Day 20: What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?

I have a few “difficult” things I’ve had to forgive, as a result of always wading in just a little too far over my head. My little sister the Unicorn is the same way. We ask for forgiveness, not permission… we roll the dice… we leap before we look. As a result, we’ve both learned a lot of hard lessons in the most challenging ways imaginable. We learn the hard way- it’s inescapable. Consequently, we have both attracted some bad people, made some dumb choices and forever had a fleet of responsible sisters standing there shaking their heads and helping pick up the pieces for the umpteenth time.

The MOST difficult things I’ve had to forgive, have been pretty awful. As a mother I would die a million heartbroken deaths if my babies went through some of the stuff I’ve survived, but it’s also made me annoyingly resilient and pretty damn successful.

I forgive easily. Some people would probably say too easily for my own good. I guess I was raised to know in my heart that forgiveness is a gift you give yourself, because carrying hate around is heavy and you need empty hands to be able to help yourself.

Some people and things have taken me longer though.

  • My rapist. That was a tough one. He ruined things for me that still make me so sad. The Beatles, beards, and leather jackets have always been ruined since then. Incredicock fixed my beard phobia and now I actually like them. I don’t panic when facial hair touches my cheek. I’m not afraid to feel it on my thighs. I love that. The Beatles is a tough one. I have tried to listen to a little here and there, careful to avoid certain songs, but it still turns my stomach and makes me anxious. Same goes for leather.
  • My dad. Oy… this one is still a little ongoing. I hate the daddy issues he gave me, which aside from my face is pretty much the only thing he contributed. He died early as well, so there wasn’t an opportunity to try again. He died at odds with 3 of his 4 children and missed every significant event in all of our lives. He’s tough to forgive. 🙂 He was human though, and I do have really nice cheekbones from him. I treasure the siblings he gave me and wish he’d been able to enjoy the cool people he made.
  • My shitty high school boyfriend who broke up with me the day before Valentine’s day to go out with the girl with the perfect hair who occupied the locker right next to mine. I still don’t like red roses after watching her carry them around that day and I hate that damn holiday. Ok maybe I haven’t entirely forgiven him…..
  • Crazy Virgin Islands. Ugh… another huge challenge. He served me with a cease and desist to get my blog entries regarding him and the trip from hell off my blog. Too many women had found them after searching the internet and I didn’t even care to fight over it. I was the stupid girl that got on the plane and flew 15 hours to date a (SURPRISE!!) married man for a few days, I deserved some bad times after being so stupid and reckless with my safety. I forgive him for being a raging sociopath… not enough to talk to him ever again, but certainly enough to stop cock blocking him. Plus I made 42 new friends who had similar experiences with him AND helped a couple dozen avoid joining our illustrious tribe. All’s well that ends well, right?
  • Myself. The hardest one of all is learning how to let myself off the hook a little for being so reckless sometimes and so damn trusting with too much of my heart. I love loudly and I’ve always hated that about myself. I don’t anymore. Losing Anthony really taught me to say the hard words every day. I tell the people I love every day that I love them. I’m too nice and that’s ok. I’m also a passive aggressive bitch when inspired and I like her too. The last year has changed me in a million ways and I’m much prouder of this new version than I ever was before. That’s a pretty fabulous gift, if I do say so myself.

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Day 19: What do you most wish you were great at?

1. Thinning the carrots in the garden. I suck at ripping 3/4th of them out, so they’re always crowded, too small, misshapen and weird. I grow horrible carrots and it’s my greatest shame as a farm girl. It’s one of those things that is part of my character. I can’t casually throw away something that I made. I give it the benefit of the doubt and even when it clearly looks stunted and in need of discarding… I keep trying to save them all. It’s not a great trait to possess when you’re growing root vegetables (or dating). Bless all my little beets and carrots- I can’t pick one over the other so they’re all going to have a hard time reaching their full potential.

2. Letting go. I worry about people’s feelings more than I should. I overthink everything. I can’t tell you the horrible paths my mind went down today because even I know I’m imagining the worst things at will. I wish I were great at saying “Cest la vie” with a smile and a tip of my champagne glass… but assuming the worst is more my weakness and I make even slightest hiccup into a heart attack. Death is extremely hard for me and I wish I could find the peace and joy in happy memories… but letting go is tantamount to giving up for me, and I fight it tooth and nail.

