Category Archives: happiness

Focus 52: "Begin"

Yes. I already wrote my post for the New Year.  It was fabulous. Did you miss it?  Well, go the hell back and read it.  It was all about love with nice stories, sexy music and of course, the joy that is my life.

Now, I am involving myself in the “Focus 52” project, where we creative types will be taking photos, blogging, showing off our goods (no, not like that…perverts) in a collective effort to post our stuff at least once a week, every week, for a year.

I am a commitment phobe.  Don’t believe this?  Ask my three husbands.  Yeah.  It’s like that. 

However, I truly feel I can devote myself to this project.  I watched my girl Janice do her 365 day project, where every. single. day. she took another photograph and uploaded it, blogged about it and she really moved me with her work.  It inspired me and now that she is sponsoring the less taxing Focus 52 project, well, this is something that I feel I can do…especially with her at the helm. 

I recently started taking pictures.  Not great pictures, but pictures of moments that make me say…wow, I would love to write about that moment.  So, with camera in hand…I grab the moment.  I’m not a professional photographer by any means.  My experience goes as far as in the mirror pics of myself for Facebook or boobie shots on my phone that I text to my husband.  But, for the purpose of just grabbing the moment, my skills of point and click are good enough.  I just want to capture enough of the moment for me to take it home and write about it.  My focus will now be on exactly that…capturing moments in photos and then, talking about that particular moment in time.  What it meant.  What I was feeling.  The circumstances surrounding it.

This project will not only give me the opportunity to commit to my writing once again, but allow me to branch out just the tiniest bit into another creative outlet.  You don’t have to be good at something to love what you do.  (See: President George Bush). 

Here is my first photo (click to enlarge):

This photo was taken New Years Eve, 2010.  It was taken from the balcony of our hotel room overlooking the Gulf Beaches in Treasure Island, Florida.  A better photographer would  have known to center this bitch, as the sun usually doesn’t lay lazily to the right.  At this particular moment, I was thinking…this is the last sunset of the year.  When the sun sets…it will give way to a new year, a new start.

A new beginning. 

I think I am going to like being a part of this project. 

Five Hundred Twenty Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes…

How do you measure a year?

The song would suggest you measure in sunsets.  Perhaps daylights?  Cups of coffee? 

I would have to go with their ultimate conclusion of love.  And there has been a lot of that in my life.  Never more than there has been this past year.  2008 saw me falter.  2009 saw me climb.  2010 will be the year that I surfaced from under the drowning pool I was swirling around in for the past two years.  It is the first year that I rose up and gasped for air.  The first time I can recall my head being above the surface.  It marked the birth of my second grandchild in January.  My 10th Valentines Day with my husband in February.  It saw the reuniting of myself with many old friends and my letting go of some who should have never had the privilege of even speaking my name.  It marked my triumphant return to school on a career path that will both help me, heal me as well as allow me to share my special gifts with the world. 

There were amazing trips:  Israel.  California.  New York. 

There was the foreclosure fiasco of 2009 that led to the final goodbye to our home in March, 2010.  Our new home is far more beautiful, far more homey and has none of the haunting horrible memories that plagued our old home.  Nothing was more terrifying than not knowing if today would be the day you pulled up to your house to find chains pulling the front doors closed.  Though it was through no fault of our own, it was still a cringe-worthy way of living. 

May of 2010 marked one full year of sobriety.  An accomplishment that back in 2008 wasn’t even in the cards for me and in 2009 seemed like it would be an unattainable goal.  I am still on that path. 

August was my 44th birthday and sometime in September, I chose to forgive myself for a lot of things I had done wrong.  I gave myself that as a gift.  I am sincerely looking forward to my 45th birthday, as I have always considered that number to be the mark of “halfway through” my life.  Only halfway there.  I’m still a baby.  I still have so much more to do. 

October of 2010 saw me have to confront the very real prospect of not having full control over the things that happen in my childrens’ world.  It was the first time I had to protect either of them from bullies and it was entirely too terrifying in light of all the suicide induced bullying incidents that it coincided with during that month. 

