Welcome! Glad you could join us here in my little corner of the internet where I share the random musings that evolve from my life as a tall blonde rock and roll fan who just happens to have experienced working in self-development, two marriages, motherhood, and the world of addiction recovery.

My wish is that the words written here will stir your thoughts, make you smile, offer hope and remind you that you are never alone. We're all in this together.

If you're looking for "The Ones Who Stayed", it's just moved to it's own site, just click here.

Please feel free to share your own "soul ramblings" in the comments section.

With love,

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Share Your 'Deal Breaker'

Hello gang,

I know, I know, this page hasn't seen much action in a while.  As many of you know, I've been immersed in recovery from a major health issue for quite some time. While there remain some challenges, for all intents and purposes, I'm back at it.

SO, as the title of this blog suggests, my soul does a good bit of 'rambling' and I've got a question for you: What was your 'deal breaker' in ending a romantic relationship and/or friendship?

NOW, I'm not referring to situations of violence, domestic abuse, religious differences, family dysfunction or long-term relationships that have just run their course.  I mean those red flags that immediately make you stop and say, "Oh HELL no.  I can't be around this person."

I'll give you some personal examples:

Case #1

On a first date, the guy in question came to my apartment to pick me up. He asked to use the bathroom, did so, and then didn't flush.  There was no second date.

Case #2 

I had been dating a guy for a little while who, while good looking and fun to be around, was not my intellectual equal.  I had been having that inner discussion with myself about whether to end it, because I knew it could never be a long term thing, or to just try to enjoy the fun a while longer.

We were watching the movie The Fly (the Jeff Goldblum-Geena Davis iteration from the 1980s). During the sequence in which Jeff Goldblum's scientist character is transforming into a giant insect, dude leans over to me to explain what is happening and says, "You know what that is? That's metamorphis."

I said, "Metamorphosis."

"The WORD is 'metamorphis'. You're saying it wrong," He said, in a tone implying I was a complete idiot.

It that moment, the inner discussion was over and 'end it' had won.

Case #3  (Example courtesy of a close male friend) 

I took this girl to dinner and in the course of conversation my workplace was mentioned.  

The next day she showed up at my office and told every woman who entered the building to stay away from me because we were engaged. I called security...and changed my phone number.

It is in the spirit of these cringe-worthy examples that I ask you, dear readers, to share your deal breakers in the comments. You may, of course, remain anonymous.

Will these end up in a book I might be working on? Maybe...maybe not...but rest assured, if they do, anonymity will be the order of the day.

Fire away my friends, there is no judgment allowed in the Soul Ramblings realm, share at will!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Love Sees Only the Best

Here we are at Christmas week at the end of a year that seemed to move simultaneously at both glacial and light speeds. The word 'weird' doesn't do justice to the feeling I hold about the year that's drawing to a close, but it's the best I can do.

There have been lows like I have never felt and diametrically opposed heights I didn't think could be reached. Things went up, down, sideways, forward, backward and in every possible and sometimes impossible direction.

It's in the spirit of this weirdness that I share a rather unlikely story of love that just happens to fall during this holiday time.

Those of you who follow this blog or know me likely know that in March of this year I had a fairly radical intestinal surgery that has left me with a temporary (fingers crossed) ileostomy. It was an extremely rough and slow recovery and I absolutely would not have made it through without my husband, Keith. With the patience of Job and the quiet strength I've only seen in people like the Dalai Lama, he has supported and, sometimes literally, carried me through this journey back to health and stability. The journey is ongoing, but the worst is behind us and our lives have again found a place of normalcy.

Today, as happens occasionally, we both happened to be getting ready to face the world at the same time in our master bath.  For me, that meant changing my ostomy pouch, which is not something I generally do in front of him.  I feel as though it's sort of like using the bathroom with the door open or when your partner is in said bathroom - sometimes it's a necessity, but it's never my preference.

I don't like looking at my body with the uncovered ostomy.  It makes me feel like, well, damaged goods, if you will. I always try to change the pouch as quickly as possible, so I don't really have to look at it. 

