There is a saying in my circles that drives me absolutely crazy some times.
“This Too Shall Pass.”
Honestly, when I’m in the middle of THIS, whatever it is, I’m not all that keen on seeing the temporary of my situation. All I can see is the now and the now stinketh much sometimes.
Take my right now for instance. I am 30 weeks into what started as a simple ankle replacement. I am still in part one of that. My tibia is still broken and we haven’t even gotten to the ankle part. People have commented about my positive attitude and I want to tell you, there are days where my prayers sound like King David’s “How long Oh Lord?”
Now I do know that my leg is going to heal and that life will pick up again and that like the saying goes this will pass. I know this because 10 years ago, it was my heart that was broken instead of my leg.
10-years ago, I didn’t believe this would pass. I felt stuck in a never-ending cycle of hurt and disappointment.
While I was still depressed over my circumstances, I chose to trust God with a single step. Nothing major, just make my bed. Then it was get dressed. Then take a walk. Quit my job. And then the scariest of all – make a new friend. And another. And another.
Over time things changed. I started doing things that scared me to death for a moment and produced wonderful results. (I failed at a lot of things as well, but you know… I kept going anyway)
So beloved – where ever you are, whatever season you are in, know that things do pass, life does change, and if you take one small step of faith and courage great things will happen.
Dare to Live
“There is music you never hear unless you play it yourself.”
― Marty Rubin
People usually make fun of banjo. My thoughts are if Neil Young plays, it must be cool.
Having a broken leg has it’s advantages. I was so busy last year that practicing my banjo was usually an after thought. My teacher can probably attest to that. I’m pretty sure I annoyed the snot out of him many times by showing up without the songs memorized.
I’m presently on week 30 of my “12 week vacation” and I’ve found a lot of time to practice.
Today, I spend a whole lot of my day sitting and picking and learning and I love it.
I especially love the fact that I can pick up my banjo and create something that didn’t exist five minutes ago.
That is too cool.
Unless we know how to be alone on purpose, not in a runaway alone, but an intentional pilgrimage, we’ll never learn how to be with people.
That’s why I wrote yesterday’s post. Not everyone knows how to be alone. I thought I did. I used to look forward to my days at the lake – until they spread out to over 200 of them. That’s when I discovered that I have a limit for alone.
That’s okay. We are created for relationship. We aren’t created to stand alone. One aides the other, but one should never exclude the other.
I admitted something yesterday that is really taboo in my circles. I admitted that I don’t always like myself. Everyone goes through seasons like that, but not everyone admits it really. We’d rather hide behind an all’s well mask.
I’m not much for hiding really.
Unless I want to, and then I’m killer at it.
I’ve shared many things over the years with you guys. We’ve talked about fear, about courage, about death, about being tired. I’ve even shared stories about things I’d just as soon forget, like the *real reason I hate being called “darlin'” (see bottom of post) and about my past experience with depression.
I do want to clarify, I am not using soul-tired and depressed interchangeably. They mean two different things to me.
I’ve been depressed, I know that black night of the soul. It sucks.
Thankfully, I’m not there today. But if I’m not careful, soul-tired can become soul-sick very easily. It’s a slippery slope really.
What I honestly didn’t realize, before heading on this adventure is how tired I really was last fall. I slept the first three weeks I was here and blamed it on the surgery.
That wasn’t the problem.
I had some big emotional items on my plate. Things I don’t share here because it would harm others. But trust me, just because I don’t share them does not mean they aren’t real. They are very real and they weighed on me because I confused myself with Atlas and thought it was my job to carry it all on my shoulders.
I’m kind of egotistical like that.
I had pushed myself beyond my limits and did not do the things I know to do to stay above water.
Now it’s true, life is not without it’s problems and we can’t always escape them. We do however have choices and can take right action to help ourselves.
The first thing we need to do is not be victim of this guy:
They didn’t even know they had trouble until he came along. And the truth is they didn’t have trouble – he just wanted to sell some musical instruments. He had a motive, and an agenda to create a FEAR BASED need. The town bought it, hook line sinker and tackle box.
