Dealing with illness and fears

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“For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

My mother and I have been back from Brazil for several days now.  My main focus, besides work, has been trying to get her mentally and physically healthier.

Approximately 3 weeks ago she went to a neuropsychiatrist after many years of my sister and I begging her to see someone regarding some baggage that she carries since she was a child.  Lately she had been extremely angry and short-tempered and realized on her own that she needed to do something about it.

She saw the doctor and they spoke for about an hour.  She came home happy and felt light after discussing things from her past.  Unfortunately when she woke up the next morning she was slurring her words and had trouble walking.  She was in a drunk-like state (My mother quit drinking when she was 25 years old because she realized it was going to become a problem, so we know she wasn’t drunk.  On May 1st she will be 80 years old)

“Maturity, one discovers, has everything to do with the acceptance of ‘not knowing.” Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves

She refused to go to the emergency room or call the doctor, attributing the symptoms to the deep conversation they had the day before.  It is hard not to think that the 2 things are not related.  My brother is a nurse and he didn’t think she was suffering a stroke or something similar.  I need to note here that my brother will never go against my mother’s and father’s wish, even in a situation like this where my first instinct would be to take her to the emergency room.  I try to keep my interference to a minimum only trying to provide positive feedback and financial support.  I try not to be critical of my sister and brother.  I realize how easy it is for me to have all the right answers when I am so far away.  I am also extremely grateful of how much they do for my parents and the love and respect they give my parents.

Last week in Brazil all I did was cook and clean and make sure she was resting.  She had 2 different brain scans done last week.  The last scan showed: Signs of microangiopathy.  Some signs of thinning of the white matter were also observed (inferring ischemic leukoaraiosis).  That is all Greek to me and all my Google research has left my head spinning.  At any rate her doctor gave his okay for her to travel as long as she takes the medication prescribed (He said he doesn’t believe in canceling vacation because of illness and also thought a change in scenery would be good for her). He says her issues are due to age and also to diabetes and high blood pressure.  As soon as she returns she is scheduled for additional tests.

“Fear is the glue that keeps you stuck. Faith is the solvent that sets you free.”
Shannon L. Alder

She was fine in the flight from Sao Paulo to New York, so I am hoping that means that she will also be fine in the flight from NY to Tel Aviv this Saturday, as the trip is still on schedule.  She is excited about it, but I am making sure that she knows that is also okay if she thinks it is too much for her.

My mother has always been a dynamo never sitting or slowing down throughout the day.  The amount of things she accomplishes in one day is incredible.  While I am proud to have such an energetic mother I also knew that that would be her down fall.  That makes watching her slowing down now much harder.

I am not allowing her to do anything on her own as I fear she could fall and hurt herself (on our first day in NY she fell in the tub, I took that as a warning).  She has had good days and bad days.  Today is a not so great day as she seems slower than usual.  It is hard to be at work and leave her at home alone but I also realize that I cannot make her feel like an invalid all of a sudden.

“If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.” ― Masaru Emoto

She has started taking vitamins, eating more, healthier, and at regular intervals (her diet before was coffee, bread and more coffee).  She has been taking daily naps and doing no housework at all.  She is still doing her crafts (knitting, crocheting, and painting), also reading and some easy exercises.

I am hoping that this is just a warning sign for her to take it easy, relax and take better care of herself. Actually it is a warning sign for the entire family as we are all guilty of overdoing at the dessert table.  I am hoping that as the medication starts to work and combined with the new lifestyle and diet she will soon be brand new.

I know it is all in God’s hands and I am just trying to follow his guidance and respect his plan, but the idea of ever losing my mother has been unbelievably hard to deal with.  I am trying to ward off those thoughts that continue to invade my mind and steal my peace.

I thank you all for your support and prayers! You are a source of comfort and for that I feel blessed and I am extremely grateful!!

 “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ― Lao Tzu

Learning acceptance kicking and screaming!

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I am right now sitting at terminal 38 at JFK airport waiting to board a flight to Brazil. This post will be extremely short as it is a major pain to type on a tiny tablet.
Arghhhh I am about to start pulling my hair out…oops, just realized I am sounding and acting like a spoiled teenager – ugly!!!!!!!
Summarizing:
• going to Brazil to visit family and get my Mom
• Mom has been sick so we hope the doctor clears her to travel.
• We are supposed to come back from Brazil in one week, spend 5 days in NY then travel to Israel
• All is in the air now depending on tests and test results.

