Saturday, January 6, 2018
But that's not me.
Family Friday, we opted to go to the movies. Split decision between The Greatest Showman and Jumanji. Because Jumanji was sold out when we arrived, Showman it was.
The kids and I have seen quite a few movies in the last year, especially in the last two months. Many kid movies have a hidden lesson and sometimes the kids pick up on them, sometimes they don't. Sometimes I'm a good mom and try to talk about a theme if they don't and well, sometimes, I don't. Once and a while, it's good to let a movie be a movie.
Last week we saw Ferdinand, and at the last line of the movie, I started crying. I wasn't expecting to leave The Greatest Showman and feel the way I did. I laughed and I cried.
I'm so damn emotional.
I went to the movies expecting to learn a little via dramatization about PT Barnum, the circus life, and watch Hugh Jackman. Jonathan sat down, ordered his pizza and waited begrudgingly, as he wanted to see Jumanji. Genevieve was excited, but I don't think she really knew why. When we left, Jonathan was impressed and agreed it was a good movie. When I told him Barnum was Wolverine, his mind was blown. Genevieve kept asking if we could buy it, and when we could see it again. I literally couldn't wait to get home to buy the soundtrack; it was downloaded before we were on our street.
Most of our way home we talked about what we could learn from the movie. We didn't discuss business practices or animal cruelty in depth. We discussed basic human rights and to love and respect all people.
We talked about how sure, Barnum was in to earn a dollar because the circus performers were different, but in the end, they were a family. That their uniqueness made them special. That people came to see them and in the end, were entertained and appreciated them. That the kindness of a disfigured woman helped inspire Barnum to employ these people.
We talked about how it is important to treat everyone we meet with respect. That it doesn't matter what size you are, what you look like, or how much money you have, what matters is how you treat other people. We talked about what it feels like to be treated differently and how it hurts. We honored the fact that sure, sometimes it may be hard not to stare at someone that looks different, but we should try not to - and just because they look different, doesn't mean we should be rude or disrespectful.
We talked about how it is important to help all people. That being kind, friendly, and giving isn't just for holidays or when you have more than enough. That sharing and giving to people who need it more than you is important.
We talked about how family is important. Whether it be the family you create and are born into, or the family you choose, like the circus performers. That when you are kind and loving, you will always have support.
We talked about the protesters and why they weren't happy. How times were different then and in some ways not so different now. We talked about why Philip and Anne were hesitant at times with their relationship because of how people looked at them because of the difference in the color of their skin. I shared with them a recent example where one of our friends was concerned about the same scenario. The kids were shocked that it was even a concern and happy to hear that in the end, there was no issue. I told them how lucky we are that don't always have to be worried about what people think about us because of the color of our skin and they should never treat anyone different due to the color of theirs.
We talked at length, as we often do, that it is important to be who you are and to do the right thing. That just because someone is being a bully or mean, you don't have to be to. Stand up for the person being put down. Be kind to everyone we met.
We talked about having dreams or goals and how with a little work and dedication you can achieve them. That when everything is handed to you and you don't have to work for things it is hard to appreciate what you have and that sometimes, you can't even find happiness.
I think at one point I heard them reciting something close to their school pillars of character, so I added be ready to learn.
Be ready to learn. Learn who you are. Learn how to be a good person. Learn how to help others. Learn about other people so you don't have to be an ignorant fool. Embrace diversity and respect your peers. There is too much hate, darkness, and loneliness in this world. Be the light. Give others hope by being a decent human being to everyone. Is it really so hard?
We've been singing the songs all day. Songs about giving a chance on living life a different way, songs about being true to yourself, songs about dreams, and songs about love - a love that has no boundaries and is possible despite the odds - if given a chance.
So much of what I've learned in the last year about myself was summed up in this movie if you take a moment to reflect. Be good. Be yourself. Love others. If we all just took a moment to be quiet and listen and learn from those around us rather than be quick to judge, where would we be?
