Archive for the ‘pushing through the tough days’ Category

At the annual banquet for my volunteer fire department last week, I was both honored and amazed to receive my 15-year service stripe. 2017 marked 15 years of volunteerism and endless learning about fire, rescue and EMS operations for me – but those years have also taught me lessons in brotherhood, loss, service, upheaval, fear, bravery, disenchantment, persistence, change, frustration, giving, and surviving.

Here is what I *thought* fire service would be: 9474973637_cb6f92dcc0_b












Here is what I *hoped* fire service would be:  firefighters










Here is what the fire service really *is*: moe-larry-curly-fire-pole








And in the immortal words of Forrest Gump, that’s all I have to say about that. But, seriously, to the men and women that I have had the honor of serving with for the last 15 years, thank you for all that you do. And thank you for letting me serve beside you.


Read Full Post »

Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to play

And every demon wants his pound of flesh
But I like to keep some things to myself
I like to keep my issues strong
It’s always darkest before the dawn

And I’ve been a fool and I’ve been blind
I can never leave the past behind
I can see no way, I can see no way
I’m always dragging that horse around

Our love is pastured such a mournful sound
Tonight I’m gonna bury that horse in the ground
So I like to keep my issues strong
But it’s always darkest before the dawn
Shake it out, shake it out


artwork by AnnyAlice

Shake it out, shake it out,
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off.


‘Cause I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart
‘Cause I like to keep my issues strong
It’s always darkest before the dawn.

Shake it out, shake it out
Shake it out, shake it out,
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off.

I tried to dance with the devil on my back
And given half the chance would I take any of it back
It’s a final mess but it’s left me so empty
It’s always darkest before the dawn.

And I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t
So here’s to drinks in the dark at the end of my road
And I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope
It’s a shot in the dark and right at my throat
‘Cause looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Looking for heaven, for the devil in me
Well what the hell I let it happen to me

Shake it out, shake it out
Shake it out, shake it out,
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off.

“Shake It Out” by Florence and the Machine

Written by Paul Epworth, Tom Hull, Florence Welch • Copyright © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group


Read Full Post »

[Maroon 5]

I’m at a payphone trying to call home / All of my change I spent on you

Where have the times gone / Baby it’s all wrong /where are the plans we made for two?
Yeah, I, I know it’s hard to remember / The people we used to be

It’s even harder to picture / That you’re not here next to me

You say it’s too late to make it / But is it too late to try?

And in our time that you wasted / All of our bridges burned down
I’ve wasted my nights / You turned out the lights

Now I’m paralyzed / Still stuck in that time when we called it love / But even the sun sets in paradise
If happy ever after did exist / I would still be holding you like this

All those fairytales are full of shit / One more stupid love song  / I’ll be sick
You turned your back on tomorrow / Cause you forgot yesterday

I gave you my love to borrow / But you just gave it away

You can’t expect me to be fine / I don’t expect you to care

I know I’ve said it before / But all of our bridges burned down
 [Wiz Khalifa]

Man work that shit / I’ll be out spending all this money while you sitting round

Wondering why it wasn’t you who came up from nothing

Made it from the bottom / Now when you see me I’m stunning

And all of my cars start with the push up a button

Telling me the chances I blew up / or whatever you call it

Switched the number to my phone / So you never could call it

Don’t need my name on my show / You can tell it I’m ballin’

Swish, what a shame could have got picked / Had a really good game but you missed your last shot

So you talk about who you see at the top / Or what you could’ve saw

But sad to say it’s over for Phantom / pulled up valet open doors / Wiz like go away, got what you was looking for

Now ask me who they want / So you can go and take that little piece of shit with you

I’m at a payphone trying to call home / All of my change I spent on you

Where have the times gone / Baby it’s all wrong /where are the plans we made for two?

