Cracks Within Series – #1


Sometimes when I imagine myself,  I see a person that has cracks throughout their body. The body is just flesh and bone but I’m talking about like a stain glass window of sorts. Or perhaps more like, the old china cup that has hair-line cracks throughout it but you can’t stop using it.  The thin cracks making it only more beautiful.

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Each crack within me was placed there from an experience.  The tiny cracks creating a brokenness in one shell of a human.  From the arguments on the playground to being picked last on a team as a child.  The teen emotions of being dumped by the guy I thought was my whole world or struggling to pass Algebra. Finding myself walking the high school halls practically full term pregnant.

The more substantial cracks stem from someone taking advantage of me as a child. The remnants of sleeping in a car overnight due to alcoholic situations at home. Not to forget to mention my experience of divorce, motherhood fails, and professional occupations.

Some of those cracks were brought on by other people’s actions and some my own.

Each one has its place within me and each one helped mold me into who I am today. Maybe the reason I am able to write is due to one of these or perhaps all of them.  I will never know.  I find that okay, I have always said “struggles build character.”

I’ve come to realize from the years 2013 through 2016 there became a crack in my being so substantial it made the largest of large indention.  A combination of things.  I was moved to a place of darkness, seeming to never return and changed forever who I am, almost ruining my marriage, my role as a mother in this world, and a few other things.

In the span of those three years I made choices and choices were made for me that scarred me for life.  I’m still reeling from them, especially since we find ourselves once again in the month of August. The difference is I am feeling better.  The difference is I survived.  I’m stronger and I’m still here writing about it.

Check back soon to get another edition of the Cracks Within series.

Julie

 

 

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Writing on a Personal Level


I can only speak for myself but when I write, it’s personal.  Which means that my emotions are all wrapped up in the words I lay out on the screen.  That the time and effort I put into each post is a piece of me. Some people may not get that, but high-five to those that do!

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I’m not a person that needs to have 1000’s of followers or comments on my posts daily.  If that was the case, I’m 100% outta luck.  138 followers on this blog alone is all I have, in the blog world that’s probably an embarrassing number to share by the way.  Rarely does anyone actually comment on the posts, and if I don’t share on my personal Facebook or Instagram page there are times the views are a total of two.  (Thank you dear sister and husband, you rock!)

That’s how it goes.  That’s reality.

Each post is a personal journey in one individual’s life. My life.  As I’ve said before, writing helps me process.  I don’t write about every single hiccup or joy or smack in the face or delicious kiss I experience.  I write whatever flows from my fingertips and my heart.  Some posts are written in hopes to help others, process my experiences, just for fun, or to just share a song I really like! (love me a good song)

Some of my posts are more important to me than others.  They resolve conflict in my mind, comfort my heart, pull back the drama of reality, or help me say what I wish I would have when I could have to someone.

Some of my posts when I finish writing them (and reading them like 30 times before hitting publish) I truly feel “that was well written.”  A sense of pride fills my chest and  the emotions that go with accomplishing something feel awesome!  It doesn’t happen with every post.  It’s a rare gem in this blog writing woman’s life.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this.  This place, Pushing Forward with Grace and all it holds…. means a lot to me.  It has my heart.  I pour it out in hopes of feeling I’ve contributed something worthy not only my own life but others.

That my children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren will know me a little better than they would have otherwise.  Even if they end up saying (when I’m long gone) “that Grandma Julie was a emotional roller coaster, wasn’t she?”  

Yellow joy

I hope that others remember I am human and I have an emotional tie to this place. These words. The stories that fall from my fingertips.  That even though this place may not be important to them, it is to me.

There’s a whole lot of me wrapped up in here!

I am beyond grateful for the those of you that follow my blog, comment via social media, texts, email, or even right here on the blog.  Thank you for the days you lift me up.  Yesterday was one of them and some of you did just that.  God bless you!

Until next time,
Julie

 

 

 

P.S. It’s not always easy for me to click publish and share myself on the blog.  The reason is I see people weekly or daily that read it.  It scares the crap out of me that they will think I’m that crazy emotional roller coaster lady! 🙂

 

Bringing It Down – Diabetes #5 – 6 month results


July 2017

Drumroll please…….

AC1 test results December 12, 2016: 7.2

AC1 test results June 19, 2017: 5.9

HAPPY DANCE!  HAPPY DANCE!  HAPPY DANCE!

