Unsettled

I’ve talked about this a bit amongst my friends and family. But I’m just going to put it out there officially: I DON’T LIKE IT HERE. Everyone I come across seems to have moved here from somewhere else in the country, or every from other countries. And everyone tells me “oh, you’re going to love it here!” Ok, why? Why does everyone love it here? Traffic is absolutely atrocious, day and night. If you such as need to run to the store for 1 or 2 forgotten items, it takes at least 45 minutes. It’s urban, but things are spaced so far apart, with a thick strip of trees between everything to make it appear more rural. All the roads are twisty, making it also take longer to get from one place to another. There’s no direct route for anything. People are nice most of the time in public, but no one seems to want to create a real friendship. (I know some of the is the pandemic, I don’t need reminded).

I used to think living in a bigger town/city would be more convenient. With more things to do and a bigger variety of people to meet and befriend. More career opportunities and a better overall environment. I was completely wrong. It’s simply not for me. I want a smaller town. Where businesses are all within a couple miles of each other, and you can go for pleasant walks in your own neighborhood without cars flying past at 60mph. I want familiar faces instead of a constantly changing sea of strangers. I want a bank and doctors office that greets you, knowing who you are instead of treating you like “just another person.”

I never in my life thought I’d say it, but I miss Newton. Maybe not Newton specifically, but the culture. The small town, familiar faces, some people know your name, safe, comfortable culture of a smaller town. It’s the kind of place I want to raise Felix. Not the city.

I can’t say I regret coming here to the Raleigh area. I have learned a lot, mostly about myself. It’s something I should have learned earlier in life. But now that I know, I want to find a smaller town to go plant roots. Maybe Iowa, maybe not. Wherever the wind blows Jarrod and me. I love exploring, but I look forward to finding a place that we don’t want to move away from.

SAHM Life

The life of [this] SAHM: take care of baby. Clean. Attempt (and fail) to maintain order with the teens, clean some more, take care of baby, cook, clean, take care of baby, pass out before cleaning is done (because baby doesn’t nap), repeat, daily.

Do I want to spend time with my husband? Sure… we sleep next to each other. Does that count?

Do I want to watch a TV show or movie? Sure… I read captions when I’m able to look up at the TV, and half listen to the rest through crying, talking, loud toys, gaming, and YouTube videos on cell phones.

Do I want to have a relaxing shower? Yeah… I get 5 minutes while the baby plays on the floor or while my husband is getting ready for work in the morning. Or in the middle of the night if I want to sacrifice sleep.

Do I want to eat a meal? Well yeah… I quickly shovel in whatever is baby safe for sharing while the baby is also eating, or while he’s playing or asleep for the night.

Do I want to have a date night? Hell yes…. perhaps when the baby is old enough to have a sleepover with a school friend (in years).

This is my station in life.

Some days I wonder where I am in all of this. When do I get to fulfill some dreams or do what I want? But… I adore my family. I love my husband. I love my kids. And I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

How To Love A Hippie

How To Love A Hippie.

Aug 5, 2015

To love a hippie is to take a walk into a soul’s garden and stop to smell the flowers.

It’s early morning sunshine stretching across a bed tangled with “I love you’s” and the soft gasps of dreams.

To love a hippie is to escape from the mundane into a world that is magical—seeing the joy in the moon rising above the distant sea and the beauty of lips pressed against fresh daisies.

It’s music that lifts and dips, this way and that, moving to a beat all its own. It’s bare feet and long hair tangled in your sleep, and it’s the smile you just can’t forget.

To love a hippie is to hold hands with nature while kissing the stars.

It’s moonbeams and rainbows—and just a little bit of thunder.

It’s the smell of summer rain steaming against the hot earth, and the touch of grass wet with dew upon up the toes.

To love a hippie is to decide that the rules aren’t always worth pursuing. For even on the best day, a hippie will manage to break a few.

A hippie’s love is free as the lark in the sky, and as vast as the night.

Everything and nothing at once, it’s the indescribable feeling of wanting but not needing.

It’s the taste of Elderflower liquor heavy with the smell of Ganeshas Dream hovering in the air. Bare shoulders and wild eyes that dance at the edge of reason and passion.

To love a hippie is to journey into the tempestuous unknown of this life with nothing more than a soft hand and hope.

To love a hippie is to thirst for adventure as others desire their morning coffee. It’s a love like sleek cobblestones and icy glaciers.

To love a hippie is to know that the journey will matter most—that the destination will somehow become lost between 2:00am kisses and fresh bread from the bakery. It’s homemade strawberry jam licked from expectant fingertips, and the taste of honey dust upon bare skin.

To love a hippie is to journey above the rules of relationships and far beyond the expectations of society.

It’s free love, and it’s always the best kind.

To love a hippie is to marry at sunset with the sound of the surf as the only witness. It’s a marriage of two hearts—without rings, without lace and without pretense. It exists because the universe has conspired to make it so.

To love a hippie is to journey not just into love, but into finding yourself as well. It is comfort and understanding—and patience as warm as mamma’s quilt by the fire.

To choose to love a hippie is to decide to make romantic love real. It’s a candle’s flickering glow.

It’s the beauty of love that exists simply because—just as the chicory grows along the wild riverbank—because the very best of things just are. Just as the sun rises in the morning above green-laced hilltops, and as the moon glows pearl-like over fields, the love for a hippie just is.

For a hippie loves another from the purest place in their heart; they don’t know how to love any other way.

If you’re lucky enough to be loved by a hippie, it won’t be because of anything you own or the money in your wallet. It will be because they see you for who you really are; they see the magic you create when you’re not looking.

They are the ones who love with the enthusiasm of a meteor shower in the middle of summer—for they do everything with all their hearts. They are full-throttle—passionate.

