Itty Bitty’s Moving


Hello my friends, I am in the process of transfering my wordpress.com blog to my new website www.ittybittyboomer.com – please check out the new website, and register there to continue following me while I’m in this strange time of transition!

With any luck within a week everything here will be there …

Thank you!

The Itty Bitty Boomer

Shades of Grief -Divorce


Grief

A week ago I alluded to my amicable divorce.   It still is, we are in agreement on all things and will be doing a no response/uncontested action.  Taking care of business.  It’s a relief that my terms are not being questioned – though it’s simply whats yours is yours, what’s mine is mine.  But I am grateful that we are able to be calm, rational adults.

It is, none the less, the death of a dream – of a hope – of a partnership where we were to stand beside each other and face life’s challenges together.

I have, over the last week, found myself grieving the death of the dream. The death of the hope of finally having found someone who was committed to standing beside me as I dealt with the challenges of my world.  He just isn’t capable of understanding and embracing my life’s challenges.   That’s ok – I don’t hold it against him – I just need to move on and deal with them on my own.  It is a lot to ask someone.   I was just hopeful.

And so I grieve – and I know that as I process these feelings, as I have in the past with the death of my kids’s father 23  years ago, and the death of my parents, and the crash and burn and escape from a brainfart marriage to an alcoholic/addict that ended 9 years ago, I will find a place to tuck away the grief. And the love. And the memories. And even the hope.

And I will be stronger for it.

And I am content being alone – for it is much easier than being lonely with someone you had a dream with.

cropped-menjeff.jpg
Maui, 2011 ~  Thanks For The Dream, J.  Take care of you.

Namaste – I honor you who are grieving a loss.  Be kind to yourself, and take your time.

Itty Bitty

Head Battles – WLS Journey – 10 years and 6 months later


 

Yeah, it’s been a while, but as I recently read on one of my favorite blogs, life happens.  And life has been happening.

It’s a never ending – obesity and head battles.

2005 - 225 lbs
2005 – 225 lbs
March 2006 - 135 lbs
March 2006 – 135 lbs

And I am now half way in between the two weights.

I often contemplate how I got my head into that  place of commitment and action – that place that allowed me the strength to make the decision to have weight loss surgery.  I would like to get back there – I know that place is still inside me, somewhere in my brain.

And I remind myself daily that this tool I have was not brain surgery – it was stomach surgery.  Funny how I still know all the right answers.  And I also know all the triggers to the emotional eating that is occurring at this time in my life –

  • 2 adult children with bi-polar/anxiety disorders and other chronic health issues
  • going through a divorce (however currently amicable) due to husband’s inability to cope with the issues my kids have. We have been married just 4 years, so he has no emotional  investment in them and their issues (understandably).  He also has no desire to understand mental illness.  He is an acknowledged alcoholic.

I thank my higher powers that I currently have a good job.   I am self-supporting, which allows me to provide a home environment for the time being for my son.   That being said, it is a bit of an unanticpated burden and I live pay check to pay check  Son and I are hopefully working through this and building some parameters and expectations on both our parts.

The “UN” mindfulness part?

  • Too much comfort food and too much wine.  My self-medicating.  I’ve tried therapy for stress and anxiety – anxiety meds and anti-depressants are not my cup of tea.  I still have unused Zanex from 2 years ago.
  • No exercise
  • Insomnia – and yes I know, lack of exercise and alcohol are major contributors.

The plan? I refuse to call it a “resolution” because I don’t want to set myself up for failure.

  • Returning to food choices that I know are appropriate and supportive of a WLS lifestyle
  • Reducing at least if I don’t eliminate the alcohol
  • Exercising if only walking and stretching to start to get back into the routine
  • Finding and participating in support programs for caregivers for family with mental illness and an al-anon type of group.
  • Allowing myself to grieve the loss of what I thought would be my life partner and cheerleader – not that I ever expected him to fix my problems, but there was a hope of him standing beside me.
  • Reminding myself to set personal boundries for self preservation
  • Engaging in my relationships with my women friends – rather than sharing and relying on them, I tend to do the opposite and isolate – I get tired of hearing about my problems, how can I expect them to?  Yet I know I would be there for any of them in a heartbeat

It’s mostly remembering to take care of myself ahead of everyone else.  I am the first one to tell people to “take care of you so you can take care of those who need you”.

I’m looking in the mirror – saying those words.

Do you need to say those words to you?

Namaste – I honor you and your head battles.

Itty Bitty

A Season Of New Beginnings


Spring is a time of renewal, rebirth – new beginnings – and in our family, there are two sweet new beginnings ….

Last Saturday, my stepdaughter and her fiance got married.  We’re waiting for the photographer’s pics – but here are a few we’ve gotten from friends to start with!

