Plan Be: What It Really Means to Be Strong

Crossfit Training Lifting Kettlebell Front

Ever since my divorce in 2014, I’ve thought about getting another tattoo. But I couldn’t think of anything that really “nailed” what I wanted to convey permanently in art on my skin. Something I could look at every day and say – Yes. That.

Maybe I’m over thinking it. One of my strengths is that I’m good at thinking things through, but the flip side is I think too much. 🙂 But as I approach another birthday, I find myself pensive, as usual. Taking stock, looking back, peeking forward.

And then my friend Joe posed a link to this article/love letter/online dating profile for her husband by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, a writer and fellow Chicagoan I adore: You Might Want to Marry My Husband. (Special thanks to my friend Susan for recommending her to me years ago.) I remember reading her witty books when my kids were babies and was heartbroken to learn of her illness. I am in awe of her grace, humility, prose, and beauty. Her strength, even in the midst of a dark time, is touching beyond any words I could muster.

This got me thinking about strength and what it really means to be “strong.” I used to want to be “strong” so badly. Continue reading “Plan Be: What It Really Means to Be Strong”

Enter “Happiness” into Google Maps: Where Will You End Up?

Sunset landscape

There is something about
Watching an orange sherbet sunset
framed by weeping willows
Sink quietly into darkness
that soothes the soul
(despite the weeping)

There is something about
Walking on eggshells
that changes you
Cheats you
Damages you
Shames you
Silences you
(did you know you could live your whole life this way)

Being told
Don’t tell
Don’t cry
Don’t question
Don’t feel
Don’t be you
(how long exactly does it take for a heart to die?) Continue reading “Enter “Happiness” into Google Maps: Where Will You End Up?”

Keep Dancing: Bouncing Back from Life’s Curveballs

danceAs kids, we think about becoming something. A fireman. An artist. A parent. A better version of our parents. Lots of things. But life throws us curve balls and where we actually end up tends to deviate from what we once imagined. What is that phrase – life is what happens while we are busy making other plans?

In the last three years, I’ve experienced tremendous change. Divorce. A special needs child finally properly diagnosed after 15 years of struggle. I lost my home. Money. A few friends. My job. At one point, I felt like I lost me. Other times, I lost hope that things could ever be right again. I made mistakes. I tried to make amends. There are still days where I feel like Charlie Brown when the football gets taken away at the last minute and I fall flat on my face.

Some days I still think the universe is punking me. 🙂

But amidst the change and loss, I found so much more. Continue reading “Keep Dancing: Bouncing Back from Life’s Curveballs”

Dealing with a Tough Situation? Recover Faster by Asking the Right Questions.

images

Anyone who has ever been stuck in a bad relationship – whether it’s a marriage, a job, dysfunctional family, toxic friends – you know how crappy it feels. There are a million articles out there about how to identify these situations, seven signs of “fill in the blank.” I know. I read everything I can get my hands on. 🙂 And you can get lost in the why. Why did this happen to me? Why did ‘fill in the name” do this to me? Why did my brother die? Why does my child have a disability? Why am I stuck? Why am I here?

This is an important part of the recovery process, don’t get me wrong. But often, we can stuck there, trying to process the why. We can stop there, filling in answers that don’t really help us move forward differently. I believe the only way to move forward and make real, lasting changes in your life starts with asking different questions.

Continue reading “Dealing with a Tough Situation? Recover Faster by Asking the Right Questions.”

Confessions of a Recovering Control Freak

control freakHi, my name is Christy and I am a recovering control freak. I belong to a secret society of people for which there are no meet up groups.

You know who you are.

You joke about being a control freak as you are wiping down someone else’s counter top or their child’s grubby, sticky-peanut butter/apple-juice stained face. You’re the guy who re-packs the trunk before vacation to make sure everything ‘fits.’ You iron everything. even things that are supposed to look crinkly (does anyone even own an iron anymore?). You put 20 chicken nuggets on the pan spaced exactly one-half inch apart so that they look like a regimented army of nuggets ready to march into the oven. When called out, you get defensive and claim you just want them to cook evenly. You bitch that no one helps you with the laundry but then bitterly complain because “no one knows how to fold towels anymore” as you refold them all the right way.

Yes. You.

There is nothing wrong with order and organization, don’t get me wrong. I am a firm believer in process and structure. The world is chaotic enough and there is nothing worse than coming home to a chaotic life. And there is a certain comfort in routine in our chaotic lives. But take it too far and your life becomes out of balance, more about control than living. And I am the first one to let loose and I say I love spontaneity – but it’s usually few and far between the day-to-day grind. Reality smacked me in the face when I was moving a few years back and the movers teased me about the stacks and stacks of organizing bins, baskets, bowls, Tupperware boxes and racks that I had lined neatly up in rows for them to load into the truck. Ha, funny guys. So what if I organized my spices (in alpha order), my clothes in the closet by color, season.

Or maybe I just like order and efficiency. So I tell myself. (Or maybe I am a hybrid control freak/perfectionist.) Continue reading “Confessions of a Recovering Control Freak”