From one strong woman to another

Dear J,

I know that life is hurting right now. Every waking breath you take hurts. You hurt for what you have lost, for what you will never have. For the dreams that you held and then watched slip away from you because of someone else’s decision.

You feel out of control, like you can’t put the pieces back together. That maybe you were meant to be stuck where you are right now, because that’s where he put you with his choice.

That you can’t go back and you aren’t strong enough to move forward.

But you are and you will.

He left, true. But he left because of a deficit in him. Whether it was a restless soul, a lack of being able to commit, a want for something that he didn’t think that he had where he was.

But, the bottom line here is that he left because of a fault of his. Because he couldn’t hack it where he was and he decided to leave.

I know that you loved him and that your future seems so dull without him. I know that it hurts you when you wake up in that bed and realize that he is not lying there beside you. I know that it feels weird to do things around your house with no expectations thrust upon you by another person.

All of those things make you feel lost. All of those things, maybe, make you feel weak because you wonder what he would think about the new curtains that you hung, or the dust catcher that you bought.

I understand. I understand all of what you are feeling and what you are going through. I know how hard it is to stand on your own without that idea, that feeling, of someone being there at your back. I get it. It makes you think that you aren’t strong enough to stand on your own.

But you are.

You are strong enough. You can stand on your own.

Look at you! You’re already doing it. You’re doing it and didn’t even realize that you are.

He left and you didn’t fall down in a ball on the ground and die. You lived! You chose to live without him. You chose to have a life that didn’t include him. You are strong.

You are strong enough to get up every day. You are strong enough to do the things that need to be done: go to work, shop for groceries, do the laundry, take a shower, shave your legs (never underestimate the power of a smoothly shaven leg. They do wonders!).

You are strong enough that you make plans with your friends for the future. You are strong enough that you plan a menu for the month, to start shopping for Christmas gifts in June, what you want to do for your summer vacation.

You are strong enough that you are looking to YOUR future. Where you want to go, what road you want to take, things that you want to experience.

And here’s the cool thing about that: THE SKY’S THE LIMIT! You don’t have to wait for anyone or anything to do these things with you. You can do them on your own.

You can take those cooking classes you’ve always wanted to take, the dance classes you thought would be cool, the water aerobics class that you’ve been eyeing for months.

You can do all of these things. Why?

Because you are strong.

Strength is not about being bold and flashy. That kind of strength is fleeting, forgotten as quickly as it came.

Your kind of strength is the strength that moves mountains. It is quiet, fluid. Like water, it may not work quickly, but it is powerful, carving valleys out of solid rock. Your strength is the kind of strength that everyone wishes they had because it will carry you through all of your days. It will flag, sometimes, this is true. But it will come back, stronger than ever.

Nothing can hold you back. You are a force to be reckoned with.

Keep getting up, going to work, doing laundry, shaving your legs. Keep doing these small things. They are the foundation upon which your strength will stand and assert itself. Sometimes when you least expect it to.

That quiet strength will take you through the rest of your life, with no room to look backwards because your future is taking all of your energy and concentration.

You are strong. You inspire me, and everyone around you, with your strength.

Don’t ever doubt it.

Sincerely,

Miss Independent (formerly The Forgotten Wife)

PS: Demi Lovato has a great song called “Skyscraper” that I think pretty much sums it up. And with a much prettier singing voice than I could ever have. I’ve included it here for you. I hope you like it and that it helps strengthen your resolve. Listen to the words. You are a skyscraper. Don’t forget it!

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Insomnia

It is 2 am and I can’t sleep. I hate when this happens, as it inevitably does, ever so often. My eyes want to close, feel tired and gritty, but then I lay there for hours, just thinking.

I think about things I want to do, things I should have done. Mistakes I made and directions I want to go. On the worst nights, I play “what if,” which is so destructive.

So, I sit here in my bed, watching movies on Netflix to keep my errant mind from wandering too far afield.insomnia

I find myself wondering what you’re dreaming about. If it’s sexy or sweet. If I’m there in your dreams. I know I shouldn’t wonder. I know it’s probably a little creepy that I admit it. But I do wonder.

My dog is under the bed, snoring. Ever so often she dreams and yips in her sleep. I wonder if she’s dreaming of a field full of bacon, all there for her enjoyment. All three cats are fast asleep as well, dreaming of world domination, no doubt. The kids are passed out. I can hear my oldest sometimes talking in his sleep. It’s sweet.

couple sleepingAnd here I sit. Wishing I could sleep like everyone else in the house. Wishing I could sleep in your arms, honestly. Wondering what it would feel like to have you warm at my back, your breath feathering the hair on the nape of my neck. Your arm thrown across my ribs and cradled against my chest, your knees tucked behind mine. Our feet touching, gently.

If I could sleep, I know I would dream of you.

