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Friday, December 19, 2014

Be kind and show love - especially to the "unlovable"

Rushing to judgement is not something that I do I like to do.

I had to revamp this a little bit, because I caught myself, yesterday judging a situation I knew NOTHING about based on very few things I was shown or told.  THEN I saw another side.  THEN I thought about how it felt when people judged ME on very little information.

So I decided to repost this from November of 2012.  A little something to think about...

Here is my post as it stood in 2012:

Who the hell am I?  Really?  WHO.THE.HELL.AM.I.??

Let's be clear - I may do good things in my life now and try hard as I may to be on the right path, but this is not always how my life has been.  I've been no saint, which is a huge factor in my non-judgmental attitude.  I've messed up more than I can put into words.  So much so in my life, that I'm positive that there are people from my past that would turn up their noses at the mere mention of my name.  Maybe they'd even recall a not so pleasant memory that I was a part of.  Something I said, something I did. Whatever.

I wasn't always the me that I am now.  I've learned a lot.

It's no secret that I sometimes lack proper social grace.  My mouth runs much more quickly than my brain more often than I can stop it and I sometimes embarrass myself.  You've read all this before.  It's the thing I wish I could change the most about myself and a one of the quirks I've been blessed with.  I'm silly, kind, loving and an absolute bumbling idiot from time to time.  It evens out, I suppose.  It makes me, me.

When I was very young, I wasn't held accountable for my stuff.  Mainly because I was so young and frankly,  it wasn't my "stuff."  It was other people's baggage that I carried.  Back then it made me appear, I don't know - strong and responsible?  I'm not sure.  I know some parents took pity on me & my brothers.  Felt "sorry" for me, for us.  Even back then, I never wanted to be pitied.  In that, I grew to learn how to hide the negativity that surrounded us - so others would have nothing to say.

As I got older, things got easier.  My brothers didn't need as much care & I had more time with my friends - but no supervision.  I was free to roam.  I did what I wanted to do.  No one held me accountable for my actions.  Probably because no one noticed.  I still did what I was supposed to do & then I ran wild.  If I was judged, I never knew it.  I knew how to cover my tracks.  Until I didn't.

In my late teens and 20's - things weren't so easy to hide.  I didn't live home.  I was on my own.  I was accountable to myself, to my job, to my life.  As much as I didn't care, I cared.  People tend to look more closely when you're a young adult.  They see everything.  The things you try to hide are the things they see the best.  Suddenly I was under a huge magnifying glass.

All of my screw ups were right there, in my face.  People talked.  People judged.  No matter how hard I tried to do the right thing, it was wrong & people sure let me know it.

It was awful.

In reality, I didn't know what to do in "life."  I was on auto pilot coasting along.  Tripping at every pass.  I took examples from other friend's parents, older friends - anyone I thought I could learn from.  People still judged.

So much I'd never put in print.  Stuff that I'm horrified over and don't have the nerve to come forward with. Stuff I'd rather have buried forever.

Things I'm sure this mask won't cover.

Everyone has things they hide behind the mask.  People they'd hide from forever if they could.  At least that's what I believe in my world.

Yes, it is true that I was no saint in my old life.  The person I used to be is dead and buried.  I don't know her anymore - but I do love her & wish that this me were around to guide her.  Because this me knows so much more.

So I don't point my finger, because I know - there would be so many more pointing my way.

How many fingers would point your way?

*How would it be for you if someone judged you forever on the worst thing you'd ever done in your life?  No matter how long ago it may have been.*

Think about that.

Have a wonderful weekend.  Be kind and show love.  Especially to that person who may seem unlovable.  You don't know who that person really is, was or will be.

Lots of love,
Jenn

*I'd like to credit Cathy Kobre at Mamapedia.com for being my "muse" for this post.  This line is from an email exchange we had a few months back & is the inspiration for this post.  So thank you, Cathy :)

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Monday, December 8, 2014

12... and bullied to suicide - for being a male cheerleader

Yesterday morning my family and I were on our up at 4, out at 5 am trek to our daughter's first cheer competition of the season.

Per usual, my husband was driving.  He likes to drive and that's fine by me because I'm content to hang out and talk to the girls.
...or not since it was 5 am.  I was not nearly as caffeinated as I prefer to be at 5 am, so I spent the time in quiet browsing my Facebook and daily news feeds.

I came across an article that saddened me on several levels:


(you can click on the headline to read article)

What??  12??  Another 12-year-old??  Because of being bullied??  For being a cheerleader??  My mind first turned to my beautiful 12-year-old daughter (cheerleader) in the back seat.  Then I recalled the bullying case in Florida about a year ago where a young girl threw herself off a water tower for being bullied.  My mind began to swirl.

At twelve, my daughter is just beginning to learn who she is and who she wants to be.  Not quite a little girl, not yet a woman.  She is at the stage of her life where she's discovering herself.  I'll bet this is where this young boy was in his life as well.

I can't even wrap my brain around how sad and tormented this poor child must have been to decide that dying was his only option.

And why the torment??  Just because he was a cheerleader??  Really??

I know there are opinions on male cheerleaders.  Some dads cringe at the thought of their boys becoming cheerleaders, while others are fine with it.  I'm not here to say what's right and what's wrong.

What IS wrong is that young CHILDREN decided that because this 12-YEAR-OLD BOY was a cheerleader that he must, therefore, be gay - and they were so superior to him that they must torment him to the extent that they did.