It’s amazing to me how taking my blood sugar 1- 3 times a day, monitoring my levels, eating less carbs (see I didn’t say no carbs),  and walking for exercise can make me feel better.

While in the process of reaching a goal I found that paying attention to my body and how it reacts is crucial.  When I do carb overload the way I feel physically and mentally is essential.  Do I still over eat on occasion, yes.  For sure.  More than I probably should, but as I’ve stated before I’m not rushing this.

 

I’ve lost 16 pounds since December and although I’ve been stuck at my current weight awhile I’m okay with it.  Continuing to move and 80% of the time eating the best I can is what is working for me.  My blood sugars are good and I’ve kinda leveled out where they should be.

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Is this permanent?  No.  If I slide back the other way too often or quit moving, my body will go back to where it’s been.  If I continue with high stress and lack of sleep that diabetic frenzy will show itself once again.  Which could result in me taking insulin or some sort of diabetic medication.  I DO NOT WANT THIS!

I’m lucky.  I was given an opportunity to adjust my way of living.  With Type 2 Diabetes it was determined before it got out of hand.  This is available for many with Type 2 Diabetes, the ability to make the change, but of course not all. If caught early enough makes a difference.  Annual physical and blood work is what saved me.  I’m only six months in and this will need to be taken care of for the rest of my life.

As I said earlier, at this point I do not take any medication. I hope to keep it that way for as long as possible.  I already take one medication for another condition that costs me over $350 a month, where there is no cure for it.  I struggle to get it so more expense isn’t an option.

So I spent the money for a cheap blood glucose meter, changed my eating habits, and got to moving some.  It still costs me approximately $50.00 a month for alcohol wipes, lancets,  and strips to test my blood.  My brother takes insulin and his diabetes is much worse than mine due to not being diagnosed early enough (not his fault by the way). Spending time with him recently was a reminder to me what I’m doing is important. (Even he is doing what he can to have a better life living with diabetes.)

  • It’s really up to only me.  I have to do this.
  • Having support makes things easier.
  • Choices I make today do make a difference for tomorrow.

Next six month goals

  • Walk 10,000 steps per day ( I started this last Saturday, Post # 7 talks about it)
  • Lose 7 more pounds
  • Find an exercise support buddy

I will not see Kathy until January 2018.  I hope by then to have met the goals I listed above.  Alot of the things I enjoy in life are where I am not active, I sit down.  For instance blogging, quilting, embroidery, movies, reading, and just relaxing at home.  So I have to make myself move.  This is where a committed buddy will help!  I’m off to find one! 🙂

Until next time!

Julie

 

A Lifetime of Words & Spiral Notebooks


Five years of writing.  Three different blogs.  An array of topics, emotions, and so much I might not have shared unless behind a computer screen.  I’ve invited people into my life through the world wide web to walk with me down not only challenging times but joyous moments.

My following isn’t huge by any means, which I am just fine with.  The writing isn’t about drawing attention to myself or my family, it isn’t about making my mountains bigger than yours or my adventures sound more thrilling.  Writing for me is a process, that’s what I have learned in five years of blogging.

It’s always been there.  The writing.   I recall when I was struggling as a child due to my parent’s divorce,  the school counselor told me to write my feelings down.  I used a spiral notebook but the spiral part was on top.  You know like the one below.

notebook

I have no clue where that notebook is today or what I wrote in it.  I’m sure it is filled with much heartache, drama, and anger.  The teen years, some of those notebooks are still in my attic tucked away.  I’m sure my children will learn a few new things upon my death as they go through my things. Those I know will be filled with drama and poems and so much girl/boy heartbreak stuff!

I always liked to start with a very clean fresh piece of paper.  If I messed up I would have to start over, I REALLY disliked scratching out anything.  It’s like the page needed to look perfect although it was filled with the most imperfect things!

My adult journals became ones that looked pretty on the outside.  I always preferred lined pages and some had bible verses or flowers on them.   They too were filled with ordinary daily events, the birth of children, job changes, moving, a marriage, and the failure of one.  The realization of being traumatized as a child not once  but on two different occasions.  The hard times of remarriage and raising daughters through the teen years.  So much written and all included joy as well.  I don’t go back and read them much.  Some are best kept locked away.

I still like a spiral type book to write in even if just for my grocery lists or to do lists.  I don’t journal much anymore on regular paper though.  It’s mostly right here on the blog or I just tuck it away in the crevices called me.