If I could sleep.
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The Do-Nothing post

Here I am again, if you can believe it. I didn’t drop off the face of the Earth, but it’s been a hard couple of months. I’ve been unemployed for over 2 months now and it wears on a person. My muse took a hike to the Carribbean. I couldn’t afford to go with her. She’s such a fair weather friend. Forget her and forget Jobu – we’ll hit homeruns without them.

One of the things that I used to like to do was to check in on the world of politics and see what’s happening there. It’s nice to be informed about what the folks on Capitol Hill are up to these days.

Since the sequester, I don’t really give a damn, to be quite honest. No, let me rephrase that – I don’t look cause it just pisses me off. I’d rather watch really sappy romcoms and cry into my ice cream. God knows, that’s more than what Congress is doing these days.

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Hey, guys and gals up there in Congress – when bed bugs and proctology exams have a better approval rating than you do, you should maybe check yourselves. When your nickname is “The Do Nothing Congress,” maybe you shouldn’t vote yourselves a raise and over 200 days of vacation for this session.

Let’s stop for a second and address that last sentence. I want to know how in the world they go the ability to give themselves raises and give themselves paid days off. Now, let me know if I’ve gotten this wrong: we, the people, elect representatives to Congress as our employees. Yet, the employees get to give themselves pay raises and days off?

IN WHAT WORLD DOES THAT HAPPEN??

Does anyone else see the issue I have with this? I get that being on Capitol Hill is tiring, what will all the lobbyists paying for your junkets to warm and sunny places and paying for amazing meals at 5 star restaurants. All the flesh they have to press to get people to put money in their campaign coffers. I understand that it’s really hard having some of the best health care in the world available to them FOREVER after they have served their time.

But I don’t think that justifies them giving themselves pay raises and vacation days. Especially since they CAN’T DO THEIR JOBS when they are at work.

This Congress has failed, for the last 6 years, to send a budget up the pike to be signed. No lie. No budget for the last 6 years.

Isn’t that part of their job description? If I were working for a company and I didn’t do my job, I surely wouldn’t get a raise or copious vacation days.

Another thing that I have a problem with is the unwillingness of both sides to compromise at all. Now, you may think that this stems from them all being idiots (which may not be far from the mark, honestly), but I think it goes deeper than that.

Do you know how much it costs to run for a national office in this country? Over one million dollars. Now, most folks (even those on Capitol Hill) don’t have that kind of money to throw around, so they have to get donors. Add into that that the Supreme Court ruled that corporations could donate money like they were people, and you set the stage for uncompromising politics.

How does that work? Well, a corporation, let’s say Toyota, gives a candidate over $500,000 to their campaign. They do this because the candidate promises that they will make sure to protect the interests of the corporation when they vote or consider bills. Basically, the candidate has sold his soul to Toyota and they will do whatever it takes to make sure that Toyota’s interests are protected above all else.

Now, consider the religious right and uber-conservatives. They are loud and proud about what they believe and how they think that we should all live our lives. They donate copious amounts of money to candidates that they think will share their views. So the candidates go into Congress having already sold their votes to the highest bidder. Because they are bought and sold, they cannot compromise. Why? Because then their donors may not donate to their campaigns again so that they can be reelected to office.

And there’s the third problem: reelection.

Congress, and politics in general, were never meant to be a career path. In other words, the original idea was to serve your term and then go back to your lives. This is why the Founding Fathers did not sell their plantations and businesses when they went to Congress. Because they knew that they would be returning there as soon as their terms were over. They were not going to be in politics forever. Unlike the folks we have there now. For example, the late Strom Thurmand (the honorable Senator from South Carolina) was in Congress longer than my grandmother had been alive.

Longer than my grandmother had been alive. Let that sink in for a minute.

That’s over 75 years in office.

That was never the intent. That was never how it was supposed to be.

So, how do we fix Congress? A few things:

1) Get rid of lobbyists. Special interests have no place on Capitol Hill. We have lost our Congress to special interests and they are no longer working in the interest of the greater good. They are working in the interests of the greater rich and mighty.
2) Impose term limits. No one should be on Capitol Hill more than two terms. Except maybe Representatives, who could serve 4 terms (an equivalent of 8 years). Senators would be there for no more than 12 years and Presidents, obviously, no more than 8 (except in special circumstances).
3) Overhaul political donation law. There should be utter transparency in who donates to which candidate, especially if it’s a company. If we remove the ability of corporations to donate like people, maybe we’ll get something other than rich folks in Congress.
4) Overhaul how Congress gets paid. Take away the right for Congress to give themselves raises. Any raise that they want needs to be put to a vote in each state. If your state likes you, you’ll get a raise. If not, well….the military hasn’t seen a base pay raise in forever and their cost of living raises don’t cover dick. Welcome to the real world. If you don’t do your job, you don’t get paid.

This is just a start. But if the folks on Capitol Hill start feeling the pinch that the rest of us are feeling, maybe things will change. Maybe, just maybe, it will make a difference. But something has to change. Something has to give.

