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2021-06-13 - 7:48 a.m.

Set intention.
That is the tip I just read, when reading two lines from Brendaon Berchard's book High Performance Habit.

The lines I read asked if ever carry stress from one activity to another which distracts from full presence.
Advice: Take minute to conciously take a break and intentionally relax body. Think of the tightness in shoulders, back- wherever you hold it
and intentionally close eyes, take deep breath and relax willfully those areas of body.


Then let go-
Release the stress of prior moment.

SET INTENTION of full presence and attention in what your next activity it.

No matter how small.
If it is reading this , as he said.

That really resonates with me as it is exactly what my Life Coach ( who was supposed to be a Professional Life Coach- helping me with Board Leadership Skills. Considering that was the intention of the coaching- to be as fully present and effective as a Board Leader for the Arts Org - when the decision I made was to commit fully rather than QUIT-
Considering not only did I knock it out of the part with Marketing , Fundraising (doubled the amount from last year's campaign with a 2-3 week concentrated last minute effort);
but within 30 days of coaching and setting that intention I was invited to be the Marketing Chair of another board.

I mean if setting a goal and focusing on it is something you are skeptical of;
If you think it hooey to visualize your future, imagine it and you DON"T believe then the universe is listening-

Just re-read that.

I had NO aspiration to join another board. But I did want to be an effective board leader.

But then the opportunity came to me and as it was something I was again ENJOYING and wanted to do best where AT before thowing in the towel-

well , the timing just seems uncanny a bit doesn't it?

I set the intention to find a job with a raise, part time for work life balance so I can be more present with my family and nurture those other talents in self ( Erma Bombeck said it best:
" When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me'. Erma ... Died: April 22, 1996​"

My mother loved Erma Bombeck. She was one of her heroes. She delighted in reading her work and found such comfort and humor and joy and pleasure in it.

I had the privalege of being a waitress for only one famous person in my life.

Erma Bombeck
When she was the Graduation speaker at my college one year. I , the waitress who spilled a whole pot of coffee and ended up in the ER week two of being on the job of a catered wedding-
who could have been fired-
a few years later was one of the best waitresses for my personality ( despite occasionally klutziness').

I COULD have been fired, but instead received further training and caught on (eventually) and that year was given the head table for the President of the College and Erma.

(The fact he loved chatting with me when he took his morning stroll at 7:30 or 8AM on Saturdays and that was when I studied my philosophy in the Quad also may have had something to do with this. He taught Philosophy back in the day prior to being President and delighted in those conversations as I was a Catholic Spiritual Geek studying The Greeks, Medieval, Aquinas, Catholic theologians etc.. in tandem with Eastern thought. Merton was my favorite at the time; converging the two.

It is with great pleasure I learn of Derrida from the basement dweller, and Foucault and modern and post modern...
as I look up references in my oldest child's art and have to read to understand the work.

Its so much fun the things one can learn from their children!

The grow into these amazing people that bring so much more into a parent's world and help a parent continue to learn and grow if we allow such.

This morning as I was organizing my house ( purging.. I am in a cleansing and purging state), it felt great to go through the boxes in my living room from my teen who has not done so yet and pull out only clothing ( respecting personal things)- to see SIZES and pull out the little girl items sized 10-14 which I KNOW will not be wanted by her.
I am being overly patient in her desire to no have help.
But she jumped ship from Dad's and moved here and I don't even know how long it has been now that there have been boxes of her stuff in my living room.

She claims to be working on it a little at a time
but I think its about as quickly as getting school work done...

This child was not suicidal, so with so many kids suffering in the last year since I TRIED to get a counseling appointment for her ( filled out request on line- NO response) I just let it be since she was resistant anyway. I will try again as she really needs a re-set herself.
Video games to feel good and rest may be a short term balm but come a point one has to learn to not be avoidant of stressors but gain skills to push through.

Mindset of two of mine is the biggest challenge they have in my view. Not disability, not -- OK maybe it is the same thing.. maybe that is disability of depression speaking strongest to them both, then both to each other so they don't help each other in that regard.
However the companionship, friendship and feeling loved and SEEN that they each give the other IS GOOD.
It is good to see them playing games together-

ALL THREE actually of these offspring of mine. The basement dweller is VERY focused on school. Still outstanding student ( only not straight As due to obvious ADHD , Autism traits-- if not on spectrum at least has so many clear traits yet brilliant so once again one of those kids who fell through the cracks. HOW DID ELON MUSK get diagnosed??? I mean it was HARDER to recognize this years ago...)