During my first marriage 20 years ago, when I had the original intestinal surgery that likely led to the current situation, I had a temporary ileostomy for two months as part of the procedure.  My husband at the time was repulsed by the situation and went so far as to tell me he didn't want to by anywhere around when I was dealing with it. (Charming, right?)

So anyway, I'm in the process of the pouch change, which is a like a naked game of Beat the Clock while I hope to God no waste will be expelled until I get the new pouch on.

Keith says, "Oooh, look at THAT pretty thing."  And he smirks at me in the mirror.

I turn to look at him, thinking he's completely lost his mind, and realize that HE'S looking at my, um, let's go with 'lady parts'. Laughter ensues.

I said, "I really appreciate the fact that you can look past the gaping hole in my stomach and just appreciate the bit you're fond of."

He says only, "The only thing I dislike about the gaping hole is that you have to deal with it, and I can't take that burden from you." And he resumes shaving.

THAT, my friends, is love in it's purest form. And it's from that place that I was compelled to share this rather TMI story with all of you.

Were the situation reversed, I would feel the same way he does. The ostomy wouldn't bother me in the least, nor change the way I 'see' him. So why couldn't I be that kind and loving to myself? 

Societal programming? Being raised to feel 'less than'? Being taught that loving yourself was the worst sort of vanity? The experience of my first marriage?

Probably some of all of that, and today that's okay with me. My sense of it is that you have to walk through the shadows to be able to discern the light. I'm very grateful to be at a point in my life where I now know all of those things to be untrue - even if I still have to work at allowing the knowing to permeate my being.

My wish for all of you is that this story might serve as a slightly weird reminder that loving yourself can only bring out the very best 'you'. Give yourself that gift this year.

May love sneak up on you in unexpected ways this holiday. :-)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

No, I’m Not Ok. But That’s Ok with Me. Grieving My Way to Recovery

I originally created this post and shared it with members of The Portal, which is the membership club at Lee Harris Energy where I work at my day job.

I'm sharing it here as well in the hope that it might help those of you who may find yourselves in a similar situation, whatever form it may take.

Thanks to all of you who have sent messages of love and support during my illness, both here and on email.  It helps more than I could ever express properly to receive them from you.  :-)

It’s been a long road.

I’ll spare you the details but the basics are that in mid-March I had 2 emergency surgeries for an intestinal problem coupled with partial hysterectomy.  The intestinal issues have left me with a temporary (I hope!) ileostomy.  About 3 weeks post-op I began having complications and ended up back in the hospital ICU with critically low electrolyte levels.  That stay took 9 days to get things rebalanced to the point where I could go home. I continue to struggle with dehydration and keeping the electrolytes where they need to be, but I’m getting there.

I have done my very best to remain in a space of gratitude through this process.

Gratitude for my life - I actually had a near-death experience that first night in the ICU, now is not the time to share that here but I may down the road. I am EXTREMELY grateful to still be here!

Gratitude for my husband - who has tirelessly cared for me with nothing but love and support no matter how frustrating things have become. 

Gratitude for my daughter -  who has faithfully cleaned my house every week since I have been ill and been with me whenever my husband hasn’t been able, regardless of her own busy life and job.

Immense gratitude for Lee Harris and the amazing team at Lee Harris Energy – who have supported me unconditionally through this process and stepped in to cover all my work duties, moved deadlines and altered our production schedule to allow me the space to heal.

Gratitude for my nuclear family – who despite all of them living 2000 miles or more away have called me daily to offer love and encouragement.

Gratitude that I live in the internet age – which has allowed so many messages of support and healing to reach me via Facebook, email and of course, here in The Portal.

Yes. I am very grateful.  Beyond that I’ve reached a place of extreme frustration and I’m completely bullshit – if you’ll pardon the expression.

What begins to happen when you find yourself in a place of very slow recovery from an illness is everyone you encounter assumes you ‘should be better by now’.  They begin each phone call or message with, “Feeling better?” or “I bet you’re all recovered now, right?” 