Sorry - here's where my strong opinions come in...  As far as I'm concerned, people - that level of judgment is LEARNED behavior.  12-year-old children are mostly innocent when it comes to judgment for others being different.  They are still on the cusp of innocence & learning that others differences "make a difference."  This is where parenting comes into play.  This is where parents need teach their children kindness and acceptance of others' differences.

Twelve is a tough year.  It's the stage in a child's life where parents should maybe take tighter rein.  Especially in a world of social media where you may completely miss things.

6th Grader - Ronin Shimizu

It's no secret, I monitor my child's social media.  I monitored my older son's as well and I plan to monitor the short one's activity when her time comes.  I don't completely invade their privacy - but I keep an eye out.  I have the passwords and am very clear that I will go in whenever I want to look around to be sure all is OK.  I feel that it's my job.  I've learned from checking around that they are at the stage that the judgment and hate are beginning to surface.  Not completely - but it's starting.  For example, one of my child's friends sent her a text one day asking how she should color her poster to distinguish people of other races - black crayon for people of color and orange for Hispanics, yellow for Asians.  I found that unacceptable and addressed it with my daughter in a way she would understand.  My husband is Hispanic.  I asked my daughter flat out... "Is daddy orange?  Is your grandmother?  How about your aunts & uncles??  I am Dutch/German blonde hair, green eyes.  Why didn't I get a crayon color??"  She was upset, because again, she's still innocent - she didn't understand that what her friend was saying was wrong..  (I'm also being kind with regard to the context of the text.)  I felt it was my place to discuss this with her and tell her why it was wrong and how we shouldn't label anyone because of the way they look.  She got the message.  Acceptance.

This is exactly how I feel about the incident with this poor child.  No one had the right to color that young boy with a "pink crayon."  (not judgement, trying to make a point.)

Being a cheerleader certainly isn't a red flag to say "I'm Gay, I'm Gay."
Maybe he was gay OR maybe he liked one of the girls and wanted to be around them more.  OR maybe THIS was just his sport.  THIS was the thing he was good at.  THIS is the place he shined.
This young boy being a cheerleader doesn't make him any more gay than being a big burly auto mechanic (whatever) makes another straight.  What you do / how you look doesn't define you.
How you treat others is what defines you.

LEAD WITH KINDNESS AND ACCEPTANCE.  PERIOD!

This little boy didn't have to die and I'm so incredibly sad for his family that he died in this way.

Keep in mind that until you are sparkly clean, have no sin and lead the absolute perfect life - you don't get to judge.

When you point a finger, you can expect to have 3 pointing back at you.

This should not have been.


My deepest heartfelt condolences to the family of Ronin Shimizu.

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn
 

If you have or know a teen who is struggling with suicidal thoughts - please reach out.



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

When is it time to let a relationship go?

For certain, the older I get the lower my tolerance level to BS gets.

I used to be the let it all roll off my back type, the one who takes and takes. Just as long as everyone's happy, it's fine.
Then it at some point it stopped being fine.
At some point it became ENOUGH!

I began to realize that some of the people whom I relied on seemed to be the same ones using my back more as a doormat than a place to rest a loving arm of affection. That's when things began to change in me, and I began to wonder if it was time to back off and let some relationships go.

Last year at this time and even a 6 months ago, I wouldn't have been able to write this post.  I was full of anger and hurt from some situations and on high alert in others.  It seemed like so many relationships in so many areas were coming to a head at the same time. Those situations and the anger and hurt that went along with them were the best thing to happened to me, as they brought me back to the place I was before.  I'm not someone who needs to be all in the mix.  I'm content to hang out in the background and take it all in, a home body.  It was actually a relief to be able to close doors and walk away. I could just be me, without having to try so hard.  That "period of enlightenment" brought me to a place of peace and the understanding of what I want in the relationships in my life.

I've learned and grown from those experiences.  I am thankful.  The lessons of that year were good.

If someone wants to be a part of your life, they'll show up.  They will make time, even if it's a text or a 2 minute phone call to say, "Hey - I'm running, but I wanted to let you know I've been thinking of you."


This is by no means a woes me post...
Believe me, I know that I'm no angel.  I may not always handle the things coming at me in the best way possible. I'm not always as easy going as I like to believe I am.  I say exactly what's on my mind when maybe I should keep my mouth shut, but I know I'm honest and I speak from my heart.
Even when things are smooth sailing, I try much harder than I should sometimes, and when it becomes too much work - I completely shut down - close the door and I walk away from it all, sometimes without another word.

Will those doors always stay closed?  I don't know.
I'm content to let life happen as it's meant to.

For certain, relationships shouldn't be SO hard.


For a while I thought, maybe I just think differently.  Maybe it's just me...but it's not just me.

This topic seems to be flying all over the the internet lately in the posts of those tired of feeling less, or tired of trying so hard or deciding if certain relationships in their lives have run their course, or if it's time to let go and move on.

That's not always easy to do.

How does this seem to happen all at once?  Is it a sudden life shift where you finally know who you are and what you are and are not willing to accept in your life?  Do people change so much without notice?  Or do you change?

How can someone be perfect one day and toxic the next?

So when IS it time to let a relationship go?

Why do we hold on so tightly, when we know something is not good for us?

Is it loyalty?  Is it love?  Is it habit?  Is it fear?  What?

And at what point do you decide that you've had enough?  That you can no longer take the grand lead in a relationship?  When does it all come to a head and blow?

And even then?  Should you let go?

And if you go...

Is good bye for now is enough?