The last few days/weeks have been very challenging:
• Buying a larger apartment
• Finding a tenant for smaller apartment
• booking the trip to Brazil and to Israel for mom and I
• having a birthday. Tuning 49 is no picnic. There was this sense of finality, finity and finitude (are these all the same? I just want to make sure you get my feeling that life is almost over!
• severing ties with a friend (will write about it as it is painful and I still working on this pain and other feelings.
•but worst of it all was my mom getting ill!! There is this sense of powerlessness, lack of control over anything. Being far doesn’t help!

This is another chance to practice acceptance. Another great chance to show how much I believe in God and the Universe.
I am in control of nothing, absolutely nothing. The moment I understand and acceptance this one fact is the moment fear and worry release its grip on me.
Another chance to work on my feelings, reactions and over-reactions.
Another chance to show gratitude for all the blessings already received.

As long as I do 100% as a daughter, as a human being, as long as I honor and respect people and nature, as long as I have a grateful heart I am will be okay no matter what.
My prayer continues to be for guidance, acceptance and strength!
Dear God, don’t give me what I want, give me what I need and the tools to deal with it!

A wonderful Easter to All! Thank you for being there – that knowledge alone comforts me!

My past in a letter!

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“We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.”
Rick Warren

It is amazing the tricks the Universe plays on us.  I just wrote the previous post about having no feelings about Ex and then all of a sudden I have doubts.

As I have mentioned I have just moved apartments, so I am in the process of organizing stuff.  Tonight I decided to focus on documents, etc.  All of a sudden I open a folder and there is a folded letter inside.  As I open it I recognize Ex’s handwriting.

My heart sinks.  I know I just wrote about not having feelings regarding his texting me, but what if I was wrong?  At first I didn’t even remember ever receiving this letter.  I made sure to destroy/erase anything he sent. I guess I missed this one.

Am I really over him? I braced myself, expecting the worst and I start reading it.

As I read the letter I remember exactly how I felt when I read it the first time.  I felt happy and validated when I read the word love.  At that time I still wanted validation to all the love I had for him and for the fairy-tale relationship I thought we had.  The word love meant hope, perhaps there is still a future.

Then I remember feeling insulted as he was still not acknowledging the cheating.  He was still not being honest, perhaps not even with himself.

That was what I felt then, September 2013.   Now there are no feelings.  Nothing! :-)

Here is the letter:

Ex Letter

It reads:

“I love you

I always have and I always will.

For 2 1/2 years I was pretty good at loving you and holding the rest of my life together.

The last few months, I was not as good and I will never be able to make it up to you or explain how disappointed in myself that I am.

Currently, I have not pulled the rest of my life together and many things have worsened.

You are an exceptional and wonderful person and lady that deserves better than me and I realize how lucky and fortunate that I was to be in your life, even for just a few years.

I will always provide you with anything I can, just let me know if you need anything.

A few months ago I wouldn’t have been able to read it without crying.  Now it is meaningless as if I don’t even know the sender and recipient.

What remains at this point is gratitude.  Gratitude for what we had and gratitude for letting me go!

I have forgiven him a long time ago and I am happy that time has allowed me to forget!

“Forgetting is something time alone takes care of, but forgiveness is an act of volition, and only the sufferer is qualified to make the decision” ― Simon Wiesenthal

The sweet taste of indifference!

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“Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.” ― Steve Maraboli

Remember Ex? You don’t?  Good! I barely do! Lol  He texted me a week or so ago.  The reality show Amazing Race was on and it had been filmed in Bangkok.  That reminded him of a trip we took there in 2010.

He texted: I hope you are watching or recording Amazing Race.  They are in Bangkok in all the places we have been and it reminded me of how wonderful that trip was thanks to you.

I texted back: I am recording it, too busy moving.

He texted back congratulations and some other pleasantries.

I replied: Thank you, Life is beautiful! I continue to be blessed!

And that was the end.