You also think you ‘should be better by now’. But you’re not.  And that makes you crazy. 

Your spend hours agonizing over why you aren’t further along, what can you do differently to speed the recovery, questioning your choice of doctors and/or other healing practitioners, tweaking diet and nutrition and everything else you can think of that you might be able to adjust that will be the magic key to healing.

Except there isn’t a magic key.

There is only time. Time that you must allow to pass for your body to heal at its own pace.

I have found that looking at the small steps forward helps. Things like being able to brush my teeth standing up rather than having to sit, being able to wash my hair without help, the ability to walk the ten feet from the bed to the bathroom without having to use a walker for assistance.

But even recognizing those little victories fails to make me feel better.  Because I am not.  I am not better yet – and that’s ok. 

Yes, I am making slow and steady progress toward my body being better, but I, Marti the person, am not better.  And I have come to the place where I am ok with that.

What I realized as this all has been happening is I need to grieve.

My life has been altered in numerous ways and being in the midst of trying to heal myself, I forgot to allow myself to space to grieve what has been lost.

I was reminded of this when watching Lee’s new The A-Z of Energy video series entitled ‘Overthinking and Emotional Chaos’.  (Video below)

Overthinking and emotional chaos is exactly where I’ve been during this recovery process.

When I stopped and gave myself space to look at the things I feel I’ve lost and really grieve them, I found a great deal of relief, and emotional release, which really needed to happen.

So I am grieving – unconditionally.  We all tend to suppress our feelings of grief because we want to ‘be strong’ or not make others uncomfortable or whatever.  This has been me.  But not any longer.

I am allowing myself to grieve:
  • My loss of independence, I have a constant need for help from others.
  • My loss of mobility.
  • My loss of body image – it’s hard to feel like a vibrant, attractive woman when you’re wearing a bag of your own waste strapped to your stomach.
  • The loss of my job – no, I haven’t truly lost my job, but I am not able to fulfill my duties. They are being filled by others. Things change very quickly and who knows what my role will be if and when I am able to return full strength.
  • My loss of strength and body mass – I have lost nearly 40 pounds in 60 days and find myself not being able to twist the cap on my own water bottle.
  • My loss of spiritual connection – I just can’t get there right now.
  • My loss of ‘friends’ – people tend to wander off when you’re out of commission for a while (and yes, I get that those who disappear weren’t really my friends, but it doesn’t make it suck any less).
  • My loss of focus – scrambled electrolytes create a ‘brain-fog’ like none other.  It has taken me most of today to put this post together. Something that would take me a half hour to do in my right mind.
I am grieving these things and finding relief in letting them go. Relief that I didn’t think would ever come.

It’s not fun, it’s not easy, but it is very, very necessary. And I come back to my gratitude for Lee and the things he shares with the world.

I’m not better, but I know that I will be.

Thanks for hearing me and I hope that in some small way these words might help some of you on your own journeys.

SO much love to all of you!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Cry Me A River

Today I can’t stop crying.

Those of you who know me best will know that I am not that girl. I’m not prone to spend the day with the covers over my head sobbing when life flings a shovel full of crap my way.

Sure, I am in touch with the need to allow my emotions to do their thing. But my regular pattern is to allow the release to happen; be that tears, screaming, or smashing that figurine I always hated anyway against the wall. Then I breathe deeply, regroup and carry on. I have no patience with a self-pity party.

But this is different. No amount of tears seems to be enough to get to the release point. I just can’t get there and it’s absolutely maddening.

I’ve lived long enough to understand that “this too shall pass.” It always does. But that gives me little solace while I’m in it.

I’ve spent most of today trying to figure out why this is happening. What I can do to put myself in a different feeling place? How can I find the thought that feels better so I can shift myself upward on the emotional scale? Which of the dozens of grounding and centering exercises I know will shift things? (I’ve tried them all, by the way.) Why can’t I get in the space to meditate? But the answer doesn’t come.

Because the answer is that there aren’t any answers – period.

