Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

I need to say this to myself: "Happy Father's Day!" I also want to extend this sentiment to all the other mothers out there who filled two roles raising a child. I was both mother and father to my son. I used to celebrate both days for myself, but then I began to feel a little embarrassed. I stopped doing it when that self-consciousness set in. I didn't want everything to always be about Me.

Everything is not always about me. But, I must stop being in denial about my past. I was an unwed mother at age twenty. I chose to keep my child when others wanted me to get an abortion or give my son away to a good family. A good family was better than just me was what they meant. My son's pediatrician was one of those people. After my first year as a mother/father, he apologized to me. He also wrote a glowing recommendation letter for me two decades or more later when I thought I wanted to be a mentor for unwed mothers. I never followed through with that goal, but I really appreciated his kind words of support.

I was both mother and father. I gave birth, breast fed, and nurtured my son to the best of my ability. As he grew older, I got him involved in sports and other activities. I may not have been graceful in my efforts, and I made many mistakes. Some mistakes were huge! But, I tried. And I studied. And I read. And I attended classes and workshops. And I got therapy for me and for him..throughout our lives. I wanted to do the best job I could. Mostly, I wanted to dispel the theory that unwed mothers were not good enough to raise a healthy, productive child alone.

I also knew and recognized that having a father figure in my son's life was critical. So, I had boyfriends I loved and trusted who befriended him and spent time with him. I was and will always be grateful to them for their love and support. I made lots of mistakes, but I tried my best. I was a conscious parent. But, I came into the role with my own childhood pain. I was young and still needed to work through my issues. Unfortunately, I went through my pain and passed some of it onto my son. I will always regret those painful moments. I cannot say how sorry I am for those times.

But, I will never regret my decision to have my son. I loved him and taught him as best I could. I attended swim meets, baseball games, wrestling matches and football games. I sat alone in the bleachers in the cold with all the other fathers, and I didn't understand the game at all. I appreciate the patience they showed me when I asked lots of questions. It was a lonely time.

Happy Father's Day to Me! My son is a happily married, successful architect now, who owns his own home. I could not be a prouder parent if I tried. He is a good man. The mother/single woman in me taught him how to relate to women. I tried to give advice to him through the years from both a female and a male perspective as best I could. It was not easy, but I did it. I must take credit for it. For Me. I am proud of the job I did. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of the life of the incredible person my son is. I am a proud parent. And, I am proud of my Self. I did it! I raised a good kid. I raised a great man. I deserve to celebrate both days. Just sayin'...

Lest I forget, I also want to thank my loving and supportive family, and my friends. Without their support and help, I could not have been a successful parent at all. Thank you all. I love you.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Vows to My Self

How does one keep vows to oneself? Is it a matter of self love or self respect? Is it motivation? What is it? Why is it easier to keep promises made to another than to one self?

These are nagging questions that have not diminished with age. I remain disturbed by this fact. For me, the idea is greater than the action required to achieve the idea. I want to; I just don't. I do for a little while, and then I stop. I am easily swayed. I am vulnerable. I see these things as weakness, and then I feel badly: about my self, my resolve; my abilities. Then, I get out the "big stick"...

The stick really doesn't work on me. I know this. I try being patient and loving with my self. My thoughts turn to "I am lazy", rather than something more positive instead. Mind over matter.

I saw an add for hypnotherapy to deal with weight loss and a healthy lifestyle including exercise. I need this, but I feel silly getting hypnotized for these things. Hypnosis is for quitting smoking, right?

Our thoughts limit us. My thoughts turn to limits first. I am limited by my thoughts. I am a limitless being limiting my Self. I must stop. I am greater than these little thoughts that have big repercussions. So, what is holding me back? I am turning sixty-six, and I am still wrestling with the same demons of my youth. The core demons. It's time to vanquish them. But what will it take to accomplish their demise? What will it take?

Monday, June 1, 2015


After smudging for the first time.
Our trip to Japan made an impression and changed a part of me, hopefully, forever. I learned a few things:
  1. I will take Self-Love to heart once and for all. I will begin my morning by looking in the mirror and bowing to myself to honor my Spirit and give myself the respect I always try to offer to others.
  2. I will take the time to prepare healthy foods. I learned to love breakfast Japanese-style. This past weekend I made Miso soup with vegetables, and  roasted a big pan of vegetables to eat this week. This morning, I ate some soup, roasted vegetables, smoked salmon and a spear of fresh pineapple. It was a delicious new way to begin the day. I will practice more hydration consciousness too.
  3. I forced myself to drop into my local gym and say hello to my trainer. I have an appointment this afternoon. I have not exercised, except yard work, for two months. All the toning in my arms to eliminate my "bat wings" is gone. I don't like seeing those wings. They make me feel older than I feel inside. I am back on that wagon.
  4. My sister invited me to join her and our friend in doing "The Five Tibetan Rites": a 2,500-year-old group of exercises/poses purported to result in more vitality and good health. I just searched for it, and will investigate further. My goal is to make an appointment with myself each day (when I don't go to the gym for weight-lifting with my trainer), that I will put in my calendar, go down to my family room, light a candle and exercise in some form to music. I will also try to walk at least 3,000 steps each day while carrying my step counter. I was inspired once again by our Japanese friend, who is 85-years-old and does this every day.
  5. I will take at least ten minutes each day to just sit quietly and be still.
  6. I will begin to purge/eliminate our voluminous myriad of "stuff". I now have two friends who succeeded in ridding their lives of all the stuff, and downsized. This downsizing keeps coming up for me/us, so I want to work in that direction for when we decide to do the same: downsize our lives. Less is more. Less feels lighter. Less stuff=less stress. I will order the book, "the life-changing magic of tidying up" by Marie Kondo. Interestingly, she is Japanese, and has a new philosophy to approaching the purge. I will start with this book and move forward. 