If happy ever after did exist / I would still be holding you like this

All those fairytales are full of shit / One more stupid love song / I’ll be sick
Now I’m at a payphone…


Read Full Post »

Today is what I would (now and probably forever) consider a bittersweet day in my life – today would have been my wedding anniversary. I look back at the young and trusting person that I was just those 6 short years ago when we got married and I weep for the innocence lost and the dreams and memories that I will never make. I mourn the death of that marriage – I loved that man and I liked being married. I mourn for the happy person that I was that beautiful autumn day and I am sad for the good, decent man who has become not so much.

Now, I do fully understand how lucky I am to be out of  my marriage. Staying with a man who had been unfaithful and dishonest with me for the entire length of our relationship would have been foolish and toxic. Continuing to try to fix an unfixable situation would have eventually caused major psychic and physical damage to me. I spent so much time and emotional energy trying to make myself more attractive, interesting, and appealing to him – not knowing that he was…uh…otherwise involved. I am jumping for joy at the independence and stability that I have earned since ending things with him. I am eternally grateful that the Lord only burdened me with him for the short time – its only 10 years of my life gone, after all. I truly am a stronger person now having gone through all of this and I can hold my head high that I did nothing wrong except to love the wrong person.

However, with all that said, I am still sad today. As much as my mind tells me how lucky I am to be out, my heart still breaks for what I have lost. A few tears may be shed at some point today for the scars that I bear and the hurts that I still carry because of that once-happy day 6 years ago.

I will pray, once more, for forgiveness to enter my heart and for the hurts to go away. And I will give prayers of thanks for the stronger person I am now. Like I said, a very bittersweet day indeed…


Read Full Post »

To whoever says my job isn’t difficult: have you ever tried to tactfully schedule an office visit for a squirrel with a self-inflicted scrotal injury? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

This is a true story. One of our clients called and needed to see one of our small animal vets because his squirrel had, for some unknown reason, done harm to himself. What ran through my mind was a mixture of disgust (ew!), horror (why that area of his body?), pity (that poor baby), and curiosity (what’s mentally wrong with this animal?). I have been around animals all of my life and have seen some pretty grotesque sights – but this one even made me cringe. And I’m not even a guy so I lack that sensitivity on the subject of ManLand!

But, this got me thinking – what kind of harm do we humans inflict on ourselves? We may not all be as….er…obvious about our self-inflicted scars as the squirrel was, but like it or not we all do this sort of stuff to ourselves. Sometimes its physical mutilation (cutting, eating disorders, piercing/tattoo addictions, plastic surgery addictions, etc.) but I think mostly its mental and emotional. I think we all beat ourselves up, inflicting a variety of short- and long-term injuries, over a plethora of topics – work, relationships, children, marriage, friends, holidays, schools, etc.

Think about it – what scars are you carrying with you that you inflicted on yourself? What internal stress have you allowed to cause pain and suffering? What have you mentally sliced yourself up about?

Take it from an expert – on both squirrels AND emotional mutilation – nothing is worth harming yourself over! No person or subject on the planet is worth any extensive harm you might do to yourself! Forgive, forget, and look for something wonderful on the horizon! Have faith that the Lord has a plan and has something amazing in store for you! How’s that for a Pollyanna moment?


Read Full Post »

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately as to why I started (and have continued) this blog. Many people have weighed in, both positively and negatively, on my writings – but I’m not sure that I’m writing it for anyone else but myself. I have learned a lot about myself by putting my thoughts down for the world to see. I’m not writing to hurt anyone or to cause hard feelings, I’m not hosting my own pity party, I’m not using an easy outlet for my anger and bitterness. I’m not publicly exposing the secrets and foibles of my family and friends (with the exception of my lying, cheating bastard of an ex-husband) and I’m not ridiculing the people I love. I am simply exploring who I am and what I want in this world.