But he comes up and plays games with the other two, then goes back down to focus on schoolwork.
I am SO Glad that he will be going back to campus in Fall as the interaction with the rest of the world IS SO ESSENTIAL to life skill development. It was good that he had a roommate and navigated a good relationship ( evidenced by "I love you so much " posted on some social media by roomie!)
That was nice to see.
His roommate was really kind and a good fit. Even if was boss at job that got fired at...


The ADHD made it a challenge to figure out how to get the scheduling app on a device and pay attention to it and too many missed shifts.

My college basement dweller thinks he does not have ADHD... so in time will figure out what works for him. One doesn't need a label or a diagnosis to identify what challenges and gaps they have OVER TIME and then figure out what works! Most people eventually have enough self awareness I think to not want to make the same mistakes OVER and OVER and OVER again...

Its; his path.

I am just proud of how well he has been achieving and how emotionally he has grown and how mature and nice of a person he genuinely is growing into.

More thoughtful than when younger. Working on getting over anger at siblings and relationship with siblings improved. Forgiving me I think , and Dad too I believe as I know it had to be a valid source of anger to be a person with actual acute pain your whole life that Doctors and Parents and all the adults of the world dismissed.

For real this kid had the pain in legs and joints and gastrointestinal issues. I worried about anorexia and food issues ( and yes had some of those- weird binging and hoarding) definite issues..
Not that they were ignored.. I mean there were controlling parent concerns. Not to dismiss the abuse of the control of food in the home of Dad
It does create food issues. Known fact. Not to blame he did what he knew but it does create problems..
and can't tell which came first The dysautonomia, of the food issues from weird controlling parent issues with food ( their Dad's mom was older post depression and a food hoarder and so afraid of never having enough , then my kids DAD had the pendulum swing of the opposite- would not go shopping til EVERY last provision in the house was eaten. It was bare bones, empty cupboards until we needed to shop. I picked up some of that frugality to an extreme. Kids never had choices but very institutional like come to the table when called and eat what is served.

This is big family style.
No issue with this really - but I think it is HOW it is done.

My oldest had trauma from not being allowed to leave the table until ate her veggies. Then the salad was put in blender and she was forced to drink it.

It WAS ABUSE to do that to a very little kid as she found episodes like that... over and over ..compounding
each seeming small in the moment so I did not recognize their insidiousness...
just built up.

So yeah I get the anger of this basement dweller as just as there were episode after episode like that my oldest can recall and identify,
multiply that exponentially and the younger kids have compounded moments of not being seen as a person, as an individual, and not respected
then the Doctors dismissing her pain

So regardless of whether the POTS was trauma induced dysregulation of autonomic nervous system
there all along and the pain of legs and joints and then the food issues CAME FROM the accompanying stomach issues which make it painful to eat,
So then the kid can't eat when in pain but hoards and binges when not in pain as really starving...

It doesn't matter which came first
this is not to blame
but to say

I GET IT my kid's intense ANGER
and the projection of it onto us her family-
the safe space for it to land.

Doctor's dismissed the physical pain for years, counselors at school and elsewhere minimized the trauma of parental abuse, this kid was angry and lashed out and abused siblings in a viscous cycle and all along not diagnosed with autism * Still not but the other sibling it was LESS obvious in WAS diagnosed!

I am just glad that I think he, the basement dweller has really benefitted from being here the past year to have some re-set healing time to just BE.

I think the relationships of the kids all here will promote more healing for each
and for this FAMILY
than anything.
They are not abusive to each other anymore, and hurl the abuse at me less and less as each week/month passed. Beyond it being a daily norm, or even a weekly norm. Now its a bit of verbal abuse every few weeks- monthly perhaps- so its progress. I take the progress and hope the healing continues.

EVEN the healing of their relationship of their father.

They all have to SEPARATE from that situation to grow into who they are with a strong sense of self
to then be able to see him as his separate self and choose to foster a relationship and forgive if he is willing to accept them each as the individuals they grow into and if he is willing to nurture a relationship with who each are
and not dismiss them if they are not who he wasn't' them to be.

God creates in likeness and image.
He doesn't control.

Parents create in likeness and image
We shouldn't control.

Guide, love, teach , train... welcome, unconditionally

But you have to let go and let each be their own person.

Funny this is not what I intended to write about.