That happens today – just look at Facebook or Twitter, MSNBC or Fox News — Town Criers everyone proclaiming trouble. Turn it off once in a while. Use discernment.
If you’ll recall, I posted a bit of an emancipation proclamation a few days ago – the whole Best Friend or worst enemy thing. I’ve had to consciously remove myself from manipulative circumstances for my own sanity — that’s a sign of health. I’m no longer willing to blindly follow fear based leaders.
Charisma is a turn off to me today.
As are threats of abandonment — do this or I’ll leave. Okay. Leave.
Cold? Maybe, but not really. It’s the most loving thing I can do for both of us today. Took me years to learn that.
I have HUGE attachment/abandonment issues. I’ve spent the past 200 or so days facing them. You know what I learned? They aren’t that hairy after all.
Other things I didn’t do during my Let’s go out and conquer 2013:
1. I didn’t exercise. Oh sure, I planned for it, wrote about it, bought things and signed up for clubs, but I never pulled the trigger. Exercise is important. It released endorphins and gives oxygen to the brain. Yes, I got injured, but I spent so much time staring at closed doors (Cycling) that I didn’t look for new doors.
2. I didn’t face my problems head on. That’s not like me. I’m a deal with it now and get over it kind of woman. I value my relationships. The trouble is, fear kicked in. I’d done such a great job (tongue in cheek) cleaning house in 2012, I found myself not wanting to rock the boat in 2013. That made me dishonest. I hate dishonesty. That hurt some very important, to me, relationships. Rather than honestly deal with issues, I internalized them and created a wedge with more than one person.
3. I cut off my spiritual arm to spite my face. I had my mentoring group and we studied scripture and whatnot, but that is not the same as being in fellowship with other Christians. I wasn’t even reading my bible if it didn’t pertain to my classes. I let my well run dry. That made me thirsty.
4. I caught myself wanting things that I didn’t have instead of being thankful for the things I did. I started filling up a spiritual void with junk food. Wrong relationships, wrong motives, wrong everything really. Wishful thinking replaced right action mostly,
While it is true that I didn’t necessarily do something permanently stupid just because I was temporarily upset, I did hurt myself with my own unrealistic expectations of how it was supposed to be.
I refused to own my feelings. Or my thoughts. Every time something unpleasant bubbled up in my life – whether a relational conflict, or a fear, or hurt, or anger, I stuffed it and got busy doing more. The conflicts went unresolved.
I was alone long before I came out here because I’d already gone inward and withdrawn into myself.
The one thing I’ve wanted most in this life after kids is to live an authentic life.
Authentic lives are messy. They involve people. And before I can fully introduce myself to that equation, I have to deal with me first. And that is why I’m here.
*There are people in my life today who are allowed to call me Darlin’. They’ve earned that right. They are what Henry Townsend calls Safe People. They know that trust is earned and are gentle in the earning process. They tell the truth in love. (they call me on my bull) While they don’t always like me, they do express a kind of love that is endearing. They have boundaries and they respect mine. They give me a chance to make amends when needed and they own their own side of the sidewalk. Always a good sign.
So, dear readers — have you ever gone into the wilderness of alone, whether on purpose or out of necessity? Would you like to share something you learned?
I’ve been down with this broken leg since October. That’s a lot of time to think. I am learning a lot really.
- Living in a small town doesn’t mean you have to live small.
- Dare to dream and don’t burn bridges, you may need to cross them some day.
- If you are going to live in a small town, don’t waste your time writing about small things.
I forget these things some times.
I honestly thought I would die once my kids grew up and frankly I’m rather surprised I didn’t. I was THE mom; special needs advocate, homeroom Mom, lunchroom helper, substitute teacher, fundraiser chair, youth leader, assistant soccer coach, PTA President and everything in between.
I did it all and some days I miss it like crazy.
Honestly, I get excited when my college son brings home his laundry because I feel needed. Yes, I need help, I know.
