Monday, January 29, 2018

Sunday Summary January 28 2018

Last Saturday we went to see "The Post" with Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.  This was a marvelous movie and spoke of the courage of journalists as they share the news stories of our times.

Sunday was a quiet day, which I've learned to savor.  We went to theTex Mex event for supper and watched the Viking game on the big screen in the ballroom and finished watching them lose another chance at the SuperBowl at home.

Monday we had a breakfast special at the patio grille and I got called in to work in the kitchen.  We served 167 people that morning, biggest crowd I've ever seen. It took an hour for us to get our was much bigger than they expected.  At noon I went to work in activity office, a job I've also come to love.

Tuesday meant shopping with my friend Sandy and then having some Indian food for lunch.  Later that night Left Brain and I went to see a performance by Jeanne Robertson, one of my favorite comediennes.  She was performing at another park nearby.  Finally...another item checked off my bucket list.  Here's a clip of the act she did that night, one of my favorites.

Wednesday morning is always coffee and donuts in the ballroom, another favorite ritual of mine.  It's not just the sugar either, I love visiting with everyone and singing my announcements.  I did that once as a joke and now they've come to expect it.  It's always silly and fun.

Thursday I got called into work the kitchen again in the morning.  I was able to join the water volleyball group at noon for a couple of hours of laughing and splashing.

Friday was "ladder play", kind of a weekly mini tournament we have in the park.  You take your cumulative score for the three games and move up and down "the ladder" depending on your ranking. Later that afternoon I went to Leisure World (a neighboring resort) and met one of my new partners for an upcoming tournament.  While playing with her, I also met her other partner and really enjoyed playing with her and hope to join her in future tournaments.

Saturday I attended the Lady's Luncheon, something I've never done before.  This involved shaving legs, putting on a dress and wearing a bra.  Not something I usually embrace, but it was fun getting to know some new people that I sat with that day.  The men all have pretend tuxedos on and serve the meals to us.

Sunday I played with a bunch of people I'd invited from other parks over to our pickleball courts.  It was terribly windy, unusual for us here in Arizona and made playing difficult, but we still had a good time and I met some new players.

When I returned from playing our house guest, Larry, had arrived so I got to visit with him and Left Brain.  It's so nice to have guests because the house gets a thorough cleaning and I do some cooking.

It's amazing to me how fast the days fly by and soon January will be over and a new month will begin.

Long Live the Queen

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sunday Summary

It seems that when I'm quiet people worry. I know Left Brain takes that as a serious sign of something being wrong and my blogger friends have noticed my absence.  Thank you Miss Edna for reaching out to me and spurring me to action. 

Things are well here in the desert and life has been full,. but I have been neglectful in blogging about it so I have decided to create a new weekly series called Sunday Summary.  Not that 48 degrees feels "summery".  It's been cool and we had some rain recently but I don't want to get my northern friends in an uproar as they deal with icy roads and snow.

Now, I apologize for the heavy nature of this blog and the lack of photos.  Future posts will be back to their normal fun loving nature.

Left Brain and I have been cohabiting quite nicely as we navigate our new path into this 34 year marriage.  We continue to discuss and work through problem areas and issues calmly and have begun to relax a bit more each month.

I have continued to explore my own issues by reading more of Brene Brown's books and my recent favorite is The Gifts of Imperfection.  This book provided many AHA moments as I read about my problem areas.  I had previously read I Thought It Was Just Me which started my journey into healing. I've just started reading Rising Strong and it continues to offer insight and hope.  Check out any of her TED talks - the one on vulnerability is one of my favorites.  She's an amazing writer and tackles the dark emotions that get in the way of living a fuller life. 

My quest is to live an authentic life and live fully.  I've finally learned that you can only change yourself and I'm striving to make myself heard and my needs realized by speaking directly.  One of my biggest stumbling blocks has been the inability to see myself as worthy of being loved. I'm sure this came from a childhood of hearing "You'll never amount to're just like your father", a man who I only met one time as an adult.  Being reminded that I was unwanted (illegitimate) and being the cause of my mothers drinking because I ruined her life certainly plummeted my self esteem.