Take a moment. Think about how you could have treated someone with more respect. How could you have given more of yourself to someone that needed it? How could you have changed someone's life if you only listened before acting? Where would you be if you didn't give up?
Think about those moments. Learn from them. Grow from them. Smile at someone that may not expect it. Befriend someone that has none. Don't be afraid to love. Give, even when you don't think you have anything to offer. You will be rewarded. I promise you.
Go see The Greatest Showman, and be ready to learn everything you can from it.
Monday, January 1, 2018
Welcome to today's post.
A year ago, I shared my thoughts on celebrity death and how reactions to these deaths compared to my grief process as related to Ghon. It seemed to resonate with a lot of people, getting plenty of comments here and on my Facebook page. Today though, it wasn't so much my post alone, but that a friend of mine had shared the post last year and quoted the following line:
With every end, there is a new beginning. As with every death; an end - there is life; a beginning.
With every end, there is a new beginning. How fitting for a post at the end of the year?
2017 brought an end to the year of "firsts" in respect to grief and ushered in the year of seconds. And seconds can be just as bad, if not worse than firsts. The support isn't the same. People don't ask how you are doing or are maybe afraid to ask. Anniversaries and holidays come - and go - that doesn't change. Some were a little easier, some things sucked just as much, if not more than year one.
This time of year is hard. In six weeks, I get to deal with Ghon's birthday, Christmas, New Year's and my birthday. It's hard because these are things I always liked and Ghon always hated. OK, maybe he didn't hate drinking on NYE but I wasn't something I was into. He hated fanfare of birthdays, and I liked making a big deal of them. He was a self proclaimed horrible shopper for my birthday, some years forgetting it completely. He hated Christmas, ever since the holiday changed for him after his mom's death as a child. Christmas was exciting for me, even more so with kids, and not just from a Santa perspective, because he doesn't do much here. It's about the birth of Jesus and giving for me, and that's what I teach the kids.
It may sound like Ghon's feelings would make getting through the birthdays and holidays easier. In some ways, it does; but in others, it's harder. There is still a void even if it's a void of a negative energy. I try to fill it with positive energy, but there are still moments I get down. Despite living in a fictional world where I am Wonder Woman, I am but a mere mortal with overwhelming emotions.
This holiday season, the kids and I did less, but in many ways did more. Our decorations were minimal, the number of holiday themed activities we did greatly decreased, and we has less visitors. These changes are largely OK; perhaps I crammed too much in last year so that we couldn't think about the Ghon's death. Jonathan and Genevieve have grown so much in the past year - I let them help make the decisions on what we did and when. I gave them the chance to think about the impact of their choices and letting them lead the way on when to relax and when to go out.
Yet, we did more. We spent a little more time together. We spent more time giving to others. We remembered that the holidays are not about what you get, but what you give, especially to those without or those without expectation. We made new traditions and carried out or modified old. Never in my life would I think I'd be at the movie theater on Christmas Day - but this year, I was.
Life is about taking chances and making memories. Take the trip, eat the cake. No Ragrets!
2017 In Review
- Secured a mortgage in my name
- Drove to Connecticut so the kids could compete in a chili cook-off
- Watched my step-son get married
- Bought a car on my own
- Vacationed with the kids in New York City and a quick trip into Boston - and a LONG ride home.
- Had a one year memorial service for Ghon
- Re-homed our goats
- Saw more movies in the theater than probably the last 5 years combined
- Became a pig landlord
- Visited the White House for the Spring Garden Tour and two months later, toured the inside
- Went to at least eight concerts; seeing NKOTB, Paula Abdul, Boyz II Men, Volbeat, Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold, Andy Grammer, The Perceptionists, Janet Jackson, Taylor Swift, The Chainsmokers, Liam Payne, Demi Lovato, Fall Out Boy, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Nial Horan and so many more... some with the kids, some with friends, and some all on my own.