I am reading an absolutely fantastic book right now called Eat, Pray, Love about one woman’s attempt to find herself. She was lucky enough to have the money to travel all over the world to discover herself – a luck which I don’t share – but she wrote about her experiences. I wonder if she took a lot of crap for having written about her friends, family, and strangers that she met along the way? I wonder if people took offense when she dared to include them in her stories or to express her opinions about their actions.

I can’t apologize for my observations on the world and for finding my voice. I am only just relearning how to express myself and my feelings. Granted, I probably shouldn’t be using the Internet as a way to redefine myself – my ex-husband is right that it is an awfully public forum – but I wonder if I need the sense of commiseration and companionship? It comforts me somehow when I know someone somewhere has read what I have to say and has listened to me. I know that sounds pathetic but it’s true. I like knowing that someone out there may be feeling the way that I do or may be going through the same life-changing events that I am.

But, lastly, I write because it makes me happy.

“In addition to her secret pleasure in reading, Laura enjoyed writing. Nothing serious or big or personal, no journal stuffed between the mattresses, no shoe box filled with smudged pages, no amazing blog that had made her famous in cyberspace. She was satisfied with a small stage…this method of relationship was far more gratifying to her than speaking by phone or in person. For one thing, she was an entirely different Laura on the screen; she liked herself far better in print. It was curious, that she was so much more interesting and witty and sure when no other human being was present…”   ~”Laura Rider’s Masterpiece” by Jane Hamilton


Read Full Post »

Recently I realized that I must make it too easy for people to push my buttons. I’ve always known that I wear my heart on my sleeve but didn’t realize that it made me such an easy target. I didn’t realize that my foibles and insecurities and heartbreaks and shortcomings were so blatantly obvious to everyone in the world – and thereby open season on me. But, you know, at this period in my life, I don’t know why anyone wants to take shots – it’s too easy, like shooting fish in a barrel. It takes a really sleazy person to kick me while I’m down. But….

Recently, the AssHat told me (in regards to our house situation and our marriage situation) that I have no problems and that I am content to “be fat and happy, napping all the time.” Wow, one insult with three very sharp, very painful arrows. Let me explain:

Arrow #1 – napping all the time – I am ashamed to admit that I have been sleeping a LOT in the last year. Byproduct of the clinical depression or just easy means to escape the overwhelming anger, bitterness, and grief? I can’t answer that. But I CAN tell you that I don’t like it. I have a million other things that I could and would be doing with my time – if I weren’t so damn exhausted. I feel like getting out of bed every morning and screwing a smile on my face takes all of my emotional, mental, and physical energy. I am ashamed that it wears me out simply to try and get through my days and that I can’t seem to shake this off. I take naps almost every day and frequently go to bed early in the night. I hate this and I wish that life didn’t wear me out so badly.

Arrow #2 – happy – uh, really? How can that man possibly have deluded himself into thinking that I am happy with the way my life has turned out? If you’d have asked me ten years ago where I thought my life would be, I sure as HELL would not have answered “the jilted spouse, about to be divorced, living with a man who hates me, having lost friends I’ve had for 10 years, not sure where I will be living next month, and feeling so bad about myself that I can’t stand it.” Yep, you got it, I’m fricking ecstatic!

Arrow #3 – fat – yep, we all know that’s the #1 hot button for me. As if him cheating on me for 3 years and finally leaving me for that whore isn’t enough of an ego killer, he has to throw in my face the one thing that has devastated my self-confidence for my entire life. Nice, real nice. I have been self-conscious about my body since the third grade and have always been afraid that no man will ever truly love me because of my size. In hindsight, I guess I’ve always wondered how I managed to get married at all – since I am certainly not the ideal woman. So to have him use that particular arrow in this situation was a dead-on shot.

If I’ve learned any one lesson from this mess, it’s that I need to stop letting everything get to me. I have to toughen up and stop letting inconsequential and cruel people mess with my head and pushing my buttons. I will be stronger, I will be tougher, I will be less sensitive! I’ll just keep saying it…it will stick one of these days…


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »