few years, I really am less apt to compromise something that I value.  I used to just toss my values out the window to please others.  I realized that not only was that not healthy, but it also allowed me to get involved with the more abusive and unhealthy relationships.

I simply do not have the time for the drama any more.  Life has to be basic and practical.  Even when it pops in a twist or two for us to experience.  Boundaries need to be stated, need to be clear and need to be respected.  When someone wants to cross or break down your boundaries because they feel they do not or should not be there, it is probably best that you reinforce those particular boundaries until you, yourself have assessed if it is an unhealthy thing or if it is a healthy thing.  Many people have great intentions, but those intentions become harmful as they control the environment of others.

God gave us free will.  That can be a real hardship when it comes down to people doing what ever they want and dishing out the pain.  I was abused as a child by my father in a variety of ways.  Free will.  He did what he wanted.  It was not a good thing, but it crossed boundaries that should not have been crossed.  Yet in the same token, the same man, would give his shirt off his back to protect a friend, feed that friend or care for them to ensure their health and safety.  Free will.  He did what he wanted.  It was a good thing and while it did cross boundaries, it crossed boundaries only after an open invitation to do so.  It was respectful, caring and loving.

This is why I say, simply really take the time to see why someone is wanting boundaries removed.  It is the purpose behind the intention that is far more important than the intention stated.  At any rate, there will be much in adjustment between my oldest and myself.  I know she has had to have changed much since I last saw her as well.  It is another adventure to look forward to in love, patience and compassion.

It will be a great weekend!

Written by neomav

May 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Opening Pandora’s Box

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The last final exam is tomorrow night and it is all I can to keep focused on studying for the final exam.  I like accounting when I am in the mood for it.  Let’s hope I am in the mood for it tomorrow night and that I do well.

My mind is distracted and focusing on several things that are coming over the break between semesters.  Some of it is exciting, some of it I dread.  I am about to open Pandora’s Box.  Usually, I take my experiences and toss them in this box, locked away and kept secretly hidden.

This isn’t truly a Pandora’s Box.  All of the world’s evils do not exist inside it, rather the evidence of the world’s evils and the resulting grace that has protected me from becoming what I would consider a monster.  We as humans are so fragile, yet we are made with a capability to persevere through some incredibly traumatic events.

As the school season winds down for me, I am preparing to begin a few projects that inter-relate with one another.  They have been in the works for over three years now.  I could have started these projects back then and honestly I had planned, but I was fearful of what other people would think of me or how their perceptions of me might change.

I know that sounds silly.  Especially coming from someone that tends to disregard what other people think in regards to the choices I have made in life and the choices I make at any given time.  However, this is different.  It should not be, but it is.

You see, I tend to avoid conversations or items that are very controversial.  I do not like confrontation.   So I just would go merrily on my way doing my own thing, watching what my friends were doing and letting them do their own thing.  When anyone would confront me about what I was doing, I would immediately run or turn the question back on them.  In fact, in most cases, you would be lucky to know if I had plans to do anything at all.  Instead, I would talk dreams, because everyone likes to buy into a dream.  Dreaming and idea generation is easy for me.  I am a Dreamer.

However, it is time that I pick swords and merge them together.  They were made to be used together.  One sword is truth and the other is compassion.  They are just as much for protection as they are for fighting the way through to the place I have to go.  I know, it all sounds hyper-spiritual.   I promise by the end of the summer, you will think I have either lost my mind or found it.

Three years ago I was not surrounded by the same people.  Some of the same people are around me still.  There are new people around, that are actually not new.  Facebook was wonderful at allowing me to be able to connect with family and old high school friends that I had lost touch with.  Many of them are unaware of the history I have lived, even though they were right there.

In a way, the project I am about to embark on will shock some people because it will reveal aspects of what was really going on in my life.  I would avoid sharing it, but these things are part of the story or the testimony of events that bring us where we are today.  They set the stage for some crazy decision making and thought processes.  Thankfully, I do not have to deal with those same issues today.

Aspects of this project will melt the heart of Mom’s, upset some of the kids and send a few people babbling into the virtualosphere.  My concern is that I do not want to loose any friends over this, but yet, it something that I feel compelled to do.

Most of my life I closed me off from the world.  I kept bits and pieces exposed when necessary, but mostly I had those around me believing the buffet table was all there was and that there was no other rooms or buildings around in the space known as me.  This protected me from having to experience pain repeatedly or from becoming invested in someone that would use my weaknesses against me.  Yet, the aspect that I chose to share was this crazy over compassionate side that would cause me to champion for those around me.  It mattered not if they were stronger or weaker than I was.  What mattered was someone was judging them without the consideration of the entire experience.  That I could not stand.

Today, I live pained.  Nope, not the elbow or the paralyzed hand.  Those typically do not hurt me unless overused or the weather gets a bit crazy.  I am talking about internally pained.  Some from past experiences, some from watching people go through life and some just from the events going on in the world.  There is a growing negativity and anger that disturbs me.  It is reflected all over and it is now integrated into how many of our children respond to the world around them.  I see a lot of dependency and a general lack of acknowledgement for hope.  And that is why I call this Opening Pandora’s Box.  Hope was the last item left in it.  When Pandora shut the box after all the evils escaped, she trapped Hope inside.  It is one thing when a person can state they have no hope in something.  It is a very different thing when hope does not even enter their mind.  They don’t hope, they won’t say they don’t hope.  They simply do not acknowledge the existence of hope.  It pains me.

Hope and Faith are tied together in many ways.  You will have much trouble having faith in anything without some hope.  Hope drives us, it pleases us, it gives a forward expectation with a smile on our faces.  It is exciting and memorable. It is encouraging.

And that is where I am going with this.  The projects I am working on all have something to do with the Once Darkness that everyone has seen me carry through my email address for well over seven years.  It is encouragement, it is hope, it is facing darkness and exposing it to light to see what is hidden.  It is addressing those hidden things, becoming transparent and enjoying each moment of the adventure.

And so, today I started opening Pandora’s Box.  The hosting for the website is secured.  The web page is being put together in five and ten minute increments here and there.  By this weekend, the website should be live and a new set of blogs associated with it as well all geared towards encouraging, to overcoming those obstacles and understanding the excitement of life, even in its darkest hours.

Thanks for listening (err – reading) my babble.  Until next time…..

Written by neomav

May 15, 2011 at 8:45 pm

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