Is good bye forever is better?

Is there GOOD in goodbye?

Only time will tell.


As a little after thought edit... and THANK YOU to my friend BW at Teapots and Tiarras for this comment, which is amazing...   "Don't waste a minute on someone who doesn't bring you joy"

Thank you for reading my blog!

~Jenn

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Who Stole My Spandex? Meonpausal Mother Book Review!!!

Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh!!!  It's out!!!
Who Stole My Spandex by Marcia Kester Doyle a.k.a. Menopausal Mother.

Several years back, while roaming the blog-o-sphere, I stumbled upon Marcia at Menopausal Mother's blog page totally by accident.  I still can't recall how I got there.  I was new to blogging and stumbled upon her page and was initially fascinated by the trailing hearts on her cursor. (It's the simple things that fascinate me.)

So I stayed and began reading her blogs and these few years later I've never left.  I instantly fell in love with how easily her writing made me laugh and sometimes cry.

When I found out Marcia was writing a book, I was super excited for her and for ME!  Ya know, being one of her bloggie BFF's  I'm totally on the inside track ;)  But Shhhh, I'm not sure she knows about the BFF thing.  :)

I am so super excited and honored to have been not only given the opportunity to read a pre-release of this book, but to be able to give a true, honest, from the heart review.

I was not at all disappointed!

If you are a mom.  If you are over 40 - you can relate to her writing.  If you have a pulse - she will crack you up!

Not only am I super proud and thrilled beyond words for her - this book is well worth the read!  It's funny.  It's heartwarming and it's a quick, easy read (which is super important if you have to lock yourself in the bathroom to read like I do.)  It will make you laugh and it will make you love her even more.  It will make you want to pack your bags and vacation at the "Nut House" where there's so much love and humor and furry friends.  I'll be checking in for Margaritas in the garden (my drink of choice) hoping to wear the cat mask.  (Please Mr. Doyle???)

While you're waiting your turn to wear the cat mask... please go check out Marcia's book, available at Amazon by following this link:  Who Stole My Spandex?

You can thank me later for the suggestion.

Marcia, Congratulations!!!  I'm super proud of you and I'm honored to be your online bestie. Whoops, looks like the cat's out of the bag.  :)

xoxoxoxo

Thank you all for being here!!

~Jenn

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

When the reasons you're thankful changes....


This is the time of the year that we stop to reflect on the prior year, and make a conscious effort to be thankful for the blessings in our lives.

Last year around this time I decided to start a thankful / gratitude jar. 


What a great way for my family to see all of the wonderful things that happened to us during the year, and reflect upon those things at Thanksgiving.

We started off with a bang.  Everything good thing that happened, or that we were grateful for (mostly I, since everyone else quit on me) got written down on a piece of paper and put into the jar.

Now almost a year later, I began to go through our jar reading all the little pieces of paper.  Some things brought a huge smile to  my face, others that the kids had written gave me a giggle, some gave me great reflection.  I got to see how some of the things I was thankful for, at the time, have changed completely.


Have you ever thought about the times when the things you're thankful for change completely? Sometimes they're not always obvious. Sometimes the changes are so subtle you almost miss them and turn into miraculous new opportunities.

Have you ever thought back on the things that you really wanted - the things that made you so incredibly happy and grateful - but then that thing changed?  Was that change for the better or worse? Sometimes it's hard to see the blessing in disguise.  Sometimes the thing that you're really grateful for changes completely and you realize that the first thing wasn't at all good for you - but what came of it, the change that metamorphosized, was even better and suddenly you received a  moment of complete peace and clarity....


It's amazing how you can be so incredibly thankful for  one thing and then, over time, the original reason you were thankful changed.  Maybe your eyes were opened to something you hadn't seen or a situation changed and the original blessing is even more magnified.

It's those moments of clarity that I'm extra thankful for this year - the ways my initial thankfulness has changed.

Thank you for being a blessing in my life.

I'm so incredibly thankful for each and every one of you who hang in there with me... even during the long droughts of NOTHING in this blog - and still you hold me up and support me and send me love.


Wishing you all a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving!

You are all nothing short of amazing.


As always, thank you for reading my blog!

Lots of love,

Jenn

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Brittany Maynard's choice to die - My feelings on the suicide aspect.

Brittany Maynard, the 29 year old young woman with terminally ill brain cancer, ended her own life on Saturday, November 1st, 2014.
Her choice. Her terms.  Her death with dignity.

There are so many sides of this coin that I'm not even sure where I fall anymore.

No matter what I say, no matter how I feel, someone will disagree with me.  I don't care.

I've been someone who advocates AGAINST suicide.  I don't believe in suicide for any reason.

Yes, I know this was different - but is it?

For YEARS I struggled with the suicides of my father and my brother.  Being raised Catholic, I was taught that suicide meant that you gave up on your faith in God, and you were going to spend eternity in hell.  For me, that shook me on more levels than I care to admit.  It's one of the things that shredded me for years, and eventually took me away from the Catholic church.  Well, that and other reasons...
On the Christian, Biblical level - I believe God forgives.  I believe that in the 11th hour even the biggest sinner can be forgiven and go to Heaven.

But that is not what this post is about.

This post is about the suicide itself.  Is it really OK to choose to die?

Yes, it is her "right" to die with dignity.  Yes, she wanted to die before her body gave in to all of the awfulness that lay ahead with the severe diagnosis she was presented.  Yes, it was a really awful future for her and her family, from what she was told.  But WHAT IF what she was told was wrong?