While it is true I’ve done some awesome things since my boys grew up like swim with sharks, do stand-up comedy, write a book (to be published in 2015) and act as an extra in two Hollywood movies, there were some false-start moments. My early days in comedy were a little rough. So rough in fact, I had someone tell me to never EVER do comedy again. I’ve even been heckled to the point that I wouldn’t go back for a second set. And I’m still learning to find my voice.
Finding my voice is not an easy road. My voice is in puberty at the moment. It squeaks. A lot.
This blog is primarily my highlight reel – proof that life does not end once the kiddos launch. That has been my primary goal these last few years. I want you to know though there have been glitches and lessons learned.
- Kids don’t always launch the first time. Sometimes they come back home. Sometimes they don’t launch right away, especially if they have special needs like mine. That’s okay.
- Returning to the work force after taking a decade off to raise kids is scary.
- Ditto going back to college.
- I took an art class and did so badly my teacher either gave me the wrong email address or changed hers just to never hear from me again.
- I learned that when you live in a small town and tell gynecologist jokes, it does not take too long for people to figure out which doctor you are joking about.
- Cowboy/Cowgirl jokes don’t translate well outside of Oklahoma and everyone IN Oklahoma thinks the jokes are about them. You do not want to piss off either category as they all carry. Just sayin.
- Accidentally give a man your real phone number ONE time and you will never travel alone again.
- Ditto breaking your ankle while on vacation with your girlfriends.
- People do not feel sorry for you once they realize you broke your ankle on the beach, in the Bahamas and rode the darn horse anyway because you paid for the excursion and want your money’s worth.
- If your car gets stolen and you tell the police and the insurance folks that you do comedy for a living, do not expect them to believe you about the car.
- Guys are not your girlfriends – hugging new male friends and/or grabbing and holding their hand when you talk to them, might perhaps freak them out, especially if you do that in front of your husband.
- If you are the physical type like me, and live in the South, make sure his wife doesn’t carry. In my defense, I was too busy raising my boys to have male friends. I’ve had to learn a lot in the last few years about how to do this without getting killed.
- Rumor has it, “She needed killin’ ” is a viable defense in Oklahoma.
Always remember that life after kids is fun and when running out that front door as quickly as the money flies out of your wallet makes you tired, remember to rest.
For those who follow me, you know that I recently had surgery and I’m resting near a lake/river somewhere in Oklahoma right now. I need the rest. I’m tired and that’s okay. Resting is important. I do not have to accomplish every life goal right this minute. There will be time for more adventures.
If you live in Florida, or are traveling this summer, I will be performing as part of The Clean Comedy Challenge at Coconuts Comedy Club in Tampa Florida on July 23-25. Come on out and say hi! I’d love to meet you.
I’m not going to lie. I’m kind of digging this slower life-style that I’ve had to become accustomed to while I get my leg fixed. No more crazy deadlines, being out half the night at the club, driving people places, rushing to the store or lessons. Just being me.
Last Fall I got the chance to watch the season come and go as winter arrived and this time, I get to watch Spring arrive in all of her glory and might. I miss working in the dirt. I haven’t figured out how to do that and not put weight on my leg and that’s okay. If I don’t have my garden this year, there is always the Farmer’s Market.
For now, I get to read, play my banjo, write to my heart’s content, spend time with friends, talk on the phone, love my family, and when opportunity strikes – take pictures.
All in all. It’s really not a bad life.
This slowing down thing.
You can click on the photos if you want to see them better. If you choose to share them that is fine, so long as you link back here. Thanks for reading.
“Deana you are so blessed to have this down time. I’d give anything to spend time alone with God.”
I’ll be honest, I’m feeling that vibe a lot less now than I was back in October. The first three weeks were great, then I got bored.
In October, I knew I was only going to be down for a few months. Three, maybe four tops! In that down time, I would spend a month or two in physical therapy, but surely I’d be walking and driving by April.
Not a chance.
That simple little surgery I had last October where they broke my tibia in half, straightened it out, added a metal plate, screws and a bone graft isn’t healing.
Actually, my body got hungry and ate the graft, leaving a nice hole in the middle behind the metal plate. My leg is still broken and even though I can walk with a boot and crutches, it hurts.
