Thursday, March 28, 2013

Shaking it off

“It’s always darkest before the dawn. I’ve been a fool and I’ve been blind. I can never leave the past behind. I can see no way, I can see no way. I’m always dragging that horse around…. Tonight I’m going to bury that horse in the ground…. Shake it out. Shake it out. Shake it out. And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back…. And given half the chance would I take any of it back? I am done with my graceless heart. Tonight I’m going to cut it out and then restart….Shake it out. Shake it out. Shake it out…. Lookin for heaven I found the devil in me.”

Even with good music blasting as I drive solo on 490, it’s still an, “I miss my mom morning.” I contemplated facebooking that earlier but decided, Nah. Inevitably one of my “friends” with the luxury of still having parents alive will sit back thinking how I need to just get over it already. Tell me about it. My mom has been dead three years June 22nd and my dad 9 years in just a couple weeks on April 15th. I wish I were over it. I’m starting to think there isn’t really an, over it.

The mornings that I cry are far and few between. This was one of those mornings. It comes out of no where really. Today was intended to be a “me day”. I was excited to be going to Rochester to Trader Joe’s. The kids are off for spring break starting tomorrow so it made sense to do something for myself to energize for a week of entertaining the kiddos.

As I was driving I started feeling like something was missing. I felt like I should be on my way to pick up my sister Mary and my mom like I used to. We used to get together on my “me days” and I would take Mary to work and my mom and I would would do errands together and go shopping for the day. I don’t think it was the company while shopping that I missed. It was the comfort of being with her. It was our dance. She would distract me from my worries and anxieties because I would focus on hers. I could tell her anything. She wouldn’t always understand. But I could tell her and the burden would be off me. If she disagreed with me, I could gain strength in my position by “convincing” her I was right. Thus, the “Corkins disposition” she always told everyone I had. I think I used her as a way to get strong. Which probably explains why I feel weak without her. And it probably explains why I run. As old as I am, running is my new attempt to get strong without my mom.

Wow. Revelations while blogging in the parking lot of Trader Joe’s It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back. Shaking him off; for today at least.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

For the love of...ME!

I have been struggling for weeks trying to come up with a more appropriate name for this blog. I wanted the name to reflect so many things. I wanted it to capture candle making and my business, For the Love of Lizzy Candles. I wanted it to capture my struggles with turning 40 and my new love of running. It needed to capture my renewed love of writing. I thought of lots of catchy names but none of them felt right.

So true to how my brain and creativity seem to work these days, it just came to me on yesterday’s run. It seemed so simple. And as I ran I had the odd sense that it had been there all along. It’s almost as if the act of running somehow gets my mind flowing. The physical movement somehow unlocks my imagination and my creativity. It was really pretty simple. For the love of me. I’m 40 years old and all the things I’m finally doing and discovering are finally for the love of me. I’m learning to love myself at 40. I’m reflecting on my life, my choices and planning my future. My business reflects light in the candles I produce, but also in the freedom it allows me. I can see the light in my children everyday thanks to my business. I can see the light in the gratitude from the folks at the community kitchen.

It’s interesting that the name of my blog came from the name of my business. I started my business for family balance when I had my daughter, Elizabeth.  It was perfect. I could be home more while earning an income and spending time with her. I remember I struggled with a name for the business 11 years ago also. I remember the name came to me out of no where. It was simple and as soon as I thought it, I knew it was right much in the same way this feels right. It feels like it’s finally my time.

I’m so grateful for yesterday’s revelation. I am grateful that it came to me and that I have an outlet for my thoughts and feelings doing so many things I love. It’s amazing how this blog has allowed me to pull all the aspects of myself together in a way that is finally starting to make sense. Sometimes I feel like one big contradiction. Nothing I love seemed to fit together. But through running and writing, getting jobs and quitting jobs, sharing my successes and failures, opening myself up to others, and through accepting things as they are, I have discovered everything fits. For the love of… me. Writing, running and reflecting light. My journey to discover and integrate who I am, what I do and what I love.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Looking Inside

“A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.”

I was procrastinating my run today and Josh got me out the door with that quote. I started strong and motivated. I set my goal at 4 miles.  After huffing and puffing through mile one I felt great & increased my goal to 5 miles; over ambitious to say the least.

The run back got really tough. By mile 4 I started to get achy. I wanted to quit. I started to talk to myself and I finally found myself saying, come on mom help me out. Nothing. Willie Nelson was playing, Always On My Mind. That song always reminds me of my mom. I started thinking about Elizabeth and our talk Sunday night in bed. She shared with me how it sounded weird but she always used to talk to Grammy Corkins, especially when she was scared. She always used to feel her around. But lately she said she couldn’t visualize her or feel her anymore.

 I felt myself profoundly sad when she told me that. One of my biggest fears has always been my girls forgetting my parents. Both of my parents loved them in ways that I never wanted them to forget. They were lucky and got the best of both of my parents.

But the truth was I couldn’t say a word when Elizabeth told me she didn’t feel my mom anymore. The truth was that I hadn’t felt her either. I hadn’t felt her in a really long time. Until today’s run.

So today, out of desperation I called out to her in my mind & under my breathe. Come on mom. Where are you? Help me. And suddenly I realized she wasn’t “out there” anymore. Elizabeth was right. I suddenly remembered a rare moment I had with her in her kitchen before she died.

I was putting off opening my store at the mall because she was so sick. I kept telling her excuses why I couldn’t so she didn’t feel bad that the real reason was her sickness.

“You have to get that store opened Darcey Ann Marie”, she scolded me in the kitchen as I stood in the doorway to leave.

“Mom. I still have to buy the shelving and it’s really expensive. Don’t worry.” The shelving was my latest excuse.

She went in her room and told me to wait a minute.  When she came back out she had something in her hand. She came over to me to hug me goodbye and she slipped me a 100 dollar bill. I was shocked.

“Mom. What are you doing? I don’t need this.”

“It’s for your shelves. Buy your shelves. Open your store. I will be fine.”

I will never forget the moment. It wasn’t about the money. It wasn’t about opening the store or our disagreements. I instantly started crying and I said what was really in my heart. “Mom. What will I ever do without you? Who will ever care if I open my store? Who will ever love me like you do?”

She took my hand tightly in hers and put it on my chest & said, “I will always be right here.”

Tonight, I will tell  Elizabeth we both need to look inside from now on for Grammy Corkins. The goodness we found in her and her life are deep inside us if we simply choose to dig deep & look.  Thanks for the reminder today, mom.

Choosing Persistence

I could see the sun shining through the thin smudged glass window and a hint of the vibrant blue sky as I sat rocking and drinking my morning coffee deep in thought. The rocking felt good. It felt comforting except for the annoying thought that the rocking was getting me no where. You should be running in the sunshine, the little voice in my head whispered. 

I continued to sit, comfortably planted in my chair, wondering why it was so difficult for me to do something I knew would ultimately make me feel better. Sure, a run today would be harder than usual. I have been way too sporadic in my running routine lately. Running and I have had all the components of an intense love affair. There was the initial spark in running. The attraction that catches your eye, that moment you see the really fit chick running, looking svelte and comfortable without a care in the world. And you want that. You want that feeling.  You think to yourself, maybe I can have that. Maybe that could be me. You are instantly attracted.

The next phase approaches fast and furious and you start to see the reality of the work it’s going to take. But your excitement softens reality and you keep the vision in your head and you push forward. Somewhere the excitement turns into a kind of obsession and you are hooked. It’s like a drug. It’s like the steamy romance novel we have all read at one time or another. Running consumes your thoughts like that intoxicating attraction for that one person you just can’t get enough of.

Just like most intense steamy love affairs, the initial excitement eventually subsides. You are left to decide whether to push forward without the heart stopping intensity or just give up. But a quote quickly comes to mind about strength. “A river cuts through rock not by it’s power but its persistence.”

Today as I rock in my chair, I am missing feeling the intensity. Today I have to make the decision and choice to be patient and persistent. I need to choose to push forward and reach a place I’m unsure I can ever really get to. But I have to try. I remember my mom used to say anything worth having is worth waiting for.
So I’m out the door. I get up and head out mindlessly. It’s a beautiful day and I recognize the beauty instantly in spite of a nagging sadness. One of my oldest friends recently lost her mom and I am profoundly sad. She was a great mom and person and the world lost her far too soon. She was the kind of mom everyone wishes they had. I connected with my friend in so many ways having lost both of my own parents. The most intense recognition for me was simply the look on my friend’s face when I last saw her. When she got out of my car I instantly recognized the look in her eyes as she lingered in the passenger door for a split moment. You are just never the same when you lose your mom. As disappointed as I was my friend and I didn’t have more time to talk about all the details,  I realized she really didn’t need to say anything. I already knew. I got it.

So as I was running today I thought about her and her mom. I decided that I would dedicate my run today to her memory. It was a four mile run down memory lane. As I ran I remembered when I met her and her family at 15 years old. I remembered how they were the family I had always wished for. A real family, with a mom and a dad and 3 kids. They ate dinner together. They were exactly what I had always wanted.

As I ran I thought about how grateful I was to have reconnected with her as an adult woman. She was able to meet my family and see my life now. Ironically we were able to talk about my mom and how hard the loss was for me the last time we got together. She encouraged me and really made me feel good about my move to Canandaigua and my accomplishments. I am always grateful for the surrogate moms that have popped in my life and helped me along the way. She was definitely one of those people and I was lucky to have known her.

I’m glad I forced myself out the door today. I’m glad I’m pushing forward even though the spark is less intense and replaced by the need for effort. I’m glad I’m making the decision to continue to run even on days I don’t really want to. I have faith that someday soon I will reach my goal. In the meantime I will choose to be persistent. “A river cuts through rock not by it’s power but its persistence.”