My guiding "planet"
I love Irises
The Universe is just awesome! It brings us what we need just when we need it. I am much too hard on myself. My ultimate goal is to practice Patience with my Self, and once again take things one step at a time. I tend to barge on through, and get overwhelmed. Enough already. I love me, and it's time to show Me some of the Love. Actions speak louder than words, right? Don't wish me luck, just say, "You can do this! Just do it, Kathy." Okay. Thanks. I Love you.

Friday, January 30, 2015

What is my favorite event of the week?

It's Friday, and I am at the lake house in Gilbert, South Carolina. I decided a good exercise is to ask my Self at the end of each week, "What was your favorite event/moment/happening this week?"

Jackson and Mattie Grace
Without thinking too much about it, I walked two miles every day. This particular loop I take with my two little dogs, Jackson and Mattie Grace, involves walking up and down three steep hills. The roads are mostly dirt, with lots of rocks and divots to be aware of to prevent ankle twisting. I concentrated on pumping up each hill and being careful walking down. My right knee sometimes gives out on me unexpectedly, so I am conscious of the stress I put on it; on both my knees. I am overweight, so I pay attention to how my knees are feeling on the downhill sides especially.

When I pumped up hill, I had to stop at least once on the steepest hill. My heart felt like it would pound out of my chest, and I was breathing much too hard. I tried concentrating on deep inhales through my nose and deep exhales through my mouth. I noticed that when I breathed heavily and quickly as my body wanted to, in and out of my mouth, my mouth and throat got very dry, and my heart pounded faster. Consciously slowing down my breathing helped slow down my heart. I felt in control and powerful.

I also concentrated on walking through my entire foot: heel to toe. There is a machine my trainer makes me use at the gym in Tiverton, Rhode Island that requires me to lift a heavy weight with just my toes by pushing through with my calves. I think about this exercise as I push off with my toe to land on the other heel. I listen to my calves as I do this to see how they feel. I have to be careful not to extend my legs, especially my right leg, too straight because my knee can falter. I am also aware of this knee issue as I carefully walk downhill.
A springtime walk last year.

I noticed that some days I had more energy than others. I thought I would gain more energy as the week progressed, but noticed that yesterday, I got very tired. I'm not sure what that was about, but I will continue to pay attention to it.

I know I am overweight, and I eat healthily for the most part. But, I snacked too much this week. I will pay more attention to why I need to snack. Fruit just didn't cut it. I needed a vanilla Oreo. Just one was enough. I love peanut butter-filled prezels. Oh gawd, they are good... and salty. They are my crack. I will pay attention to this craving also.I know more protein is supposed to calm sweet/salty cravings, but what if I like them? These cravings are psychological, and I will continue to pay attention to the whys and wherefores of this as I move forward.

It's Superbowl weekend, and we are Patriots fans. We are in the south and the only Pats fans we know, but we are hosting a party nonetheless. I plan to cook chili. If our nephews come, I'll also have hot dogs. Chips/salsa and crudites. I plan to include healthy-as-I-can foods and not together. I believe in choices, especially while I'm figuring all this healthy lifestyle out for myself. A healthy lifestyle is a process. I have to keep reminding myself of this process to prevent Me from beating my Self up.

What was your favorite event of the week?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


When I dream of home, it's always either our family home on Chestnut Street in Newton Upper Falls, Massachusetts or our grandparents' home on Abbott Street. Neither home looks exactly the same, but I always know in my dream that it is how it is supposed to be.

Two nights ago, while the "Blizzard of 2015" raged up north (we are at our lake house in South Carolina presently), I spent the entire night rescuing family and friends from the storm. I lived at Gummy and Papa's house, and tried desperately to convince friends to spend the night and not drive in the snow storm. "I have plenty of beds and food," I said, but some still insisted on driving. I felt frustrated, and woke up exhausted. In fact, I was exhausted all day, as if I had been shovelling out.

In the morning, I ran to the television for the latest news on how the storm was affecting my loved ones and our Rhode Island property. Then, I texted everyone to see how they were faring. Our neighbor, who borrowed our snow blower, gave us the skinny on our property, because our internet was down and we couldn't see our security cameras. He told us they had power, though, so we must also. I was frightened our generator would be drifted over with snow and wouldn't work if the power went out. Then I started seeing pictures on Facebook throughout the day as the inches grew; dogs adventured out to pee, and my son shoveled his snow blower out of a drift. I eventually calmed down as I received more and more information that everyone and everything was really all right.

Last night, I had a dream my parents were both alive. My siblings, who didn't look anything like my siblings were very young and my mother had an infant. I was an adult, and living at Gummy and Papa's house. I came to visit and found my little brother changing the baby's shitty diaper. I was very impressed he knew how to do it. Then I picked up the adorable little baby girl, and found she had shit again. She had diarrhea, poor little thing. Somehow I decided she needed greens for roughage. She kept shitting. When I removed her diaper, she had "mixed green salad" leaves coming out of her butt. I marched her little leaf-riddled butt over to my mother and the boys to lecture them on not feeding the baby leaves, "and this is what happens!" I yelled. My little brother reminded me, I fed the baby the leaves, and I apologized feeling very confused about why I did that. What a strange dream.

Dreams fascinate me. I never know what will come out of my head each night, but clearly, I am still trying to take care of everybody. No wonder I am tired. Sweet dreams, Y'all!