I am going back in tomorrow, April 2 for another bone graft. This time they’ll take the bone from my hip. I’ll be back sitting in a chair staring at water for a few weeks while this heals. No April Fools joke, this is for real. 90 days no walking and another 90 days-ish using crutches. After that we get to decide whether or not to replace my ankle. I’m going to be down for a really long time.
This is more me time than I wanted.
I’ve learned some things though.
1. I had no idea people post such drivel on Facebook or think meme’s are factually accurate.
2. Just because my leg is broken does not mean I can’t help tear apart a kitchen.
3. Dust will not kill me.
4. The dogs who have no regard for my boot and crutches however, may.
5. Laundry can wait until someone brings it downstairs. (Flinging it down the stairs while standing on crutches is not wise – don’t ask)
6. Candy Crush is rigged against you.
7. You can go broke playing Facebook games. You can also get very bored with them after level 130.
8. Online shopping rocks.
9. Number of tie-blankets you can make before losing your mind is three.
10. Banjo really does sound better when you practice.
Have a great day you guys.
Most of you dear readers remember my past stories and adventures while I ventured out into cycling back in 2011. I remember the thrill of doing my own research, going to Tom’s on Peoria and buying my very first street bike. My husband liked my bike so much he bought one as well. Personally, I think it’s because he was jealous that my new bike was faster than his.
Then I did the Tulsa Tour de Cure on my own for the first time in 2012. I had so much fun I captained my own team in 2013. Then my husband and I got our own dirt bikes, because you know dirt bikes are fun.
I even lamented on occasion about how I only know male cyclists (including my GYN and yes I posted snarky jokes about that. Hopefully he does not know this blog exists.), how even on the web there just weren’t that many women cyclist bloggers, and if I read one more story about man-scaping I was going to barf.
Well, things have changed.
Say hello to the Tulsa Diva’s.
I remember writing about how thrilled I was last year when the Tulsa Diva team started and how I was going to ride with them as soon as I got back from Nashville, only I didn’t because I fell and hurt my leg. Well, that and I totally wussed out because I was afraid I couldn’t keep up and that my leg would give out again. I totally regret that because they treat newbies like me so well and now, at least for this year, I’m not allowed to ride. — My tibia is in three pieces and I’m still working towards getting a full ankle replacement. I’m down for the whole 2014 season. I missed out.
Don’t be me.
There are a lot of great things to be had with the Tulsa Diva’s.
- Support – these women do a great job in including and encouraging riders. They have a Facebook group where they post up coming rides, tips and encouragement.
- Knowledge -- You don’t know anything about cycling? Great! Tulsa Diva’s host clinics for everyone on all aspects of riding. How to fix a bike, being properly fitted, rules of the road, how to ride with a group, mastering the three sisters, racing and so much more.
- Fellowship — It’s not just the group rides. Everyone is included and invited to post ride fellowship, parties, and other events. Great friendships have already been built because of the Tulsa Diva’s. I’ve even made friends with a few on Facebook that I am looking forward to getting to know in real life.
- Events — the Tulsa Diva’s do more than just Tulsa Tough and weekly training rides. Throughout the year they participate in numerous rides like Tour de Cure, MS-150, Gran Frodos, biathlons, marathons, triathlons, CAT Races and whatever else they can come up with. When you sign up for any kind of cycling event or whatnot, you know you are not alone. There is a Diva Sister there with you for fun, encouragement, and support.
Women Cycling in Tulsa! Can you believe it?
Even though I haven’t made it to a group ride, these women (and the guys who help run it) have been wonderfully encouraging, passing on information, and giving me ideas on how I can still train while my leg heals. (Like swimming).
Oh, and their kits are awesome.
Check them out at TULSA DIVAS
You can bet come next Spring, I WILL be riding with them. Hope you’ll join me.
Better yet, join now. You won’t regret it.
Well, except for that one time and that was a fluke. I swear.
The airport staff at DFW forgot about me and left me sitting at the terminal in a wheelchair with a broken ankle. Not that I knew yet that it was broken, but still. I am certain that if a stranger had not taken pity on me, I’d still be waiting at gate 32 C.