They don’t just desire your body; they want to touch your soul as well. They won’t just kiss your lips, but your fingertips too.

They don’t just want you for a night, but for as much of their future as they are willing to plan.

And while they know only the foolish make promises of forever, the truest oath they can make is this:

As long as the sun and moon still kiss the sky, they will try to love you as they did the very first day.

To love a hippie is to know that wherever life takes you, you’ve got your own bit of paradise right next to you—and she’s just waitin’ for a kiss.

~

Author: Kate Rose

Editor: Toby Israel

Not Your Slave

Marrying a man who was a doormat has been an interesting experience…

In the past I was a doormat as well.  I allowed people to walk all over me, use me, take advantage of my generous nature, and even abuse me.  Then one day, I had enough.  I wanted to be better.  I wanted to feel better about myself.  I knew I deserved more than I was allowing myself to have.  So I sought help.  I went to therapy, worked on my self-esteem and anxiety issues, applied those skills to my real life, and started standing up for myself.  My newfound boundaries and ability to tell people no lost me some friends, but afterall, they weren’t real friends anyway.  They were just users, and I didn’t have room for that nonsense in my life.

Now I’m married to a man who had the same sort of background.  Jarrod was used by MANY people in his life, and after many years of being used, his friends and family came to expect a certain attitude and behavior from him, naturally.  But then he got together with me, and I saw his struggle.  I saw him feel run down and defeated by giving in to everyone’s demands of him, even though he didn’t want to give in.  He often gave in to avoid confrontation because he just didn’t want the drama and conflict.  He and I had conversations about it, and I assured him that he deserved better.  That he deserved the respect of his loved ones.  That he deserved to be able to stand up and say no to the demands and even to simple requests if he so desired to say no.  I encouraged him to defend his boundaries, and make decisions that he wanted to make rather than what everyone else wanted.

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Jarrod and me, September 2017

At first everyone thought I started being the one bossing him around, pulling at his puppet strings and making all his decisions for him.  I’d like to say over time they all came to realize that he does, in fact, have a mind of his own, with is own opinions and desires, and his own ability to make decisions.  And I was absolutely not making all his decisions for him.  But as of yet, they still haven’t figured it out.  I’m still getting the “blame” for his changed behavior.  When all I’m really doing is just telling him that it’s up to him, and supporting his decisions.  I’m building him up, making sure he knows he’s important and what he wants matters.  It’s frustrating to me that no one gives him the credit for being in charge of his own life, and that I’m pretty well disliked because they still think I’m controlling him.  But most days I know I just can’t let it get to me.  If his loved ones actually love and care about him, they will someday come to realize that he is his own man, and can say and do whatever the hell he damn well pleases without anyone telling him what to do.

As far as decisions that affect the both of us, or our whole family (us and our children), our decisions are 50/50.  Always.  We talk to each other, discuss the pros, cons and options, and come up with a decision we are both satisfied with.  For everything!  From little stuff like chores and household rules, to appointment times and dates, all the way up through family vacation ideas and living arrangements.

So, am I sorry?  HELL NO!  I have nothing to be sorry for.  I love Jarrod, and I’m doing everything I can to make his self-esteem better, and his own needs and desires met.  He does the same for me.  We’re soulmates, and that’s what we do for each other.  And if anyone has a problem with all of this…. keep it to yourself.

The Stories I’m Told

I met a gentleman today. Like many elderly before him, he saw me walking around in hyvee with Felix in his carrier, and said that it would’ve been nice to have when he had been raising kids. He then went on to tell me his life story.

His wife passed away when they were both 35 years old. They had a son and a daughter, and the daughter was still a baby at that time. So he raised his kids alone. He never remarried.

He had polio as a teenager and beat it. He joined the Army when he was young and was in the Korean War. He enjoyed the Army, and worked with explosives. Not explosives like we have nowadays he said, but the ones with glycerin, that can go off for any little reason. He enjoyed traveling and all that he was able to learn and do.

Then he jumped ahead to talking about his wife passing away, and raising and taking care of his son and daughter. He said his son passed away at age 51 to MS, and his daughter passed away at age 46 (I don’t remember why). He said he took care of them as long as he could, until he could no longer. He then helped raise his grandchildren, and they all look out for him when he has medical procedures. He also helps with his great grandchildren now.

This gentleman was proud to tell me he is a born again Christian, and when he was diagnosed with cancer he certainly was not afraid. They told him he had it everywhere, including his lymph nodes and many organs in his body. He had 10 surgeries and watched every one of them he was awake for. He said the nurses and doctors got a kick out of it, but he said it’s his body and he wants to make sure they’re doing it right. Plus he was fascinated to watch them work. He listed off all the organs affected, which included his pancreas, liver, and intestines (plus several others). Many surgeries, many ICU stays, and even life support. Doctors told him he would never survive it all, but years later he stands there in hyvee telling me about it, cancer-free. He told me about the surgery sites not healing properly and needing to care for it at home. And then he told me about being diabetic and needing to change his diet in order to have a final surgery to repair the open wounds. He changed his diet so much that he no longer needed insulin.

He claimed to never have drank soda, coffee or alcohol other than tastes earlier in life. He said that’s why he believes he does not have dementia. He currently visits folks at 3 different nursing homes here in town.

He said he drives a pickup truck now because it’s easier to get into. But until recently he had a Mustang. He said just once he got it up to 140 mph. He said he’s heard you’re supposed to die with grace, but he wants to go out with a bang. He wants to enjoy life, every moment of it, and live to be 120! He said the hardest part about being as old as he is, is watching all of his loved ones pass away or lose their memories. But he’s happy to still be alive at AGE 91!!!, against all odds.

I could’ve listened to him talk all day long. I’m absolutely fascinated with his stories. And I didn’t even catch his name. Just a photo of him as he left.