Everybody these days says to me” I love your page!” and “You are always so positive!” or “I never knew how upbeat you are. We should hang out”. Well, I wasn’t always this positive. I went through a very dark period for a very long time…I learned to be this way after facing so much adversity, illness and strife. I was always a loner. In my small town high high school, I was bullied horribly and it gave me an insecurity that carried over into my adult life. Even in bars, in the HUGE group of regular people that I hung out with, I was invariably alone(most often by choice) except for my kids…my wonderful girls…they were always there for me. My guiding lights…my stars in the darkness. Until one day I blinked and they were all grown up. And I was more alone than I had ever been before. It devastated me. They were my grounding force…my anchor…my reason for stability. I raised them mostly alone and I did what ever I had to do to keep the bills paid; from bar-tending to factory work, from dishwasher to chef, from burlesque dancer to fire-eater, and in my spare time: painting, construction, demolition. If a job was offered, I took it….none of it mattered as long as it paid the bills. I made sure that they ALWAYS knew I loved them and that they were the center of my universe.
The teenage years were the hardest and my neighbors got quite a show several times as I struggled to keep them on the “right” path while they struggled to establish their own identities. Sure, my “friends” were still there, but things weren’t the same. I developed a reputation for being a bit “off”. Few ever really invited me to their house, or if they did, they did it on a late night when they were under the influence and then they would “forget” to give me the address or just forget the invite altogether and have something better to do. One by one, the people I hung around with started passing away…usually from bike accidents, overdoses, cancer and (in some cases) violence. I watched one best friend get shot for no reason by a total stranger, and another barely survive a run at a brick wall on his motorcycle. I saw a pattern emerging and desperately needed to remove myself from the equation. I didn’t want to go that way. I survived alcoholism(those of you who remember the “Jack Daniels Incident that not only cost me my job as a chef, but marked my face for life); drug addiction; a horrible hoarding habit that almost destroyed the home I lived in for 10 years; kidnapping, rape and attempted murder as well as the stalking that still goes on to this day(by the father of my youngest daughter); and the loss both of my spiritual teachers to untimely and unexpected demises. I descended into darkness…I was slowly and surely killing myself. One day I looked around and decided I didn’t want to go out this way…that all of these incidents(except the deaths of my mentors) were the results of my own choices. If I wanted to change my life and be a point of light, I had to make some RADICAL changes. It would NOT be an easy task. Nor would there be any “quick fix”.
Over the last 10 years, I have made some major changes. I walked away from the group..I started keeping to myself, and only spoke to a few people, but I still had other issues. I met my husband in a bar. He was the father of young two men I shot pool with on a regular basis. After several dates and as we got to know each other better, he told me I deserved better and something clicked in my head. I DID. That night we had a conversation well into the wee hours of the morning. He told me if I came away with him and moved with Cheyenne(my youngest) into his condo(it WAS beautiful), that I would never regret it. I made the leap. I wanted a way out so badly; I walked away from that house and all of the crap I’d been hoarding(not the best way to leave, but if I didn’t rip off that band-aid, it would only keep getting worse). I walked away from it all.
It was a long(and at times very painful) journey from there to here. I essentially had to start all over. It was hard for the girls too. But in the end, it was worth it. My life is far from perfect. We have had some slip-ups and setbacks. No human is perfect. We are all on a similar journey. Paths have stones because humans learn best from from adversity. Cancer, cardiac arrest, job lay-offs, property loss, family illness/deaths and other such obstacles have hit us just as they hit other families. But I wouldn’t change this journey for all the money in the world. I am still alone alot. The girls have gone off to college and work and are making their own paths. Bill’s sons too have chosen a path that leads away. But I learned how to like myself…even the “bad” parts. That makes all the difference…really. Things started to change the moment I made that conscious decision.
In the past 6 years, things have gone positive. I have finished high school. I quit the bars and the drama that goes with them. I beat cancer for the third time. My husband survived the “widow-maker”(99% blockage to the main artery that feeds his heart) and even with him being out of work for 5 months, our rent and bills were paid. The car was repossessed during that time, but we still found the funds to buy another one. My daughter and I have gone to Ireland twice, and are planning our third trip in the spring. My father had some extremely serious complications following his bypass surgery, but he is now fully recovered as well. As a “thank you” for me helping him and my mother while he was sick, they offered to send me to school for STNA. I NEVER would have picture myself as a healthcare professional, but I took the leap as the opportunity presented itself and I excelled. Through it all, I make a conscious decision every morning to be grateful for what I have and to greet the day with a smile and a “thank you”. Even when we had no car and I (still recovering from radical surgery to remove the cancer) was walking back and forth to the hospital twice a day to sit for hours with my husband in ICU, I was grateful. Grateful to be alive and ABLE to walk. Grateful that my daughters were supportive and attentive. Grateful for the love of my parents. Grateful that my husband survived. Grateful that I still was able to see the sun and the moon and the stars. Grateful for EVERYTHING. It is that grateful attitude that made all the difference, I believe.
I have a beautiful home….hardwood floors, marble fireplace, beautiful woodwork throughout the house. We have lived here for 5 years and at any given time, you can visit and it is spotless…because I am grateful to have it and I love it and cherish it. I have 3 beautiful daughters, who are still the great loves of my life even though they may wander far around the world following their own paths(one will be in France in 2016 and another will be in Ireland that same year). I have a husband who is a hard worker and a wonderful provider and we, even after all of this adversity, are looking to buy a home in the country, down by my parents, so I can care for them in their twilight years. I have my parents and I am grateful to be able to say I have healed old wounds there as well. I have wonderful fur-children, including 3 beautiful new additions who give us joy beyond measure. I have my wonderful family in NE PA, who is precious beyond measure to me, even though I don’t get to see them as often as I would like. I have a great job, helping other people in their time of need. I recognize that life is awesome and amazing in its unpredictability.
Things in life are seldom perfect…crap happens. Sometimes it is REALLY BAD crap. But I have learned that it is your attitude that makes all the difference. So you see, when I post all of this positive stuff, it is not just spouting rainbows and farting sunshine…It is what I truly believe in my heart every day, and it wasn’t always that way. I want to share that joy of life and the gratefulness of spirit that I feel with the world. I am re-born, remade and reforged of my own steel. Yes, I am still alone alot, but I like myself…No, I LOVE myself and everything around me. There are still issues. Everyone has them…it is a fact of life. It is how you perceive those issues and react to them that makes all the difference. This is my message to the world, and my grateful spirit is joyous in the knowledge that I will be around long enough to deliver it. Namaste to you all and may you know the blessings of life as I have come to. Enjoy your journey….even the rocky parts.
Below are some classic mixes:
rose + ylang ylang = aprodisiac
lemon + black pepper = memory & concentration
frankencense + geranium = happiness & peace
rosemary + grapefruit = confidence
lavender + lemon = fight depression
melaleuca(tea tree) + lavender = relax
peppermint + wild orange = invigorated
Put the water and the vodka into the spray bottle and shake. The vodka (or witch hazel) will help the essential oils to disperse evenly and not settle at the bottom.
Add your choice of Essential Oils or fragrance oils and shake gently.
Shake before each use