All I want at this point is to find my seat, order an adult beverage and pretend I am still on my cruise with my girlfriends.
22A is open, I take it and the cabin steward takes my crutches.
So what if I’m supposed to be in 22B, it’s a middle seat and I want the window. Surely whomever has the window seat will see my plight, take pity on me and not make me move.
Turns out he too is tired, wants to find his seat, and order his own adult beverage and we recognize each other immediately.
I, the stubborn redhead sitting in his seat and he, the tall stranger standing in the aisle announcing confidently, “I know you are going to move over, right?”
He is right. I move. Broken ankle and all. Granted not without a sassy “Oh sure, make the cripple move.” We like each other instantly right up until 22C arrives.
He spends most of the flight talking to her.
I don’t blame him. She is young, cute, probably single and in town for a short business trip. Watching him work is very entertaining to say the least.
I’ll be honest, it takes everything I have not to pop off with a “Shoulda let me keep the window seat.” but my drink arrives and I have bigger things to figure out like explaining my broken ankle to my husband.
As we get ready to make our descent to Tulsa, Mr. 22A remembers that I am in the row and says to me, “So let me guess, you’re a housewife.”
He strikes out with 22C and that’s the best he’s got for me?
I know, I know. I’m married. I shouldn’t care but crimony the dude could at least TRY!
I already know – because it’s hard not to eaves drop when you are stuck in the middle – that Mr. 22A’s name is Tim*, he is a physician’s assistant / surgeon who is just returning from taking care of his old sick mother in Atlanta and he had two brother’s who have died leaving her alone with just him to care for her…
blah blah blah gag me.
I mean she got the “I’m a rich doctor who loves his mother.” pickup, and I get “housewife.” like I’m some kind of consolation prize or something.
At 40 something years old, this cuts me to the quick. He’s not exactly a Spring chicken himself mind you. I have zero interest in this man and yet there is no way I’m letting housewife go unchallenged. Even if it is true.
“As a matter of fact, I’m a stand up comic.”
So there Mr Bigshot!
What happens next is a blur.
Within three minutes he is wanting to know where I do comedy in Tulsa and asks for my phone number so that I can let him know when my next gig is.
I give him my number.
He even sends me a text when we land so that he doesn’t lose it. Oh boy. I am so in trouble.
It has been at least 20 years since a man has asked for my phone number. I can’t remember how to make one up. This is going to take some serious “splaining” as Ricky Ricardo would say.
I’ve taken two vacations ever in my entire life with my girlfriends and I come home from the second one with a broken ankle and now some guy I just met on the plane has my phone number.
This should be interesting.
I do quick introductions in luggage. Mr 22A waits with my wheelchair while my husband gets the car and we never see each other again.
Who says life after kids is boring?
*Name changed to protect his identity, not that I believe he gave me his real name in the first place. I’m not even sure that he’s a surgeon. I did get the text he sent me on the plane asking for my next gig and I sent him the link to the Comedy Palace where I hope to be performing soon and left it at that. I had surgery shortly after my trip and I’m still in a boot. It’s going to be a long time before I get to do comedy again.
I am also fairly certain that it is going to be a LOOONG time before I get a weekend pass to go on a vacay with my girlfriends again as well.
Every year, I learn a little more about blog management and SEO and all that fun internet Jazz. WordPress makes blog management easy. Usually anyway. Smile.
They’ve come up with a new page format called Twentyfourteen and so far I like it. If you will notice up top, there are six of my most frequently read stories. I will be sure to let those rotate on occasion. To the left you will find the basic blogroll, archives and stats and COMING SOON my own video clips will be available on the right. I’m still trying to figure that one out.
I did change the name from Deana Louise back to Deana O’Hara because that is my full name and it matches my domain. Deana Louise was confusing people.
So, it’s still me. The face of my web page may have changed, but my quirky, neurotic enough to make Ally McBeal look sane, lovable self is still here. Thank you for being here too.
Have a great Tuesday Peeps!