Satisfaction

     One of the most important lessons in life that I believe is under emphasized is self satisfaction. A sense of pride in a task done to your best ability. 

     The truth of the matter is that life is not always fair. As long as there are people roaming the Earth there will be misunderstandings. It doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things that you always get recognition for the things you accomplish.

     The important thing is that you feel good about yourself. Have pride in the tasks you set out to accomplish and notice how good you feel about providing your best. This way, whether outside acknowledgement is provided or not, you feel good about you.    
  

The U.S. Supreme Court makes History

     It’s difficult to put into words the joy that’s overflowing from my heart this day, June 26th 2015, but I will try. 

     As I watch my FB newsfeed being flooded with rainbow flags, proclamations of equality and support of love for all, my eyes are flooded with tears. The joy I am feeling for our future is emmense. 

     Almost exactly 46 years ago the journey towards equality began for the LGBT community as the riots of the  Stonewall Inn broke out on June 28, 1969 and history was made again today as The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in FAVOR of same-sex marriage. You may not know this, but I was born in 1969 and I’m a gay woman.

     My entire life, well as far back as I can remember, anyway,  I have felt some sort of struggle or conflict around the idea of just being me. There have always been questions rolling around in my mind about how will I fit into this or that scenario. Questions throughout my life like, Is this new person I’m meeting safe? Do I disclose the truth about my “friend”? Is it safe to discuss my living situation with my “roommate”? 

     I remember when my son was 11 years old and we were buying the house we live in now. He asked me, “What do I tell my friends when they ask me how many bedrooms our house has?” I told him, “You can tell the truth. There are 3 bedrooms and there are 3 of us. If you’re not comfortable clarifing that Keri and I will be sharing a bedroom, that’s fine with us. Our relationship is not your responsibility to clarify or define.” I think some people don’t really realize who and how, their opinions affect others and because of that I’ve lived portions of my life hiding aspects of myself from various people depending upon how safe I’ve felt. I’ve pretend to have crushes on boys and I’ve been married twice to men. I have tried desperately to find a way to be comfortable in my own skin. I’m happy to report that it’s getting easier and easier.

      In Novemebr 2013, my life partner at the time (now my wife) and I went up to Seattle to get married. We had just learned Washington had legalized same-sex marriage and that Oregon had passed a law stating they would recognize and honor a same-sex marriage that was legally peformed in another state. So we did it! 

     Keri and I went up to the Seattle courthouse with my best friend Shanna, her two girls and her other best friend Kelly and we got legally married. Shanna and Kelly were our witnesses and it was a very joyful experience. The transition from referring to Keri as my partner to referring to her as my wife was a little bit scary at first. It reminded me of the times from the past of holding my breath and keeping one eye closed in anticipation of what someone’s reaction was going to be to hearing a woman claiming to have a girlfriend.  

     Do you have any idea what it means to me to see this ruling in my lifetime? It means the possibility exists that my future grandchildren will only have to read about “same-sex marriage” in their history books. It means my wife and I  get the same marital rights as everyone else no matter where we go. It means acceptance is expanding which no doubt will result in less suicide. It can be a very dark place to feel so different and so alone. It can feel hopeless. 

     So, Thank you to the United States Supreme Court. It certainly is our intention to respect the idea of marriage and we are very grateful to be granted equal dignity.  

     

 

Share Your Journey

     Sometimes, we feel a spark,… Sometimes, we are lucky enough to get a glimpse of the truly majestic,… And sometimes, we doubt these amazing, truly AWE-SOME moments and we attribute these sparks and glimmers to chance. We often minimize TRUE miracles in our lives.

     Why do we do this? Well, to be completely honest with you I really don’t know. I’m not a physicist. I’m not a neuroscientist, a psychologist, a theologist, or even a genius in philosophy. So what am I? I’ll tell you what I am. 

     Plain and simple, I’m a believer. 

     I have a friend who was in an accident a few years back and I can’t remember the specific details of what happened, but what I do remember is that she experienced brain trauma. When I first met her, she was walking with a cane and had a patch on one of her eyes. If I recall correctly, she had to learn how to walk and talk all over again, like she was an infant in a woman’s body. 

     She has come a long way and endured a great deal, not only physically, but emotionally as well. Healing from a brain injury, dealing with the proceedings of a divorce and caring for her mother. She seems to be thriving. Her most recent update with me via text was that her divorce is complete, her mother is recovering and she is in the process of reconstructing her life.