And I’m tired of being the one that is always having their back broken so that they can continue in their lifestyles like nothing has changed. I feel like the peasants of Russia before the Russian revolution and my leaders, like the Tsar and his family, are so out of touch with how the world really is right now for so many of us.

I know, I know. I’m spitting in the wind with these wishes and if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. But I have to wish. A wish may not change the world right now, but maybe it will in the future. If we all wish hard enough, and strive to make that change that will make our wishes come true, maybe it will in the future. But for right now, we all just slog along, making it work with what we have.

And writing about it on our blogs to get it off of our chests.

Don’t forget the good in the bad

This week has brought so many things that have shocked the world. From the bombings in Boston to the ricin tainted letters and the fire and explosion in West, Texas.

Is it any wonder that folks think the world is ending?

I, with the rest of nation and the world, have been praying for the families of the victims of the bombings and the explosion. How horrible it must have been for all of them. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.

I sit here typing this while watching coverage of the manhunt for the second suspect in the Boston bombings. Excuse me for being a bit bloodthirsty, but I’m glad the first suspect was killed and I’m almost hoping that the second doesn’t make it out alive. I’m all for innocent until proven guilty, but shooting at the cops and launching explosives at them doesn’t really make me think that you were innocent.

Having said that, I will also say a prayer for the families of these men. I would like to think that they didn’t have any hand in shaping their opinions or actions. If that is the case, then they are also losing a son and brother. It doesn’t make their grieving any less because these two men did heinous things.

It’s easy to forget that as well.

And while the bombings in Boston were horrible, there were many amazing people that leapt to the aide of those injured. Those that run towards the trouble, rather than away, are heroes. Those marathoners that ran to the hospitals to donate blood are heroes as well. Those in Boston that opened their homes to marathoners and their families are heroes, too.

And this doesn’t just go for those in Boston. In Texas, in the wake of the horrible fertilizer plant fire and explosion, we learn that one of the dead is a fire chief from Dallas who went to West, Texas, on his day off to help the first responders there contain and control the fire. There were people in West that waded through water and debris of a demolished old folks home to help any survivors.

The worst can sometimes bring out the best in all of us.

With so many bad things happening, it’s hard to remember the good things. It’s hard to remembered that there are wonderful things that are going on in the world, too.

This week, New Zealand legalized marriage equality. What a wonderful thing!

There are two videos I want to share with you, from New Zealand, that show what happens when people recognize love in all of its forms. When people understand that everyone, regardless of age, sexual orientation, skin color or religion, wants to have their love legitimized.

It’s beautiful.

The first is from a politician there talking about the arguments that he heard from many on the eve of the vote:

What a great way to respond to the naysayers.

But the one that will bring chills to your spine, the one that will bring a tear to your eye is below:

Everyone spontaneously bursts into a Maori love song.

And, with that song of love, I will leave you today. Spread the love. Spread the gratitude. Spread a smile.

Because the world isn’t ending. The world will go on. And we all have a chance to make it a better place with every small action we take.

So, what’s new with you?

So much has happened since I posted in October.  I truly am sorry that I haven’t posted in 7 months.  Damn, that’s a long time!  So, let’s try to do this in a nut shell.

In October, I moved from my admin position to a Demobilization Assistant position.  Crazy hours and dealing directly with units made it very hard to post anything coherent.  Sandy happened on Halloween weekend.  The tree in my front yard came down and took out my landlord’s classic Mercedes and left us running on one leg, electricity wise, for two weeks.  Thank goodness for my friends that allowed us to show up once a day to shower and do laundry and make dinner.  They were awesome!  Fast forward to December 21 when my contract was cancelled and the 30 of us on the contract were told we were laid off.  Merry Christmas!  I got picked back up by the same company a week later. Happy New Year!  It was a horrible job and I’ll tell you more about that in another post.  Anyhoo, I got laid off from that position on 15 March.  I reconnected with an old high school friend, which was absolutely amazing!  He hasn’t changed a bit and I’m so glad he’s back in my life!  In the midst of all of this, I was trying to move to another place, which was a ton of drama as well.  I finally got moved in on Easter Weekend and the house is still a wreck cause I spent a week in D.C. goofing off for Spring Break.

That’s the high points in less than 10 seconds.  There’s more there, but it goes into another post.  In that time, I said goodbye to two friends due to their retirement and I’ll be saying goodbye to another at the end of next month.  Saying goodbye hurts and I’m tired of doing it.  I really need to get some civilian friends that don’t ever leave!

The boys are doing well.  Well, for the most part.  School is still a sticking point for my youngest, mostly cause he’s super lazy and it’s killing me.  They spent Spring Break with their father, which was good for all of us.

I hope that life has treated you well for the last 7 months.  I’m going to be trying to catch up on everyone’s posts, now that I have the time 🙂

Welcome back, everyone!  And for those of you that are new, Welcome!  I’m glad to have you here!