This situation makes me think of my brave friends who've fought cancer.  My beautiful, wonderful friends who bravely took cancer on and beat it!  I think about those still struggling to fighting it - because they want to be here.  For what ever reason, they WANT to be here.  They WANT to live. They WANT to fight it to stay alive.  They do / did not WANT to die!  I remain in awe of them.


Brittany chose to die, and I don't understand that.

Was it bravery?  Was it fear?  What if she was wrong?  What if there was more?  What if the doctors were wrong?  What if, just what if  3 days from now - they find the defining element that will cure her - save her from the awful that she's faced.  What if?  What if?  What if?

That is what I struggle with.  The what if.


Being a suicide survivor, this would never have been my choice.  I would have fought, if not for myself - for my children, for my husband, for my friends - FOR ME.  I would have fought to live.  I would have soaked up every single second, the good, the bad and the ugly.  THAT would be my choice.

I genuinely believe we all have a plan for our lives.  Whether or not you believe in God or a higher power - most people DO believe there is a plan for their life.  What if her plan was NOT to die, but to live?  Maybe even to live and be an example of greatness in some way.

That chance is gone forever.

So many people fight daily to be alive, to live every single second.

I am truly sorry Mrs. Maynard has left this planet.  I don't condemn her choice.  It was, her choice.
I wish her and her family much peace.

I know how it feels to be left behind with the questions and no answers.

I know that somewhere in their hearts they wish she were still there - even with the awful cancer that was consuming her.

You may agree with me.  You may disagree with me.  That's OK.

You'll think about this, and when you do - think about what choice you'd make.  Think about why you'd make that choice and then wonder...

What IF?

Rest in peace, Brittany.
I wish your family much love and peace.
Thank you for reading my blog.

~Jenn

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A wish for my brother the day BEFORE World Suicide Prevention Day

Today would have been my brother's 46th birthday.

I know this very specifically.  Not just because he was my brother, but because he was 2 years, 11 months and 13 days younger than me :)

It was our joke - I wasn't 3 years older.  No, no, nooooo....
2 years, 11 months and 13 days
Get it right!  :)

My favorite picture of me  & my bro - Back in the day :)
Yeah, I know... he looks thrilled :)
Now he's immortally 38 years, 11 months & 13 day's old, and that matters.  (I just picked up on that numeric irony.)

It matters, because I've kept on aging.

It matters, because I'm still here and he's not.

It matters, because his birthday - today, September 9th, is the day BEFORE World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10th.


It matters, because suicide is what took my brother from me.

It matters, because even though he and I weren't speaking at the time of his death - I will never, ever, ever have another opportunity to try to talk sense into his thick skull.  I will never have another argument with him. We will never cave in and forgive each other - then laugh like idiots and hug it out.

It matters, because the relationship we once had is gone forever.

It matters, because my girls will never remember their Uncle Eric.

It matters because my son's Godfather didn't get to see him graduate boot camp or continue in the Navy, or whatever the next important mark in his life will be.

It matters.

It may not seem like it should matter to you, but it all matters.  It should matter.

To me it matters most of all, because HE DIDN'T HAVE TO GO!

It matters, because he suffered in silence.

It matters, because all of us are left behind to wonder why.  Why now? We never knew what was going on in his head.  He didn't show any signs (this time) that anyone picked up on.  It's probably why he never took my calls.  He knew I'd know.  He knew that I'd see through his bull shit and call him out.  He knew I'd step in, step up and find a way to help him, but he just couldn't handle it anymore.

It matters, because my brother - and every other person suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts - just wanted the pain to stop.

His pain stopped.
...And then it passed on to the rest of us left behind.

Some may say I didn't care, because I was tough on him.  Yes, I was very tough on him.  He needed me to be. Sometimes he thanked me for being so tough on him.  It got him through our childhood, through the Navy and through some really difficult situations I won't discuss in this blog.

He was my brother.  He was the person who I plotted with when we were younger, the one who beat me in tickle fights and made me laugh until chocolate milk came out my nose.  He was smart and cute and funny.  He had a heart of gold. He's the one, that although struggling with depression - made it through 3 previous attempts at taking his own life and continued on to become a functioning adult, until that day.

He was my brother, and I loved him.

In my heart I always knew my brother loved & missed me.  Sometimes it's hard to say - "I'm sorry.  I was wrong."  Even if the other person says it first.

Tomorrow, September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Don't be a statistic - Suicide Victim or Suicide Survivor.

Educate yourself.  Know the signs.  Help save a life!

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:  http://www.afsp.org/preventing-suicide
S.A.V.E. Suicide & Depression Voices of Education:  http://www.save.org


If you are someone who is struggling - It's OK to have a bad day.
It's NOT OK to have several bad days that turn into weeks, months, years. Please reach out!

In my heart, I believe that as much pain as my brother had and as much as he wanted it to stop - I don't believe he thought he'd really pull it off.
...and now it's too late.

It IS OK to reach out for help.  The taboos of the past are behind you.
Your friends, family - whom ever... Trust me, they would rather hear you say "HELP ME, PLEASE", than pick out your casket.

Of this, I'm sure.

Someone DOES love you.  Someone WILL miss you.  
Reach out...Someone WILL grab your hand.
...Even if it's a total stranger.


Life is good.  Every single second.  No one said it would be easy, just that it would be worth it.

Love you all!

Peace,

Jenn

In loving memory of my brother, Eric, on what would have been his 46th birthday.

