Category Archives: Family Life

Meet my family and follow along as we traverse the sometimes unfamiliar waters of ADHD, Epilepsy, and life as a ministry family.

the year that did not kill me

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I’ve been writing and rewriting, wanting to sum up 2015 for you guys, and for myself to no avail.

Word picture: Me, butt in chair, staring at a computer screen and eating potato chips, for hours.  That and drinking massive amounts of coffee. Then going outside in our forever summer to smoke. I know, smoking is bad, but it relaxes me.

SIGH.

Then I saw this cartoon on a friend’s Facebook wall and I’m thinking YES, this is it. THIS is 2015 in a nutshell. That which did not kill me has made me weirder. And maybe a little harder to relate to. Or not, I’m not sure really.

Oh no worries, 2015 did not make me neurotic. I’ve been that way for years. Ask anyone, they’ll tell you.

I’m the daughter of a prom queen. The rules were simple, Mom was always the prettiest woman in the room. If I gained five pounds, she threw up and I pay for my own therapy.

I can live with neurotic, trust me.

Part of me believes that I have this semi-empty-nest-grown-kids thing down cold, but when the guys (husband included) all went to see a movie over Thanksgiving weekend and didn’t invite me, that got me right in the feels. We made up for at Christmas by going to see Sisters with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Wonderful movie. I loved it. I also loved spending time together as a family. So even though I’ve proven since 2012 that there is life after kids, the bottom line is, they are still my favorite people to spend time with when they are home.

Now, where was I?

Oh yes 2015.

This is the year of Catch Me If You Can. I’ve traveled everywhere it seems. Sometimes for fun and sometimes not. We lost my brother-in-law to cancer this year and my mother died from COPD and Depression. She was miserable in the end. That doesn’t necessarily make her passing easier though. She was my mom. Our relationship was complicated by a lot of things including the lack of relationship she had with her mother but we made the best of it and had our moments. I miss her. A lot.

So, highlights:

We saw Garth Brooks in concert (It was AWESOME!). I went to San Francisco for the first time ever to see my best friend from childhood. I performed at the Syracuse Funny Bone and was given the nickname “Hippie Chick.” Went to New Orleans (Another First) I spend five months  in Upstate New York taking care of Mom before she passed away. Went on a Muse Cruise with my girlfriends and visited Haiti, Jamaica and other islands. Every place I visited, I found someone playing banjo which is pretty cool to me. I spent a week in St Petersburg Florida with friends performing at Coconuts. I did a show at the Tulsa Loony Bin with other friends. Celebrated my 25th wedding anniversary. Turned 50 (E-Ghads) and didn’t die. Recently discovered my Dad is in the early stages of dementia and will soon need more care than I can provide. (I’m not even going to discuss the bed bugs in my NY apartment or my airplane catching on fire and the emergency landing)

Simply put, I survived the roller coaster that is this crazy mixed up life. And if that makes me weirder, so be it. If nothing else, it gives me great material.

 

And that is 2015 in a nutshell. I learned this year that I am stronger than I ever gave myself credit, that we all need community and I have wonderful friends, that I’m a halfway decent banjo player and I am going to go back taking lessons after the first of the year, that life after kids comes with twinges, that a name (or lack there of) on a birth certificate doesn’t mean anything really, that alcohol and grief don’t mix well, and that I am indeed funny.

May you look back on 2015 with peace and gladness and may 2016 be all you ever dreamed of. Happy New Year my friends.

And don’t forget to breathe darlin’

Deana O’Hara

Make Your Own Sunshine

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“Rather than trying to steal someone else’s sunshine, we should go and find our own.” 

I’ve seen this cartoon make it’s rounds on Facebook more than once. I love it.

I don’t believe in looking for happiness in someone else’s family. It isn’t there. If they’ll cheat with you, they will cheat on you 9 times out of 10. I’m sure someone out there can tell me they are the exception – that’s great. Me? I could never trust anyone who cheated.

I have a lot of male friends whom I trust and adore. And yes, I’m the kind of woman who will fly off the porch to hug a man I care about and think nothing of it. The men that have that level of spontaneity with me have earned that trust, are tried and true, and are friends with both my husband and myself.

What I am not, is the kind of woman who will allow a married man to tell me that I am “the only one he can talk to, the only one he can trust. He needs me.” That happened to me years ago — he was my boss’s boss and it took me a long time to get over the absolute betrayal I felt.

It took me even longer than that to get over the need that people believe it really happened. He’s kind of a high profile, everyone loves him, he’s just misunderstood, kind of guy. I think he’s a jerk. Today, I’m comfortable with the fact that I did almost everything right (I still think I should have dropped him where he stood, but you know.) I told on him and I walked away permanently and that is all that matters.

