2016 – A year in review

I haven’t blogged in a long time. I’ve had such a busy year that I’ve let things like my blog slide.

All in all, this year has been a good one. I’ve been lucky this year and hopefully haven’t taken it for granted.

There have been plenty of bumps and a pretty steep learning curve in my life this year. It’s been a year of utter acceptance and I’ve come closer to letting the past go then ever before. I’ve been making peace with the things I can’t do anything about and reminding myself that in the grand scheme of life, I’m good.

While there are still some things that weigh heavily on my mind, each day presents a chance to improve where I can. To let go of what I can and to take pleasure when I can.

I’ve discovered a greater satisfaction and appreciation for those who love me for me. I’ve also tried to ignore the things that those close to me “expect” from me.

In 18 months my youngest will graduate and start college. It’s a bit scary stepping out of the mom roll  on an hourly basis. I’m thinking of it as the second half of my life and a sense of freedom after 20 yrs of raising my awesome, wonderful kids.

I love being a mom but sometimes you feel tied down- which is normal.

The lessons for me in 2016 –

I don’t worry about things that I can’t change about myself or other people.

I don’t have to stop feeling what I feel about people and things. My feelings are mine and mine alone and NO ONE can make me feel guilty, sorry, or tell me what I should or need to think.

I learned what GASLIGHTING is and how a few of the people I know have used it toward me.

I’ve also learned how to thwart their attempts to make me CRAZY, make me doubt myself etc…

In the end when others do that to a woman, they do so in order to make them feel better about their own choices in life.

I’ve never been responsible for another’s decisions whether they want to accept that or not.

I’ve seen the old adage that the grass is NOT always greener on the other side and I would be lying if that didn’t make me just a tiny bit happy.

I’m still striving to accept things on face value and not look for some hidden meaning or agenda.

I like myself more and more everyday. Staying positive has a lot to do with choice. I think I’ve left the pity train and only hop on board once in a while.

I’ve been much better at having empathy and sympathy for others who live with regret or who Karma has demanded repayment for their bullshit. She certainly gave it to me for a few years and I don’t envy anyone who is getting her retribution.

I love the fact that I don’t want normal in my world. I don’t want to live a Norman Rockwell kind of life. I’ve seen and know too many people who are faking their way through life because they feel stuck. So I embrace my inner geek, rock chick & everything else that is unique about me.

I fight depression, anxiety & self-worth issues with tools I’ve picked up through friends, family and therapy.

I know that depression led me to be unhealthy, overweight, unfulfilled, always in pain, not taking care of me. I no longer to seek someone’s approval about how I look, what I believe and what I love.

What I look forward to in 2017-

A flurry of re-releases of my books that I’m getting the rights back to as of January 1rst.

Breaking through the writer’s block that has haunted me since 2012.

Continuing to build my business. This has been a tough one, the previous owner left out a whole load of shit concerning how many customers were chased off, who were treated badly and were unappreciated. But the store is slowly gaining a lot of ground and several other book stores around me have closed. The key has been to make it a place people love to come, feel appreciated for their business and make it as friendly and warm as possible.

Waking up and going to bed with an optimistic view of life.

I’ve lost a few friends, one unexpectedly and it was a stark reminder of how short life is and I refuse to live in ways that make me unhappy. I no longer think in terms of things will get better in five or ten years from now. I may not be here then so I do what I love today.

I’m still not sorry for the things and people I love and never will be but I also won’t be taken for granted, taken for advantage of or used to boost someone’s self-esteem. Nor do I look to anyone else to feel those things about myself.

I’ve been others worst nightmare, regret and a reminder of all they don’t have but I’ve also been lucky enough to be someone’s lifeline, friend, mother, daughter & sister.

I’m still learning to think before I speak which has been hard.

I’m still way too impulsive in every aspect of my world and am working on not giving in to those impulses. But when I can’t fight it I usually give in. I guess this is something I will always struggle with but everyday I do my best to rise above.

Spending more time with those I love and respect and those who love me and respect me. Friendship should always be a 2 way street.

I hope to take joy from the things and people around me. I also hope to bring happiness to those same people.

I want to live each day with passion and purpose.

I want to take more walks in the sun. Laugh with friends. Be a shoulder to cry on to those who need it. I want to give to others as much as I can. Not because of how it will look to others but because I really enjoy giving to those who don’t have anything to give back or need help. I’ll never be rich and I don’t care.

