#reverb14 Day Eight: Connection

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The hectic pace of our lives can make it difficult to remain connected

to the things and the people that matter the most to us.

We get wrapped up in our work or our busyness and connection falls by the wayside.

How have you created and/or sustained connections in your life this year?

For me, my family comes first and it likely always will.  When I was in the two-year relationship with DSB, I didn’t see much of my family.  He wanted me to make him my priority.  To throw away my family and just be with him.  Getting DSB out of my life in April of this year, I learned an extremely valuable lesson.  To please him, I had in many ways forsaken my family.  I stopped going over to Mom’s, I didn’t talk with my sister as much, I barely saw Dad, and wouldn’t let anyone (except Mom) into the house.  Never again.  My family is too important to me to let that happen again.  So when DSB and I disconnected, it was time to reconnect with family, and what a year for that this has been.

I have never been closer to my sister, Ab.  We talk regularly, sometimes three or four or even five times a week.  We text, we email, we  call each other.  She always stops by to see me when she is in town with Kyle and Baby O, even if it’s just for a few minutes.  We make plans for me to come hop and visit more often.  Ab is likely one of the busier people I know, but she always makes time for me, no matter what the situation.

Dad and I have developed a special bond this year, as well.  With Mom’s attentions needed more on the divorce and the business and her own life as she knows it, Dad has stepped up and become a primary support player.  He is always happy to take me to an appointment and has been there through the up and down of bipolar disorder, including a hospitalization and several major depressive episodes, with some mixed and mania thrown in.  We talk at least once a day, usually more, and we get together three to four times a week.  I grew up with Dad being a parent in absentia and now he is fully (and happily) present in my life.

Mom and I have always been close and we remain so even with the chaos and drama going on in our neck of the woods right now.  If I could say one of the things I am most happy for this year, is that I have (mostly) been in a place where I could offer her support instead of always just taking support.  Not to say I don’t need my Madre, because I do, but it’s just nice to be able to help, as well as be helped.

Over the past year, since NaBloPoMo 2013, actually, I have developed many blog friendships and now have a good number of people I consider as a friend.  Additionally, I have made a few extra special friendships and I would have to say that I consider these women to be the closest friends I have ever had, offline or online.  The beauty of becoming friends with a blogger you admire is that you generally have an overwhelming amount in common, and so there is much to talk about.

So connecting, reconnecting, strengthening connections — YES, check!

Text, phone, email, messaging, in person, send a carrier pigeon — YES, these all work… and must be used… the key to connecting IS communication!

#reverb14 Day Three: How to Love an Imperfect Life

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It’s all too easy to put off loving where we are until everything is perfect.

What can you love about where you are now?

I would like to add that it is all to easy to put off LIVING in the space we were meant to be if things are not ideal.  We may have a hard time fulfilling our desires of ABC because XYZ is not going well.

There is something in life that I personally must accept and reevaluate and remind myself of every day — everything is not ever going to be perfect ALL AT ONE TIME.  This has been so true for me as of late.  When my (non-existent) romantic life was going perfectly (in that it was not existing ever-so-quietly and I was very happy with being single), I was not able to fully appreciate it because there was stress and imperfection and strife in other areas.

Something Goddess of Mindfulness has been saying for years — “this (XYZ) is not just a bipolar thing, it’s a HUMAN thing.”. As in, my reaction to a certain stressors is not because of my history with trauma or because I am bipolar — it is an average human reaction.  It is important to find these and sort through them, because failing perfection means failing to truly love where we are in the moment and guess what, Rosa… not a bipolar thing, when I had always thought that the case.

So what can I love about where I am now?  I have the strongest relationship with my mother, my dad, and my sister than I have ever in my life.  There was a lot of pulling together that came from the stress of the past few months.

I can accept that I am not “perfect” and still love where I am, who I am, because the people I care most about have made it so very clear that I am not broken, something to be fixed.  That I am human and deserve love and attention and empathy and support and assistance.  After building our relationship up very carefully over time, I honestly love that I feel as if I can call my sister up anytime, whether I am doing well or am in crisis, and that she will be there to listen and problem-solve with me.

And its the same with my dad.  We have painstakingly worked on our relationship, and while it isn’t perfect, I still love it, still treasure it, sometimes revel in awe of it.  And Mom — we’ve always been close but I feel like I have been able to be there a bit for her like she has been for me for so many years.  Not in the same way, but I can be supportive…I have that capacity now and it is nice that I, at times, feel like I am able to encourage her as she has encouraged me for my whole life.

So yes, family and family relationships are what I think of for this prompt.  Many areas of my life are imperfect in some way, even flawed and miserable.  What keeps me loving where I am at are those three beautiful people.  Even without this so-called perfection, my family makes my life sparkle and shine even in the spots that are dark and cobwebbed.

#reverb14: Regret Not Required

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What unfinished projects from 2014 are you willing to release now?

(regret not required)

Year in and year out, I have found myself falling in and out of religion.  Not in and out of my belief that my God is a mysterious God, not in and out of the belief that belonging to a faith community may help me to feel less alone.  More so just finding myself attending church, loving it, then hating it, then becoming indifferent and unmotivated to go.  And then missing it once I had left.

It has been suggested to me by many well-meaning people over the years that finding a “good church” to be part of my “support system” was crucial to my mental health and sense of well-being.  I’m just not sure I believe that anymore.  I understand that I can’t only go from my home to work to a handful of friends and families homes and back to my home again, expecting that this will keep me from completely being housebound.  I am sure something in my brain needs more than that, but I don’t think the answer to it is church or services or whatever you may call the practice of getting together in an organized way to celebrate your deity.

So in 2015, I won’t be pushing myself to find a “new church” or a “new religion” or to “join” something.  I’m not going to feel bad about it, although I suppose at times I may long for it.  I’m not saying “never,” either.  I am saying, “No, not now.  Rosa has bigger fish to fry.”