So many things in five years have happened in my life.  I haven’t even blogged about them all.  I suppose I tend to write about the things that I need to process and most of the time my joys aren’t written.  I used to do that more, write about my joys.  But then my joys went to the wayside.  I feel some days more are present now and I see a tiny inkling of myself coming back. There’s a post about all that in my drafts.  Perhaps soon I’ll share that one.

Until next times I hope my posts have helped someone in five years.  I know it’s helped me. Perhaps that was God’s intent… to only help me.

Julie

 

My Space & The Old Green Patio Table


There was a little area of my home that I like to think was “mine.”  The area that gave me some peace in days of chaos,  strength to build for the new endeavors of the day ahead, and just a place to breathe.

This space included an old small green patio table and one matching chair from 2001 and a porch swing with a faded pillow on it.  If you could see the snapshot in my mind of it you would see  that Better Homes & Garden would never have it in one of their issues.  But it was mine.  It was a slice of a few things that represented my life, apparently much more than I ever even thought.

The worn table represented the first piece of furniture I bought on my own, after a divorce.  Since purchasing it I would find myself looking at  gave me a strength or push of sorts I guess. To get through each day.  Looking at it made me feel proud that I could do that single life thing and buy this measly piece of furniture.  Fast forward 16 years later and I see how I made it through on the other side, now married, and raising my family with lessons learned from that life experience.

The set is not in style, not even a color I enjoy, and only one of the chairs remain. (But those chairs were the most comfortable dang things ever!) Oh sure, I had a summer tablecloth on it, along with a fire burner thing that was my Mom’s but that was about it.

 

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The porch swing was a gift from my husband and daughter one Christmas and I love it. That’s actually where I sat to re-fuel myself.  To calm myself.  To look out over the sunsets.  I had my husband install it so I could see the sunsets in the west and be near my lilac bushes.

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When I sat on the porch swing I never did sit like you’re suppose to.  I always sat with my legs up and my back against the arm of the swing.  The faded non-outdoor pillow supported my back and kept it from digging into the chains and the arm.  Comfort.  That’s what I had with my porch swing and it’s faded pillow.

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This is no longer a place for me.  One small moment in time has changed that.  It took me two days to be able to even walk into that area.

Some may think I’m over dramatic and that’s fine. Just keep it to yourself please.  But when the only image you continue to see is the one that sent fear through your body it is what it is.  

The most of the space has been disassembled and moved.  I had already thought of doing this of course but never mentioned it.  My daughter made it a point to tell her father herself in casual conversation.  I guess great minds do think alike! 🙂 Her feeling safe in her own home is the most important thing.

I’ve already been thinking of ways to update the post divorce table and chair. I can’t bear to part with it, it stands for something in my mind!   Repainting and recovering it, making it fresh and updated.  Will the image fade even more then?  Will this help or is it a band-aid of sorts.

I’ve had trauma in my life before.  Much worse than what I experienced recently.  The more processing I do I find that I believe the reason it may be so prominent this time is because my child was involved.  That the involvement of my child and my own experiences only enhances the magnitude in my mind.

So.  For now. I will eat my breakfast inside or on my back deck.  I will  ponder the refurbishing of the post divorce table and perhaps eventually swing once more as the sun goes down.

Julie

 

#1 in this series

#2 in this series

 

Conversations to Your Children – When You’re Gone


Do you by chance keep a journal or scrapbook or some other sort of documentation for your children of their lives?  The “baby book” is where I started, then I moved onto a spiral notebook, and now it’s these three journals.

Children's journals

 

With my first child I did very well at writing on a monthly basis, then it dwindled.  Life got busy and baby number two arrived, but I still documented for her, as well as number three.  I take lots of pictures but I don’t make scrapbooks like I used to, and I don’t print many.  The journals are not written in monthly any longer but they have tidbits of life here and there.  I’m honest in them, so when times were at a difficult stage I wrote honestly about it.  The joys and hardships all create us to be who we are, we might as well remember them together.

Some of my entries are handwritten and some are typed.  I hope that when my daughters are grown and they get the journals it will bring them some joy, peace, and a memoir they can cherish.    Perhaps I will jog a memory they have forgotten or that they will think “yep Mom was right on that one!”  🙂

After my own Dad passed away last year, I relish the fact that I have done these journals to begin with.  The letters, the notes, the cards, and miscellanious writings I found from him are precious to me.

If you have a journal for your children of some sort, what is it?  Please share to inspire someone else or me!

Grace is a gift,

Julie