Change

People say the only constant in life is change. Change is normal. Accept it. Embrace it. It’s a cycle of life, but sometimes it knocks you off your feet and carries you into a life you would never have imagined for yourself. That is what happened to me. Now a little over three years after this change I speak of–I’m finally putting my fingers to the keypad and writing. Funny that I say ‘me’ like I was the only one involved in this big life change. In reality it was myself, my ex and our children–not to mention the family who supports us even to this day. This post is definitely long over due. I have wanted to begin writing again, but I’ve felt that my experiences were to painful for me to be able to share openly. I was only inspired to write this after I heard a commercial on the radio speaking about domestic violence month. Realizing that maybe writing this post could help someone else as much as it could help me is the reason I’m typing these words. I still can’t write the details publicly, but if you feel compelled to email me you are more than welcome to.

Three years and three months ago my family was residing in a disguised nightmare. Everything seemed ok. I tried to pretend that everything was ok, but in reality it was all falling apart. The only real peace I get from thinking back on it all is that Journey and Faith were seemingly unaffected by it all. They were fed, nurtured and thrived in a situation that wasn’t ideal. Not a fairy tale at all.

Three years and three months ago the girls and I flew back to Colorado in a flurry of tears, hugs, and heartbreak. I packed three suitcases; one big one full of clothes (for 2 weeks), one small one with some of the girls favorite toys, and one more with miscellaneous items. Without any identification except a black-eye, I boarded us on a Southwest flight back to my native state. Arriving was bitter-sweet. I was happy to be home, but the prideful side of me felt like a failure. Like a dog with its tail between its legs. I had left with so much potential–I was starting a family with a man I loved, we were living in a beautiful house, I was a stay-at-home Mom  enjoying the gorgeous California weather and then in a flash it was gone.

With the help of my best friend I made the decision to stay in Colorado and to not rush back into a life that was not there. I chose to do what was right for me. It’s still hard for me to do that because so much of my early twenties I spent thinking about what was right for everyone else. I pushed my wants and needs to the back burner. Now that I’m in the forefront life is much more confusing. What is it that I wanted? Love, family, stability, happiness? How can I get those things? Will they ever come? I still have trouble realizing that all of those things still have a place, but not in the mold that I have imagined. Coping with this change, I’m not the same young woman who began this blog with her best friend so many years ago. I look back at past posts and feel tears come to my eyes. I’m even more sad that I let this blog suffer in the process. Sharing my journey through motherhood was therapeutic, fun and the perfect way to chronicle the lives of my two daughters.

They are the real reason that I made the decision to leave and not go back. Rebuilding our lives here, alone, has been so very hard. We have had support from a variety of community resources, friends and family.  Unfortunately, we have experienced homelessness and have lived in a domestic violence shelter for two months and in transitional housing for 10 months until we were able to attain an apartment.

Transitioning from a stay-at-home mom to a single working mother has been hard. I have had to play double duty when it comes to household duties and raising the girls. I find myself becoming envious of mothers who can stay home with their children, but don’t want to. It is a dream to be able to spend time with your children. I’m at least lucky enough to work in the same school that the girls attend, but our nights are busy and I feel stretched thin at times. I worry that I’m not giving Journey and Faith all that I could. I feel guilty for wanting time for myself. I feel like a failure (again) for not being able to provide the family I envisioned for my children. They don’t deserve to live in a single parent home. They don’t deserve to only see their Dad 3 months out of the year.

What keeps me moving forward is knowing that they do deserve a healthy loving life.

I deserve a healthy loving life.

This is only the tip of the iceberg! I have so many more thoughts, but I will save them for another time (and this time I won’t wait three years to share them). I welcome comments and I look forward to putting the Mommy back in Mommy Lounge.

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Anything is possible, be thankful! TT#3

Written by:  Reneca

I’m having one of those ” Oh S#!$” moments.  Scratch that…I am having one of those awwhhha moments!  Life has thrown our family a curve ball and now as we step up to the plate I am prepared to hit that damn ball out of the park.  Last friday Duan’sschool shut down.  I could easily go through the rest of this post ranting and raving about who’s fault it was, and who’s it wasn’t.  But honestly, what’s the point.  Everyone played a role, and I’m not a delusional wife who thinks her husband can do no wrong.  I do know if I were to stay in a place of blame, and negativity nothing positive would come of it. 