It was not until much later that I realized one thing:  I had no feelings about getting a text from him, and consequently I had no feelings about him.  I was completely  indifferent to hearing from him. I was not happy or sad, it was just a text from somebody I knew.

I didn’t read and re-read the texts trying to find hints of something that one day was, trying to find hidden meanings of love.

I was not mad he texted.  I was not mad he reminded me of that amazing trip.  I was just completely unaffected by it.

I no longer have the longing sad feelings of a lost love.  I no longer have anger over what he threw away.  I am no longer annoyed and hurt that he acted like he had done nothing wrong.

I thought this day would never come.  I thought I would always have some feeling towards him.  It is so wonderful to realize that my heart is whole and it back to being my own.

This feels like some sort of graduation, a process completed, a rite of passage I am done with.

He is no longer a central character in the plot of my life.  He is not even a supporting character.  He is just a chapter in a book that now sits in the shelf of my life collecting dust.

I never realized how the absence of feelings could ever feel this amazing!

“Well, now
If little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you
Little by little
If suddenly you forget me
Do not look for me
For I shall already have forgotten you

If you think it long and mad the wind of banners that passes through my life
And you decide to leave me at the shore of the heart where I have roots
Remember
That on that day, at that hour, I shall lift my arms
And my roots will set off to seek another land”
― Pablo Neruda

One is alive, the other is boring and I am getting old in the process!

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Guess who I saw online on Friday night?  Yes, you guessed it!  Mr. disappearing act was online.  So now we know that he is not dead, in prison or lying in a hospital with amnesia.  Now we know that he stopped texting/calling because he wanted to.

I will never understand what makes a person do that.  The honest approach is so much better and civil, why just disappear? Why let people wonder what happened?   Well, I totally believe I dodged a bullet and I thank my guardian angel for this narrow escape.

I didn’t contact him and I am glad that he didn’t contact me and tried to give me some excuse.

The bottom line is whatever is/was going on in his life that caused him to disappear has nothing to do with me.  It is all about him! I was just on his path.  I was just another casualty.

I am filing this under lesson learned.  I am free from him.  I am free from the issues that being his friend would bring.  Drugs are not for me and anyone that needs drugs to be happy are not for me.

“Being honest may not get you many friends but it’ll always get you the right ones.” John Lennon

***

I just came from another failed date.  I hate to use the word failed as I think everything in life leads to success and there are no failures only lessons and stepping stones to a better place. But for some reason this one feels like a failure.

He was just a bit too overwhelming to me.  Normally I am the overwhelming one.  Normally I am the one that talks too much.  I wanted to give him some constructive criticism but I knew he couldn’t handle it.  At one point I just sat back and listened, I didn’t bother to disagree.  Well I attempted to but I could see him getting defensive so I gave up.

Of course he liked me so much that he couldn’t stop telling me that he had a great feeling about this date.  He now can’t stop telling me how smitten he is with me.  It seems he says the right stuff but it just rubbed me the wrong way.

I don’t like when people assume they know me.  I don’t like when people assume that they know what I am feeling.  I don’t like when people think they know what I am about to say.

He is a very nice guy, great job, worldly, smart, but something rubbed me the wrong way.  He is an Aries like me maybe that is the problem. May be he is too much like me.

Truth is that if that is what I am like, I hated it and I need to change.  It is not fun being with someone so opinionated, so know it all, so full of assumptions.  I need to watch myself and tone it down.

The main problem is there was zero chemistry for me.  I guess when there is chemistry is easier to put up with some things.

He just texted to tell me he wants to do something special for me on Saturday night to celebrate my birthday.  His birthday is 2 days later.  The worst part is that I am considering it.

I didn’t say no yet, but I know I have no other answer for him. I was tempted into accepting just because I have nothing lined up for my birthday. I know, that is an awful reason to go out with someone! This blog of mine is all about honesty, so I would be lying if I didn’t acknowledge that I thought about accepting his invitation so that I would have something special to do on my birthday.

The truth is I would feel miserable if I accepted knowing I would be using him. If I thought there was a chance of liking him more on a second date I would go, but I don’t think so.  So I will find an easy way to let him down.

As far as my birthday I will make it special no matter what.  I always celebrate myself!  I believe there will be champagne involved!

