"I have never felt that anything really mattered but the satisfaction of knowing that you stood for the things in which you believed and had done the very best you could." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Deep breathing has helped......

Okay, so I have been posting today and I feel like it is time to "spill the beans", so to speak.  Since June of 2008 my life has been very different than it has ever been.  Much of this change was needed and I know this.  Many other facets of it were just part of the way that the journey unfolded.

You all know that Megan graduated from SFASU on Mother's Day of 2008 and I couldn't have been prouder.  What you don't know is that my life was headed in directions I couldn't control.  I spent a year in an efficiency apartment living alone for the first time in my entire life.  I learned a great deal about myself in that year.  I learned what I liked and what I expected.  I also learned how to love myself in spite of myself.  These are all lessons that most people learn when they are in college.  Late to learn them, but I forged on ahead.

It was during this self-discovery that I met SF.  She needs a new name, as our relationship has passed the Special Friend place in both our lives.  Alas, I haven't stumbled upon a name that will suffice.  What started off as an attempt for both of us to make a new friend has led to a relationship that is strong, passionate and full-filling.  But I jump too far ahead.  It was during this year of solitude that I learned what a friend was and let that help me make more of them.

I let the friendships expose me to new experiences and let them enrich my life.  I wanted more and felt like a sponge.  I was still conservative but I suppose in some way I always will be.  I like things to have a certain order and I don't really like unexpected surprises.  I like surprises for gifts but that would be the exception.  I like order and prefer not too much gray area.  I let myself drop my guard and let people get close to me.  That is hard, as I don't always trust people.  I also learned the art of compromising.  I also had the opportunity to teach people things I know.  That is a big source of joy for me too.

Along the way I also changed jobs.  I was excited and then after four months that was shattered when I was laid off.  I spent the next year working every temp job that I could get.  I worked in various industries and for good rates.  I had no benefits and no guarantee that I would be there another week.  It was a gut check and was VERY stressful on me as well as on our new relationship.  It was on one such assignment that I had a three hour long interview.  Not just one, but there were several.  This company wanted me and we were just trying to determine the best fit with the openings available.  I started on June 20th of this year and it has been a blessing.  I'll leave it at that.  There has been a lot of adjustments at home.  I work long hours and the commute is 72 miles round trip daily.  It takes a toll, especially when the traffic is bad.

I also had to put Eraser down on Good Friday and it was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  I miss her daily and cannot explain it.  Add to this the fact that SF has had two pre-cancerous growths removed from each ankle, a torn rotator cuff and the surgery necessary to repair it and her left foot has been reconstructed.  All of this since I started the new job.  She also has to have her right foot reconstructed next Wednesday.  This has meant that I have been the sole person responsible for all household work.  I have had to be the one that does all the interior cleaning.  I have been the "pool girl".  I have been the yard crew, mostly making sure that the weeds are kept in check and that the yard is watered (the back has no sprinkler system built in).  I have had to be the sole source of labor on top of all the rest of my responsibilities.  Now, before you think I am complaining, I am not.  I am just filling in the gaps of time to account for my lack of activity.

It has been a time period that has led me to have self-doubt and the desire to retreat back into my shell.  SF has held me accountable and has kept me engaged.  She has been painfully aware that I have been close to sever depression but has managed to keep me from falling over the edge.  It has been difficult to say the least.  I also managed to gain back all of the weight I had lost while I was training for the half marathon.  That devastated me.  I no longer felt confident and no longer felt that I had any sex appeal.  I am pleased to announce that I have lost 19 pounds but I still have about that same amount left to feel comfortable.  That will also put me in a 12 which has been a goal of mine for a while.  I have been seeing a PhD to get some focus and guidance.  She has me reading a book called Stress Free for Good, and I think I can actually put most of the lesson into practice in my own life.  I already see a difference and I have only read five chapters.