Much to Left Brain's dismay (or possibly his delight?) instead of my usual "oh I don't know honey" he's more likely to hear a "hell no!"  My communication leaves much less to chance that I will not be fully understood.  I've become much louder.  Ok, I can hear those who know me chuckling and wondering how THAT might be possible.

After much assistance from my daughters Stephanie and Christy (new newly adopted-in-spirit daughter) who are both counselors I have sought out the assistance of a therapist in the Mesa area who does EMDR.  For those unfamiliar with this term it stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a psychotherapy treatment designed to alleviate the stress associated with traumatic memories. 

In a nutshell, when trauma happens in your life the image gets stuck in the brain, and if this happened as a child your visceral reaction to memories of this will be that as a child.  In your adult head you know it's over, you're safe and can understand that it should no longer bother you. But your cellular memory holds the memory in your body and just won't release it.  The treatment process is very simple yet profound.  I had this therapy years ago for my fear of the dark and went home that night and walked around the yard in the starlight for the first time in years with no fear.  I can't explain it, but it seems nothing short of a miracle.

My life has had significant trauma, but certainly no worse than many others.  Starting life as an unwanted and unloved child of an alcoholic, I  was sexually abused as a very young child and then raped at age 16.  I went on to marry a man who terrorized and beat me and then a second marriage to a man who emotionally beat me.  I learned that bruises heal faster than emotional scars.  This all took a toll on me and I internalized it by believing myself incapable of being loved by anyone, much less myself.

My intellectual brain knows I am enough and capable and worthy of love, but my heart would never totally buy into the idea.  The EMDR received was able to integrate the idea of being worthy into both my head and my heart.  It feels good.  I hope it stays glued together forever.

Here is a quote from The Gifts of Imperfection that sums up this concept for me:
"The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it.  It's our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows".

Now I don't want you to think it's been all self study and seriousness here.  I'm playing a lot of pickleball and meeting players outside of the park to partner with for tournaments.  I play water volleyball every chance I get since that's a two hour laugh fest in the sunshine and water...good for the soul.  We have a lot of entertainment to enjoy and have seen two comedians performing here in the park and just went to The Blues Brothers Tribute at another park and got to watch my husband twerking on stage....there's a sight for you. This is what happens when you buy front row tickets, you get pulled up on stage during the show.

Well, this post has been long enough.  I look forward to getting back into a weekly habit of posting as that seems manageable and fulfilling.  Thank you for being patient with me as I figure out who I am and how I want to live my life.  I'm wishing health, happiness and love for each of you in this new year.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

A New Bird in My Feeder

My feeders attract lots of finches and quail, along with several hummingbirds, but today I had a new visitor.

There was a pair of lovely Gilded Flickers dining on my suet, but I was only able to get a shot of one of them before they flew away.

I love the view out my window into my private little bird sanctuary.

Long Live the Queen

Friday, November 17, 2017

Religious Discrimination

The chiropractor that crashed down on top of me last summer during an adjustment was our speaker at Carriage Manor last week.  Thankfully he decided to keep our little secret to himself.

He'd left several business cards and a flyer behind and when I read the highlighted section I just had to call him. 

When he answered I explained I didn't know if I should sue for religious discrimination or just point out his typo.

While trying to appeal to the older members of our resort he highlighted "specializing in Geriatric gentile non-force techniques".  This was certainly a passage that made me go "hmmm?"

While I guess I could be considered geriatric, I'm certainly not a gentile.

I can't wait to see what our next encounter might bring.

Long Live the Jewish Queen

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sex Change in Arizona

Well, hopefully that title peeked your interest.  

It wasn't my intention to get a sex change as part of my new life as an Arizonan, but it does show what happens when you try to be funny with a government agency.

Left Brain and I went to the DMV to get our licenses changed over to Arizona and when I read the question that asked "sex?" I couldn't resist and entered "maybe".

Well, they either just saw the beginning of it and entered "male" or decided to have some fun back with me, I'll never know.  But I am officially registered as an Arizona driver now...a male Arizona driver.

This will necessitate a second visit to the DMV, which I'm not looking forward to and will wait until we go in with the other documents to make us certified to fly when the rules change in 2020.

This is what happens when you try to cute cute in a non-humorous zone...just warning ya.

Long Live the the King now