Buddha said,  “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”  As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing else to do.  When we stay in the moment our pasts fade away.  The uncertainty of tomorrow doesn’t exist.  Instead, an infinite assortment of possiblities arise.  This is not to suggest that planning is not essential.

Infact, Kalisha I will say time and time again when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  Planning may be the most integral part of the equation.  It’s not however, what you plan, but how.  When you are planning, especially when it comes to major situations in your life, it should made when you are at peace.  You may not be happy with the situation but until you have gotten to the point of acceptance, the choices you make have the potential to be erratic, and based completely off of emotion.

The question that follows is: How do you get to a place emotionally and spiritually to make those planning decisions?  This question, of course has so many answers.  The answer differs from person to person.  Some people may need to pray prior to making their decisions, while other may need to meditate. It takes a lot of discipline to step out of the situation, and stay in the moment to purposefully make these choices.  (This includes when you are planning your day. ) This is what  I am putting into practice.   

With all that being said, I am staying focus only on the true blessings that are all around me.  Here are thirteen of the many things in my life that I am thankful for. (In no particular order)

  1. My Children:   They bring me so much joy!  I am constantly reminded of how blessed I am every time I see them.  It’s amazing to watch how they are growing physically, mentally and spiritually.   And they are so funny.  In an instant they can make me extremely upset, and at the same time hardly able to contain my laughter.
  2. My husband:  Isn’t it great to know you will be with your best friend forever?!!!!   He truly is my friend, my confidant, my inspiration.  Regardless of our material struggles, our relationship is built on such a strong foundation that nothing can shake it. 
  3. My best friend:  You are truly blessed when you have a friend which has become more like a sister.  Kalisha, has been there to support me without judgement.  What more can you ask for?
  4. My Family:   The continual support and encouragement  from my parents, brother, and Cousins. 
  5. My extended family: I have been welcomed and loved into the Ruff family. I really feel like I have have another brother, a sister, two more parents, and a slew of Aunts, Uncles and Cousins.  Not many people can can say this about their in-laws.
  6. My health:   I’m alive, breathing, and thriving, with no ailments.  When you step back and realize that some people can’t walk, talk or even breath by themselves, life in it self is a blessing.
  7. I’m grateful for living in a country where I have a voice.  There are so many woman throughout the world who cannot vote, who cannot drive, and in some instances cannot even speak. 
  8. I was watching a show the other night, and a woman’s parents had recently passed.  No matter how much we disagree, argue or fight, I am so glad my parents are still alive.
  9. Regardless of politics, partisinism, or beliefs, it’s incredible to be in this dispensation of time, when a black man can be elected President of the United States.  I know my generation cannot even fathom the enormity of this event, but it does show that with hard work and perseverance, anybody can be what they want to be. (No matter, what , ethnicity!)
  10. I am so glad that someone cared enough to teach me to read.  Okay, that may seem like a stretch, but there are so many children who are not given the same opportunity.  Think of the things you couldn’t do if you weren’t able to read!  I know one thing, you wouldn’t be reading this post!
  11. It is so wonderful to have the ability to start over.  At any moment we can decide to start anew.  We are not fixed to one outcome.  If we don’t like our situation, ultimately we have the power to change it. 
  12. I just bought $50 dollars of groceries for only $19!!!  Saving that kind of money is always something to be grateful for!
  13. You:  Okay so I don’t know many of you, but I am thankful you took the time come check out the crazy ramblings of my mind!  So, thanks!

I want to leave you with one more quote.

Behind me is infinite power,

before me is endless possibility.

Around me is boundless opportunity.

Why should I fear?

Author unknown

 Check out the other TT’s!

Much Love,  Reneca

 

 

Today is a new day!

