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Here I am at Last...

The subject title "Here I am at Last..." is a phrase my grandmother used to write to me. Maybe I've told you this before? Near the end of her life (at 88 years old) I corresponded with my grandmother on stationery and mailed her old fashioned letters. I so loved the art of letter-writing. Well, Gramma couldn't keep up with me in writing back, but when she did write me, she'd start her letters off saying, "Here I am at last..." I just loved her for her confidence and humor - she knew I was awaiting her letters with enthusiasm. Anyway, I thought I'd start my blog post for the very few of you enthusiastically awaiting my blog entry. HERE I AM AM... AT LAST!

Heh.. Gramma used to say another thing I'm reminded of as I remember her... when she gave a present and while you were unwrapping it, she'd say, "This is VERY expensive." My whole family still says that whenever we exchange gifts... and we laugh and laugh, especially when the gift wasn't at ALL expensive.

So anyway... it's been since Novemberish I've been on the blog. Sorry - kinda. I've just been so damn busy and unbalanced that any writing I would have posted would be babbling drivel from a frenetic lunatic. Sigh, I do seek the quiet and yet I am so easily drawn into the needs of others that I find myself constantly making urgent the emergencies of others. My sleep patterns have gotten insane... in fact, I am now struggling with sleep paralysis (which is very scary, but now that I know what it is, I am working on homeopathic attempts to get back to balance). Maybe you've had the experience of being "stuck" in a dream when you can't move or scream, but your eyes are open? The dream becomes a hallucination of sorts - it only lasts about ten minutes for me, but happens regularly. Scared the shit out of me for a while, but I'm doing better.

The kids are living at college and choosing most weekends to stay on campus as opposed to coming home. I have never in my life lived ALONE so this is a first experience for me and a weird (sometimes pleasant, sometimes oddly lonely) experience. It is interesting the transformation of my house (incredibly clean) and even the food pantry (incredibly healthy and not overstocked with snacks - and organized). It is so very quiet. This is nice most times.

I am going through skin surgeries (squamous cell carcinoma) on my left leg - a result of long-term tanning. I've had basal cell a dozen times (very low key cancer), but the squamous cell is a bit more aggressive, painful, can be disfiguring. My mother had the same thing last year and it went to the bone and she had to have her shin bone scraped. Mine's early, still... hurts like a bitch. Welcome to Florida!

Work has been horrendously all-encompassing. The health care company for which I'm Director of Marketing Research - we just got Joint Commission Certification and I was key in that project's undertaking, which finally let up in January and I could breathe again. I'm still teaching a class per semester and I also took up freelancing (research and ghost writing) and I have two clients - a PhD student who is studying Appalachian Trail hikers (very interesting study of the effect of outdoor experience on well-being), and I also am wordsmithing an ebook for a sex therapist in NYC, who is an absolutely wacky wonderful brilliant lady I now call friend.

I am trying to get my own psych research published in a journal and my submission to the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships was rejected after an extensive peer review. (3 months I waited) Although I'm disappointed, I'm completely moved and inspired by the supportive feedback I got from three famous scholars on how to do rewrites and submit to another journal. I am now targeting Personal Relationships (a sister publication). I need only about 20 hours more work to get it fine... just haven't made my own project a priority while I work on others' writing projects.

I realize this workaholism thing and late hours is wearing on me (more than ever). I realize that years of this has been escapism - just like any addiction - and a false sense of earning "worthiness" to be good enough (from a self-esteem perspective). I realize the past several years have been a journey to finding self through divorce as my children transform into young adults meanwhile. And I'm coming back from financial devastation from the breakup of the family. I am happy in the person I am and still am becoming... I am open to deep and meaningful, (including private) relationships (heh) and I am willing to look at myself now as a flawed yet hopeful spirit who has many desires to contribute to the world. I endeavor to let down the brick walls of ego surrounding me, find greater forgiveness (especially of self), and let love in, let God in, and realize the fragility and shortness and beauty of life with the spirit of a seeker with child eyes, not a victim and not a controller.

In the past year, I have formed intensely important friendships and I have deepened the meaning of existing relationships. My family is so very small in size - and it is time to let the children stretch and be independent without my constant overseeing - and I am doing that, turning focus in new areas where I can, too, can stretch. This includes new undertakings - art (painting), I am now self-studying DAY TRADING (yes! I want to do some stock trading once i get all educated. I'm enjoying movies (cable or DVD) and still following my fave TV show, The Bachelor. Yeah, baby. I'm thinking of starting a professional blog of articles (pop psych). I started writing short articles a couple of weeks ago - oh, the stuff you read on About.com or Psychology Today... and I have targeted Going Bonkers (a very nice slick magazine) for my first article for publication... time permitting. Also, going to clean out the garage this spring.

I turned 47 this month. Sigh. Kevin and Kelly have their birthdays (three days apart) in March and he'll be 22 and she will be 19. They are doing so well in school, but I should mention that Kelly totaled her car in a little oopsy left hand turn accident (she had to go to the hospital, but is fine). And in December she had sinus, adenoid and tonsillectomy surgery, which was brutal for her for a number of weeks post-op.

So... it's been a little hectic to say the least!

I am hoping to catch up with BLU again (blogger from The Book Shelf) who I had the distinct pleasure to meet and clink wine glasses with in NYC in October. It's the bomb to meet someone you've known online for so many years and then finally see them face-to-face. There are many of you I have known so very long and yet never saw you in real life.

I will be a better blogger.

Report in on how you're doing... Spidey? Mavis? Any of y'all?

oxxoxo

2 comments:

Brenda said...

Hello!
Nice to see you again! You are so so busy!
I am not busy at all. Well not professionally. I left my job in November. I had enough. And now I spend my days puttering about the house. Baking, cooking good meals,organizing and getting rid of things,dusting before I can write in the dust,reading,and for the last 3 weeks, puppy sitting my daughters puppy, Dexter. He is sweet and adorable and extremely intelligent for only being 3 months old. I will miss him when he goes back home. But not the 3am wake up barks to go potty. He amazes me and I think he might be a genius dog.
Bigjoe will retire on April 1st. He can't wait. We will get up before dawn and go to Lake Michigan to watch the sunrise on the first day of the rest of our lives.
I will be a grandma a few weeks later to a little boy I simply cannot wait to meet.
I have been golfing which I find I am enjoying. The weather has been mild here and we were able to golf a few times in January and February. Unheard of around here. When not on the course, we visit a heated driving range.
And so that is how I am. :) spidey

doreenmary said...

Brenda, My apologies for not responding... have not been blogging but am back.. I just moved my blog to my updated website, www.doreenlewis.com. WOW - your life changes are so incredibly wonderful and you deserve the blessings! Let's get back in touch. I'm sure much more has happened for you since your late winter post! Congratulations on all the good stuff!

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