Whatever it is, why-ever it is I’ve just got to ride it out and let it happen.

And we HATE that don’t we?  We hate not being in control, particularly of ourselves.

But I find that just making the choice to let it happen and not interfere gives me back a feeling of power. And however small that shift might be, it’s enough to make me feel like I’m part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

And today that’s enough.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Movin' On Up

So, it’s been the week from hell.

You know the one - that week where everything in your world appears to be flying apart at the seams and you’re running madly after it with needle and thread trying to stitch it up before it becomes beyond repair.

Here’s the short version: sick with a cold; broke; husband traveling trying to make us not broke; two adult children living at home due to a variety of difficulties; condo in a constant state of disarray due to four people living in a place designed for two; five projects running all at once at work – each that require focus and attention to detail, neither of which I possess right now; what seems like a million phone calls and/or emails with someone on the other end wanting me to fix something, make them feel better, listen to them complain, or give them money.  It just seems there aren't enough hours in the day, words in my vocabulary or dollars in the bank. Repeat for 5 days straight and there you have it.

So, I've been running. Not literally, don’t be ridiculous, who has time for physical exercise with all this going on? Running to keep up, feeling constantly behind, like the treadmill is eternally on and there is no “Off” switch.

Even better, I work in the field of self-development. I've spent years working “on myself”, raising my vibration, finding my center, focusing on my inner peace. So, I of all people, should understand that “you create your own reality”, “the law of attraction will bring you more of whatever you focus on”, “you need to take care of yourself first or you have nothing to give to others”, “love yourself and love will come to you”. Yeah, yeah, yeah – I have no time to think about that right now. Those are lovely, airy-fairy ideals, but in the next 2 hours I have copy to write, 15 more emails to respond to, and a husband who needs to be picked up at the airport, which is an hour away. Inner peace – right.

In spite of my internal mocking of my own beliefs, they are somewhat ingrained. So I take few minutes to calm myself, come back to center and envision my trip to the airport during rush hour flowing effortlessly. I see the roads being free of traffic, the flight being on time, an easy journey there and back, allowing me to get this done in the shortest amount of time possible so I can get on to the next thing.

And it happens like that. Just as I've seen in my mind’s eye, clear roads, flight on time, flashing lights and police sirens. Wait – really? Yep. 100 yards from the terminal and I’m getting pulled over. Seriously?? Who gets a ticket in the airport? It was all going so well, I was nearly there, I had almost pulled it off, why? Why now?

The officer summed it up for me. I rolled down the window and he said, “Ma’am, you need to slow down.”

Ya think? He had no idea how correct he was.

Just when I had forgotten that the Universe often has a wicked sense of humor, it sent me a cop who, other than the uniform, looked and sounded exactly like George Jefferson (RIP Sherman Hemsley) to remind me, “That airport ain’t goin’ nowhere.”

No, it ain’t…um, isn’t. Neither are any of my other projects and issues.  They’ll all still be there when I get to them, at my own pace, in my own time.  Some of the people who want me to fix them might even wander off if I don’t reply immediately or have the words they want to hear.  I can take the time to actually run, or walk, or nap, or do something that makes me feel like I’m re-filling my fuel tank so that I can keep going. What a concept.

Thanks, George. I mean, Officer. 

P.S. I could have done without the fine.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Fear Interference

We have an old garage door opener. Old – and by old I mean ancient – analog switches and the whole nine. 

So, we weren't too surprised when the remotes stopped working.  Well, one stopped working completely and the other I had to take apart and press the button on the circuit board to make it work.

You can’t even get the original remotes anymore. But they do make one that they say is compatible. Fingers crossed, I ordered the replacements and we nursed along with what we began referring to as the “ghetto remote” while we waited for the new ones to arrive.

A few days passed and the replacement remotes appeared on our doorstep.  I stood in our kitchen just inside the entrance to the garage and set the analog switches to match the code on the opener, pressed the button on the new remote and bam! – the garage door went up.  Cool, so we’re done here right?


