Cherish yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Yesterday, after writing about a friend that died many years ago, I had a comment by a reader that told me I must live in the present.  Yesterday was not a good day to say this to me.  It bothered me - as if I was being told I don't live in the present or worse it suggested I should forget my friend.  This is a public blog that has visitors from all over the world most of whom I don't know.  Comments are bound to be made - some I'll agree with and others I won't.  It's a part of the experience and I welcome any feedback that my readers want to give.  But I have to say that this comment just didn't sit well with me and I'm going to attempt to explain why.
I don't like being told to forget my past.  It's insulting to be told to forget what's made me the person I am.  I think people spend too much damn time trying to forget their pasts.  Believe me, there are a lot of things I would like to forget.  My life has not always been easy.  I had a childhood that I'm still trying to recover from and I've had  things happen since that I'd also like to forget.  Unfortunately, try as we may - we can't forget the past.  All we can do is try to not let it effect the present.
The women in my family are notorious for being bitter people.  They had bad things happen to them and they let it get the best of them.  They dwelled on the bad so much that they became people that most wouldn't like or want to be around.  I do not want this to be my legacy.  I don't want to turn into that sort of person.  One of the ways I keep from doing so is to let the bad things go and hold on to the good.  I may have had a lot to overcome, but I also have been blessed to have had people in my life that gave me wonderful things to hold on to.  I have been loved by some pretty great people and that's what I choose to hold onto so that I don't let the bad stuff turn me into someone I don't ever want to be.
As a friend recently said, I live very much in the present.  That being said, my present isn't always something worth writing about.  How many posts can I have about how in love I am with my husband before people start getting sick to their stomachs?  And as for the rest of my day to day life - During the week, I spend 80% of my time alone.  I work from this computer and I don't have any friends in this country. There's no social life to share.  I can't say this happened to me today or that happened yesterday because most of the time - nothing has happened.  I'm not going to write about the what I watched on TV, what I made for dinner or about the illness I have that keeps me in almost contestant pain.  I want to write about my life and if there's nothing from today to share - I always have yesterday.  This blog is my chronicle of my today, my yesterdays and with some luck - all of my tomorrows.  The past cannot be forgotten - this is a fact.  I choose to cherish yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow.  It's the best I can do.



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On This Day...

Friday, August 24, 2007
Today is a significant day for me. It was on this day 15 years ago, that I lost a friend - one of the best friends I've ever had. I write about him every year. I try not to talk about how he died, but how he lived. So today I'm going to start from the beginning...
When you're a kid, summer is a magical time filled with adventures and possibilities. When we finish school and get older, somehow that magic fades and we forget what it was like to be so young, carefree and optimistic. With age, it becomes a season instead of the adventure it once was. My last summer of magic and optimistic youth was the summer of '89.
That summer, my high school sweetheart dumped me for the 2nd consecutive summer (wanting the time to be free before the fall when he’d decide he wanted a girlfriend again). I was down in the dumps and a friend invited me to a party to try to cheer me up. She wanted me to meet her new boyfriend and said that he had a friend she knew I’d hit it off with. She’d been telling me about him for weeks and thought it was time I started seeing other people. I told her I had no interest in being fixed up, but I’d go to the party on the terms that I’d meet him and see for myself what I thought. I never could have known that it was on that day that my life would be forever changed.
Her boyfriend was my friend I started this post talking about - Jeff. We hit it off immediately. We were instant friends and behaved like brother and sister from the get go. To this day, I have never connected with a friend so instantly. He had 2 friends with him - one that I also was fast friends with and the other, was the friend my girlfriend wanted to fix me up with. He was a gorgeous blond, blue eyed charmer that I was instantly struck by. I remember the moment we met – I knew I was done for. My friend introduced us and I swear for a moment there was no-one else there but the two of us – it was like a scene from a movie. He took my hand, looked me straight in the eyes and repeated my name as if he wanted memorise it. He smiled as he did this and I was a goner. Throughout the rest of the day, when we weren’t together - he watched me and didn’t mind at all if I noticed. Needless to say, we also hit it off and I would spend the following 10+ years in love with him.
From that day, for the rest of the summer we were together – the five of us. We had a wonderful time - The last of the magical summers. By summer’s end – the three guys were leaving. Two, joined the service and Jeff took a job working with the military. For the following years the couples tried to survive long distance relationships and as friends, we all tried to survive the dramas of it all. The next time we were all together again was at Jeff's funeral 3 years later.
Jeff and I were always very close. He was like an overprotective brother who always looked out for me. I can't say this didn't have it's complications in the group dynamic, but he always had my best interest in mind. We had a strange connection that I was never able to explain. He always knew when I needed him (even when it had been months since we last spoke). I remember one night in particular - it was the middle of the night and I was awake and crying over my latest heartbreak with his friend. Jeff called me saying 'What's wrong - I felt like you needed me and had to call' He was calling from Hawaii. I couldn't believe it and just said - How do you do that?? How do you always know?? We spent the entire night talking and I can't say what a comfort he was. It was like that from the start and stayed that way until he died.
In 1992, a drunk driver ran a stop sign and hit the car Jeff was in. He had a massive head trauma and spent weeks in a coma. I didn't find out about the accident until he had woken up and went to see him as soon as I got the news. I spent the following few months visiting him nearly every day in the hospital and when he got well enough, I took him out on the weekends as well to try to help him feel normal again. When he woke up from the coma, he thought it was still 1989. He thought nothing had changed, but by that time everything had changed and it was hard for him to understand.
He was different after the accident, but to me it didn't matter. I almost loved him more for the person he became. Although he was almost child-like at times with a sweet innocence that only a head trauma could give (god he'd hate me saying that), he was still Jeff. I always described it as 'Jeff without the attitude.' He didn't hold back. He said everything he thought when he thought it and he told me he loved me a lot. His face lit up every time I walked into his room and he was an amazingly strong through his recovery.
We were really close through those months - Closer than ever. Then one day I got the call - he died in the middle of the night. A blood clot (he was aware of but never told me about) went from his brain to lungs. In an instant he was gone, but while he was here he lived better than most. He loved with no boundaries and he smiled more than anyone I've ever known. I will always miss him and I will always be grateful for the time we had while he was here.