I wrote to say how darn good it felt to clean out two bags of little kid's clothing and throw the remaining clothing in the washer that my teenager can then sort through to decide what is being kept or tossed.

The boxes remain.
I am going through my bookshelves to see if anything more of mine I can purge.

I can't give up Steinbeck. Picked up The Winter of our Discontent and wow, if I could describe walking down the street in the way he does in just the first few pages, and the dialogue captured!

The mastery of language!

I just can't do it.
Then thought Willa Cather, Maybe I can toss her..

Beowolf... surely..I don't need Beowolf.

I am not quite ready. I mean one of my kids ( ah the one that did not finish Senior HS English class of all things... tried... was studying that.
I read aloud last year in attempt to help when they were in throughs of illness and could not move, function but tried to listen and process and I tried to help understand the material. I said "If sick with disability a reader is allowable. Let me help you" and they did for one hour. It was lovely time actually...)

Not enough make progress... logging on to do the work was too much. I was not going to do that for them. Well if they wanted me to log on and be a scribe and type their responses to questions that ALSO would be an acceptable accomodation of my kid doing their assignment- but they did not want that help. They refused and just couldn't do the work. It was too much to focus on at the time.

No I am not ready to give away Beowolf...
My one remaining small shelf of classics is not going to be purged more. I already removed most of the old dead white guys books...

Need to carve a place out for the books of the teen. If the teen continues to be depressed and not make progress the NEXT step will be stepping in, not crossing boundary of remaining personal items but pulling out the BOOKS ( they are obvious- some are in a separate box), and moving them on one designated shelf in the living room. I am sure I can rearrange and find room there. Last year it was filled two layers of books deep and I got rid of about half the books in the house (or more). I stacked my car full and carted off tons to the annual library sale fundraiser.

One of my old neighborhood besties ran an on line bookstore and has a basement inventory- shelfs and shelfs of her own personal bookstore. She has an arrangement with the library that after their sale she can help herself to whatever they are tossing.

It was funding a legal fund for her son in law at the time. Some charges she and her family believed were trumped up by an ex wife... in an ugly divorce...

My friend was passionate in helping him.

It was some crazy story, her oldest child's husband in jail.

She was such a tremendous support to me when I was going through my divorce. This lady who had a child my oldest two were friends with.

The girl was one of the three remaining girl scouts after the white flight when my child announced "I am black",
yeah... when the 16 girl troup went down to 3 as the other parents all pulled thier kids out of the troop when learning of the black girl.

This is no lie...
rural northern VA in 2001.
One year of brownies and friend then in first grade the kids knew their playmate was black and QUIT as I was the Girl Scout Leader.

Its astounding that people grow up oblivious to racism being so invasice and destructive.
Its astounding that in my community there are folks up in arms over Critical Race Theory and Kendi being discussed.

Critical Race Theory is 20 plus years old..
and they are JUST considering it...
and its like insurrection being contemplated in the schools...

someone might teach ACTUAL HISTORY and that could undermine the whole social paradigm here.

I KNEW when moving to Virginia this was a concern.
I just didn't quite know it was going to be as MUCH Of a concern.

I knew to an extent it was important for my kids to be able to interact with other kids who were brown and black and have a positive esteem and not be seen as different.

So I found the multicultural music program where they did interact.

But the vitriol of the depth of the racism was not expected by me.

I grew up white, privileged and clueless in the bubble of the North Shore of Long Island. Not far from where The Great Gatsby takes place actually...
My brother's friend he studied and played classical guitar with lived there. We would drive him home and he always wanted to be dropped off to walk up to his house,
more out of shame of not wanting to be so different as he went home to this massive mansion.

It was funny how the super wealthy kids just wanted to fit in.

He didn't want his friend to see his house
as when I drove a girl home for the holidays from college- she only lived a couple hours (if that... maybe an hour or less...I think town called EDEN NY.. but in a rural part on the outskirts. Pretty girl who was the corn festival queen one year, her biggest prideful accomplishment to date, who lived in a tiny home on a farm with many children and the family felt abandoned when she went off to college. She was the first in her family to do so. She shared stories of her family and I was one of few ( if not the only one) who knew of her pain and challenges. She was not sure she was going to receive a warm welcome. But she was going home anyway and I was driving her there and back for her to try. It was her 2nd year at college I think as she had lived on campus with a job the first summer. She had not been welcomed back home then. They were angry that first year.. this scholarship student from a poor family adjusting to her leaving them. There was abuse.. life was hard and they were impoverished. I knew her story but she persevered and loved them enough to want to do better and then try to help her family learn and do better. She was honestly sweet and hard worker and not exceptionally bright and I always thought my college a better place for giving this girl a scholarship over some other kid from an upper middle class family who would have a choice of colleges. I was happy to know her and be her RA and friend.