Continuing to forgive & forget. I want to always keep in mind that I don’t know the struggles of others even if they’ve made unwise choices. I want to be much less judgemental and understand that people have to learn life lessons all on their own.

I don’t want to make people feel bad. I don’t want to put others down or be filled with anger and hate.

I want to continue to be nice, kind and hopefully understanding. I want my F&F to know and feel my love and appreciation for their place in my life. Whether we talk daily or once a year.

I want to give more hugs and kisses. I want to be there for those who have no one else to talk to. I want to be braver, more confident and try new things.

I hope to bask in the glow of the small things that make me smile. I want to spend Sundays in bed, reading, writing , making love, laughing and talking with the man I adore.

I want more weekend jaunts to explore Michigan, which after speaking to my friends from Florida to Cali, is still the best place to live.

I want to look on the world with hope. I want everyone to find that one person who sets them on fire and loves them without conditions.

I look forward to the coming year and all the surprises that are in store. All the wonders yet to be seen and experience all the raw passion there is to life. I don’t want to leave things unsaid to those I love.

2017 is another opportunity to live life to the fullest. To be happier. To learn things as they come.

I hope 2016 was good to you. That each of you had what you truly deserve in life. That you find the happiness and passion for life. That you don’t live with a glass is half empty or accept the least of…in life.

Wishing you a wonderful, and happy holiday and an even more exciting new year.

Cheers,

Sierra

 

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30 days

I’m turning off facebook for 30 days. No posts, no likes and no memes. I’m not reading updates, status’ , anything. I’m burnt out. Political posts, bitchiness, downers, and crazy reminders of the past have reached a point where I have to check out for a time.

It hasn’t been 1 thing but a pile of things that keep mounting and I need it to go away for a while.

Reading, writing, the store, my friends and the kiddies are on the agenda for the next 30 days. I’ll still go online. Gotta check the email and have to do research but other than that I need to clear some shit out of my head.

I was talking to a friend of mine who is a nurse (I tell her everything) about a couple of things that I’m unable to get past and haven’t been able to think upon them differently.

She told me that I probably won’t ever because I’m not wired that way. Once in a while something becomes so ingrained in you that it will live permanently in your heart, mind or soul. Accepting it instead of fighting it will be better for my psyche and take the pressure off of me to try to think differently.

It was a difficult thing to hear but it’s true. Why fight it? Just go with it and it will either resolve itself in time (like I really need it to continue for the rest of my life….UGH! ) or it will always be a part of who I am.

That’s it. There is no magic pill to take the less than happy things out of your life. 30 days that’s what I’m taking to step back and work on the things I can, things I love and enjoy.

I admit that FB is very addicting but it can also be a huge source for misunderstanding, hurt feelings etc….and that takes away from all the wonderful things I experience daily. I’ll be blogging again but now I want to talk about the struggles of writing when you’ve been empty of words for 3 yrs running.

Wish me luck!!!!!

 

Older and Wiser????

My birthday will arrive in 3 days. This birthday is a special one for me. I’ve settled in to the store. I’m in good health and I pretty much enjoy life everyday.

I’m lucky. Not in what I have in life but how I feel about my life. Don’t get me wrong there are still days when something happens and I shake my head and say WTF?

Thankfully those days are much less often then they have been in the last 10 yrs of my life.

I live by some pretty simple things. I’ve said them before but it never hurts to repeat them, if only for my satisfaction.

1.I’m doing what I love.

The store has been a life saver and I’m happy to be able to go into that building almost daily. It doesn’t feel like work. I’m in a place that is my happy zone. Right in the middle of books . Each day if a gift when I get to go in.

I grow bored pretty fast but on most days that boredom is kept at bay as long as I keep busy.

2. I do what makes me happy. It’s a rare thing when I allow myself to do anything I don’t want to do. PERIOD! Yeah I may do things that aren’t in my top ten favorite BUT I refuse to do anything that I really don’t want to. It’s caused issues with family and friends but at this point in my life I don’t give a damn. My health and satisfaction in life are up to me. As such, I don’t like to waste my time. So I do say no – a lot.

If I don’t want to go to an event – I don’t. It’s pretty simple especially when F&F understood I mean it. It’s not personal, it’s just a way to ensure I’m not going to get bent out of shape over things.

3. I don’t put my happiness in the hands of others. It’s not fair to me or them. If I’m responsible for my own feelings  then I can;t blame the nearest person to me.