Proud Dad and Bride – Preparing To Walk Out And Down The Aisle. Dad’s comment –       “I have never been prouder of my baby girl – I didn’t know I could stand so tall”.

Dad & Bride
Dad & Bride

And here is the darling couple – I wish for them a lifetime of ordinary days – sprinkled with many happy ones, and a minimum of challenging ones.

Bride & Groom
Bride & Groom

And the other new beginning – my daughter and her sweetie are officially moving in together today – he is moving into the townhouse she rents from us.  I am happy for both of them to have found each other – and I readily admit that I feel more comfortable with him in her life than I have felt in years.  He is truly a good man!  To them I will say – always be sweet to each other ….

Moneca & Mark
Moneca & Mark

Two down, two to go?  The boys …

Wish you all a season of new beginnings –

Namaste – simply – I honor you!
Itty Bitty

Peeking Out Of My Cave


I miss spending time here with my bloggy friends and followers – sharing experiences and thoughts with you and reading about yours.

Life gets a little crazy at times, and I get caught  between sharing,  retreating into my little hole in the wall, or staring at the blank new post screen not able to focus my thoughts enough to write.

Then I remember, why did I create this blog anyway?  To share the experiences of being a 60-something baby boomer.  That includes the ups, downs, joys and sorrows; the reflections that come with age – as well as the learning experiences that continue forever – and, of course, working through the ongoing life transitions that come with the territory.

There are many out there going through the same ups and downs – who may need to know just that and find a little peace in knowing they are not alone …. I find comfort in the supportive comments of others who have walked the same path or just send out that bit of universal love …  and I find release in writing down my thoughts.

The last eight months have been consumed with emotional opposites – fear and anxiety, joy and expectation, in huge ways –

  • My eldest has seemingly found a safe new relationship that continues to grow every day – and for them I am joyous as they both deserve  the happiness they are experiencing.
  • My youngest continues to struggle with bi-polar disorder, and a myriad of problems from a life turned upside down in the last year.  Child is now home with me for a time, averting homelessness, with emotional support, access to mental health services, allowing space to seek centering and balance.  The struggle continues, but for now I do not lay awake all night waiting for the phone to ring with every parent’s worst nightmare.  He is safe in my home.
  • My hubby’s youngest got married last weekend, culminating months of intensive planning. The wedding and reception was beautiful.  The crème de la crème being that her mother (hubby’s ex) and mom’s family were full of complements and gratitude that daughter experienced her dream day.  No stress there!

Life’s joys and sorrows – they stop for no-one – follow their own ebb and flow – it’s exhausting!

Namaste – I honor you in your joys and sorrows …

Itty Bitty

 

Ha’ina ‘Ia Mai Ana Ka’Puana – And So The Story Is Told – Part 1


Ha’ina ‘ia mai ana ka’puana … is a line near the end of almost every Hawaiian song one hears … “And so the story is told”.  I love the sound of the Hawaiian language and how it translates!   You will hear this line towards the end of  this song (click link):   Brother Iz Panini Pua Kea.

For the record, this blog is not about Izzy  or Hawaiian language but I love him and his music and the language – and the world lost him way to soon.

Izrael Kamakawiwa,ole - Hawaii's Gentle Giant -  Click To Hear His Wonderful Voice
c Izrael Kamakawiwa,ole – Hawaii’s Gentle Giant –

However, in some cases I like to think this phrase loosely translates to:

“That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!” Or, “This Is My Story”

We all have a story – of our past, of our present, and what may happen in the future.   As 2013 winds down, and the prospect of 2014 is just ahead of us,  I started thinking about all the stories that are my life.  I would call them chapters, but chapters follow each other neatly and chronologically.  The different stories all happen concurrently.  And doesn’t it make life a little crazy sometimes?  But that’s life, isn’t it?  A little crazy sometimes?   I often think my life is not a Hawaiian song, all melodic and beautiful, but rather a country western song … know what I mean?

And how do you order the stories of your life? Prioritize them?  My stories are driven by my roles in life, so maybe there is no order or priority other than what seems to be at the top of the list at the moment.

For instance …

Today’s story is … it’s hubby’s and my 2nd wedding anniversary!  My life with him is one of my stories.

After being married at 18, for 23 years, then being suddenly widowed at the age of 41 in 1992, then remarrying 5 years later for all the wrong reasons and divorcing after 9 years in 2006,  I figured at 56 I was done with all this relationship crap.

Well, that lasted two years.  I was happy being single – happy with myself – but, y’know, it’s nice to have someone in your life, too.  It was a want … not a need … know what I mean?   So after a year or so of the “me time” thing, I tenuously tried the Match.com thing.  Well, there are blogs out there about all the mis-adventures of on-line dating.  I think I experienced them all (except the scam things).

