LIfe’s little surprises

Published April 16, 2014 by lwayswright

My life has taken so many turns over the years that it is often confusing to keep track.  Single to married, married and a mom, divorced, single mom, dating, married with step kids, divorced again…and now I am dating again..although this time much more selectively, more carefully and I definitely don’t want to repeat my past mistakes again.  And, I am searching for a job.  I am doing odd jobs here and there for friends and family, but I really do need something permanent that will make me an income.  I don’t want to be afraid anymore.  I don’t want to worry about what tomorrow will bring.  In fact I want to enjoy my life this time around.  I want to feel joy and excitement at what the future holds.  It has been such a long time since I felt like that.  

I think deep down we all want a sense of being needed, of being appreciated for the things that we do, big or small.  It’s also important to feel like we have contributed in some small way to this planet.  So, the last third of my life I am going to try to make a difference, even if it is in just one person’s life.  I just had another birthday, so to mark the day I worked at “Feed My Starving Children” which, if you have never done and you  have the chance I highly recommend it.  It will be a life changer for you!  And then I celebrated 51 years of amazing life with my good friend and adopted brother Tony.  It was a great day..a celebratory day.  A new beginning day.  Shouldn’t every birthday be a new beginning? Shouldn’t every day be a new beginning?

Don’t get me wrong, I still have days, moments, hours when I wonder what in the world is going on with my life.  Lupus is no joke.  Divorce is no joke.  It’s all hard.  Not knowing what your next paycheck will be…that’s hard.  However, God has never let me down even when I have felt so far away from Him it’s a wonder that He knew I existed.  But He did, in His grace and wisdom, he knew exactly where I was, what I was thinking, feeling and what I needed.  I have never gone hungry, or been without a home to go to.  And I have friends that are more amazing then I deserve and a family..well don’t even get me started on how amazing they are.  And, I am going to be a grandma, which is just icing on the cake for me.  I know there will be days, or moments when I am a doubter, an emotional wreck, all of those things that I don’t like about myself.  I am determined though to  work harder to make less of those days.  To smile more often.  To live life in a joyful way.  

I have written a show for a group of teenagers to take on tour this summer.  They are going to Nashville and Indiana and performing the show in some amazing venues.  When I wrote the show I had no idea what it was going to turn into at the time, but it has become something very unexpected.  I have gotten to know these kids and have made their stories a part of the show.  Some of them have lived through such trauma and sadness it is a wonder they can keep smiling.  But they do!  They are amazing kids that have overcome unbelievable obstacles and come out stronger in the end.  I am so proud of them.  I am so proud of their overcoming spirits.  It inspires me to be better.  

So I guess my challenge to you is to try to be stronger, be happier, hang on tighter, love more.  That’s what I am going to do!

Carrie Bradshaw

Published March 6, 2014 by lwayswright

Wow I never thought I would be living the life of Carrie Bradshaw ( albeit not quite so glamourously) but here I am 50 years of age and dating…dating really strange people!  First of all let me say that dating in your ummm…mid range part of life, is not as fun or nearly as exciting as it is in your 20′s or even 30′s. In fact it is down right exhausting.  The online dating websites charge an arm and a leg to be a part of them, so if you are a girl on a budget as I am, you have to settle for the free sites.  Along with the free sites I would have to say come many more, shall we say, interesting people.  Getting dressed up to go on a date when you know in your gut it will end up to be some odd person that you would never consider bringing home to dad let alone your kids is a bit disheartening, however it does lend itself to some humorous storytelling.  

Consider if you will this scenario.  I will call him Frank the Doctor.  Frank and I began talking on line approximately a month and a half ago.  First I only would correspond via the wonderful website (free website) that I am a part of that I will call “great match cupid”.  Afterall I don’t want anyone to get their feelings hurt or ruffle any feathers.  Frank and I seemed to have a good deal in common on the surface of it all.  And that’s all it was…surface.  Finally after a few short messages back and forth on the website and studying his profile thouroughly, I gave him my email address (one made up for online dating of course) and we began emailing lengthier exchanges.  It seemed to be going okay, we joked a lot, had some good conversation, so I finally relented and gave him my phone number.  Text only!  So, we texted for a while.  Then finally…out of the blue…he called me.  I was a little taken aback but I went with it.  