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The time has come

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

After a long few months, it's time for Wayne and I to start trying for a baby again.  To be honest, I've been tentative about this time coming.  A few weeks ago, I was thinking that I didn't think I'd want to try again right away.  My thinking was that when we do try again I'd have to be prepared for the possibility of another miscarriage.  I'm 35 and would be lying if I said I wasn't worried that there could be something wrong with me that would cause me to not be able to sustain a pregnancy.  The doctors here don't do tests until it's happened 3 times.  My biggest fear is that I may have missed my chance.  I know my worries may be superfluous, but it's still a possibility that I have to recognise and it's really not something I can say I'd be prepared for no matter how much time I tried to allow myself. 
So now that the time has come, I can't help but want to try again right away.  Wayne was keen to dismiss the doctors advise on waiting at all so there was no question for him on whether or not to give it more time.  I'm nervous, anxious and hopeful all at the same time and I wish I could fast forward through the month and take a test to see if we will conceive as easily as we did before.
We've decided to take a romantic break to London this weekend.  I love London.  I find it to be an absolutely magical place and  when I'm there, I still find it surreal that this girl from Jersey  is walking the streets of London.   We're staying in a really nice hotel, going to dinner and a show that I'm thrilled to have gotten tickets for.  We only seem to go to London for special occasions and this is indefinitely such an occasion.  I'm looking really forward to it.



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Some good news!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I've had so much going on in the last few months that have just thrown me into a bit of a tailspin and I've been really down.  The same week I had the miscarriage, I was given the news that I was losing my business.  I have a small cosmetics web store and I was told by my supplier that they were changing sales policies and shutting down all outside web business (driving all internet sales to their own site).  They told me that as of Sept. 10th all sites will be shut down.  This news hit me hard and the timing was awful.
My supplier has guidelines in place for outside sales that I have never I'm really followed.  I have always broken the rules and knew that sooner or later they would catch up to me and shut me down.  It's been over a year.  I've had some warnings from them, but never listened thinking I'd keep going until they forced me to close.  I've always viewed it as riding the wave while I could.  I knew one day it would come to an end but wasn't really prepared for it to happen.
I just got a call from the head office.  My heart sank when they said who they were (thinking they were calling to inform me they shut me down early for going against guidelines).  They told me they were calling me to let me know they've been well aware that I have been going against guidelines for quite some time.  Then said there was no way to put it other than to tell me that they chose to look the other way.  They allowed it all this time because they were impressed with the way I run my business and with the quality of my site.  they told me the guidelines were in place to avoid their company name being damaged by bad service and dodgy sites that made them look unprofessional.  They told me they were really happy with all I've done and that even though things will be changing - they would like to keep me on as an affiliate.   They've made special arrangements for me to keep my existing customers and are allowing me to bring in new customers going forward.  My profit will be cut by 15% (ouch) but they are letting me to stay open.
They also let me know that they've passed my information on to the company that is handling their e-commerce campaign and recommended me as someone they should look into in hiring as a consultant because of my success and professionalism.
I am so pleased and proud by this news.  My business really means a lot to me and even though it's going to change, it could still work out well for me.  I feel a huge weight lifted and I'm so relieved.



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Updates...