I will be celebrating possibilities!  My life is so full of hope and possibility!  Some times I just have to smile to myself for seeing all the invisible beauties and blessings in my life.  I am alive, do I need any other reason to celebrate?

The Guardian Angel Act!

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“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”  Rumi

This post was going to be called “Disappearing Act” but I already have a post with that name plus I believe this disappearance act is the act of my very astute Guardian Angel.

Do you remember the drug guy that became my friend, the one I spoke about a couple of posts ago? He totally fell off the face of earth, or so it seems.

It is all very odd.  We had been talking on the phone and texting every single day.  In our very last texting exchange we were joking, talking about my new tenant and also making plans to have buffalo chicken wings.  I had mentioned that he should search for the best place to have wings and it would be my treat since he had been treating me to dinner/drinks every time we saw each other so I thought it should be my turn.

Then there is just silence, no text, no phone call, nothing.  We never had any disagreements and even the drug issue was really a non-issue.  I said my part he said his and we were past that as if it never happened.  We had become close fast friends, one of those very easy friendships.

“Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.” ― Deborah Reber

In the past I would have created crazy scenarios in my mind such as him being involved in some kind of accident, or perhaps losing his phone and not being able to contact me.  In the past I would have texted and called to see if he was okay and alive, but I don’t do that anymore.   In the past when I contacted a new friend or date that had gone silent they normally would say they had been busy or something like and then go silent again.

Now I choose non-reaction and acceptance.  I am only human, so of course I am curious about what happened, but not enough to contact him. I have also been so busy with my moving apartments that only now I have the time to think and write about it.

I feel my life is an open book; my presence is optional, whoever wants to stay, stay, whoever wants to leave, leave. No questions asked.  No pressure, no commitment.  Of course there is something called courtesy, and treating others politely, I do it but not everyone chooses to do it.  I like to be upfront, if I don’t want to see someone again I say so.  I choose honesty but it is up to each one of us to do as we please.

“The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.” ― Stephanie Perkins

When I say this disappearance is the act of my guardian angel is because unexplainable events such as this to me have deeper meaning.  They are small miracles, they are God’s sign of which direction I should be going, or going a step further,  it is God forcing my hand and choosing the right direction for me.

I had been ambivalent from the beginning if I should continue a friendship with him or not.  While I am totally against any use of drugs in my life I like to be non-judgmental.  I like to be open to friendships with people from all walks of life.  I am an all-opportunity friend.  We never know who will be the vessel for the next lesson, who will be the source of the next smile and the next comforting word.  I also think I am not above people; I am not perfect, I am not better than my fellow human being just because I say no to drugs.  I believe people are put on our path for different reasons.  He had a reason to come into my life.  Perhaps he was a test.  Perhaps he was a wakeup call.  Perhaps he was a reminder of what I should be doing.  Perhaps he is teaching me the joy of being able to accept people as they are and also to learn to let them go when they choose to leave. I don’t have to know the reason for his appearance in my life right now, I just need to be aware of it.

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ― Lao Tzu

Perhaps my guardian angel realized we were getting too close and the friendship could have become something else, something that would not be good for me in the long run.  It is so freeing when one learns acceptance.  I am writing about it now not because it still bothers me but because I am proud and happy of how I am handling it and how unaffected by it I am.

I would not change anything about meeting him, about saying no to his offer of fun, about continuing to seeing him and of now accepting his disappearance.  Life is better when it is easy.  Friendships are better when are free from entanglements and pressure.  I am not saying that my life is a revolving door one gets to come and go as one pleases.  You get to go any time you choose but allowing entrance back is another story!  I don’t believe in burning bridges but I believe some deserve to be totally imploded, not only the bridge but the roads leading to it.  Some things are best left in the past so that we can embrace our future.

Thank you my angels for showing me the wise way, for making me realize that trying to build something solid on shaky ground would never work. I bow to your infinite knowledge and protection.  I am blessed and I know it!

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” Steve Maraboli

Floating in Happiness!

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“Dream your dream; and realize that you are more than just the dreamer, you are the point of origin for its reality.”― Steve Maraboli

I was about to complain of how busy and tired I am, but then I realized how blessed I am at this very moment.  I have no right to complain about anything.