November.  Sweet November.  November would bring my parents, Esther and Harold, back into town.  It would be the month of the Turkey.  It would be final exams, final projects, final papers.  It would also be the last and final time my blog would ever be so uninspiring.  My friend in love, Janice, would turn my plain Jane blog into a bucketful of beautiful, where a princess would be happy to flounce around in once more.  Since she changed it, I have begun writing again.  That is always a beautiful thing. 

Then, finally…December.  I hate the holidays.  If you’ve read me for any length of time, you would know that.  But somehow, this year was a little different.  This year, there was hope in the air.  Laughter in my home.  And, to sound entirely too cheesy, perhaps a song in my heart.  My grandson celebrated his first Christmas/Hannukah.  My kids are happy.  Healthy.  My marriage is good.  So, so so so so good.  We went on our yearly anniversary cruise.  11 years together, 8 of them married…both taking place in December.  It’s a special time for the hotband and I.  A time of reflection.  A time to bond.  A time to kick back in the sand of some tropical island, look over at one another and realize…we made it.

Wow.  We made it.

Through tears.  Through pain.  Through strife.  Through uncertainty.  All the while, never letting go of each other’s hands.  Together…we survived it all, weathered the storms and sailed away on seas of contentment and joy.  We made it, my love.  We truly made it.  And look at all we have to show for it. 

Sitting perched on the precipice of a new year, I can’t help but reflect and can’t help but rejoice.  More than anything, I can’t wait to see what else the future brings.  So, yeah…it begs the question:

Five Hundred Twenty Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes…how do you measure a year?

In love.  Definitely, in love.  

Yes, I could continue 30 days of truth…BUT WHY????

When there is all this brand new prettiness all over my blog!!!

Are you dying??

Five years, this blog has looked EXACTLY the same. Then I hired me some TwoScoopz goddess, also known as my beloved friend “J” and THIS was the result? Hello? Pinkness? Prettiness? Lipstick? Shoes? Purses?

Does this bitch know me or does she KNOW me? *shaking my head*

I turned over the reigns to her. The only thing I asked to keep was the banner of my Princess marching down 5th avenue in NYC and of course, the little Princess herself. Other than that, she had carte blanche.

And she totally nailed what I wanted. Totally.

If you need a new face on your old space, I HIGHLY recommend my girl, J. She is so hugely talented. And, even if you don’t need sprucing up, head over there anyway to see her amazing photography. She doesn’t know this, but I have stolen SO many of her photos to use as my desktop background. Ooops. Did I just say that out loud? Don’t STEAL her shit, ai’ight? I will brown bag your ass in a parking lot if you head over there and steal her shit. Grounds for a shank to the solar plexus, you got it? Just lay down a nice comment…and maybe she will share a pic with you. But you ain’t me, bitch, so don’t just go taking shit that ain’t yours.

*sighs*

Man, I can’t even be MEAN here any more. It’s just too. fucking. pretty.

Thank you, J. Not just for taking my “house” and turning it into a “home”, but for being a guest in my house for so long. From sitting on the porch, to walking through the front door, to hanging on the couch, to snuggling in the bedroom…the very heart and soul of where I live and breathe. You have always been there for me, through good times and bad. We’ve shared a LOT of laughter and tears over the past few years. I couldn’t even dream of putting my beloved memories in anyone elses hands. Thank you for treating them as though they were your own.

I love, love, love you to the stars and beyond.

Day 5: Something You Hope to do With Your Life

This is going to sound so trivial. The answer came as quickly to me as the question did. What I hope to do with my life, I am already doing. In a lifetime, 44 years worth of drama, heartache, pain, suffering, highs and lows, etc., the only thing that I wished to be doing with my life right now is celebrating it.

That is precisely what I am doing.

For the first time in my life, I can look in a mirror and say “I’m happy”. Not just a little happy or happy with certain aspects of my life. No. Truly and legitimately happy with every single portion of my life right now.