Things were going really smoothly.  WE were laughing, flirting a litlle bit, I told him about my kids, he told me about…well he didn’t have any kids.  Nor had he ever been married.  And that in and of itself really didn’t bother me much.  I just figured, doctor, lots of school, lots of bills blah blah blah.  Then he mentioned that he remembered that i had said that my brothers were pastors.  I said yep that’s true.  He said “Well, you probably shouldn’t introduce me to them.”  RED FLAG!  “Why not” I said. “Because”, he said, “the bible is not real.  Jesus is not really God, he was elected as a diety by some council in 300 AD.”  I sat there with my mouth wide open and finally said “You’re joking right?”  

“No, I am not joking.  ANyone who believes that garbage is seriously naive.  Jesus was nothing more then a man that people liked for the job, to perpetuate the lie.”  WOW!

I quickly told him that I thought he and I were going to have issues.  That’s when he proceded to tell me that yes, in fact we would have issues because I have no brain and only believe what people tell me.  I have no knowledge, have never studied up on religion and am clueless.  “Wait a minute Buddy”! Which took my daughter by surprise.  “My faith is very important to me, and perhaps I should have brought it up sooner but on  your profile you stated you are a christian and your religion is important to you as well.”  HE proceded then to tell me that that is what women like me want to hear so that is what he put.  I quickly hung up the phone and deleted his number, texts and any memory that he was in the circle of my life in any way!  

Lesson learned.  Ask the faith question up front no matter what their profile says!  

Yep I am an old Carrie bradshaw with bargain basement clothes, target shoes, I have an apartment not a flat or brown stone, and Big doesnt drive up in a limo to take my breath away.  But because I honestly love relationship, companionship and love, I will continue on this weird and twisted roller coaster of dating.  I am seriously relying on God to bring the right one my way…but until them I sure am learning a lot about my fellow man!

Things that make me go hmmm…

Published February 21, 2014 by lwayswright

I remember back when Aresenio Hall was on late night TV (i suppose I am dating myself a lot here) he always had a segment called “Things that make me go Hmm…” I used to love that spot in the show because he always came up with things that were so funny, and that really did make one go hmm.  Well, I guess right now the thing that is making me go hmmm is “who ever invented dating? And were they crazy?”   Yes I am recently back on the market, with dating and all of that.  And some would say “If you don’t enjoy dating then why do it?” And my answer would be, (and if you have read my blog at all you would know) I don’t enjoy being a lone.  I want to share my life with someone, in fact that has really been the only dream I have had in my whole life; meet that great guy, fall madly in love, have kids, raise the kids, watch our kids get married, have grand kids, ya know the whole deal.  Unfortunately, my first marriage did not last although part of the dream came true with my three amazing kids.  Then there was a second marriage.  I was telling my daughter the other day when we were having one of those heart to hearts that I really enjoy having with her especially now that she is married and expecting, I feel like we are growing to have more in common and can share on a level that we couldn’t share before, anyway, I was telling her that I knew before I married my second husband that it was a recipe for disaster, that I wasn’t even positive that he loved me in the way a man should really love a woman when they marry them.  But for some dumb reason I thought the love I had was enough, that over time he would grow in his love for me and that eventually we would turn into this couple that was beautiful and one to look up to for my kids and grand kids to come…..like my parents, especially like my grandparents.  I shared with my daughter that I remember a moment when my husband (he was my boyfriend at the time) was out of town, I was visiting my parents and he happened to call me.  I was sitting on the floor of my parents kitchen and our conversation turned very serious.  He and I had been “engaged” since that september, it was now around november, in fact looking back I didn’t have my engagement ring yet because he was going to give that to me for christmas.  WE were winding down the conversation, and I said to him, “I love you and miss you.  I can’t wait till you get home.”  I wanted so terribly for him to say “I love and miss you too.” But all I got was “Yes, looking forward to seeing you soon.”  I about flipped out.  I knew I had to keep it down because if my folks overheard the conversation they would have another one of those conversations with me about whether this was the right thing to do, marrying him, or not.  We had had several.  So, ever so quietly I said to him, “Can’t you even tell me you love me? We are months away from a wedding and you won’t say you love me over the phone?” Please understand that he had told me  he loved me.  It was not very often, and not very romantic either.  I’m not sure how he meant it when he said it, like maybe I was a great friend or like a sister even, who knows.  Every time he did say it, I held on to it like it was a precious jewel that I may never see again.  But on that call, for some reason he didn’t want to say it.  So, finally after I bugged him about it long enough he said “Yes I love you and miss you and will see you soon.”  That’s the end of that.  My daughter, after hearing that story, asked me point blank why I married him.  That made me go hmmm.  Here’s my short answer.  I was a lone, a single mom with three kids, afraid, I knew my health wasn’t great even though no one else really knew at this point yet.  And I was very lonely.  As difficult as my first marriage was, and as many obstacles and issues that we had, I always enjoyed the fact that I didn’t go to sleep at night alone…well honestly he slept most nights on the couch (by choice lol) but still I was not alone.  I had a partner to help me with the bad stuff, and to try and build memories with.  I wanted that again, and honestly I was so very much in love with my second husband I didn’t really think that my doubts about his love for me would matter.  

