The first time I said f*#k!

February 23, 1997

JMF has been living elsewhere for almost a month, since he left.  I persuaded him to go to counseling with me the previous week.  It was a start even though the session felt flat.  We scheduled our next appointment for my birthday.

The Angel Cards

The night before my birthday was a struggle as most nights were during this time.  This night in particular was bad.  Sleep was not my friend.  I remembered that my Chicago friend had sent me some angel cards for a Christmas present.  I had admired them when I was visiting her the past November.  It was like her to remember and send me a set of my very own.  I had not opened them yet.  On this night I would open them.  I wanted solace, anything to shed light on this crazy thing that was happening in my life.

So I opened my new pack of angel cards, handling them with reverence.  I wasn’t rushing.  I was ready to accept, ready to make sense of this craziness.  I drew play, an angel playing on the beach with a red beach ball.  I was stunned.  I was mad.  I thought these silly cards don’t work and here was the proof!

This is the angel card that I pulled on February 23, 1997.
The Play angel card.

 

I began to gather them up and carefully put them back in the box.  I was closing the flap on the box when I noticed that one card was in the wrong direction.  Now I was just pissed.  I pulled that card out to place it correctly and I literally gasped!  SURRENDER.  Yes indeed I need to surrender.

Surrender Angel Card
This is the actual card that I drew on February 23, 1997.

February 24, 1997 

SL’s office was in Maryland.  I lived in Virginia.  Initially I was not happy about this drive but it proved to be a time of reflection and centering for me.  Today it seemed like a thousand miles.

On this particular day I arrived early and made me some tea.  To this day the smell of that tea reminds me of SL and her office.

And It Happens!  

JMF arrives and we exchange pleasantries.  He gives me a birthday card and a small box.  He looks and acts sheepish.  I can’t really read him.  Maybe it is more like he would like to be anywhere but here.  Anyway I unwrap the present and it is the smallest pair of amythest earrings.  I thanked him.  Later both the card and box would go in the trash.

SL came out.  I remember getting out of the chair, feeling like I weighed a ton and was being led to the slaughter.  My knee caps were literally shaking.  SL begins to talk to me.  “Have you ever thought of JMF having an affair?”  What a laughable question! “Of course not! JMF isn’t that kind of person. No!” She asks in another way, “On a scale of 1 to 10, where would JMF fit?”  “No way!  A zero!”  On and on this went and I began to feel agitated.  Around the sixth attempt something inside of me shifted.  I looked at JMF and then back at SL and back to JMF.  “Did you have an affair?” He can only nod his head.  He’s got no words. Now I am furious and this is the exact moment in time that I uttered the word f*#k.  “F*#k you!  F*#k you! F*#k you!”  Sheepishly he says, “it wasn’t with _____ (a colleague of his).”  I shot back, “Of course not.  She has principles you f*#k head.”  It’s just too bad SL didn’t count how many times I said this word.  It was a lot.  Just “f*#k you” over and over and over.  Gratefully the “therapist hour” was over.

Welcome to the new world.
Welcome to the new world!

My New Word, My New World!

I drove to my friend’s house.  Only the angels can answer how I arrived there safely.  I literally collapsed on the floor at her front door and stayed on the floor crying for hours.  My next memory is getting dinner for take out and arriving back at my home.  I opened the door, shut it and leaned my back on the door as it closed and surveyed my home.  I said, “thank you God.  This is all mine.”  Oddly I felt relieved, at peace.  At least I had the truth.  The past month was living a lie, a secret and secrets can kill you.  Thank you God that I was alive and well.  It was my birthday.  I thought it rather fitting in that I had just been re-birthed.  Thank you!

January 14, 2018

So I often think of that “play” angel card.  It was on the mark and I just wasn’t ready for it that night but the seed was planted.  That seed germinated over time and today “play” is in my vocabulary.  Playing in the sweet spot! Living in the sweet spot!

Where are you?

Do you find it hard to find play in your life?  Where are your sweet spots in the midst of sadness or loss?  Write me about it!  What do you find helpful to find the sweet spot?  I’m looking forward to hearing your stories.

How it all started as I begin to reflect!

Yellow Butterfly
To some native american tribes, the yellow butterfly brings guidance and is a sign of hope. A flying yellow butterfly also symbolizes a sunny and bright summer is ahead. … A yellow butterfly flying around you brings happiness and prosperity. Seeing one also means that something fun and exciting is on its way. I took this photo on September 29, 2007.

Living in the sweet spot in the midst of loss!

Yes, living!  Not finding it but embracing the sweet spot and having gratitude for living sweetly, living abundantly in the face of loosing so much!  That’s my choice!  Sounds so easy as I write this but the past twenty years have prepared me.  I am ready!

What is a sweet spot?  Macmillan’s Dictionary defines it as the best possible place or combination of factors.  I like it.  Living in the best possible place in spite of whatever is happening around me.

Let’s talk about loss!  

Everyone has losses!  It’s a natural part of life. Loss begins on day one of your life.  You leave the warmth of your mother’s womb and you cry.  Look at a two year old when they experience the loss of that toy they thought was theirs forever.  Learning how to manage loss is an important skill to learn in life and it begins early.  Learning how to manage loss in healthy ways instead of finding revenge or blaming others is critical to lead a healthy and happy life.

I’ve sought to seek an abundant life each day of my life in the midst of experiencing losses.  Well let’s be honest.  In the beginning it was hard to see the abundance. I would see “hints and allegations” of the abundance but it was fleeting at best.  But as days ran into years,  thankfully abundance seems easier to find and experience; living in the sweet spot.

So what are the losses?

  • 1997  The end of a 25 year marriage commences.  Interesting that when I wrote this I did not use “my” marriage.  It was “a marriage.”  That’s telling!
  • 1997  Living in an empty nest in the midst of a separation and divorce.
  • 2000  My Father dies.
  • 2002  Finding love again and then he has a massive stroke in 2004.
  • 2011-2016  Moving 3 times in 5 years.  A severe downsizing of my home.
  • 2012  A rip in the relationship with my oldest child.  I have not heard his voice in five years.  I have not seen my granddaughter in five years. She was born in 2011.
  • Growing older!?
  • 2012  My Mom dies.
  • 2016  The love of my life dies.

My Hope!  

My hope, my intention is to begin sharing my journey, my stories, the messy process of it all and feeling the gratitude for all of it.  In 1997, other women shared their stories with me.  I quickly realized two things.  Their stories gave me hope and I had to live my own story.  I have to write my story.

Truthfully, I am a bit hesitant to put my stories out there.  My Mom would probably think that I am getting too big for my britches.  I am choosing to over ride my Mom, take a deep breath and take a risk; get outside of my comfort zone.

So, I’ll be posting stories of my journey.  Beware though.  I predict that my postings won’t be in any particular order.  I will post dates though!

JSF declaring to write her own story!
In 2010, JSF declares to the universe that she is writing her story from this moment forward.

Are you finding the sweet spot in your life?  

I covet your stories and your thoughts.  So please, please respond back to me with your stories!  I truly believe that we are better together.  What can we learn from each other?  So enough already.  Let’s get it started.  Tell me your stories!  Are you finding the sweet spot in your life?