3. Hunting. Random, I know… but I want to shoot an elk, gut it and chop it up to fill my freezer. I loved dissection in science and I’m not squeamish. I grow a million things, but at the end of the long day and night of weeding, pruning and staking them… all I want is a steak. I have too tender of a heart to grow a cow to eat, but I could joyfully hunt a wild one down. I’m determined to learn.

4. Fishing. Along those same lines… I really want to catch a pike. I’m seeing my friends post pictures of them lately and I want one. I work for an Alaskan based company and I REALLY want to go fishing for salmon, halibut, cod and the rest of their magical assortment of delicious fish. I’d rather go fishing than to a spa… so perhaps I just need to book a trip and go already. Why wait?

5. Laundry. I’m great at washing and drying it… but folding it is right up there with the gynecologist for me. I’d rather die than fold ten loads of laundry and that’s what I face each Saturday. Yes, I know I should get rid of some sheets. Have less dish towels…. etc. I don’t want to. I have more drawers in my kitchen than you can imagine and plenty of space to encourage me to have seasonal linens. I just wish with my whole heart that I loved to fold them when they were hot out of the dryer.

6. Balancing work and home. I’m so damn exhausted on Saturday that I let my Dumpling veg out in front of the TV or electronics. I let her eat popsicles. I’m THAT mom who overcompensates for the mom guilt of school + daycare that puts a 6 year old into a 40 hour work week. It’s shitty and I feed her more corn dogs than her older siblings got to eat. Little Red sees Twinkies in the cupboard and shakes her head at me.

LR: Where did these come from and WHO are you? We were never allowed to have these.

Me- Eat one, they’re gross. You weren’t missing out on anything. It’s just not a battle worth fighting. It’s a mermaid cupcake, not the end of the world. I’m sorry I was so uptight. I’ll buy you some if you want.

LR- Ew… they are kind of gross.

7. Taking time for myself. I need a break so desperately I could cry. Too much work, too much stress, too much heartache, too much of everything frankly- and I wish I were better at insisting on taking a minute to feel better… even if that means drinking a cup of coffee in silence and going to work a half hour later.

I get a lot done in a day… but it’s always nice to have goals too. ♥


Day 18: Describe 5 strengths you have.

  1. I’m nice. Nice to a point it’s debilitating, but still- it counts. In a world so jaded, angry, dishonest and cruel… I’m that smiling stranger. I’m that lady who offers to hold your crying baby so you can help your other child, that person who pays the difference when you run short and the first to volunteer for shitty jobs that nobody wants to do. I’m nice. I’ve hated this about myself for years and finally in the last couple have learned to embrace what makes me happy. I LIKE being nice. It doesn’t sit well with me when I’m unkind and I’d rather suffer the consequences of people taking advantage of my kindness than live life as an asshole.
  2. I’m stubborn. Bullheaded is an understatement. I redefine what it means to be inflexible when I am determined. I hate this about myself a lot of the time, but truth be told, it saves me regularly. I refuse to give up, wouldn’t quit with a gun to my head and pursue what I want, intently. I don’t take no for an answer, I dig my heels in and pull out all the stops until that no changes to yes. There are downsides but for the most part, I’ve achieved some amazing things simply because I flat out refused not to.
  3. I’m really thoughtful. I like to make the people who are special to me, feel those same feelings in return. I like to mentally catalog the favorite things of my loved ones and surprise them when it’s least expected and needed the most. I love you with my whole soul, no parts left out… even the ugly stuff that most people would turn their nose up at- those things are sometimes my favorite details because it makes me accept my own shortcomings a bit easier. I am inspired by love and the feelings resulting from it, and I go overboard at times in expressing it. I like that about myself. The world is full of sadness, I enjoy doing my part to make it better for the people that do the same for me.
  4. I’m crafty AF. I can knit, sew, bake, grow, can, fix or paint anything I’m inspired to want to do. If I don’t know how, Google leads the way. I have collected hobbies for years and am definitely the mom to call when you’re in need of crafty help. I used crafting as therapy for years in a bad relationship, and learned how to knit some of my favorite treasures in the process. I fell in love with heirloom tomatoes and planted 350 plants…. hence the needing to learn to can. I’m a crafty version of that “If you give a mouse a muffin,” book. One craft leads to another and before you know it, I’m rewiring the garage and installing new tile in the bathroom while my cheesecake bakes. It’s a lot sometimes… and I wish I liked to clean up my messes as much as I like making them.
  5. I’m funny. I can laugh at myself with the best of them and have learned to brush off the tears that fall as easily as laughter when the two collide. When the hot water heater dies, I can laugh about it now- where it used to decimate me. I can joke about my poor taste in men and perennially broken heart, because what good is life if you don’t use it all up? I took my female cat to the vet for an emergency last month and found out that she’s a he. How can life be anything but hilarious after that?