Do you remember this post?  http://blessedwithastarontheforehead.com/2014/10/19/heart-i-am-all-ears-and-no-blame-please-talk-to-me/

I will summarize:  I was contemplating 1) Taking my mother to Israel for her 80th birthday and 2) upgrading to a 2 bedroom apartment.  I was fearful and unsure if I should go ahead and do it.  I am normally completely sure of big decisions.  The little decisions are the ones that give me trouble.  But this time I was somewhat frozen.

I am so incredibly happy to report that at this moment I am painting and moving into my new 2 bedroom apartment.  I am totally in love with it.  The super of the building told me yesterday:  ‘You are going to be very happy here.  You have worked hard for it”.  I was a little surprised by his comments, because he only knows me for the past 3 years.  He doesn’t really know how really hard I have worked in the past.  But his words rang true and felt good.  I said to myself: I do deserve this!

Five minutes ago I finalized the details of the trip to Israel!! My mother cried with joy.  She is so excited to go.  I am so excited to be able to afford her this dream.  Nothing pleases me more than making my loved ones happy.  I will trade anything for my mom and dad’s smile.

“We are designed with a dreaming brain and a hopeful spirit; it is our nature to envision the life of our dreams. And while dreaming comes easy to us, we must never forget that it takes strength, dedication, and courageous action to bring that dream to life”― Steve Maraboli,

The buying of the apartment has been a long and arduous process.  I want to tell you guys about it before but I didn’t want to jinx it.  I felt that if I talked too much about it somehow things wouldn’t work out.  Go figure!

I will write more about the above, but for now I just wanted to shout my happiness from the rooftop.

I want you to celebrate with me as you are a part of it!  In my moments of doubt and fear your good thoughts and positive comments helped me stay the course and helped the Universe to conspire and make this apartment and this trip true.  My heartfelt thank you!

“You have had a dream for so many years. Let today be the day you make a plan for it. Just think about how much more likely you are to hit your target when you finally aim at it.”― Steve Maraboli

 

 

Are we all addicted to something?

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“We love the things that destroy us, because in that destruction we truly feel alive.” Robert Pobi, Bloodman

I have been online dating on and off for the past 3 years.  It has been enlightening!  I have met a lot of good guys and a few guys that turned out to be valuable lessons.

If you read my previous 2 posts you are aware that the last guy I met told me that he does drugs on occasion (well he has mentioned that it has been a long time, but I am inclined not to believe that).  We have, against all odds, become friends, or perhaps I should say friendly.  We had dinner Friday and it was fun.

On Saturday this new guy contacted me. After some back and forth emails he asked me: “Do your party?”

I thought the question was odd, and I sensed something illicit about it.  I replied asking him to explain what he meant, and at the same time I consulted the Urban Dictionary.  I was correct: he was asking me if I did drugs.  I explained to him that that was something I was not interested in and after a few pleasant emails we said good bye.

Is this social drug using a new thing or for some reason it is only now that I am actually becoming aware of it?  And why all of a sudden I am encountering this?

So I looked at what these 2 guys have in common in an attempt to perhaps find out where am I going wrong.

  • They are both younger than me, one is 43, and the other is 41. Should I date my age and older only?
  • They are both from well to do backgrounds. Should I date people that, like me, come from poorer backgrounds?
  • They are both well accomplished in their careers and with great disposable income. One is a healthcare executive and the other is a corporate attorney.   Should I look for guys struggling in their careers and living paycheck to paycheck?
  • They are both well traveled and have tasted the finer things in life. Should I look for guys that have not experienced a lot?

It would be great if it was that simple, but drugs knows no age, gender, income level, etc.  Some people may be able to actually only use it socially and not let it control their life.  But to me that is a slippery slope that I rather not get involved in or get involved romantically with anyone that is involved with.

I don’t think I have been doing anything wrong or sending the wrong signals.  My profile clearly states that I do not do drugs, do not smoke and drink only socially.  I think these 2 guys are lessons in what can happen when one gets to a point where they keep craving more and more excitement.  To me they are cautionary tales.  While they are still performing their jobs well, their personal lives seems to be a quest for the excess, more drugs, more girls, the most expensive restaurants, more, more, more.

