Friday, February 6, 2009

Chapter 5/Committing to Self Focus
Some topics covered that spoke to me in this chapter:

Your selfishness issues(what did you learn as a child)
Disabling your distractions (do you sabotage yourself)
Making yourself a priority
Releasing Judgments & Supporting other women

Here's the deal. Dysfunctional families. Everyone grew up in one, or so it seems. Not me. My reality was everyone's fantasy.Those great shows you see on TV, like The Cosby Show? That was my childhood. Both my parents created a safe, loving, home environment for me. They also were creative in general. My dad could build it or fix it. My mom could bake anything from scratch, design curtains to cakes and sew. She dressed me, my sister and our barbie dolls with her own creations. My siblings and I never fought. Ever. Crazy but true.
I have no issues with my childhood at all.

In fact, my issues rest squarely, for the most part, on my shoulders. I got married, had kids and tried to be the perfect wife, mother,daughter,sister,friend,comedian, therapist,etc.
Got lost. Locked myself in a cage.

I used to be the proverbial "jolly, fat girl." It got to the point where I was not just the butt of my own jokes, yet beginning to be the butt of others. One of the last catalysts that got me off my own"butt" & moving in the right direction went like this:
Me: I want to win that sweet, Ford Mustang.
Him: Why do you want to try win that? You're not hot enough to drive it.
Me: I'm hot and a "whole lotta love baby"
Once again I turned it around into a joke. But I was hurt and angry. When I did give someone else a "license" to run over me? This applied to other aspects in my life as well. I was literally throwing myself "under the bus" everyday. My dad had cancer. My sister was healing both her physical and emotional pain with drugs. My mom was falling apart. My brother was backing away. I spent all day homeschooling my "special needs" child. My 3 other children had there own needs. My husband and I argued behind closed doors. Housework,homework,there was never enough time. One of my best friends was in a mid-life crisis gone wild. I had moved to small town and felt isolated. The only time I saw my friends was with my husband , on bowling night. Writing? Heck, the only thing that I seemed to be able to create came in box and you cooked it for dinner. I felt trapped, overwhelmed, depressed,tired and unable to fix to things. The only way to find comfort was in a bag a chips and a box of donuts.

On Thanksgiving Day 2005 ,I said ENOUGH.
I made myself a priority. I said NO to the mashed potatoes.In fact I really don't like them. The following week I signed up for a Jazzersize. Working out is not something I like to do, but dancing is. I told my husband he could watch the kids, I was meeting my girlfriends for some 1 on 1 time. I signed up for a 12-step program. I learned that somethings are not all about me and somethings are. Some things are out of my control. How to recognize when I was being a self-righteous martyr (ouch) ,how to remove myself from toxicity and that it's ok to like, love and to be me.

Starting to love myself, freed up of quite a bit of emotional baggage. The physical baggage came off as well.
Of course change doesn't please everyone. As I began to create a safer more pleasant place for myself, out came the comments and competiton from my so called women "frenemies."
"You sure are feeling QUITE good about yourself"
"How did you REALLY get the weight off? Drugs?"
" You have become so NARCISTIC"

Yet some women remained my cheerleaders. The encouraged me, challenged me. They were excited to see parts of the old me & the new me emerge. The even helped me create and execute a 40th party in celebration of myself! 60 of my family and friends " Partied like it was 1999"in their hottest 80's fashions. My best gal pals bought me a tiara and sash to wear, for it was my night to shine. Even better, my dad & sister were both present. One healed and 1 on their way to recovery.It was fabulous , a night to remember!

Everything was going so well. Day after day, my load was lighter. Time was on my side,time for my marriage, my family,my friends and me. Or so I thought. Then on July 1, 2006, a man dressed in blue knocked on my door. My shadow, my soul twin, my best friend,my sister, was no longer of this world.
I went from being queen at my own ball, to the girl that got pushed off a wall.
Since then, more weight has fallen off, so has friendships. New baggage has been added on. Grief will do that to you. Rip the carpet right out from under you, and tear up your insides. I think that is what happened to Dad, literally. The cancer came back. Next week he'll be gone a year.

Sometimes, we put our ownself in a cage or a hole. Sometimes things are out of our control.

And so I have gone back to square one. I am re-learning to take care of myself and not be afraid to do so. It's time for me to set some boundaries. It's time to make myself a priority. It's OK to be where I am and who I am. To go ahead write and be free.

Sharing in this group of creative women allows me to do that. I am inspired every week.
Forever I will be grateful to

who led me to


who led me to each and every one of you and your