It has been brought to my attention that I don't follow up on things I write about.  I mention things that go on, but don't mention them again.  Quite honestly, I didn't think there was enough interest to warrant it, but I've been told I should so I've decided to write a quick update...
On quitting smoking - I'm sorry to report that I've faltered and over the weekend bought a pack of cigarettes.  It's been an emotional time for me and I've found it quite difficult to quit.  I think the unexpected experience I had while under hypnosis may have caused it to be ineffective this time around and have made an appointment to go back to see him next week.
On the in-law's visit -  It went okay.  No problems.  All I can say is that it was a VERY long 4 days.  It's not that I dislike them - I just don't know them all that well and it's awkward when they visit.
On the entry about my old friend - I ended up giving into my guilt over the situation and called him.  I was really honest with him and told him that the popular opinion was that if we tried to patch things up, he would end up disappointing me and that I'd end up hurt all over again.  Then said, I'm not sure that's true and told him I'd like to give it a try and see how it goes.  He seemed genuinely grateful and said he'd like that.  We all met for drinks and it went as well as it could under such circumstances (Wayne still isn't very happy with him).  We've talked a few times, but I have to say I don't think it will work out the way I had hoped.  I think it's too hard for him to be around Wayne with things so different between them.  I'm not hurt.  It really has nothing to do with me any more.
On my sister's loss - The funeral was yesterday.  The worst of it is over and I think she'll okay in the coming weeks.
On email remorse - I got response and feel better about sending it.  It's a bit of a personal thing and would rather not go into it any further...



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Photos of our town

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

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It's been a long time since I've shared any of my photography.  Today, I updated my Photos Section with a a new album (called 'Our Town') of photos I took around our town while Wayne's parents were visiting earlier this month.
I take for granted how beautiful it is where we live.  I've included photos of the town centre (which is on the sea front) and also the cliffs we have here (also known as 'the downs').  You will notice in some of the photos that were taken at the downs  flowers and crosses on the side of the cliffs.  Those were left by the loved ones of people who jumped from the cliffs.  Some might find this morbid or disturbing to see, but I've included them because it's a part of the experience of the downs.  I've been told that more suicides take place there than anywhere in all of Europe (about 25 a year according to an article I read on the BBC News website).  It's a sad fact and as beautiful as the place is - it can't be ignored.  I love going to the downs. I think it's the most beautiful place I've seen in England (and it's right here in our town), but that being said - it's also a solemn place to visit and I can't help to think about those poor souls who ended their lives there. It's out of respect for them I've included the photos.



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My hypnosis session...

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I went to the hypnotist yesterday to quit smoking.  I'm feeling ok.  I've done this before and it worked for 2 1/2 years so I know it can work.  I just have to get through the next couple of days and I'll be fine.  I'm having my first cup of coffee now.  My favorite cigarette of the day was with my morning cup of coffee.  Last time, I gave up coffee as well just because I found it associated too much with smoking, but this time I'm trying to keep the coffee.  I've only been smoking for a matter of months this time around - last time was nearly 15 years so I think I might be able to handle my morning cup of coffee without the added nicotine hit.  Time will tell...
Hypnosis is a really odd experience.  People say that you don't remember anything that happens while under - I think those people are full of it and have never actually experienced it.  I remember everything and while sitting there, I was completely aware of the room and the sounds around me.  That being said - it's almost like being in a half awake and a half dreamlike state.  At 7:00 in the morning, I don't really have the words to describe it any better than that.
During my session, the therapist told me to go back to the time I began smoking on a regular basis.  He told me to go back to that time and see myself and everything around me.  He told me to see it and take some time to observe it.  This may have taken 30 seconds, but to me it took much longer and I have to say it was an experience I will not soon forget.
I saw myself at 17.  I remember the day.  I was at a friends house for her brother's college graduation party.  That was the day I met my first big love for the very first time.  On that same day I met one of the closest friends I've ever had - that friend died 3 years later.  During my session I saw myself, my friends and my ex sitting on the front lawn of my girlfriend's house.  I saw it as if it were right in front of me -   Clear as day and even now as I type, I find it difficult to compose my emotions.  It was extraordinary.  It was as vivid as a lucid dream and I has overcome by emotion.  I won't go into too much detail, but as I sat there in my hypnotic state, I had tears running down my face.  I saw these people as if they were right in front of me.  These people who meant so much to me - these people who will never be together again...
When the session was over, I sat in his office and openly cried for a few minutes.  The therapist (a man of maybe 65) had no idea how to react.  He got me some water and some tissues and within a minute or two I composed myself, apologised and tried to explain, but I'm not sure he understood.  I'm not sure I can even explain it now.  I think my husband said it best - when I got in the car after the session, I told him what had happened and he said, 'Well, you've said for years that you wish you could dream of Jeff (my friend that died).  Looks like you got your wish.'  I did get my wish - and then some.



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The in-laws are coming!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

My in-laws are arriving tomorrow.  They're staying until Monday.  I know it's awful, but I've been dreading their arrival for weeks.  They're nice enough people, but I don't know them well.  I see them only a few times a year and this house is small for 4 people.  Wayne and his family are not what I'd call close knit.  They're almost awkward around each other and it's not easy to deal with.  I always feel as if it's on me to keep up conversation and it's exhausting when they're here for more than a couple of days.
His mother is a bit of a clean freak.  I can clean this house from top to bottom twice and never feel like it's clean enough for a woman who bleaches her tea cups on a weekly basis.  I keep a clean house, but by her standards - my house must seem a mess.  I've cleaned the guest bathroom twice.  I have the menu planned and later tonight, I'll be ironing their bedding (not something I would nornally do, but she does and I just don't want her to think I'm a bad wife). I'm a stress machine.  I wish I had another day to prepare, but I always feel like this when they visit.  It's going to be a very long weekend...



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