I don’t ever want to be that way, that jaded, that hooked on craving some illusory high. I like being crazy happy over my bread and butter in the morning, or listening to a favorite song, or talking to my family on the phone. I like being high on a glass of wine or dancing to that favorite song or kissing that one guy that the chemistry is out of control.

Are addicts trying to escape something or trying to embrace something? Is there such a deep pain that needs numbing? Or is there some numbness that needs some awakening it? Is this all about control? about getting close to the edge and not falling over?

I just keep thinking that they are smart enough to know better.

“When you can stop you don’t want to, and when you want to stop, you can’t…” Luke Davies, Candy

****

On a funny note and to illustrate how I need to pay more attention to whatever I am doing at the moment:

I have been searching for a primary care physician.   After procrastinating for over a year I finally take a look at the list of doctors in the Oxford directory and choose one not too far from my town.  As usual I was probably doing that while balancing my checkbook and cleaning the house instead of just focusing on the selecting a doctor.

On the day of the appointment I leave work early to get there early and fill out all the many new patient forms. While waiting I am watching the different ads on TV while browsing some magazine.  I finish the forms, pay my co-pay, wait some more then the nurse calls me.  I answer all her questions and then she says: get undressed from the waist down, sit on the exam table and the doctor will be right in.  I look at the table while thinking: undressing from the waist down? and realize it is a gynecological exam table!

Finally it all hits me:  the waiting room filled with printed information regarding how to avoid getting pregnant, the TV ads on how to get pregnant, all the questions regarding my period, the undressing from the waist down, the gynecological exam table.  So I ask: is this for a gynecological exam? and the nurse says yes.

I explain that I don’t need one. I am very happy with my gynecologist and I am in need of a full physical. I ask her if they offer that, thinking that perhaps I was just given the wrong doctor.  She says they are just a gynecological office.  So I get back out, get my co-pay back and I am again doctor-less.

Looking back, everything about the waiting room screamed gynecologist. I keep telling myself that I need to pay more attention, more attention to what I am doing, more attention to my surroundings, more attention to whatever needs my attention at the moment.

Right now as I am writing this, I am watching TV, making a list of things to do at work, having a snack, browsing online dating profiles and packing.  I know I am not doing justice to any of it, not even to you because I know my writing could be better if I paid attention to it.

Admitting I have a problem is the first step. I am addicted to multi-tasking, if there is such a thing.  I am addicted to the idea of not wanting to waste time.  I want to do everything right now!  Perhaps I am no better than a drug user, perhaps my drug is just a different one.  I just crave a different high: how many items can I cross off of my list?

And wouldn’t you know it, I am smart enough to know better!

“Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism.” ― C.G. Jung

*Thank you for 3 great years! * One minute of humanity *Friendship or foolishness?

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There is so much going on at the moment! I will share more on the next post.  For now I want to share a couple of things:

This month marks the 3rd year that my blog is in existence.  I think this is a huge achievement for me, specially since I am the queen of starting countless projects and not always sticking with them.

This blog has been everything for me!  I have said many times that I credit this blog with saving my sanity at the time of the breakup, were not for this blog I think I would be locked up in some mental institution still obsessing about my ex. As time goes by this blog becomes more and more meaningful to me.   It has become my friend and confidant.  This blog has kept me honest and accountable.  It has helped me see things clearer and some times make sense out of nonsense.

But a blog without a reader is nothing.  So this anniversary is dedicated to you my reader!  I see this anniversary as another excuse to thank you for reading and caring enough to give me some of your valuable insight.  You have touched my life and my journey with your energy and love and for that I am forever changed and forever grateful!

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ― Marcel Proust

***

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

On Friday evening while running to catch the train I stopped to talk to a homeless man.  I have written here many times on how I am unsure as to weather to stop or not as I never know if the person is mentally ill and will all of a sudden attack me.

On a side note,  I do miss my friend Milton and hope he is okay http://blessedwithastarontheforehead.com/2013/07/16/milton-my-new-friend/  He had mentioned that NY city was going to provide him with an apartment in another part of town, so I am happy in the ignorance of thinking that is where he is, nice and warm and well fed. I remember him in my prayers specially in this cold weather.