Today I woke up and felt wonderful! I had an epiphany:  You are the only one in control of your emotions!  My dad told this to me when I was a teenager and this really holds true to my life now.  I’ve been allowing people in my life to control how I feel as a mother and as a person.  In the long run it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks/feels about what I do in my life (truly it never has or ever will).  We as people always want to be accepted, because of this we put way to much weight on other’s opinions.  In reality, there are only a few people in you life whose opinions should be considered.  This would be those of your husband/significant other and your children.  Not your mother, father, sister, brother or any other relative or friend for that matter.  I know this might seem extreme.  But ask yourself this question:  Are they thinking of you when they make their decisions?  Majority of the time, the answer is no. 

I have placed expectations on many people in my life which have been a huge source of disappointment for me.   Just like I am the sole controller of my emotions, and actions, they are for themselves.  With that said, I can’t very well place expectations on them. They are living their life and I have no control over what they do.  The choices they make are for what they feel is best for them, which may or may not be in alignment with what I had envisioned. This does mean that their decisions are bad; it just means it’s not what I hoped for.  It’s hard to extract these expectations that I have set in my mind. But if I’m living each moment for what it is than can I really be disappointed?

Life is meant to be celebrated.  Surround yourself with people who want to truly be happy.  Negativity only breads more negativity.  Unfortunately if you want to be happy you need to limit the impact the negative people have in your life.  We all know someone who always finds that one negative aspect in a situation, by passing the tons of positive possibilities.  Do what you need to exclude this negativity from your life. You may need to spend less time with this person.  (This sucks but it may be what needs to happen). 

Can you imagine life surrounded with people who are enjoying life and want you to enjoy life as much as they do?  That is what I’m going to produce in my life.  Today is a new day and I can create situation I want with action.  How freeing that statement is, I am not fixed in one situation for any longer than I want to be. 

If there is something you don’t like that is going in your life, change it.  If change is not possible right now, than see the positive side of the situation and put the steps in place so you can eventually change it. 

*Today is a new day, so create the day you want to have!*

Much Love, Reneca

 

 

Turning over a new leaf

This morning has been so leasurely.  The girls are with grandma and grandpa, and DJ is sleeping.  Nia, the little girl I watch during the week, is the only munchkin around.  Its funny how with three kids if one of them is gone you feel like a load has been lifted, but with two gone… its almost heaven! 🙂  It was nice to be able to do the morning deal without interuption.

Anyways, on Tuesday I made a decision to turn over a new leaf.  Tuesday usually ends up being the day that I do like a million loads of laundry. These is a feat that many moms do, but they also do two important things afterwards…they fold and put the clothes away. I don’t know what it is, maybe I have some repressed memory about being trapped in a pile of clean clothes, but I DO NOT like folding clothes.  So instead, for some reason I decide to do each load and put them on the couch downstairs (we don’t really use that couch). “Come on Reneca… why would you do that????!!”  So the pile would get bigger through out the day and come evening when I had one less child (Nia); I would go to the clothes with full intention to fold them all and SCREAM!  

To say the least, doing things this way was not helpful at all.  The clothes would sit there the through the next day, and which would turn into the next day and then the next.  I would always have every intention to fold them and put them away, but there would always be (in my mind) something more important to do. This all changed on Tuesday.  I made a decision to actuallymake change.  Since I already had a cleaning schedule, which for one reason or another had been tossed to the side, I pulled it out and looked at the days I planned to wash clothes.  Every day I would do a load of laundry.  One day was white clothes, two days for washing darks, a day for DJs clothes, one for the girls, and another for towels and sheets.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how much easier life would be to actually stick to this schedule. 

With my new afirmation…  “I can do laundry! Folding clothes is fun!”, I folded an put a way the rest of the clothes from the week before. Then I played catch up washing Monday’s load.  After each load I folded then and put them a way.  But I took it one step further.  I ironed all the clothes that needed to be hung up. I had never done that before, but it has already made a huge difference.  Duan hasn’t had to iron, making his day a little easier; and the getting the girls ready has gone so much smoother. 

I called my mother in-law and told her “I turned over a new leaf!”.  For me it was a huge leaf.  It just goes to show that when you make a plan and stick with it (remeber fail to plan, plan to fail) you will be less stressed and bogged down with work from the previous day that didn’t done.  I”ll let you all know how my laundry adventure goes.

Much love, Reneca