I will always love you, Eric.  Gone, but forever in my heart!

** Often people ask, after reading if they may share my blog posts.  If you think that anything written in my post could help another, by all means - please feel free to share the LINK to this page: http://mydailyjenn-ism.blogspot.com/2014/09/a-wish-for-my-brother-day-before-world.html or you may click the share to buttons located on this page.  If you have any questions, please feel free to message me. **

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Bitch Biting, Back Stabbing Biotches...

Wow, that got your attention, didn't it???


Ohhhh I can almost hear the clickity click clacks of the keyboard now...
DID YOU SEE WHAT SHE WROTE????

Relax... 
If you got all uptight and paranoid from the title of my blog, you don't belong here.

I've never been one to deny my "reality show" addiction.  The Real Housewives shows... my dirty little pleasure.  Almost all of them.  OC, NJ, Beverly Hills - Love them!

I watch for the mindless entertainment factor. The twisted "reality" that is edited and spun to create the dramatic scenes you get to watch. The things that people, like me, get all sucked in to - sort of like soap operas.

Mostly pretend, with a twist of "reality" spun in and the topics they intentionally or unintentionally convey.

Much of the time, the topics hit home - just like entertainment should be - thought provoking.


I was watching one of my Real Housewives addictions the other night and the rest of it this morning. There's always someone starting some sort of trouble with the other ones and, of course these episodes were no exception. One of the women, Lizzy, was stirring the trouble pot.  Somehow, this ONE woman managed to speak so much crap to the other women, that 3 of the 4 other women jumped right onto her bandwagon of drama and anger against this ONE other woman, Tamra, who pretty much didn't do anything.  No - she's no saint - but she didn't deserve the crucifixion she received either...

This is Lizzy
Anyway...

Were the things that Lizzy was saying actually things that were said by Tamra?

Well, yes... sort of.
There were definitely (many) word twists, intentionally blurred time lines, statements were delivered out of context then re-stated in a way to make the others upset, angry and hurt by the things Tamra had allegedly "said".

It was actually amazing to watch this ONE woman drop small pieces of truth, but not the entire story - just enough to get everyone's hackles up - but no enough for the REAL story to be told.

All because Tamra didn't go to her birthday party.  Can I get an eye roll here??

Stirring up that trouble pot good and hard.


I wanted to jump into TV Land and say "Hey, Hey....  Ummmm, I've been watching and that's NOT at ALL how it at went down."

Of course I can't do that, but I can be shocked and amazed that ONE person could be so manipulative and believe her own bullshit to such a degree that the others to believed her too.  Bravo.  (Get the pun there?  lol)

I felt sorry that Tamra was being "taken down" by Lizzy.  (Get that pun too??  If you watch RHOC you'll get it)

To a degree I related to how Tamra must have felt.
If someone is your really good friend, and someone else tells them something negative you supposedly said or did - you'd expect that friend to know better and if they didn't know better, you'd expect them to come to you to discuss it.  You wouldn't expect friendship ending decisions, when you never even did anything to the friend that's turned their back on you.

It was sad to watch.

Of the 4 woman spoken to in this episode, only ONE friend, Heather, came to Tamra with an open mind to discuss the situation.  Only ONE of the women knew better and trusted in her friendship.

THAT is what friends are supposed to do.

ONE friend trusted in her friendship.

The others were content to feed on the anger and drama.

It amazes me how many woman are more content to jump on the drama and anger band wagon than actually work out a friendship that's supposed to be important to them.  It seems they'd rather get sucked into, and believe, the nonsense rather than come to you with an open mind to save the friendship.  That's not friendship.

If someone is your true friend - the friendship comes first.  Not the drama.

I think that's why the Real Housewives issue hit so close to home.  I could watch it playing out on a TV screen and think WOW - that's how it works.

I feel extremely fortunate to no longer have this kind of silliness in my life.  I'm confident that the friendships that I maintain in my life, at this stage of the game, are genuine. Anyone who's wanted to continue a friendship with me still has one.  Those are the friendships that will always matter.


Yeah, I still feel pretty sorry for Tamra on RHOC.

But again, that's what TV drama is all about... the good story.

I'm sure they'll work it out by next season.

Thank you for reading my blog!!

~Jenn

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Things I've learned since I started blogging...

When I first started blogging, I didn't have any real, clear direction.
I still don't.
I was merely looking for an outlet to tweak my creativity; Maybe to vent when I needed to about, whatever.  To help where I could and to try to right some of the wrongs I see in the world - even if it was just a small part of the world that reads this little blog of mine.

In this quest, here are some of the things - both good and bad that I've learned:

I've learned that the people here in the blogging community are AWESOME humans!  Really, every single one.   That doesn't just go for the writers, it also goes for the readers.  Everyone has this way of encouraging one another that's simply amazing.
I've learned that people WILL miss you when you're not around.  They will check in to see if you're OK if you haven't seen them online or writing in a while. Maybe not EVERYONE will check on you, but many will.  You will also miss people when they are no longer in your blog feed or news feed.
I've learned that people are FREAKS!  Yes you. I mean that in the kindest, most loving way.  I could be at my absolute weirdest & there's someone right beside me completely getting where I'm coming from.  I love that!
I've learned that among the cool and funny "freaks" there are those "other" FREAKS - the trolls.  You know who they are. They're the ones that come out of the woodwork and take delight in picking things apart - just because.  Yes - these people exist. The more your blog is read, the more open and susceptible you are to being targeted. It doesn't matter if they know you in your real life or not.  Most of the time they have no clue who you are.  They just take delight in wreaking havoc for the fun of it.  Yes, these trolls exist.
I've learned that while trying to be genuine and putting myself out there in whatever way I can, there will always be someone looking to use my "weaknesses" and my "strengths" against me to tear me down.  You could write your point of view, from your heart, as truthful and honest as you know how to be - BUT if there is a more dramatic or angry way to view the post - someone will decide that you are totally full of shit, take your words and twist them into a way that they can use those words against you, regardless of their initial intent or meaning, and people will believe it.
Since I've gone there...  
I've learned that you will REALLY learn who your friends are. You will also learn who they are NOT.  It's super sad - but many times you'll write something that has NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYONE and someone will be knock down drag out PISSED.  "I'm not stupid, I know that post was about me." - "Well pumpkin, sorry to tell you - it was NOT about you it was about last night's episode of Real Housewives." Of course they'll never believe you.  Sadly, this has happened to me more than once.  Although I may not have been thankful for those experiences while they were happening - I am thankful now.  Good lesson. The people who are really my friends would call me and ask me what's going on. They know that if I have a problem, I'll come to THEM.  I'm not afraid to say what I have to say.  If I'm writing about someone or something in my blog and they don't know about it directly it's because they're inaccessible to me in some way.  ie:  TV personality, someone from my past whom I don't communicate with anymore, someone I have no contact with, or there may be a REALLY BIG boat I don't want to rock.  Just ask me.  I'll tell ya. Have I ever been known to be shy?  Let's face it - I even in-boxed Kevin Sorbo to let him know he was being blogged.  :)  Not shy!

I've learned that the crap that I've been given in my life - ya know, the stuff that I hate and want to dig a big deep dark hole and throw it all into???  THAT STUFF??  THAT is the stuff that has helped more people than I can even count.  That stuff is the stuff I have been grateful for beyond words, because it has helped me to save at least one life and as I continue - more.  Who knew?
I've learned that even though my "crap" has helped people while I share my life here - it's better to blog anonymously. I now have a totally anonymous blog.  There is only one other person on the planet, besides me, who knows that I'm the author and I don't know this person in real life.  I have taken immense enjoyment out of that blog because people like it. People read it.  People relate to it and I've never had one person harpoon me for being "hypocritical" or "mean spirited" or "trouble making" or "pot stirring" or whatever mean and angry things have been thrown at me in the real world.  I still accomplish what I want to accomplish.  Judgment free!

I've learned that the people who DO stand beside me and support me have a deeper understanding of who I am, why I react to certain things and when I'm sinking and need help (When I refuse to ask for it.).  They see me for who I really am.  They know my heart and they know what's real.  They know that I am who I am.  There are no hidden agendas or secret sides of me.  I am just ME.  They also KNOW that all the B/S is just that B/S - and that's all that matters.
For me that's so amazing and that has brought many of my relationships closer than ever.
I've learned that blogging is, across the board, very freeing.  Not only have I been able to help other people with the things I've gone through, but I've been able to work through many issues that had been gnawing at me.  I've also been able to go totally off the rails and get a few laughs when I just need to let go.  I've met amazing and wonderful people and I've learned some really solid lessons that I embrace.

I've learned that even though my writing will probably not win me a Nobel prize, I'm cool with that.  I'm not in this for the fame and fortune.  I'm in this for ME and whomever chooses to ride the crazy bus along side me.

I've learned that there is so much good around me that the ick doesn't matter at all!

God gave me the gift of expression.  I use it as I choose to express myself and to grow.

Regardless of the seemingly negative tone some of my lessons give, I'm thankful - I'm grateful and I feel completely blessed for all the lessons I've learned!

I am confident that even though having this little blog created some ick in some areas of my life, it also made me acutely aware that the path I was on wasn't the path I was supposed to be on.  Some of those people in my life weren't meant to continue on my journey, and that's all OK.


Everything happens for a reason, a season or a life time.

Good Lessons!

Thank you for reading my blog & continuing with me along on my journey.

Lots of love,
Jenn

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Love Your Sibs...Even if they're a pain in your BLEEP

It's true to say that no one can push your buttons or get you riled up faster than a sibling.

After all, they're the ones you've lived most of your life with.  In many instances, the first other kids you'd ever known.  Your first friends.  Your first partners in crime. The ones you hated at times, but would still die for.

They know all the buttons to push, when to push 'em & how hard.

Siblings are an important piece(s) to the puzzle that is your life.

Around this time of the year, I get really sad.
On August 27th, 2007 I lost my younger brother.
It was truly one of the worst days of my life, if not the worst.

I'm not going to get all high and mighty and speak with piety - because the worst part of my brother leaving this planet without me getting to say good bye is that we weren't speaking, and I hate that!  We hadn't spoken for several years.  Even worse than all of that - our not speaking had NOTHING to do with each other.


Outside circumstances - people - events are what came between us, what divided us.

Eric was my first sibling.  Number 2 in the pecking order, with me being the big sister, the numero uno at the top of the heap.  He and I fought - oh my gosh, how we fought.  As an adult, I'm embarrassed to say that we actually fist fought and even drew blood.  If my kids fought like we fought, I don't even know what I'd do.  Looking back, it was really awful - but we loved still each other.

He always knew that as much of a pain in the butt as he was - and believe me, he was - I was always there for him.  I was always the first person he'd call if he needed help, if he was really sad, or if he needed money.  Whatever it was - he knew he had a no questions asked policy with me.