- Got four new tattoos by 3 different artists in 3 states
- Had my first month long work deployment experience
- Made several new friends
- Took the kids to Reno, NV to compete in the ICS World Championship Chili Cook-off
- Did some serious Black Friday shopping for the first time in years
- Broke my cell phone; and its replacement within a week
- Shared my first ever bottle of wine with a friend
- Pulled off a surprise of damn-near epic proportions, to me at least
- Joined an exercise program I loved; left it to make schedule changes better for the kids, and joined a gym
- Donated a ton of stuff - PURGE!
- Watched fireworks in pure bliss
- Saw Kinky Boots on Broadway
- Crocheted again for the first time in years
- Read a few books
- Took a solo trip to NYC
- Walked the Brooklyn Bridge
- Hiked alone in Yosemite National Park
- Drank and listened to music at the Bucket of Blood Saloon (Virginia City, NV)
- Spread part of Ghon's ashes.
- Realized how much I need sunlight and the energy of a city
If it's meant to be, it'll be, it'll be
Baby, just let it be
If it's meant to be, it'll be, it'll be
Baby, just let it be
So, won't you ride with me, ride with me?
See where this thing goes
If it's meant to be, it'll be, it'll be
Baby, if it's meant to be
My beginning isn't defined by the year, but with every chance I take. And I'm looking forward to taking more chances this year. Anyone want to join me on the ride? Don't be afraid to find your beginning. Live your life, make your happy happen.
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Dear Lord, let there be a man out there strong enough to handle me and care for me. And let him not only exist, but let us find each other. And if we are found but to dense to know it or afraid to admit it - knock some sense into us? Amen!
Reminds me of when I stayed at my sister-in-law's house. Since it is so quiet where I live in Winchester, she forewarned me of car noise at night, thinking it would keep me up. I slept like a log that night - the noise was the same I had outside my bedroom window growing up.
As I've been reflecting on this, and drafting this post, I found it quite ironic that Facebook provided this memory.
No, the city never left me. I left it. Not to say it's all been bad, and I haven't learned a lot being in a less than urban environment. It's just not me.
Also ironic as I've been trying slowly to convince the kids that we should rehome our chickens and turn the coop into a massive playhouse! What?!
Let me make it clear. Yes, I plan to leave the farmhouse.
I have a list of cities and states that are acceptable to me temperature wise, and have started some cross referencing to cost of living and crime rates. A little more work to do there, and I'll start factoring in likelihood of natural disasters (side effect of my job and desire to not be near any of it!). Then, the fun will begin as I plan trips to get a feeling for all the locations to narrow the list even more. I survived a move from Maryland to Virginia when I never thought I'd leave Maryland. I got this now.
Want me to do something I don't want to so you can be happy - no, that won't make me happy. Remember, I control my happy. You will not make me sad. You will not make me happy. It's my choice on how I respond to your actions. Sure, the things someone might do for me might "make me" happy - but it's because I chose to find joy in those things. [Note: next time I get sad about someone or something, can someone remind me about this happy choice? I'm still working on the sad thing. I'm much better about being happy. Thanks!]
I have a bucket list. I have a start on a country life exit plan. I continue to control my happy. I am continuing to take care of myself, living the life I want, and learning every single day. I continue to raise my kids to be healthy in mind and body, kind and caring, and knowing how important it is to do what makes them happy, and not what anyone else, me included, tells them should make them happy.
With every end, there is a new beginning. As with every death; an end - there is life; a beginning. It's been a long time coming. As I died a wife, I was reborn a widow. Both will always be part of me. But I'm proud of my new beginning and am excited to see how far I continue to grow as Kim/Kimmy/Mom.
[If you are super observant...you'll also notice a change here on the blog. kudos to you if you did notice. It's another new beginning, that I'll be tweaking a bit in the future.]