My husband goes to an early meeting the next day while I’m still sleeping. I wake to a text message from him that says, “My garage door opener doesn't work.”  Fabulous.

I get up, go immediately to the garage (because I am certain my husband simply doesn't understand how to operate the new remote) and try the remote in my car - nothing – the door doesn't budge.  Seriously? How could it work fine the previous evening and not work the next day??

I still had the ghetto remote in my car, so I try that one and the door goes right up. 

My conclusion? Something has to be wrong with the new remotes.

I climb up on the step ladder with the new remote in hand and discover that if the remote is within 5 inches of the receiver, it works.  Move it a foot or more away and nothing.  Fantastic.

We spend the next week getting by with the ghetto remote while I research every possible website, owner’s manual, spec sheet, schematic, and help line I can find. 

Each attempt is more frustrating than the last as everything points to the fact that the new remotes SHOULD work. But they still don’t.

I find one manufacturer’s forum that says some sort of frequency interference could be the only thing to cause the remotes to work next to the receiver but not at a distance.  Their solution? Find the source of the interference and eliminate it. It could be anything they say – cable tv signal, CFL bulbs, your neighbor’s microwave….etc. Great – thanks for that.

Now we’re frustrated to the point that we’re ready to go to the expense of replacing the entire garage door opener unit, even though there couldn't be a worse time for that financially.

I find myself being grateful that we have the ghetto remote until we can figure something out.  It may be old and decrepit, and the little red light on it stays on half the time, but at least it allows things to function. Good thing we held on to it or we’d be completely screwed.

The following day tragedy strikes.  I leave home on an errand; shut the garage door with the ghetto remote, and it falls apart in my hand.  The wire running from the battery to the circuit board breaks completely off and would have to be soldered back in place in order to work. Noooooo!

Lovely. Now I’m certain our only option is to replace the entire opener unit. 

I do my errand, and return home. Dejectedly, I glance at the two new remotes on the kitchen table.

Worth a try, I think to myself. I press the button on one of the new remotes and the garage door immediately opens.

I walk out to the end of the driveway, press the button, the door closes.

It was in this moment that I realized that the precious ghetto remote I had kept in my car and clung to as my safety net was emitting enough of a signal to interfere with the new remotes.  Once that connection was broken, everything worked like a dream.

I felt incredibly dumb. I created a problem that didn't need to exist simply because I didn't chuck the old remote. Why didn't I trust that the upgrade would be fine?

The answer is it was mostly fear.  Fear that if I gave up the old thing the new one wouldn't be as good or work for me in the way I wanted.

Sort of like life, right?

How often is it that we desperately want things to change, but we are too afraid to let go of where we are now?

We keep dragging our old ways of being, old relationships that no longer serve us, old conflicts, old fears along with us and we wonder why things don’t shift as quickly as we would like.

You can spend all kinds of time working on shifting your vibration, raising your frequency, aligning yourself with the things that you want to manifest, but until you release those old, heavier things that aren't a match to your new lighter frequency, the interference will hold you back.

When you can cut those old cords, snip those old wires, release that old baggage, then the doors can open for you.  Even ancient garage doors ;-)