It always struck me how both she, and my brother's friend BOTH had this sense of SHAME at their homes being so different from the middle class norm.

Both wanted to hide the reality of who they were; where they came from.

It was a snowstorm when my bros friend finally had to acquiesce to being driven to the door. They had been friends for a couple years by then.

Funny the one thing I THOUGHT I was going to write about this morning did not come forth. Perhaps as I already thought it through.

But just to capture. It is funny in a way to me. My bestie here, who I call Robin Hood, has such boundary issues but is so very loving and thinks she is helping others with her organizing skills.

So this is an example of how this works in reality:
Maybe last year at some point I notice a Green cooler on my porch, where I previously had an open crate- full exposure to the elements, storing my garden tools. There is really no overhang to protect the area from rain, but a little slope so rain lands there but runs off and they dry in sun, and I periodically clean , sand and oil the tools and that worked OK. YES they got a bit wet and needed tending to as they were not protected.

So June was here.. and helping me ... and I see that and inquire and she said "Oh yeah, I brought that thinking it might be better for you."

I thanked her.

Then this year when going to garden discovered all my tools RUINED by the water and muck than the cooler was filled with...

as it is a cooler...
as it was being thrown out by someone...
and June thought that it was a better option for me.

They are all dramatically rusty and rotted.

I just laughed.

I had a couple tools UNDER the porch sitting in a pot that worked this year for me thankfully. As I scaled back my gardening to only landscaping at home and porch pots and don' t have helpers anymore, and don't need multiple trowels it wasn't that big a loss but for the hedge trimmers and clippers ( and the fact it was the NEWER Nicer towels and cultivators (? Three pronged helpful thing I forget exactly what called that a quick google search comes up with that unknown name... I swear I know it by something else but forget what !) I no longer have the lovely large plot at the community garden with vegetables.

That is the kind of thing June does all the time for her friends! She means well.

Its just so funny as she doesn't quite realize how she crosses boundaries and gets people tremendously annoyed or even angry at her to then give up the friendship that is toxic to them.

I think of the guy who's porn collection got tossed...LOL... only part of it. The magazines...

He was so mad.
I get it! I really wanted to read that Psychology Today article I TOLD HER NOT TO THOW OUT that I paid for at the supermarket.


OK can't find it. Thought maybe with a search could capture the image.. .

maybe will look more..
but first this.
I will leave with this unless I find it soon.

Food for thought: I am trying to teach my kids how to love. They have not seen commitment from their parents to each other, so perhaps at least they can experience actual family love of commitment in my home. I am not afraid of commitment in a relationship. I just want to get it right with my FAMILY AT HOME first I feel before bringing anyone else into the mix. That is the truth. Maybe it was a mistake to NOT Marry the man I had no chemistry with...
but I just feel like there HAS to be that as well as the other three things- respect and love of the person for who they are, with shared interests enjoying each others company, respect for their INDIVIDUALITY and time to be on their own developing their self...

but I still wonder if I do have serious commitment issues. I mean I called in the towel after 5 yrs is BOTH my marriages.
Sure there was intense abuse in the 2nd. But the first...well alcoholism which honestly I don't' see as reason to leave a marriage UNLESS it also results in abuse of the other ..
I mean it sucks and it is HARD to be in a HEALTHY marriage with an alcoholic.. to not be an enabler... I don;t know if it CAN be done...

But I feel like it was more my youth that led me to leave and not have patience for my 1rst husband to work though his issues and our SHARED lack of commitment and both giving up. (He would not engage in counseling. He stopped trying.. I left... But I didn't WAIT IT OUT VERY LONG. He left and then he DID come back... but I was no tolerant when finding a dark tarry block of some substance that I flushed down the toilet and kicked him out...)

My reaction was protective but also actually fear based. I didn't allow him to stay and figure his shit out. I could have set a boundary without necessarily kicking him out and responding to the advances of another ( who then became my 2nd husband!)

SEE the foundation of the 2nd Marriage! I was "SAVED"

and then my 2nd husband resented that the happiest time of my life was really when in my first marriage.

