September 10, 2003

Today's webset is my last nod to summer and the light time of the year.  It's not that I don't love it, because I do.  It's more of having felt the pull of Fall and Winter since the beginning of August and the lowered temperatures and turning leaves have me feeling a bit giddy.  Fall is my favorite time of year, with Spring as a very close second.  This year in particular, I eagerly embrace it.

Eric is getting the layoff wave again and we're bracing for impact and expecting the best, whatever that might be.  His own business is percolating and showing all kinds of growing signs, but right now, they are pretty much making enough on side jobs to pay their monthly insurance premium.  They still have two major bids in the works and if even one of those pans out, they'll be set for several months.  Meanwhile, we've been so grateful for the time he's been able to work for his old company again.  It has definitely gotten us through!  Meanwhile, he's able to work part days and with any luck, the company will get in more work for their people to do or Eric's business will get one or both of these bids.

My birthday, just in case I didn't go into good detail, was spectacular.  I spent three days celebrating.  Eric came to me and said, "Honey, I am going to be honest with you.  I've wracked my brain and I can't think of a thing to get you for a gift.  If you think of anything, tell me.  I just want to make sure you know that there is not a day that goes by that I don't celebrate your birth in my heart and I hope you know how much I love you and how thrilled I am to be married to you."  My heart melted.  :o)  What a precious.  We went out and had a nice lunch together, then went and bought Nathan's birthday presents together.  It was lovely.  Delena and I went to see Freaky Friday together and had a great time.  Friends of mine gave me wonderful gifts that I never would have thought of on my own, proving that they know me even better than I do, which is always a beautiful gift in and of itself.  I tried to think of something I wanted to buy for myself and all I could think of was a replacement for my favorite and most used Tarot deck.  This is about my fifth replacement, I think.  I found it cheaply on, so I was a happy girl.  I have all that I want (although opulent wealth would be a real bonus) and life is great.

Delena is home sick for the third day.  It's the same thing both Dylan and Nathan had, just fever, lethargy and nausea.  With the boys, it lasted about 5 days.  I'm keeping my eye on the boys now, even though they are both all better.  I remember with the older kiddies that these symptoms showed up about two weeks before they broke out with chicken pox.  I'm fairly sure that Delena has already had it at some point.  The reason I'm sketchy on it is that when she had them at age 4, I took her to the AF clinic and the doc there told me it wasn't chicken pox, but could not identify WHAT it was.  It looked exactly like the chicken pox the older three boys (and I, at age 21) got together, so it could go either way.  Um, I'll get back to you.  Meanwhile, I hope the groceries still sell Aveno.  Lord, that's a miserable disease, especially for adults.

Sunday night, I stayed up and watched the E True Hollywood Story on Dr Phil, hoping to get some insight into the guy.  Sure, he's changed my life, but as I've watched him over the years, I've had the feeling he could potentially be a real asshole.  For better or worse, by the end of the show, they hadn't really unearthed anything that would validate my suspicions.  OK, so he's driven and ambition.  OK, so he stepped on a few toes getting to where he is today.  OK, so he's got a sizable ego.  None of those are big surprises and could pretty well be ascertained from how he presents himself and the things he has said on the show.  By all accounts, he's exactly as he appears.  That pleases me, actually, because Phil has been quite an inspiration to me.  His book, "Life Strategies," completely turned my life around more than once.  I've read it three times, rather, read it once and listened to it twice.  The first time was before Eric and I married, but after my divorce from Paul.  I bought the book because I'd enjoyed watching Phil on Oprah and wanted to hear more of what he had to say.  I didn't really read it with me in mind, but more of just wanting to see where he was coming from.  A few chapters into it, I was thinking he was doing a lot of rambling and not really getting anywhere, but I dutifully did the exercises.  About halfway through the book, I was in sobs over the state of my life and the amount of my own empowerment I'd given over to other people, as well as the way I was letting guilt and blame and anger guide my life straight into a ditch.  That was when I started working hard to turn my life around and live from a very honest and positive place rather than the lies I'd been telling myself for so long.

I listened to the book a couple of other times after that, just as a status check to refine where I was going and what I was doing.  Each time, I found another facet of the book that had not particularly stood out for me before.  I went on to also read and listen to (yes, both), "Relationship Rescue" a couple of times.  It was almost as helpful as "Life Strategies" and is another book that changed my life, even though my relationship didn't particularly need rescuing.  When "Self Matters" came out, I bought it immediately, as well as the CD's.  I didn't read it until a few weeks ago, when I realized about 2 disks into it that the direction of the book was to assist people in finding their heart's desire and living their life to support that and surprisingly, I was already there.  Taking care of my kids, being with Eric, having the wonderful friends that I do and connecting with the world through the websites that I do is exactly where my heart wants to be.  That was a wonderful revelation to experience. 

I can fully advocate the peace that comes with living life on task and even going the distance of knowing what it is that you do want out of life.  It's not easy because there are so many filters placed on our self-image and personal dreams and goals.  Parents want a particular thing for us, society wants us to be a particular way, conform to the stereotypes assigned to us and not dare to step out of the box.  Life experiences, the biases of others and the thoughtless cruelty of the people around us often cause us to alter who we are or who we want to be to keep from rocking any boats or incurring the judgments (real or perceived) from others.  It takes a lot of work to get back to our core selves and learn how to be that again without having to act out the dramas and put on the masks that others want to see.  The search for our authentic self is often so daunting that people find it easier to stay in their comfort zones, head down, pushing forward, walking the same well-worn tracks that they have been told to walk, living the life they were told to live and wearing the mask they were told to wear. 

The search for me began in earnest in 1997 and I have to say, I didn't really start to feel it until this year.  That's a six year process that was often had me in wracking sobs for days.  It wasn't easy by any means, but it was definitely worth it.  The release of years of baggage, attachments to the opinions and wants of others and the clarity about who I am and what I want in my life is an amazing experience and I'm grateful that all that work got me here.  I always figured I'd have to be in a "safe" place to do something like that, but when you are in a safe place, there's not much motivation to do it. 

In case you don't hear from me for a day or so, here's why:

Nathan's in a bit of a "bad place" and is making me crazy.  FYI, kids hate it when you take pictures of their hissy fits.  This one was over "I want another of my sister's pieces of candy."



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