     In response to her update, I told her I was happy to hear about her mom and I congratulated her on the success of her “Freedom Project”. I reminded her the awesome thing about reconstruction was that she could create her life exactly the way she’d like it to be, moving forward in a direction that matches her true desires and she agreed. 

     Earlier when I said, “Sometimes we feel a spark,… sometimes we’re lucky enough to get a glimpse of the truly majestic,…” The honest truth about that from this believers perspective is our eyes view miracles every. single. day. The real question is not whether or not miracles exist. The real question is, Does the belief exist within your heart? Are you content with chance, glimmers and sparks? Or would you like to maximize TRUE miracles in your life?

     You never know who you might inspire. You never know how your choices may change your life and the lives of others. Check out this really cool TedTalk, by Jill Bolte Taylor, I was inspired to watch because my friend shared her journey with me.  

Thank you Lesly and Jill for sharing your journey’s with us. You both are inspiring.

Tend Fires that Fuel True Happiness

     Imagine for a moment, if you will, one the best feelings in the world about being you. One aspect of your reality that radiates the greatest amount of joy from simply being YOU. For some of you it may be spending cherished time with your children and/or grandchildren, some of you may imagine spending time and loving on your four legged fur babies, yet others of you may imagine spending time being creative with words, instruments, paint or expressive dance of some sort. Some of you may be thinking about spending time in nature, enjoying your quiet reflective time. 

     Perhaps many of you are thinking of multiple things that bring you joy. Music, art, meditation, family, exercising, fishing, reading, knitting, socializing or solitude. Imagine how carefree you feel when you are enjoying the freedom of being you. Remember the peaceful feeling of being connected to your joy.  

     Now, for the next part I’d like for you to imagine that any one of the these things that you love so much and consider to be an integral part of who you are is looked upon by society as wrong. Imagine one of your loves is dancing and the joy it brings you to feel your skirt spinning out away from your body as you twirl on the dance floor. Imagine having to keep this huge source of joy a secret. Imagine how it might feel to have to keep everything that makes you who you are a secret from the entire world. Imagine how that secret would tear you apart every single day you had to keep it hidden. 

     It breaks my heart and literally brings tears to my eyes when I see or hear jokes made of people who are simply trying their best to be true to themselves. When you find yourself confused and not really understanding someone else’s hardship or struggle, pause for a moment and ask yourself these questions: Does their choice affect me in any way shape or form? Does their happiness in their life impede my happiness in mine? 

     It’s easy to laugh and make fun of what we don’t understand, but making light of another person’s struggle is disrespectful and lacks compassion. We all have one life to live. Let’s do society a favor and tend to our own true happiness.      

                  

The Choice is Yours

You always have a choice. You’re on your way to meet someone and you’re 10 minutes away from your agreed upon meeting time. It has taken you twice as long to reach this point in your journey as it usually does and you run into the situation pictured below.

  
What do you see in this picture? Do you see this?

  

Or do you see this? 

  

Your focus will determine your mood upon arrival. How do you want to feel when you reach your destination? Do you surrender to irritation or do you practice making a choice? You always have a choice.

Speaking from My Heart and Writing from My Soul (take 2)

     I don’t know how many of you are fans of the movie Grease, but I’m a HUGE fan!!! I watched that movie on beta tape when I was a kid at my Aunt Linda’s house. My cousins Laura and Jason watched it with me and we knew ALL the words to all the songs and every line of that movie.
     I even took my son, Garrison, to the 20 year anniversary showing of Grease at the movie theater. We bought a dvd of it and we watched it and sang all the songs as well. Then when he was a senior in H.S. his school put on the play Grease and he played Kenicki. 
    Why am I telling you this? Well, it just so happens that I quoted this movie yesterday. Does anyone know #1 who said this line and #2 how the line ends? 
     “The only man a girl can depend on is,…”
     I don’t really believe this line is true. I believe there are plenty of men a girl/woman can depend upon and not everyone feels the same, because everyone’s experience is different. Personally, I’m very grateful to be blessed with some pretty fantastic men in my life.
     Two men in particular have been very inspiring and encouraging to me over the last several years, Mike Ashland and Dean Wallace. I know I have written about these two gentlemen in the past, but every Father’s Day that passes since my dad died reminds me that you can never say I appreciate you enough. 