4.The above goes hand in hand with the notion that you can’t control another person. No One really can in the broad sense. It takes a lot of practice to allow other people to do what they do whether you agree or not. In the end we only have to answer for how we behave, how we think and the words we speak.

5.I no longer apologize, rue, or obsess over the past. This is not them, it’s now.I can’t take back word and deeds I’ve been a part of. I start each day a new.Each decision I make is one that I know I can live with.  Denying universal truths never got me anywhere and only led me to feel really shitty about myself and who I was.

My writing is getting a little better with every passing time. My hope is that every time I  find a tiny amount of inspiration I come across and use it to write as much as I can.

At this point ans with every following birthday, I understand I have more years behind then I do ahead of me and I don’t intend to waste any of them my not living the rest of my life the way that makes me content.

I don’t ever want to wake up in ten or twenty yrs and think that I’ve wasted a lot of time waiting for my world to get better. Nothing ever happens by waiting for another day. With that in mind I try and make sure that any and everything I do is something I can live with.

My mom will be getting shoulder surgery in m birthday. I’ll work in the morning and go see her when I’m off.

I’m grateful and thankful that I am where I should be today, in this moment and learning to clear your mind, following doctors orders and trying to think in a better way as given me hope that the latter part of my life won’t be filled with the regret but instead will br filled with love, kindness and compassion.

A Reason to Celebrate

It’s no state secret that I have HATED the month of June for the last few yrs. My medical & personal issues all came to a head back in 2012 starting June 1rst.  Since I’ve always been depressed from June 1st until the month ended.

But not this year! This June- even only 2 days in- has brought more joy then I could ever imagine. My oldest son lost his way a little bit last year. It wasn’t entirely his fault. He’s seen things no kid should. His difficulties with school made me worry about what life would bring him. His love of street racing terrifies me every time I think he’s heading to Detroit.

My deepest wish though has been granted. My baby boy was offered a job with Chrysler. The DH works for them as well, but my boy didn’t get in because of DAD. He filled out an app online, and called human resources about job openings. For my son this is the opportunity of a life time. One where he could go into a skilled trades apprenticeship and have the chance to live a comfortable life if he’s smart about it- unlike his mom…lol.

He’s one of the maturest 19 yrs old with the exception of his fascination with fast cars, which has put more than 1 wrinkle on my face. But he’s very private about most things. As mom I drive him crazy because I want to know where he is. He thinks I’m being too motherly. I can’t help it, he’s my first-born. He was planned, wanted and I loved him the second they laid him on my tummy.

If the rest of my month continues like this, I will be in 7th heaven.

The Twins will turn 16 next week. The time has flown by so fast and in 2 short yrs they will be off to college. I’ve been blessed, and humbled by my children. They love me, are crazy protective of me and I think worry about me as much as I worry about them. It’s a good thing. Half my DNA resides in them and so far it’s been the good part.

I’m celebrating Trevor’s accomplishment. I had nothing to do with it and I couldn’t be more proud of the direction he has been making to secure his future without Mom and Dad.

Sometimes life throws you something that makes everything worth the effort.

A Matter of Marriage

Over the past few days, I’ve had a few conversation with women who are single by choice. I’ve often wondered if I could ever remarry if something ever happened to the DH. I’ve thought about this for a very long time. I’ve watched people jump from the frying pan into the fire. I’ve wiped tears of friends who continue date the same kind of man over and over again with the same tragic results.

Okay tragic may be a slight over statement but you get the picture.

My point is that frankly I don’t want to go through the whole getting to know you process. The inevitable disappointment when you realize they aren’t perfect. Waking up one day and realizing the HONEYMOON is over. Having a part of yourself never fulfilled. At this time in my life all I want to say to that is “FUCK THAT.”

I wouldn’t want to waste the energy of trying to figure out if someone is compatible with me or not. I’ve lost my desire to act like an adoring sot who hangs on a fella’s every word.  Nope, nope ,nope. I’m not afraid to be alone. I used to be but not any more.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love men and would have no issue dating, hanging out or whatever but getting into the whole emotional storm of I love you’s , I don’t love you. We should move in together etc…Not gonna do it.

I think the type of man who could grab that kind of attention from me doesn’t exist anywhere. I’m not high maintenance, well except for attention. I do love attention…lol.