So, here I am, single again, alone again, lonely again, and while I am not a single mom of three little kids, I don’t want to be alone.  I want to share these golden years with someone, I want to fall asleep knowing that someone is there next to me to share the ups and downs, the hard stuff, the amazing stuff.  But this time, I want him to love me, to cherish me, to be a partner with me.  This time it has to be different.  All this to say that I went on my first date since my divorce.  This guy, I will call him Chuck, and I have spent a lot of time talking to each other on the phone, emailing, texting…ya know all the things you do when you are getting to know someone.  WE have laughed a lot together.  He makes me laugh.  He is very sweet, kind, down to earth and laid back.  So, we finally decided to go on a date.  And we did.  It was fun, we laughed a lot, he picked on me, I picked on him.  WE shared more about our life, and there were moments where it got quiet, but it didn’t seem awkward at all.  Chuck is a nice guy.  Who knows if I will see him again, or hear from him.  But, I have stepped out and done that first date thing….I can honestly say I HATE DATING!!!!!! It is nerve wracking, almost painful.  The insecurities I had when I was 21 have compounded exponenetially.  I am no longer thin and cute.  I am a middle aged granny.  So, here is my question..who decided dating is a good thing?  Why can’t we just go through a book let, find our compatible person, zap some sort of chip into their brain so they know us and we know them, maybe go have a meal, but since we already know each other cuz of the chip there is no awkwardness, it’s just easy.  Or better yet why couldn’t god in his infinite wisdom have made one great guy for each great girl, when you see them you know immediately, and bam you are true soul mates for ever, love never ends, nothing is messy or awkward.  

Unfortunately, if I don’t want to be a lone in the rest of this life of mine, dating is what I am going to have to do.  Which is hard also because I am not a bar hopper, I don’t have access to meeting a lot of people.  So it is really difficult to find dates.  I keep praying that God will just plop the right guy down in front of my face and I will know right away.  But I don’t think that’s going to happen either.  

For now, I am single, I have a dog (really belongs to my daughter) who is my companion.  I rarely go out, and life is pretty simple, but really lonely.  Any one have a great man who would like to meet a great woman??? HEre I am!

Valentines day, Girl Scout cookies, a single woman

Published February 12, 2014 by lwayswright

There have been times in my life, recently I might add, when thinking about valentines day and all those romantic days really make me wanna scream like a girl.  You know the scream I’m talking about.  It’s the one where you stand in the middle of the room, arms stiffly by your side, hands in very tight fists; so tight that the nails are digging into your skin, your feet are firmly planted on the ground, teeth clenched so tight that the scream you want to get out will have difficulty passing through that small opening. Valentines day isn’t the only holiday like that.  Christmas can be like that, fortunately for me I have three amazing kids and there is nothing better or more of a blessing to me then to give them gifts and watch their faces light up.  But marketing typically works toward those lovers young and old who will be giving gifts of jewelry or candles or any of those types of romantic gfts.  

I’m not sure if there are any other people out there who feel the same way I do about these romantic holidays.  I am a single woman, no husband or boyfriend, no special  person on the horizon for me.  So here’s the deal….there are so many other things in life that are worth being angry about.  There are many special causes that are more worthy of my anger.  But for some reason, these holidays really bother me.  I want that in my life.  I want the romance and the love and the beautiful gifts.  I want to be loved and cherished and to know that someone thinks that “a kiss begins with K” in our life. People always say that women don’t need a man to make them feel complete. The don’t need that guy to come hone to or to be there at night to snuggle up to.  Single women are strong, independent, cool and their lives are full and happy.  And I would have to say that possibly for a lot of single women that is true, or at least they give off the aura that it is true for them.  Well folks, I am going to stand up and tell you all that it is not true for me.  I loved being in a relationship.  I loved dating that special someone, I loved having someone to come home to at night, to hold hands with when I walked down the street.  I loved being married, knowing that I belonged to him and he belonged to me.  And no I’m not saying it was a slavery type of relationship or that I didn’t have or want my independence to be taken away from me because I was married.  The point of marriage to me was that it was a giving of myself, to be faithful and true, to be loving and caring, to be the one for the other and he was the one for me.  Unfortunately, my marriage didn’t work out.  It fell apart and I was truly devastated.  So, I quickly, in the blink of an eye became a single female I had to pull up my boot straps and begin the work of starting over.  

