Sunday, October 15, 2017

Surviving the Storm ... Part 5

Sometimes the hardest part of Surviving the Storm is when you are going head first through it and you aren't sure what the outcome will be... I have faced so very many storms in my life... Like the emotional storms of losing all 4 of my grandparents, my cousin Jana, my Dear Sweet Dad and now my friend Nick... To the mentally and physically debilitating storm of sexual abuse I survived... To the actual storms I have survived, whether it's been a car accident or a tropical storm, or the end of a friendship, or the end of a job; I have survived that storm...

"In the Eye of the Storm"

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Surviving the Storm... Part 4

Today was supposed to be a great day from beginning to end but sadly it didn't begin that way... I woke up like any other except that today a new journey was beginning for me... My 2nd decade working at the Most Magical Place on Earth was going to begin and I knew there was going to be a "Surprise" Celebration for me... I was so exited that I took my shower and got ready and headed into work...

But when I got there the mood quickly changed... My co-worker immediately asked me if I had seen my friends Facebook post and when I had said no, I began to scroll and then all of the air went out of me... A young man that I had worked with since I started, had lost his life at the hands of another person yesterday... At first it didn't seem real... I went completely numb and then I looked at my co-worker / Friend and I just started crying... How can this happen to someone so young? To anyone at all? What would drive someone to did this to another human being?

The morning passed in a bit of a blur between bouts of tears and then calmness where I would chat about my upcoming "Surprise" Anniversary celebration that I knew nothing about... After lunch I was calm enough to speak to my leader and let him know why I was not my normal self and he even let me know that if needed to postpone my "Surprise" Celebration, everyone would understand... But I knew the best thing for me and the rest of us that knew this young man was to continue on...

Despite knowing about the party I was surprised and delighted when I walked in the room to see former team members and leaders there that came to support and celebrate along with me... It was also my pleasure that my Magical Twin was there and we celebrated her as well so it made it twice as special... After we received our plaques, cards and service pins; we took photos and ate cake... Then it was time to chat and this gave those of us that knew what had happened the day before a chance to talk about it and grieve together as a family who lost a brother...

I may struggle and stress over my job from time to time and consider what it would be like to leave and do something else, but it is times like today that remind me how important my Disney Family has been to me over the past 10 years and how important they will remain for the next 10...

Thank you for allowing me to continue making the magic each and every day...

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Surviving the Storm - Part 3

Not every storm is forecast, sometimes they just come out of no where... The migraines are back with a vengeance... It sounds like a bad B movie but sadly it's true... The thing that I have had some semblance of control over with medication for the past few years, is no longer being controlled by my prescription... On average I am suffering from migraines at least twice a month now, when I was going months without one... This is not a good thing...

If you have never suffered from this horrible ordeal, it is like a modern version of a medieval torture device... Imagine have a set of clamps attached to either side of your temples and they are slowly being tightened over time... Then as they are tightened your body temperature goes up and down, going somewhere between the hot and cold sweats which cause boughts of nausea and even closing your eyes and laying down doesn't really help... You just pray for rest so that the pain will go away...

This is what I battle... This is my new storm...

Each of us have our storm... We can't always understand what we each are facing, but we can empathize and stand together...

We can survive our Storms together...

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Surviving the Storm - Part 2

Returning home after the family festivities was a bag of mixed emotions... The long week spent enjoying time with family, but constantly feeling a mixture of guilt and concern over what was happening in our home and around florida to our friends and neighbors since Irma had past... We already knew that we had been without electricity from Sunday until the following Friday... And we also knew that the roads leading to our home were flooded in both directions, thankfully the day prior to our arriving home, which was Monday, my best friend was finally able to drive through the slowly dropping water safely and get to our house, without having to wade through it and possibly have to defend himself from critters that may be lurking beneath... (I wish I was kidding)

When we got home we were greeted by little furry faces staring and meowing at the door, anxious to snuggle and tell us all about the scary moments while we were away... Upon opening the front door, I was smaked in the face with the smell of must and stale air... I immediately went and kicked the a/c down and turned on ceiling fans to get the air circulating again...

Once I said my hellos to the babies, I got the car unloaded and then I did a walk around the house so I could see for myself the state of where we were at... Just as reported, no major damage and I could rest at ease.  We still were looking at water in the street and it was precarious driving through it but on the up side there were county workers running a water pump trying to get the water to go down...