Slowly I have begun to right the ship and get to a place where I want to be engaged in life again.  My knitting has picked back up and I am anxious to get some old UFOs done.  I am also getting the urge to get a new sewing machine and get to sewing.  I want to make things for Zoe and for the house.  I am spending time with Stephanie and Megan and enjoying my relationship with them.  I am slowly getting to a place where I want to be at home and the nurturing part of me has returned.  I don't want to be SF's mother, I want to be her partner and care for her like I know I can.  Life lessons can be hard and demanding but if you listen, they do teach you how to live.

SF and I have recently exchanged rings for our left hands.  Not wedding rings but rings that take our relationship to the next level.  I am still "gun shy" from my last two relationships but it is fading faster.  We have been having more open and honest communication and making certain that both of us are allowing ourselves the time to decompress each evening while still including each other in the process.  She has expressed her anxiety with not being able to help me with daily activities and has apologized many times over for the series of events that have side-lined her.  We have grown stronger through all of this and I have no doubt that the love we share will continue to grow stronger as long as we remember how much we love each other.

Other things have happened too.  Sassy has begun a transformation as well.  She was always afraid of Eraser and hid most of the time.  No longer is this true.  She is vocal and is out more than she is hidden.  She has become a lap cat as well.  It is very amusing.  She loves to get on the chair beside me (right side) and lay there.  If I am not paying attention to her, she will climb in the middle of my lap.  It is amazing.  She has also added three ounces since May 1st.  That may not sound like a lot but trust me, it is.  She is no longer skittish and looks beautiful.  At times I think I want a second cat but then I am reminded that I still don't know Sassy and owe the development of that relationship all the time it needs.

Life may not be perfect but this one is perfect for me.....

Knitting has been taking place too....

So, I know I have been MIA for a while.  More about that in a different post.  I wanted to showcase a few FO's that have actually been done for a while.  The first two are of the Holden Shawlette that I made for a swap.  I had dyed the yarn at Upstairs Studio and it seemed perfect for the swap.  The third picture is a crochet gift bag for the same swap.  My attention span was at an all time low, so the next few pictures are of three scarves that I worked on.  they were mostly mindless and I needed that.  The first and second ones are for gifts.  The last one is for me.  I made it with yarn from a Valentine's swap.  It is from Wales and I love the colors.  I didn't realize that there was a MAJOR color difference with the skeins until after I was finished.  It is literally two different scarves but that is what makes it so unique.  I have also finished the Red Hot and am a third of the way finished with a baby blanket for my Niece's second son.  Not bad considering what my last year has been like.

....beginning to look a lot like Christmas......

Ok, so as you can see I was busy yesterday decorating the house.  I carefully brought all 15 storage containers down from the top floor of the garage and set everything up.  Then, I took all 15 containers back to their places upstairs.  Why?  Well, I had special motivation.  SF has been side-lined since June and I knew that while she was in TN for a week I had the perfect opportunity to get this done without her feeling obligated to try and help or feel guilty for not being able to help.  Regardless of how you look at it, I managed to get the entire house decorated.  I have a few more things I would like to get done before she returns but I have the majority of it completed.  I still need to get to the store for some AA batteries for all of the decorations that need them....all of the stuffed toys you see in the last picture need them to "do" their respective jobs.  We have a collection of Santas and they run the gambit of themes.  We also have a varied theme of anything goes since we have the nautical and beach themes in the house year-round.  Enjoy a slice of the decorations....

Friday Fill-Ins

And...here we go!

1. As you can see I make it here when I can.

2. Christmas will be here soon!

3. I love to buy gifts for SF.

4. Giving some one something I made as a gift(s).

5. What's up with all this Black Friday nonsense.

6. I seem to have the world just past my fingertips.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to snuggling with SF, tomorrow my plans include dropping off SF at the airport and then decorating the WHOLE house for Christmas and Sunday, I want to work on some cross-stitch ornaments and knit while I watch football and Lady Vols!