Day 17: Describe 5 weaknesses you have.

  1. Incredicock. Oh why beat around the bush (no pun intended), let’s be bold, brave and honest, shall we? I can honestly say I’ve never felt about another human being the way I feel about him. Fiercely protective while simultaneously terrifyingly guarded, brazen, bold and wanton…oh and petty as the day is long. I’ve never really known heartache like the one he inspires and I wonder sometimes if it’s my penchant for pain that makes me love him so? The jury’s out, but masochism is in the lead. I saw things I can’t unsee regarding him this weekend and I’m decimated as a result. I’ve clearcut the common threads that tie us together and am facing some tough days ahead. What he says and what he does are vastly different and it kills me every time I find out he’s lied to me again. I need to get off this bad ride.
  2. Baked Lays Potato Chips. Dear God in heaven…. hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven… Give us these chips, these daily chips… I can’t even buy a bag because I will eat the whole damn thing with reckless abandon.
  3. Take5 Candy bars. Seriously the best candy bar ever made. Thank you Reese’s for making them a part of your delicious family.
  4. Bombay Sapphire Gin. I had 4 martinis last night as I cried about my bad taste in men and bemoaned the stupidity of my loyal heart. 4!!!. I felt like death warmed over all day today and sat inches away from the cause of it. No martini is worth that and I wish I’d stayed in bed. Thank heavens for Maybelline who painted my grey face a flesh tone and convinced the world that I wasn’t seconds from puking, all day.
  5. Tomato plants. God bless America, at least one of my weaknesses is healthy. I cannot walk away from a “rare” or “lost” heirloom tomato seed. I have grown them all. I know them all as well as my children and doubt you could surprise me with a new favorite… but I’d sure love to hear about yours….

Day 16: What are your five greatest accomplishments?

  1. Motherhood. It’s every bit of who I am and my children are my crown jewels. I’m missing my firstborn and in being absent from my life he has taught me a million more things. Just when you think you know what you’re doing or have cracked the code in how to juggle it all, one of them throws up, moves out, gets in trouble, sings you a song, writes you a love note, pees in your bed, gets good grades, etc…. it’s forever changing. I think I have finally found a healthy balance of love and discipline while slowing down to have more tea parties. I think I’m finally a good mom. Phew.
  2. My career. I was in the right place at the right time to land my job but through my own hard work and perseverance I have landed in the #2 spot and carry a lot of responsibility as a result. I bring a lot of work home with me and the stress of it has given me a few bleeding ulcers. I don’t always want to go, but enjoy it most days and have the flexibility to put my Dumpling first without any hesitation, something that is priceless these days. I love my coworkers, and that hasn’t always been the case so I appreciate it wholeheartedly.
  3. My garden. I’m moving the whole damn thing this year, which is daunting to say the least. I’m also downsizing, because I can’t work full time and keep up with an acre of growing weeds and plants. I just can’t do it, so I’m building a fence around a quarter of the size of my old garden. I was going to skip a year and not plant, but my mental health depends on putting my hands in the dirt and having ripe tomatoes.
  4. My friendships. I never have time to see most of them, but I really am blessed to have the best friends in the whole galaxy. I’ve been painfully depressed for the past year and have distanced myself from 99% of the world in trying to put myself back together. I’ve been avoiding everyone while working to stop the endless flood of tears from ruining every good time. When you can’t pull it together, you find out who your real friends are. The people who reach out, shoot a text or call even though they know I wont answer. I’m incredibly blessed to have more than my share and they’ve gotten me through an awful year that threatened to get the best of me.
  5. My family. I have a good relationship with my mom, a healthy and loving relationship with all of my siblings and there’s nobody I avoid! That sounds ordinary, but trust me it isn’t. I don’t see them as much as I’d like but the fact that we’re all on good terms is nothing short of miraculous and I treasure the family dinners we missed out on for so many years and for such stupid reasons. Aside from a few red-hat wearing distant cousins, our entire family has healed old wounds and come back together. I hope and pray that the same happens with my son some day, and seeing all their faces around the dinner table as we laugh, gives me fresh hope.