Please don’t get me wrong.  There is nothing wrong with being a single woman.  There is nothing wrong with being an independent female going it on your own and making a life for yourself.  As a matter of fact there are many days when I wish that I was wired in that way.  But I wasn’t.

What is the point of this long blog…the point is this.  This year I AM MY OWN VALENTINE!  I am going to love myself, cherish who I am and who I am becoming as a single woman.  The reality is that I may be forever single, that a significant other may not be in my future.  So, whether I like it or not those romantic holidays may be spent with me, myself, and I.  Yes, my children will be around, my little grand baby with be here as well (in august) so those loves of my life will continue to be my heart!  This is not a depressing thing, this is not a horrible life, and this life can and will be fulfilling for me.  Eventually the hole that is there where a love should be will close and I won’t need to be defined by that relationship.

There is always that chance that I will find a love, that I will have that romance in my life, however the fear is always there…that one that is always in the back of my head “I have Lupus, i am sick and every day is different for me”  At what point do I tell a guy that little tidbit of information?  And how quickly after giving that information does he run out the door?  

So, there it is.  My rant on valentines day, on being single and on the desire to not be!  Lift your glasses to all of us independent single women, whether we are the ones who enjoy it, or the ones who don’t.  We are strong and amazing just the way we are!

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! 

the olympics in middle age

Published February 8, 2014 by lwayswright

i have learned, at least in my life, that watching the olympics changes over the history of one’s life. when i was young, although i was the furthest thing from an athlete, i would watch these amazing games with the wide eyed wonder of a hopeful child, dreaming that perhaps one day i could be there, walking down that walkway that leads to the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.  I could see myself, long blonde hair blowing in the breeze as i skated across the ice, spinning and leaping through the air in the long or short program of my figure skating performance. believe me there were several hair cuts that were inspired in my life by the olympic atheletes…any one remember Dorothy Hammil? Sometimes it was a dream as simple as being one of the people who would be dressed in a strange costume carrying the name of a country during the opening ceremony’s.  The Olympics were a family event in my home growing up.  I would love those evenings when we all as a family gathered around the TV set to watch expectantly for the US to win another medal.  

Then as I got older and the hopes of being a competitor in the olympics faded into the past, not that it was ever a reality in the least, other things would race through my mind. For instance “I wonder if that guy is single and if he would love to marry me?” Another dream that was pretty unattainable but very fun to think about.  But still the family moments still rang very true.  I remember watching the dream team Hockey Team that won that amazing battle in the 80′s for gold.  My family sat watching, along with the rest of the country, with bated breath as the dream team pelted in those pucks to win the gold for a country that was so very grateful.  And more often then not a movie of the week (we had no cable, or Lifetime, or netflix at that time) would be promoted for several weeks building up the excitement so we could relive those magical moments again.  Sometimes those movies were so big that they actually were shown in the movie theater, some of my favorites were cool runnings, chariots of fire, miracle.  The olympics have always been one of those things that brings our families, our culture, our country and our entire world together on a level that is rarely seen.  

As my own kids grew I watched with them as the olympics would fill the tv screen with sights and sounds and cultures that they had never seen before. They would pick out their own favorite sports, they would root for their favorites.  And we would cheer together.  Those are memories that now, as I look back, are so precious to me.  Those few times that were spent as a family with no one screaming to turn the channel to something else.  We all agreed on what we would watch…and we all felt pride in our atheletes and our country for every medal that was won.  It didn’t matter the color of the medal, honestly it didn’t really matter if there was a metal.  What mattered was that it was our nation working together, celebrating together.

Now, as a middle aged women, with kids of my own who are all grown up, I am sitting here, with the dog, watching these opening ceremonies, mezmorized by the colors, by the spectacle of the whole thing. On the screen is this little girl, fearlessly being flown hundreds of feet in the air to tell the story of Russia, and the stadium is silent.  Seeing the wars and horrible times that Russia went through also binds us all together as countries, none of us having been kept from those awful times in our own histories.  This year I am not watching the Olympics dreaming about what I could do in the games, or even dreaming about what sports my own kids could medal in, but rather I am enjoying the art, the sport, the thrill of it all. I am hoping for safety for our young athletes, I am hoping for calm, for safety in a very unstable world.  And I am remembering all the happy times that I have had in my own life, thanks to the Winter Games.  Go USA…and let the games Begin!

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