Saturday, December 31, 2011

You DO Know Better

Every Christmas that I cook dinner I prepare a Broccoli SoufflĂ© Ring from a recipe that my sister gave me years ago.  It’s a sort of family tradition now and makes for a lovely centerpiece to the meal. The original recipe calls for heavy whipping cream, which I never seem to have on hand or always forget to buy, so I have always used half & half instead. I recall my sister telling me, the first few times she made it, that it stuck to the ring mold and wouldn’t turn out.  I never had that issue. It was always light and fluffy and gorgeous as I flipped it out of the mold onto the serving plate—voila!
This year as I was shopping for the ingredients, I saw the heavy cream and thought, “For once, I am going to prepare the broccoli ring like you are supposed to, rather than my half-assed way with substitutions”
In the midst of preparing Christmas dinner for 10, the timer rang indicating the ring was ready to come out of the oven.  It’s always the last item out, so it will be tall and fluffy when you put it on the table. So I have a dining room full of guests and I flip the mold onto the serving plate and…you guessed it…splat! Half the contents of the mold stayed inside and my ring looked like some sort of green pudding pile.  
Crap! Why, didn’t I prepare it the way I always have that has turned out so lovely? Why did I assume that even though it had always worked for me, the recipe must be right and I must be wrong?
Because that’s what we do, isn’t it?  We don’t trust that our way could be better. We assume that the powers that be, in this case Martha Stewart, must be smarter, better prepared, and far more intelligent than we could ever hope to aspire.
Guess what? That’s a load of garbage. We are taught from childhood that others know best. Well, when you’re five that might be true. But you aren’t five anymore, and it’s more than ok to embrace your own wisdom.  Trust your own inner knowing. Let my green pudding pile serve as a reminder and trust your own instincts in all things. You are an amazing being who’s hard wired to infinite intelligence. And when you allow yourself to connect to it, everything falls into place.
As we move into the New Year, my resolution is a simple one. I resolve to trust me, to listen to me, to love me – first.  Embrace your inner wisdom, trust your feelings, don’t change what’s working because someone else says so.  They have no idea of the power of YOU.
Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Embrace the Sad, Allow the Happy

Surrendering to change has been one of the toughest lessons for me as I’ve navigated the world of addiction recovery alongside my man.  I’ve mentioned before that it’s no coincidence that the 12 steps of AA & NA are referred to as “a design for living”. Being a part of these programs, even peripherally, I’ve gained tools and perspective for achieving my own happiness in life. I’ve discovered that often, to be able to truly allow the happy, we have to walk through the sad.
I know that you who have walked this road will understand. We remember all too clearly the pain and struggle of our addicts in their disease, the difficulties of rehab and family therapy; the trials of re-building a life from the ashes. Had we not trudged that dark road, we would not truly appreciate the sunlight that we now know.
In the spirit of moving through the heartbreak to reach the healing, I share with you my notes on the end of a friendship with love and the hope that it may help you along your own journey.

It seems like we’ve been friends forever. I couldn’t tell you when we met, or how we became so close, it just happened. Those friendships are always the best, the ones that just are. For years we have spent summers and holidays together filled with laughter and fun no matter what was going on in our lives. When we were broke, we laughed at home. When were richer, we laughed on airplanes and in restaurants.
 I know I could call in the middle of the night and you would be there, and you know the same to be true of us. We’re cool like that. Well, we were cool like that.
Something has changed. I never saw it coming, but here it is. It’s as though I woke up one day and all was different. I know that can’t be true, because we see each other all the time, but it’s no longer the same. We still share a joke and a hug now and then, but the bond has somehow evaporated. It’s superficial now, an act almost.  And just like I have no idea how and when we began, I can’t say how or when it ended, but I’m suddenly very aware that it has.
We still extend invitations to you, but they are always declined. It’s no longer a given that we will spend weekends and holidays together. There were no cross words, no life-altering incidents occurred—it’s just over.
Life is like that, I know. All good things come to an end eventually. And while I’m sad and a bit confused about this ending, I can’t help but smile when I think of the times we shared. Our lives are so much richer for having shared them with you.
“Thanks for the memories” seems a trite thing to say, but we really mean it.
Be well.