He’d have to be many things. Hard working, kind, laid back, could calm me down, great sense of humor, prefers laughing over most things. Doesn’t try to keep up with the Jones or worry about how his life looks to others. He’d have to be able to get along with my friends, not be uptight, not lie, hide secrets, someone who’d rather sit around the fire and listen to some music then go out. Some one who could act goofy, really enjoyed discovering new things, not a complainer, bitcher or moaner about what they don’t have. Isn’t chasing the Benjamins and can put up with a monthly mood swings.

See what I mean? I know I would ask for a lot to take the step of ever-living with someone / married again. I hope I’ll never have to worry about all this. DH and I have managed to stick it out for 21 years and I don’t see that ever-changing….

But a girl does think about what if.

Frustrated!

For the last 3 weekends I’ve been sick. Usually 12 hours of my own bodies special hell that has put a damper on my mood. Hopefully soon I will have some answers and it’s nothing serious.

Once upon a time when I was feeling scared, sad, mad or any other strong emotion, I used those feelings to write. It pisses me off that I’m unable to tap into those things anymore. Fixing my health and my brain chemistry has had an effect on my writing. I open my laptop every day and just stare at the blank screen. Willing the words to come and if and when they do, I hate every single one I manage to get down.

I question every sentence, every paragraph and every idea. Does this sound realistic? Would a man ever think that, or feel that? Would my heroine trust so easily? At the height of my writing, I tended to write some dark, emotional stuff. At this point I don’t want to write dark, tormented kind of romances. I don’t want it to be angst ridden.

I’m going to try my hand at something lighter, maybe with some humor. Something easy and fun. I’ll never write the next great American novel nor do I want to. Writers, a hell of a lot more gifted than I’ll ever be were destroyed by the demons they rode when creating their works. I have ZERO interest in that.

I’ve told myself that I couldn’t get anything done because I didn’t believe in the romance aspect of what I was writing. What I realize now is that I don’t HAVE to believe it can really happen but only need to believe that it’s not an impossible thing. Just because I may not experience certain things, feeling etc…doesn’t mean that most people don’t.

It’s easy to forget that I’m  in charge of my words and if I listen and let the characters tell me their story then I can take my own experiences and beliefs out of the equation. My disappointments, my negative feelings toward certain things doesn’t have to be a part of my characters.

I used to put some pieces of people I knew into those characters. I’m hoping like hell this may help me get out of the fucking desert I’ve been in for years now. I looked back and I haven’t finished anything new in 3 yrs. 3 fucking years of feeling like an absolute failure and I’ve reached the point where I’m just fucking sick of it.

No more over analyzing every word and instead just write for fun. Write because the characters living in my head want a story of their own, not be laden down with my anger issues, my insecurities, my hurt, my love, or my beliefs on life.

I think I’ve tried so hard to “keep it together” that I’ve become frozen and it’s time for a fucking thaw. There’s too much to be written. So I’m going to really give it a shot. Keep it light, keep it cute and most of all keep it about love.

 

Another Genius Gone Too Soon.

Goddamn, that was the first thing that came out of my mouth upon hearing Prince has Died.

My generation has been losing some our the most talented Icons in music. This year Bowie and now Prince. Both way too young and it’s a bummer.

He was eccentric & unique and didn’t give a damn what anyone thought. He played an insane amount of instruments. He was simply a genius.

I remembering going to see Purple Rain when I was 14. The crowd was electric and it was such a buzz. I used to watch American Band Stand and remember his very first performance on that show. He wore a gold outfit and sang Controversy.

57 freaking years old. Not too much older than myself and my friends. It is sad, sad, sad and should be a big reminder of how short life can really be. You never know when you’ll take your last breath.

If you spend your time chasing after material things and less time on doing things that bring you happiness , you’ll miss out on so much.

I’ll say it again Dammit, dammit, dammit. Losing these pillars of music is hard to hear, only because we assume that with all of their wealth, and fame they are somehow more protected from the Grim Reaper.

No one is. When something like this happens, especially over the last few years, it serves as a reminder to enjoy as many moments as I can. To continue to follow my heart. To do my best not to hurt others. To be grateful for every breath I draw. I know that love is worth more than diamonds, more than an address or bank account. Loving yourself enough, not to allow others tell you who you are, or let them control you.

I wake up everyday determined to be happy, to not judge others and to be kind.

Loving and being loved without any conditions. These are the things that are important to my happiness. I think everyone should find theirs. Be passionate, don’t apologize for who you are, embrace your weirdness, try to look for the good in people even when it’s the hardest thing you may  do.

R.I.P Prince – You lived life to the fullest to the very end.