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Who would have thought? Hurricanes in Texas and Florida would put me in Nevada to further find myself. Was that what the calling I felt was for - momcation? Meeting new people and creating new relationships? Was it to fill that professional need? These are questions I can't answer. Whatever the reason, I am glad it happened.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
I can't really imagine him not being part of my world right now. I wouldn't trade his friendship in for anything. It was due to our friendship that I even began to see the possibility of loving someone else again. And because I know he reads my blog, and will understand this – 🌟🌞, I JUST love you. Thank you for being you and tolerating me.
I’m not into hanging out at bars, and certainly wouldn’t go alone. I’m not asking any of my married friends to go hang out at a bar on a night with me. One, it’s that third-wheel thing again, and two, I could care less about drinking. I think I’m approachable, but then again, maybe I’m not. Once I know you, I’ll talk your ear off. Until then, I’m not the best at starting conversations with strangers, even in a professional/networking environment. The whole idea makes me uncomfortable. I don’t go out much, because, again, I don’t have anyone to go out with.
And no, at least not at this point in time, am I not interested in any online dating sites.
I’ve come to realize unless a guy is a single parent with a kid in the same extracurricular activities as my kids or potentially at work; I’m never going to meet him. Unless I already have and just don’t know it. As much as I’d like to find someone to do stuff with, I also find the idea of dating a little exhausting. I’m not looking for potential blind dates out of this post, or a bunch of “hey you should meet my brother/cousin/friend” either. I’m a firm believer in when the timing is right, and the person is right, even if right for a period of time, our paths will cross. Until then, I'll be working, mom-ing, and listening to my music. And maybe shopping for a red dress.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
I am a woman;
filled with childlike naivety,
red, purple, blue and black.
I am a mother and caregiver;
rarely a risk taker.
I am a friend;
shy and awkward at first,
loud, loyal, and slightly obnoxious ‘til the end.
I am a giver;
a reluctant taker,
providing what I can, when I can, when I want.
I am a manager of things;
a list maker,
a planner planning more spontaneity.
I am a widow;
an emotional person,
searching for me in a world of we.
I am a musicophile;
listening on repeat,
finding life, meaning, and purpose in someone else's words and a wicked beat.
I am a loner;
valuing time to myself, for myself,
struggling with being alone.
I am a fighter;
standing up for what I believe in,
defending those that deserve it.
I am a believer;
in God, karma, attraction, the innate good in others,
I am the sea goat;
practical, responsible, independent,
stubborn, and often fearful.
I am not cookie cutter;
constantly evolving my shape.
I am strong;
I am awesome;
I am fierce;
I am enough;
I am me, undefined.
Monday, July 10, 2017
|That's me touching Donnie Wahlberg!|
|Hello, Jordan Knight!|
|Ready to go!|
July 4, we attended the Amherst, NH parade and watched our friends Hazel and John ride in the bicycle parade! After some down time at their house, moms and kids headed to Boston. Melissa and I both carried backpacks with us that day and once we attempted to enter the esplanade, found out that no backpacks were allowed! Next adventure – find a bag we could take in! We walked around the gardens, just missed a swan boat ride, bought some souvenir bags then ate at the bar/restaurant where the TV Show Cheers was filmed. Back to the esplanade and we worked our way in and watched the Boston Pops! Now this didn’t mean a ton to the kids, but for me, this was pretty cool. Especially when I found out there were additional live performances by Melissa Etheredge, Leslie Odom, Jr, and Andy Grammar! Very cool!! Following the show we switched spots and watched fireworks!
|Me and Melissa|
|Jonathan, Genevieve, Hazel and John|
|Me, Melissa, Amanda|
|J. Harrison Ghee - Lola|
|OMFG BRENDON URIE!!! - Charlie Price|
|Self explanatory - See that B? BRENDON URIE!!|
|The euphoria of getting that close to BRENDON URIE and driving through the city with the top down. :)|
BTW - Blog comments on the blog post also make me happy. So do it!