Even though I was his older sister, I was his main care taker growing up.  He knew that, I knew that.  So when he left this planet - I was completely out of sorts.  I wasn't there to help him this time.  I didn't know he was suffering.  I didn't know he had pain.  He didn't come to me, like he had in the past.  He struggled with whatever it was - in silence, not talking to anyone.  As a result, my dear brother took his own life.

I genuinely think of my brother every single day, feeling as if I'd failed him in some way.

A friend of mine's mom went through the same situation with her sister.  Many years before I lost Eric she would tell me over and over, "Jenn, keep trying.  Just keep trying.  Call him, send him letters.  Do whatever you can - because if something happens and you're not speaking, you'll never forgive yourself."
She was right.

My point of this posting is not to draw sympathy to me - but attention to your own sibling relationships.  I know a few people - right off the top of my head who aren't speaking to their siblings.  Some issues are big, others small - others just flat out foolish pride.  It's not worth it!  Let it go!

Your siblings are the closest people to you - besides your spouse and children.  Even closer than your parents on many levels.  You grew together.  You have the same memories.  You've done all the stupid crap together & worked to get over on your parents together.  You built dreams & maybe even made them come true.

There is NOTHING on this planet worth a division between siblings.  NOTHING!

Not money, not your spouse, not a ridiculous family feud that has nothing to do with you.  NOTHING!

Work it out!  Somehow, some way.

Because in the end, when you look back on your life - the endless reel of memories that will play out in your mind WILL have your siblings in it.

How awesome is it to share that with them?

Thank you for reading my blog!

Love you guys, really!

~Jenn

PS.  Darren, I love you & I'm sending you hugs through here for now.  xxoo
(To those of you who don't know...Darren is my "baby" brother)

Rest sweetly on the wings of angels, Eric.  Love you and miss you always.  

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re-post from August 23, 2012

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

When the funny fades...

To tell you that I hate to dwell on this crap would be the understatement of the decade.

I try to say what I have to say, do what I have to do and then move on.

Done.

Not so much in these types of situations.  When suicide enters your life - it's very difficult to just turn your back and walk away.  Suicide settles inside of you.  It crawls into those deep dark crevices and makes itself at home, like a rodent in the eaves of your home - chewing at the wires until it creates a really dangerous situation, or at least that feeling does.  It's a feeling I can't describe, nor do I want to.  It's a feeling that I hope you don't know, if you don't already.

I know that there are so many people who read my blog who don't get it. I know my husband is one of those "don't get it" people.  That's OK.  Not everyone does.  I used to be one of those "don't get it" people until it happened to me.  Twice.

I feel INCREDIBLY LUCKY to not suffer from depression.  LUCKY. Fortunate!  Depression runs rampant in my family - two suicides, alcoholism and drug abuse.  RAMPANT.  I've been sad. I've been really, really sad and maybe a tad depressed, but I've never wanted to die. Sadness is a feeling you can get beyond.  Depression takes hold.  That is the difference between sadness and depression.

I can remember back to when I was a little girl, sitting next to my dad on the couch watching Mork & Mindy.  I can remember my dad's hearty laugh and his statements of Robin Williams being "off the wall."

Robin Williams was, without a doubt, hysterically funny.  He is, well was, one of my favorite funny people.  He was my dad's too.  They were both funny guys, though my dad was no Robin Williams, he sure thought he was.  They both left this place in the same way - by their own hand.

Tears of a clown is the best analogy I can come up with.

Depression is a bitch. Depression is one of those things that people have learned to try to hide. Try to self cure.  Drugs. Alcohol. Dangerous living. Being funny. Pick a mask, any mask. As long as the depression doesn't show and make anyone else uncomfortable, it's all good.
No it's not.


I try to express my feelings on this as often as possible, without turning away those of you who don't "get it" or don't want to hear about it.  I understand.  NO ONE wants to hear about it.  NO ONE wants to talk about the "crazy" the "sick" the "it never happens to me" the "they need shock treatment" the depressing depression.

It needs to be talked about.

That taboo?  That "elephant in the room" as someone so graciously input on my FB page - that elephant needs to be addressed.  That elephant needs to be called out and dealt with.

Until that happens, people will continue to die at their own hand.

People do NOT have to die at their own hand.

There is SO MUCH life left to live.  So much wonderful life.  Yes, there will be pain.  Yes, there will be hard times.  Don't let the lies of depression tell you that it's hopeless.  It's never hopeless.
You are never, ever alone.

If you are in depression's grasp, please let someone you love and trust know.  If you don't feel like you love or trust anyone at the moment, tell someone else.  It doesn't matter who you tell.  Tell someone. Reach out your hand.  Someone WILL grab it!

The mask can only last for so long until the pain takes over, until the funny fades.

Mr. Williams - thank you for the laughs and for a wonderful legacy of funny.

May you, and the others before you find the peace that you were unable to find in this place.

Nanu-Nanu

I wish you peace and love.

~Jenn

**  If you are struggling with Depression or Suicidal thoughts - Please DO NOT SUFFER IN SILENCE!  PLEASE reach out.  Let someone help you.  Life is good.  Really.  **

(as shared from https://www.facebook.com/DBSAlliance )

National Suicide Prevention Helpline (U.S.)
1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK)

International Directory of Suicide Hotlines
http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html
--
Need someone to listen & help without judging?