But then in January 2008, after a month or so of winking and brief message exchanges (and my daughter’s January wedding), I got to talking more seriously to this one particular person.  Towards the end of January we decided to meet casually for a drink – in a very safe place (especially for me) – and for whatever reason we hit it off!  A year later (2009) I moved in with him.  A year later (2010) we hit some communication struggles and I moved out.  But we kept talking and seeing each other, and working through the issues we both had – and in September of 2011, I moved back in for the last time.  We were married December 15, 2011, and never looked back.

I have worked part-time for myself for the most part since we combined our lives.  I also work part-time for him and his business (environmental consulting).  As of late, I am still working part-time for me, and increasingly helping him with his business.

The most amazing thing to me about this man is his acceptance of me and my slightly crazy life – his willingness to embrace me and my family and to constantly have my back while I deal with some truly trying situations involving my adult kids.

Another amazing thing to me is how his children (also adults) have embraced me as his life partner – and even as a quasi-mother-figure.

We both work hard at building and maintaining trust – at loving each other constantly and every day. Of relying on each other emotionally – and every other way.  We encourage each other,  How lucky are we?

So that is Part 1 of “That’s My Story“.

Other Stories?

An adult life-long battle with morbid obesity resulting in RNY gastric bypass surgery 8 years ago, at which time I lost 95 pounds.  The battle is not over – it is a rest-of-my-life, daily struggle with head battles, minimizing and struggling to reverse regain and to maintain a healthy surgically altered body.

An adult son with bi-polar disorder who, after 20 years of being highly responsible and self-sufficient, is currently dealing with the effects of a downward spiral 6 months ago that is altering his life in ways he or we never imagined.

An adult daughter with bi-polar disorder, epilepsy and IGA deficiency (an imuno-deficiency disorder) who is a single mom every other week – tries her damnedest to be self-reliant but always seems to take one step forward and 1 or 2 steps back.

Her 14 year old son who is bi-polar and also suffers from a host of other behavioral disabilities such as oppositional defiance disorder, and learning disabilities from oxygen deprivation at birth.

A stepdaughter getting married in 4 months

A stepson who is mid-20’s and still trying to find his way (out of a marijuana fog) in life and decide what he wants to do

Are these really my stories?

I think so – because they are about people I love – and with whom I am involved on a daily basis.   And great life learning opportunities.  And there is still much joy in my life – and I wouldn’t trade my life for anything

What are the stories of your life?  How are you living or dealing with them?

Namaste – Ha’ina ‘ia mai ana ka’puana …  and now the story is told.

Itty Btty

We’re Planning A Wedding!


I know this feeling so well right now!
I know this feeling so well right now!

My stepdaughter is getting married next April.  My hubby is experiencing all the crazy emotions that any daddy should when his baby girl gets married … including watching both “Father Of The Bride” movies last September.   My hubby is a scientist – chemist – very matter of factual.   He is also one of the biggest teddy bears I have ever run across.  Wears his emotions on his sleeve.  I love him for it.

As I alluded to in June, when the Bride graduated from University, the relationship between her mom and dad is less than ideal.  It’s a given there will be awkwardness when they are both be in the same space twice in two days (the rehearsal and the wedding).  We will get through it.  It is, after all, all about mom and dad’s divorce issues the Bride and Groom!

What we are not understanding (and at the same time acknowledging that it is what it is) is that mom is refusing to contribute anything financial towards her daughter’s wedding.  Zip – zero – nada.  She can easily afford it.  We are assuring the Bride that her wedding will be what she wants it to be regardless.  The Bride is a frugal young lady and is planning a simple (yet elegant) small ceremony and reception.

And despite the fact that mom is constantly pushing to control decisions about the wedding, the Bride has graciously kept her included in some of the decision events; and kept her at bay (though not always so graciously) for some of the decision events.   Today we are meeting with the caterer to do tastings for the menu – mom feels she should be there.  She was invited to join us – but since Dad will be there, she refuses.  Dad has not been to any of the other decision events, and since he is paying for everything, thought he would like to join the Bride and Groom for the tasting.  Not to make the decisions for them, but to be a participant in the process.

I am pleased they are getting married at the lovely Villa where I work ~ even mom approves!   For a total of 50 people, we will have a head table of 10, 3 family tables (hers, the groom’s and ours) and the rest “take a seat not a side” seating.

I am pleased that the Bride and Groom are including me in the planning process – acknowledging me as a parent (albeit step) and an event planner by trade.  I am seriously honored and delighted to be a part of this life-affirming event!

The Bride and Groom WILL have the wedding of their dreams – we WILL survive it.  I am grateful in all of this that mom (so far) has no problem interacting with me in the “joint planning” we have done.  I am praying that through this experience we can, perhaps, break down some of the walls so that as we go forward and in the future share (with God’s will) grandchildren, we will all have grown a bit.

Namaste – I honor our sweet Bride and Groom ~ and the parents who created them!

(where’s the xanex?)