 

From the left: Mike and his granddaughter, my Dad and me and Dean and his granddaughter


     Regardless of what is going on in your life, if you have a relationship with your dad and he’s still around let him know you love and appreciate him. 
    
     

  

Speaking from My Heart, Writting from My Soul

     I don’t know how many of you are fans of the movie Grease, but I’m a HUGE fan!!! I watched that movie on beta tape when I was a kid at my Aunt Linda’s house. My cousins Laura and Jason watched it with me and we knew ALL the words to all the songs and every line of that movie.

     I even took my son, Garrison, to the 20 year anniversary showing of Grease at the movie theater. We bought a dvd of it and we watched it and sang all the songs as well. Then when he was a senior in H.S. his school put on the play Grease and he played Kenicki. 

    Why am I telling you this? Well, it just so happens that I quoted this movie yesterday. Does anyone know #1 who said this line and #2 how the line ends? 

     “The only man a girl can depend on is,…”

     I don’t really believe this line is true. I believe there are plenty of men a girl/woman can depend upon and not everyone feels the same, because everyone’s experience is different. Personally, I’m very grateful to be blessed with some pretty fantastic men in my life.

     Two men in particular have been very inspiring and encouraging to me over the last several years, Mike Ashland and Dean Wallace. I know I have written about these two gentlemen in the past, but every Father’s Day that passes since my daddy died it reminds me that you can never say, “I appreciate you” enough. Thank you, Mike and Dean for being fatherly to me. I appreciate you both. 

 

    Regardless of what is going on in your life, if you have a relationship with your dad or someone like a dad to you and they are still around let them know you love and appreciate them.   

Make Time for Some,…

So sorry for the delay in getting my blog posted today, but I have a feeling when you find out why Apozitude was delayed today you’ll understand and be forgiving. 
I had today off from my regular job and I took Keri’s car to the DEQ (Dept. of Environmental Quality) to get updated license plate stickers. She’s updated now until 2017. Yay!!! Well, on my way home from the DEQ I stopped by Al’s Garden Center. 
You see Keri and I are planning an event to celebrate our relationship and our marriage. In October we will have been together 20 years. Wow! Can you believe it? Well, you may not know me very well or at all depending on how long you’ve been reading Apozitude. Or maybe you know me very well, like all my life or since I was 16 or 25. 
Anyway, for our event to celebrate our relationship we were thinking succulents would be a very cute decoration, but we know very little about them, except that they are adorable. Tara, at Al’s Garden Center said, “That’s all you really need to know about them anyway. They’re super easy and there’s such a variety. You can’t go wrong with these hearty little plants”. She was the nicest lady. First of all, after I told her about the 20 year celebration she said, “There’s NO WAY you’re old enough to have a 20 year relationship.” Yup, there is. I’m 45 years old. “There’s NO WAY you could be 45 years old!!” That automatically puts you in great standing with me. Secondly, she was very helpful and gave me three baby succulents to start. 
So, I came straight home thinking I need to plant these little babies and began looking around. I found our recycling and turned a couple of beer cans and a Perrier can into a pretty little succulent garden. I had a blast this morning. I totally forgot how much I love dinkin’ around in the garage and that my friends is why today’s blog was delayed.
I was busy having fun.     

 

The Rest is Up to YOU

This is related to my perspective related to parenting, but I’m pretty sure it could be applied to other situations as well. Sometimes when you love someone with your whole heart and you’ve invested a great deal of energy into their growth, maturity and expansion, you can find yourself quite surprised when you are faced with situations that helps you realize what an excellent job you’ve done. 
When you put your heart and soul into helping someone, there comes a point when you have to let go and trust they have learned what you’ve instilled in them. The difficult part sometimes is seeing how they’ve taken what you have taught them and applied it to their life in their own way.
In difficult times when you see your loved ones struggle and want to rush in and rescue, remember pairing your strengths with their weakness keeps their weakness weak. I understand that it’s very difficult, but when you think you’re helping when they struggle you’re delaying their development. There’s a very fine line between being there for someone when they struggle and rescuing them. It’s important to know the difference. 
All we can do is the very best we can with the knowledge that we currently have and strive to learn more. The main reason I write this blog is because I have struggled in my life and I still do at times. My intention is to raise awareness by sharing my experiences, my vulnerabilities and my victories. My intention is to offer opportunities for growth and change with love and understanding.