His actions, choices and lies cost me a career I thought I really wanted. It made me weird and very distrusting of men for a long time. I put new men in my life after that through all kinds of hoops and tricks. I wish I could take all of that back, but healing is a process I needed to go through.

Today I have a wonderful career that I am thrilled with, and I once again allow men to get close without having to dodge daggers along the way.

If you are a man who happened to meet me during my dagger years, I am so sorry. If you are still speaking to me – or reading my blog, thank you for your patience and grace.

Having said that I am also not above ending friendships with the opposite sex if I feel the friendship has become a threat to either of our marriages. It’s just how I roll. It’s how I was raised.

I will also end friendships with women whom I feel are becoming a threat to my marriage as well. Not that my husband would look – but the fact that they try so hard anyway gets them a one way ticket out of my life.

Permanently.

That has more to do with my self-worth than it does any kind of insecurity. I place deep value in my female friendships. Mutual respect, love and trust are vital.

Mutual respect, love and trust are vital in marriage as well. 

I love and trust my husband.

He loves and trusts me.

I am blessed.

There is no room in our lives for anyone who would look to steal our sunshine.

I’ve seen too many friends look for happiness elsewhere. Married or single. The damage done to their families and friendships is astronomical and it’s painful watching them walk out the consequences of their choices.


When you are too Google Friendly.

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Have you ever Googled yourself? It’s creepy. Granted not as creepy as the time some crazy chick googled “deana is a cheating redhead” and landed on my blog. Still.

I am far too Google Friendly. As a comic that can be a good thing.

IF Google picked up the right hat.

Google doesn’t always do that though.

And according to Google I wear FAR too many hats. Artist, Blogger, Mom, Comic, Writer, Speaker, Musician’s Wife, Bible Teacher, Gardener, Cook, and the list just goes on…

WOW. According to Google, I may have an identity crisis. 

It started innocently enough — I used to promote my husband’s band back in the day of My Space and back when they actually played places other than church. They changed direction and so did I. For a while I wrote about our church plant and missions. Now I market for comics and I do comedy myself. I also run The Cove at Rock Creek which thankfully ISN’T Google-friendly. I like that. My cove is my respite.

I need to rethink “Platform.” Partly because I have a new book coming out at the end of this year – and mainly because I’m all over the place network wise and it’s time to think smarter not harder.

I had a blast in San Francisco visiting friends and in New York visiting Mom. Christine (who has no social media footprint) found me because I am so Google friendly, so that’s not a bad thing entirely. My social media silence – or kinda silence – over the past month has been very refreshing. No more having to deal with my skull splitting over political and religious rants seen so frequently in my news feed and a lot more face to face time with people who matter. It’s been wonderful to say the least.

And I have not had to deal with a single “that post was about me, wasn’t it?” issue. Seriously with all of the networks I try to maintain for the sake of platform — I don’t have time to be passive/aggressive on Facebook. Or anywhere else really.

If you had this many pages to maintain – would you?

Facebook – 3 pages – Public, Private, and Business, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, WordPress, Instagram, Ello, Tsu’ Stumble, Tumblr, ebay, Etsy, Strava, and various other pages where I sell art and greeting cards. Don’t even get me started on the cloud.

All of these platforms serve different purposes, the reach different audiences, and that’s great and all so long as I’m not trading content for Platform.

Honestly, I haven’t even had time to create quality content because I spend/waste so much of it just maintaining.

I’m spinning my wheels and I need to think smarter. 

And so begins the weeding out of unnecessary places.

The first thing I did is make my private Facebook page private again — I’m protecting my inner circle. When I was going through my list of names, I realized there were many people on that page that I no longer speak to, haven’t seen in months, some even years, some of them are on multiple pages of mine and so I let them go from this one. I can breath a little lighter now.

Now to tackle the rest of my pages.

What about you? Are you too Google-friendly? What’s your footprint?

There are no buckets on my bucket list

We promised our son we’d take him fishing for his 21st birthday.
We drove 12 hours from Tulsa to Galveston to do it.

I got to the marina in the morning and asked the first mate where the facilities were on the boat.
bathroom He said if you open this door in the front of the cabin, you will find a bucket with a toilet seat lid.

I have a broken leg.

I love my boys

I really do.

Just not enough to pee in a bucket

with a toilet seat

in front of God and everybody.

I made my husband take me back to the hotel.

They had more fun without me.

They caught trout, sheeps-head, and shark without the trauma of seeing mom try to pee in a bucket with a broken leg.

And bonus – I got to pee alone

in my hotel room.

It was a win/win day.