Friday, July 22, 2011


My husband often says that his definition of respect is based on seeing someone acting in a manner that he, given the same set of circumstances, is unsure he would be able to do. He uses this reference often when speaking to others about my staying with him as he battled his addictions. He says, “I would have left me, had the table been turned. But, she never did.”
I find myself in that place of respect for him today.
It’s been a rough road lately. In the wake of the country’s economic struggle, he was a casualty of his employer’s attempt to cut costs. Laid off from a six-figure job that provided our vehicles and health benefits, he never wavered from his position that it must all for the best and someday we would know how and why.  He has methodically put one foot in front of the other daily working toward regaining a position that will afford him a similar income. We’re not there yet, but we are on the road to recovery.
Recovery is something he knows about. He’s six years sober, and I mean sober, I don’t mean dry. There is a distinct difference between the individual who has put down their drug of choice for a period of time (dry) and those for whom the compulsion to use has left, therefore they no longer need to do so (sober).  You can tell the difference by the sense of inner peace that the sober person exudes.  My husband has that inner peace. In the midst of his own financial and emotional struggle, he has continued his work with other addicts and alcoholics; carrying the message of hope and the promise of a solution to those who haven’t yet reached that place inside themselves.
Today I learned that it had been said by someone within the sanctity of the AA group of which my husband is a member, during a meeting for which he was not present, that the reason he had lost his job was that he had failed a drug test. Ludicrous, of course—anyone within his employer’s organization would know differently, but this individual was not someone on the inside, it was merely a “you know what I heard…” situation.  I was livid. Absolutely appalled and angry, that anyone-let alone a member of AA, a program of rigorous honesty-would say such a thing.  Hasn’t this man been through enough? Why would anyone feel the need to kick him when he was down in this fashion?
As I was sharing my rage with him, my husband said only, “It doesn’t matter. I don’t have to justify my sobriety to anyone. I know I have it. That’s enough.”
Now THAT is an attitude that I am fairly certain I would not be able to adopt were I personally the target of the same circumstance. As I continued sharing my anger and frustration about someone within the program spewing lies, he said only, “The program of Alcoholics Anonymous is perfect. The people within it are not. One idiot in the room doesn't get to take from me all the good that has happened there”
As I breathed those words in, my anger began to fade with the realization that they are a metaphor for our world at-large. Our planet is perfect, the people residing on it are not. No one can take the good from us when that is where we choose to put our focus.
Like I said, he has that inner peace…and my undying respect.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sticky Fridge

As I was leaving my house this morning to have Mother’s Day breakfast with my husband and kids, I stopped to put the coffee creamer in the fridge. The top was loose and came off in my hand and I promptly splashed Vanilla Caramel Coffee-Mate on a wide variety of items in my refrigerator. Yes, a fabulous sticky mess running everywhere when we had ten minutes to make it to the restaurant that is exactly ten minutes across town.
When I was first married and trying to be the perfect wife and mother, this incident would have meant that I had to stop and clean everything right then, all the while chastising myself for being so stupid to have not checked that the lid was tight. I would have been late to breakfast and felt guilty for ruining everyone else’s Mother’s Day. Today, I didn’t have to do that.
When I was with my first husband, this incident would have resulting in him screaming obscenities at me for being so stupid not to have tightened the lid, now making him late for breakfast. I would have ended up in tears, and felt guilty for ruining everyone else’s Mother’s Day. Today, I didn’t have to do that.
Before my present husband got sober, how this incident played out would have depended on how much he had already had to drink that morning. Suffice it to say that regardless of how it occurred, I would have blamed myself for spilling the creamer, which led to the unrest that (I thought) caused my husband to drink more, ended up in tears and felt guilty for ruining everyone else’s Mother’s Day. Today, I didn’t have to do that.
Today, I grabbed some paper towels and mopped up the worst of the mess and said, “Eff it--we can clean the rest later, let’s go eat!” And we did. And no one, including me, cared that there was creamer spilled in the fridge. No one yelled. No one got angry. No one was drunk. There was no guilt. There was no blame. There was just breakfast, and laughter, and love.
I realize now that I had to do all of those things to understand that I didn’t HAVE to do those things. Today, I understand that it’s okay to put myself first sometimes. If in any one of the previous scenarios, had I chosen to put myself first and release my self-judgment around being stupid for spilling the creamer; they all would have diffused very quickly and there would have been no ugliness.  Today, I understand that unless I take care of Marti first, I have nothing to give anyone else anyway. And I am so very grateful to be me—now.
Take the time to put yourself first. Be kind to yourself. Love you, first; and everything else becomes so much easier. You will find strength you didn’t know you had, kindness where you least expect it, and love you never thought was possible.
You might even find out that there is no use crying over spilled creamer.