So I stopped by this gray bearded man that looked over 60 years old but that was probably much younger.  As I am fishing for some money out of my bag I asked him if he was cold.  I know the stupidity of my question as this is one of the coldest winters in NY City, but he played along.  He said he was warm and sometimes too warm that he even had to remove his hat because he got sweaty.  As he says that he removes his hat.  Then we both at the same time started talking about how this was not a smart idea, to expose a sweaty head to freezing cold.  He mentioned that sometimes he gets a headache out of it and took some Advil.

He had the warmest, welcoming and grateful smile ever.  He was so happy that I stopped and talked to him.  I think that he appreciated that minute of conversation more than the money I gave him.

Unfortunately I only gave him a minute.  I waste so much of my time with mundane things and yet to a fellow human being I only gave one minute.  I am not proud!

I regret being in such a hurry to catch the train.  I was running to get ready for a date.  I was in such a hurry and he seemed to have so much to say that I didn’t even think of asking his name.

I felt bad.  Then the date got canceled.  Was it karma? Was I being punished?   Absolutely not!  The date being canceled was a major blessing!  When it got canceled I actually took a moment to stop and say a silent prayer to recognize God for his wisdom and thank him for blessing me with his guidance.  I had already something telling me this date was not a good idea and still I was going to go through with it,  I was trying to shut that little voice down.

It was blamed on miss-communication, but I totally credit my guardian angels.  I am the world’s most blessed person! Yes I am!  Even when I ignore signs and the little voice inside, God steps in and takes me out of the hands of trouble!

Feeling infinitely humbled and grateful!

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” ― Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank

***

“friendship is the only cure for hatred, the only guarantee of peace.”
Gautama Buddha

An update regarding the guy from the last post:  In a very strange twist he and I have become closer.  I canceled the weekend, we talked about it, he understood, and I thought I would never hear from him again.  The very next day he calls me and asks me if I was angry with him and never wanted to talk to him again.  Again we talked for a long time and we agreed to continue to talk and to continue to be 100% honest with each other.  We have not met again as I am very busy and so he is, and then there is the snow, etc, but we are supposed to meet for dinner one of these days.

We talk every day, we make each other laugh.  In a weird way I feel I can trust him more than some other people.  I appreciate that he was honest with me.  I respect that he didn’t try to change my mind.  He said it was a non-issue and that it was fine if I was not interested, end of the story. He also said that he only brought it up because I had mentioned that I wanted to experience things and be more open and free. My excuse for that kind of talk is that we had a very long awesome date, I had had a couple of cocktails and wine, and I have  my 49th birthday looming in my mind. So I was high on life and feeling the urgency of living.  I feel the time to be crazy is now or never.  I was feeling very courageous and adventurous. He said that he thought since he hasn’t done that in a long time he thought it would be perfect.  I now learned that I have to be careful with what I say. My definition of being crazy is clearly very different than his.  Crazy for me is having 3 drinks, dancing on the table and making out on the first date.

(I am writing his and mine conversation not to excuse him or make his offer okay.  Drugs are still not okay in my book, but I have to recognize that I have played a part in leading him on in that conversation.  That night I was definitely writing checks that my ass couldn’t probably ever cash!!)

“We’re all islands shouting lies to each other across seas of misunderstanding.” Rudyard Kipling, The Light That Failed

Perhaps I am flirting with disaster with continuing this friendship or perhaps I am testing the possibility that 2 people with opposing views in a subject can actually become close friends.  Whatever it is, I decided that this was not grounds to stop talking to him. In a way I have to thank him for:

  • making me more aware of how my words and actions can send people mixed signals
  • making me realize that appearances can be deceiving
  • making me realize that even though I am older and wiser I can still be susceptible and weak to certain things

Only time can tell what this friendship will bring…

“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love.” Mahatma Gandhi

Beware of pretty packages…

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“They’ll try to make you forget who you are or try to make you ashamed. But you mustn’t forget and you mustn’t be ashamed.” ― Stephanie Dray, Lily of the Nile

It is amazing how life has a way of making us confront our beliefs and judgments making us doubt and second guess ourselves and in the process teaching us valuable lessons!