Heck I couldn't LIE and pretend that is wasn't a WONDERFUL life we had been living until my husband got sick and could not function and really I pretty much abandoned him in his illness.

Depression is an illness.
I justified it by starting to feel down and not wanting to spiral into depression WITH HIM.
But in hindsight I know there are ways to not get co-joined into another's illness but still COMMIT and LOVE THEM and BE present and let them have space to heal and grow into their own.

So I didn;t have the skills to do that for either my first or second husband. First left as I didn't have the skills, and yes he had moments of rage and abuse. HE DID.
But then I jumped from frying pan into the fire of just absolute unbridled anger


Plain and simple.

That is so very sad.
But it really came down to that I think. Jealously. Anger. Not being able to accept my past as past and so what if it was wonderful and happy until it wasn't and I left?

I don't get it... still..
But that was the switch that flipped in my 2nd husband on my birthday that day. When he saw my JOY that I was HAPPIER than he had ever seen me here in VA because I was getting ready to go see a live jazz concert.

It is amazing really that my Joy triggered his rage.

My joy at seeing live jazz, when my 1rst husband had been a remarkable Jazz Bass Player.

So here is the article found.

YES I feel like this path of commiting to my kids is what I need. I maybe should not have let go of the man who was also willing to commit to me and them. Maybe the chemistry WAS enough but it wasn't the kind of chemistry I had before experienced and hoped to again. Who knows.. maybe that was a naïve mistake.


Just interesting as love should be so very simple. Three ingredients.

So leave you with this-

And wonder if I still have deep rooted fear of commitment issues,
and if they were in me even BEFORE I got married...
or a result of the experiences...

and hope to parse that out at some point.

Its just really obvious to me I attract those equally non commital and not available.

And I wonder if that lack of commitment on my part has been GOOD for my kids, or if it would have been HEALTHER to see me in a HEALTHY Committed relationship.

I think of this as two of my children had relationships end which were GOOD relationships.

One of them after that two year mark... where it just had not matured into the next phase. But my kid gave up when not "feeling it" It is just the end of phase one. The natural thing that happens when the fall in love phase ends.

But they ended the relationship not quite understanding I think this was normal . They are still best friends.

It just is interesting.
I can see them growing together yet again... but I just dont want my kid to have a PATTERN of avoidance of commitment. First real relationship and young so not to worry of course... But when they were so in love they had promise rings and talked of wanting to marry in a couple years.. They were so SURE.

And my other kids were freaked out that anyone would talk marriage !! AS if talking marriage as a plan for a young 20s phase of life is crazy and a death sentence and recipe for disaster!
I disagree! I think it is a willingness to commit and more chance of success than the mindset need to keep seeing what else is on the market as if finding a mate is shopping. The mentality of needing the upgrade can really hinder commitment.

I suppose I think of this as getting excited to see my Buffalo, non committal lover as things open up and travel is practical again, and as kids are older and they can be trusted to care for the dog that they are attached to and care about, and as their depression is lifted.

September is five years since we met.
Since our first date.
He can be downright romantic ( which is nice) even if non committal.

I appreciate what I have.

He does have plans with the boys in Virginia. One of his frat bros lives just an hour and half south of me and annually they get together for a guys bonding weekend in the man cave and yard of the home of this guy and his welcoming wonderful wife.
She stays out of the way...

So I look forward to a visit en route there and back as he travels.
He will fit me in his agenda.

that is non committal. Fitting me in the agenda


But it will be great to see him again and enjoy his company which is always nice.
And we will make a plan for September. HE asked what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go. He would be happy to travel ANYWHERE with me for that weekend.
But it was an easy response.
I just want to go to Buffalo to see him there, to celebrate there.
I think nothing would be more romantic than to find where the musician who was playing is gigging if he is out and about that weekend and go to dinner.

I mean it was a year to the day of our first date at which we met that guy and really bonded over a break and a beer of his between sets. We had just a great talk with this guy on our first date. He is an amazing finger picking guitar player, some of everything, classically trained, Americana rock playing master. It was wonderful to see this rock band at Sportsman's tavern this guy was a guest guitar playing jamming with.

Then one year later when we wanted to go out to dinner, not lie a year to the day we went to this beautiful restaurant he was playing solo guitar at. It was really lovely!

Time for church! Was not mindful of time!
Going to get dressed and show up in person.

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