Truth be known, I am one lucky bitch. I have a husband who absolutely adores me and lets me know this consistently through not only his words, but his actions as well. He is loyal, a hard worker, dedicated to his wife and kids, generous and above all, he is kind. Kind almost to a fault. He is the kind of man who buys a homeless person a sandwich on the street. He pulls over to give stranded motorists a boost even if he is running late for something. He calls 911 when he sees a car swerving all over the road and follows that car to make sure that no one is harmed until the police arrive and take over. He is a good soul. He makes an effort every single day to do something in the name of God and his family. He is truly a selfless human being and I am utterly honored and blessed to have him as a partner in life. My best friend in every single sense of the word.

My children. They are growing, thriving and are two of the most amazing young adults I have ever seen. My daughter is a fantastic mother, raising her two children under the age of two so adeptly and with such ease and grace. She makes it all look so easy, balancing her children with her responsibilities as a wife and a full time employee. Her husband has proven himself to be a good person and a very doting father. They just celebrated four years of marriage and seem to be happier now than ever before. My son. My son…my little musical prodigy, just began his first year of high school, leaving behind a football for his Les Paul. He is an individual through and through. He doesn’t take shit (like his mama) and he is thriving in school. He is polite, yet sarcastic. He is funny and articulate. And while he tries to act like he gives a shit about nothing (typical teenage boy AND he gets that from his mother as well), he is a caring, noble and honest person.

My grandchildren. Oy, the lights of my life. Sadie will be two years old soon. She drives everyone nuts with her independent attitude and her impatience. She is a diva in the making. Loves to climb, run, jump and do everything all the boys do. She is an absolute angel. Liam, my little chubster. The little man. Bubba Schwaz as we call him, much to my daughters chagrin. The most docile baby you will ever meet. Always happy. Just wants to be held all the time and loves to snuggle. The two of them are absolute blessings in my husband and my life.

My parents. God love ’em both. Esther and Harold. Both alive and kicking, driving each other crazy. They are insane, loud, boisterous, annoying…and I wouldn’t have them any other way. Dad turns 70 years old this year, a huge milestone for someone who was very ill once upon a time. I am grateful to have them in my life and to have them be as supportive as they are. I also am grateful to have Esther 1200 miles away. 😉

My home is large and inviting. My cars run. We have a savings that allows us to vacation once or twice a year. My husband makes a good enough living that it has allowed me to go back to school and work towards my Masters degree in Social Work. I want to work with addicts and also with GLBT and Questioning Youths. I am doing a lot of volunteer work with The Trevor Project (thetrevorproject.org), an organization that is working with gay and lesbian children and teens in the hopes of protecting them against bullying and taunting. With the recent rash of suicides that have taken place among this particular demographic, it is more important than ever to me to dive into my volunteering head first and make my education really count for something.

My dogs are fine and shit in my kitchen on a daily basis. My cats are wonderful.

Lastly, my friends. I have spent the past year weeding out the poison, carefully cultivating the garden so that only the most voluminous flowers will bloom there. Sure, there were some tricky spots along the way. I pulled a few weeds that were really flowers in disguise. I planted some gorgeous flowers that turned out to be venus fly traps. But now…now I think I’ve got it to where I need it. To where I want it. To where I can be the great big oak tree and be surrounded by the beautiful landscape of my carefully formed and nurtured friendships. This has been a year of surprises for sure. Those I would have never thought I could have trusted in a million years turned out to be ferociously loyal friends. Then, there were the friends that I thought I knew oh so well, who turned out to be nothing more than the fertilizer…the absolute SHIT in my field of beauty.

Regrets along the way for some missteps with a few of them? Certainly. But none so compelling that I feel the need to make further amends than I already did. One managed to surprise me…but what surprised me more was how little I ended up caring in the long run. As long as I have those who know me and love me, flaws and all, I am a-okay in my little world.

So, something I hope to do with my life? I’m doing it. I’m living it. I’m living it happily and I am living it well.

It was a long time coming.