I met someone that on paper and, at first, in person seemed perfect.  He was younger than me by a few years.  He had a boyish charm that drew me in.  Our sense of humor matched perfectly.   He has a very high paying job that he conquered though hard work even though he is from a rich family. He was smart and witty.   For one day/night I got to be on his side and see how my life would be while in his arms.  I could already see the parties, fancy dinners, and only the best and high class all the way.  I could see myself being pampered not only with the finer things in life, but, most important, with attention and care.  I had a glimpse of it and I enjoyed it.  He was a perfect gentleman too, doors opened, chairs pulled, etc.  He also had a way of making me feel safe and totally at ease.  We had a great very long date and by all indications this was the first of many more amazing dates as he seemed to be as enamored of me as I was of him.  I should have already guessed that it was too good to be true.

Towards the end of the date he invited me to spend the next weekend together.  I said yes immediately.  This time I was not thinking of “too much too soon” as I did with the last guy…go figure!  I cannot figure myself out, so I don’t expect you to understand why for one guy I want to slow everything down and for another the speed of light doesn’t seem fast enough.  I blame it on my crazy heart.

“Confidence is knowing who you are and not changing it a bit because of someone’s version of your reality is not their reality.” ― Shannon L. Alder

As he was describing how much fun the weekend  was going to be with dinners, swimming, spa treatments, he mentions something almost under his breath.  I almost failed to hear while embedded with all the other activities.  I ask for clarification as I am hoping my ears are betraying me. But no, I heard correctly, part of this amazing weekend would involve drugs.  And he was not talking weed, but something more potent.

While I try not to be judgmental and I try to respect people’s opinions and choices they make for their lives,  getting involved with drugs is not what I want for my life.  I have witnessed the destruction that can cause in people’s lives.  And just recently I have been guilty of judging a close friend that I suspect is involved with drugs.  I said to someone: “I don’t get how he got involved with this at this age.  He is old enough to know better.”

So here I am, old enough to know better, and yet still contemplating such an endeavor.

“Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and your self-respect and everything that goes along with your self esteem.” ― Kurt Cobain

I am embarrassed to say that I didn’t immediately disagree with everything he was saying.  He was so matter of fact about it, as if he was talking about having dessert.  I didn’t say no, I was just trying to find a way in which that would be okay.  I was considering it.  I have to be completely honest that for a second I thought what if I tried only once?  We parted ways with him thinking I was cool with it, with me thinking perhaps but knowing full well in my heart and mind that there was no way I would put myself in a situation to be around drugs, let alone use it.  That lifestyle is not for me.  I am perfectly happy without adding extra dramas to my life.  I am already high on life and its infinite possibilities.  I am trying more and more to be present in the now, so the last thing I want to do is to use drugs to get away form the present moment.  My life is great, I am not in pain, so I don’t need to numb my feelings and get away from my head.  I don’t have any problems that I need help forgetting, all I have are opportunities.

This situation showed me how tempting and how vulnerable I can be.  I am sure life threw me this curve ball to make me more respectful and less judgmental of other people’s situation, because I never know when I will be put in a similar situation and perhaps not have the power to make the right decision. It also showed some weak areas that I need to work on.

“Drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision to step out in front of a moving car. You would call that not a disease but an error of judgment.” ― Philip K. Dick

This afternoon with a clear mind I texted him and got it all out of my chest and canceled the weekend date. It felt good to tell him exactly how I felt.  I did feel old fashioned and close minded for a second when he asked questions about my decision. I didn’t expect him to try to change my mind and he didn’t.  I am glad that he mentioned this lifestyle right away.  Well I think it would have been better if he had mentioned on his profile so that he would attract only the kind of people interested in the same thing. But at the same time I don’t regret meeting him.

The lesson here is: “Not all that glitters is gold!” From all the guys I ever dated and, pretty much all the men I know, I would vote him least likely to be involved with drugs.  So this has been a huge wake up call.

Another thing I learned is that one has to be always watchful because you never know when temptation will knock on your door.  The knock will always be an opportunity, an opportunity to show strength.

So from now on I will make a point of asking potential dates if they are into drugs.

I do feel enriched by the experience, I feel happy that it happened, I feel proud that I stood up to what I believe in and made the right choice for me!

In the end the choice was easy and clear!

“I don’t do drugs. I am drugs.” ― Salvador Dalí

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