Warmline "Listening Line" Directory (U.S.)
http://www.warmline.org/

Befrienders (International)
http://www.befrienders.org/
--
Concerned about someone online?
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/gethelp/online.aspx


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Sunday, August 10, 2014

If someone you love told you they wanted to die.... How would you handle it?

What would you do if someone you love told you they tried to die?

How would you handle it?


Would you embrace them?  Would you thank them for trusting you with something so personal? Would you tell them how happy you are that they are still here?  Would you tell them how much you love them?  How much God loves them?

These are all of the things I wish I'd done, now - looking back.

I wish I'd said and done all of those things.

I didn't though.

Instead, my heart filled with pain and I got sucked into the emotion of the suicides I've lived through, and in an almost scolding manner asked WHY they didn't call me? Why didn't they come to me, knowing I'd listen?
Why didn't they call to me?

Looking back now, even though I didn't mean it that way - it sounds a little selfish.

In my deep fear and pain in the words I'd just heard, I'd forgotten how hard it is for someone in the midst of struggle to reach out and say, "Help me, I'm drowning."

I'd forgotten...

Depression is a bitch!

NO - Depression IS Satan.

Depression will tell you that no one loves you.
Depression will tell you that you don't matter.
Depression will tell you that no one cares.
Depression will tell you that everyone is better off with out you.
Depression will tell you that it's hopeless.

Depression LIES.


I am here to tell you that you ARE loved.
I am here to tell you that you DO matter.
I am here to tell you that I, among many others, DO care.
I am here to tell you that it is NOT hopeless.

You are loved,  you matter, you are worthy,
It is NOT hopeless.

I am here to tell you that He is not done with you yet.
I am here to tell you that life without you would create a giant hole for the rest of us left behind.
I am here to tell you that your life is a great and shining beacon of joy and hope.


To my friend, please allow me to start over.

I love you.  You are special and important to me.
Thank you for coming to me and sharing something so private with me.
I am so thankful that you are still here.
I know how difficult this is for you.
I am and will always be here for you.

Depression is Satan, the master trickster.  The master liar.
Depression doesn't get to win.

God isn't done with you yet.
...And neither is anyone else.

Lots of love,
Jenn


** If you are struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, please do not suffer in silence.**


I know it's hard to reach out - but PLEASE REACH OUT!
Someone does love you.  Someone will miss you.
You DO make a difference.
Whatever pain you are suffering never goes away.
It simply passes on to those you leave behind.
You are loved.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

I'm not young & hot anymore..... :sigh:

There was a time when I could make things happen.

No, really.  I could get what I wanted, when I wanted with just a smile.

Ahhhh, those were the days.

The days when I had to say...

"Mmmm, scuze me... they don't talk back."
I think you understand what I'm saying.

I had my first "This is 40" (movie) moment.  If you're in your 40's check this movie out :)

The part of the movie I will now refer to is the part where Leslie Mann, as Debbie and Megan Fox as her younger, perkier worker, Desi are waiting online outside the night club and they tried their darndest to get in.

Because the club was was "too crowded" they had to wait on line for people to leave - yet the bouncer let all the young hot girls in without blinking an eye.

Debbie flipped out and said "What, I'm not HOT ENOUGH to get in?"
To that the bouncer quickly responded, "You're hot. You're plenty hot.  I can't let you in because you're OLD as f*ck."

O U C H!

Let's face it... I'm not dumb or delusional.  I KNOW I'm not 20 or 30 anything...nor am I trying to be.

I know that having kids and age in general has run up and down me from head to toe like a little Mack Truck.
Have I accepted my non-young hotness?  No - I have not.  I don't think any of us women ever really accept the fact that we can't always get our way by smiling and batting our eyes.  Deep down, no matter how old or fat or wrinkly we get - we still mentally think we are as hot as we were in our 20's & 30's.  Even just a little bit.

My husband and I went to the Toby Keith concert this past weekend. Super fun, I might add. Love me some Toby :)

The hubs ordered one of those refillable soda's and it became time to refill. The line at the concession stand was, of course, wrapped around all creation. (Beer line was good though, just sayin')  So we waited.  And waited.  And waited.


Now if you've read prior posts - you KNOW I have no patience for this.
I noticed a guy to the left - no line, refilling sodas.  So I told my husband to stay on line, I was going to hop over and get this soda refilled.  Ya know, using my feminine wiles and all.  So I proceed to hop over -- the guy looked at me like I was in his way or something.  I smile and hand him the cup.  "Can I get a refill please?"

You'd think I just keyed his car.
He looked back at me and said, "you need to wait on line."
Of course I noticed he'd refilled other people's cups before, so I continued "I just need a refill, I'm not buying anything."

"Ma'am (ugh, knife through the heart) "you NEED to wait on the line."

That's when I took another cold, hard look at the GIRLS - not just "people" who were getting super fast, no hassle refills.  Young, hot girls.  I noticed their perky boobs, fake undoubtedly.  Their itty bitty shorts showing 5 feet of non-cellulite legs.  I noticed their perfectly flawless skin and long flowing locks and suddenly - I got it.

It's not that I'm not hot.  It's that I'm OLD as f*ck!

Should there have been a 40 or 50 year old man at the counter, I may have been "In Like Fynn" but noooooooooo some snot nose little 20 something looking at me like I'm someone's grandma or something.

So I gave my husband back his cup and did the only appropriate thing at that moment....

I went over to the tequila tent.  Cheers!

Thank you for reading my blog!!

~Jenn

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