I Broke My Husband

So my hubby says I broke him.  Once upon a time, he thought animals were just that; no feelings, replaceable, disposable.  But then I came along and changed all that.  Growing up I’ve always had dogs; I honestly cannot imagine my life without a dog.  They are the best example of unconditional love that exists on this planet.  Dogs, animals in general really, count on humanity for so much; sadly, they often get let down.  As humans, we tend to assume our superiority, but that is not what makes us better.

Empathy.  Looking into another beings eyes and putting yourself in their position.  It is one of the hardest things we can do because it makes us vulnerable to pain, to heartache; but, it is also what makes us stronger.  It is what makes us better.

People joke all the time about the SPCA commercials that show the sad animals while Sarah McLachlan’s song plays in the background.  I’m not going to lie, those commercials can make me cry every single time if I let myself watch them.  So I think that when people make jokes it is a defense mechanism; it allows them to put some distance between their feelings and what they are seeing because we can’t open ourselves up entirely.  But, neither should we close ourselves down.  We need to find a middle ground that will allow us to care and be empathetic without walking through life as an open wound.

My husband says I broke him because I made him look at our dogs – at animals – as beings capable of feelings.  And, by doing that, I made him care when he sees an animal in pain.  He does not understand how people can hurt puppies, dogs, cats, animals that rely on us for care and protection.  I can’t help him because I don’t understand either.  I will never understand how a human being can look into the eyes of an animal that trusts you and causes them harm or neglect.

So, I admit it.  I broke him.  I made him recognize that pets are not disposable, but are family members who give us love and affection and to whom we have a responsibility when we invite them to share our lives.  I broke my husband in the best way possible, and I’m ok with that.


Three Days and Counting

So I finished radiation therapy for breast cancer three days ago and I feel so blessed.  I received great care, a great prognosis, and I had wonderful support throughout the journey.  So yes, I feel blessed.  I also feel frustrated, sad, scared, and upset.

I feel frustrated because, while everyone’s diagnosis and treatment is unique (like DNA), we are often lumped together.  “My sister/cousin/aunt/grandmom  had breast cancer and they did XYZ and now she’s fine.”  While I totally appreciate that it is really hard to know what to say when someone tells you they’ve been diagnosed with cancer, I would like to suggest trying to just be in the moment.  “I’m sorry,” is perfectly acceptable and enough.

I’m sad because my life is forever changed now.  I have a scar, physically and mentally.  I have to take medications for the next five years and I have the side effects of the radiation therapy that I’m still experiencing.  I’m sad because, through this journey, I found out how many more men and women are affected by this horrible disease.  I’m sad because now my husband and I share something that neither of us wanted the other to ever experience.

I’m scared because, while my prognosis is very positive, for the rest of my life I will have to be aware and vigilant.  Cancer is something you think will never happen to you…until it does; and then, things will always be different.  Whether it is you or someone you love, the fear remains.

I’m upset because well-meaning people tell me how great I look or “You don’t look sick at all.”  I know they are trying to be supportive and thoughtful, but not all illness shows.  I’m trying to feel better, but I’m honestly exhausted.  And I’m trying to move forward, but it is hard when you don’t necessarily feel better physically or mentally.  Please, do not misunderstand me – I deeply appreciate the sentiment behind the statement.  Again, it is hard to know what to say.  I guess what I’m suggesting is to meet the person where they are – it is not your “job” to fix things for me to cheer me up – just be where I am; wherever that is, and let me know you care.  That’s all anyone can really ask, after all.

Cancer sucks!  I never wanted my husband to experience it and he never wanted me to experience it; but here we are.  I hope this journey makes me more mindful and more present.  I know it has made me deeply grateful for the wonderful people in my life.  So, now I’m back to blessed, deeply, truly and thankfully blessed.

Three days and counting.


U Define U

Introversion Effect

Who defines you?  Or perhaps the better question is: Who do you ALLOW to define you?

As children, we are defined by our families’ perception of who we are, and who we are to become.  My mother was terribly afraid of being alone, and for that reason had a large family, and continued to adopt needy children long after she was able to continue bearing children naturally.  I have often stated that she didn’t have a family as much as she had an ant colony.  Because of my natural tendencies toward solitude, one of her continued admonishments was: You’re going to grow up to be the loneliest person in the world.  She somehow managed to make it sound like a threat.  I thought it sounded wonderful.  At the risk of pointing out the obvious, I came to see that she had been projecting her own fear of being alone…

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Victoria Secret Angel vs Reality

Victoria Secret Angel vs Reality

So my friend and I were talking about the Victoria’s Secret fashion show that was on the other night and I was saying how very unrealistic they are…most women do not and will not look like the VS Angels. My friend says, “Yup, I read an article that said that the average size of women is a size 14.” I smiled and said, “And I am above average!” 😀 It’s all about the attitude ladies…you have to love yourself, no matter what!

Hello world!

So my first blog…I do not know where I will go with this or even if I will continue with it.  My intention is to use it as I end my journey for my master’s degree and begin my journey toward my life coaching career.  However, and this is important, I need to take a “minute” for me.  I have been going to school part time pretty much consistently since I was 23…I just turned 45 in April.  So, I’m ready for a little break before I dive into the new pool of life coaching.  I moment to reconnect with friends, share a cup of coffee/tea and figure out how to return to…or recreate my life.  So…to new beginnings!