Readjustung to being home and having to get everything cleaned up and cleaned out has taken sometime... When I told my friends I felt guilty for now being here they laugh, but then they said understood... This was definitely a huge learning moment for mom and I because we rode out the last storm a year ago at home, which turned out to be nothing more than horrible winds, thankfully... But when there is a next time, we will be seaking shelter at a hotel, with the babies in tow, because you never know what could happen next time... Some homes in our neighborhood weren't as fortunate as we were... They lost their rooves, their car ports, etc... Not just their electricity and some food in the refridgerator...

It has been almost a month at this point and we still haven't fully refilled our fridge, but I think we are just being smarter with our money and what we buy for now... And not all of the debris is cleaned up around the neighborhood yet, all of these things take time... I don't even know if I am totally cleaned up inside from it yet, but I am trying...

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Surviving the Storm - part 1

Two weeks ago this morning, after battoning down the hatches and snuggling my kitties, I began my journey north to meet up with my Mom for my nephews wedding and to take refuge from Irma... Of course when we had planned our trip in January, Irma was never a part of the picture...  This was a huge trip for me... I had taken smaller trips alone before, from the STL to Kansas City or Orlando to St. Augustine, but never a 17 hour trip through 6 States (Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri)...

This was supposed to be a fun trip where I left after work on Monday and stopped in the Atlanta area to sleep and then continued my journey on Tuesday to meet up with my Family on Wednesday... Well, Irma had other plans... Before I knew it, Mom was on her flight as planned, and then my Super hero Bestie and I were getting the house ready to face the largest hurricane Florida had ever faced... As I drove all I could think of were my friends and "family" that would soon be facing Irma's rath... I found comfort in hearing from friends that would chat with me during the first leg of my journey... My only regret was not stopping enough because upon arriving at my hotel I was in so much physical pain it hurt to walk... So it was an ibuprophen induced sleep after a visit to Whole Foods to find distilled water, the one item I left behind at home...

The next morning I got my stuff together after an amazing night sleep in the Alpharetta Holiday Inn... And headed down for my delicious free breakfast... Yep gonna totally name drop here because this was probably my most favorite place to stay... I will definitely find a reason to stay here at this location again... The ladies at the front desk were so nice and so sweet when I checked in exhausted the afternoon before... I wish I would have written down their names because in the 3 hotels, of the same chain, I stayed in during my entire trip, they are the only ones that actually gave their names and said that if there is anything you need during your stay, let us know... The most comfortable besds, nicest most spacious room and beautifully clean hotel... Fantastic...

So now I was back on the road again... And I was in Tennessee and out and back in... And heading towards Nashville when traffic diverted me around the center and all of the sudden I see the signs for Opryland and I think, A - maybe I could get a picture of the Grand Ole Opry and B - I really need a pit stop... So I pop in the directions for the Grand Ole Opry and head for my first Stop of the Day...

When I pulled in to the lot I was surprised to see it was surrounded by of all things a mall... I don't know why I was that surprised actually but I found the Opry and headed up to see just what it was all about... Out of couriosity I checked out the prices and found the behind the scenes tour was only $26 so I decided to take a break from my travels and take the tour which was departing in just a few minutes... The tour was fantastic, it took you through the history of the Grand Ole Opry and you realize just how small that family and what an honor it truly is to be asked to join... The most moving part of the entire tour was when we stepped out on the Opry stage and we were allowed to step into the famous wooden circle and have our photo taken singing... Some chose not actually sing but if you wanted to you could sing a line so you could say you sang on the Opry stage...

The trip had been pretty emotional for me and still not knowing what was going to happen with our home and friends and my babies (kitties), inside I was an emotional wreck... Then to step onto the Grand Ole Opry stage, one of the most famous stages in the world where some of the greatest musical artists have stood and be told you can sing whatever you want, I was flooded with emotion... To say I totally lost it was an understatement... I quickly shared with the others that I was from Kissimmee and I was torn apart over leaving everyone behind and then another couple shared that they were from Boca and they also understood what I was going through... The sweet photgrapher came and hugged me and let me cry for a few minutes until I pulled myself together... And even though I thought I was going to sing God Bless America, my heart had other plans...

"The sky shall unfold, preparing His entrance...The Stars shall applaud Him, with thunders of Praise... The sweet light in His eyes, shall, They shall enhance those awaiting, and we Shall Behold Him, then Face to Face.... Oh We Shall, Behold Him, Oh We Shall Behold Him, face to face, in all of His glory.... oh We Shall Behold Him.... Yes We Shall Behold Him, face to face... our Savior and Lord....."

The group went from chattering to silence and then I just stepped away from the mic and everything else was a blur until the tour ended... I think that was God's way of telling me everything was going to be OK, I just didn't knowit yet...

I continued on my trip chatting with my middle brother quite a bit and one of my besties... Then I saw it... Metropolis... The home of Superman and I knew I must stop... Where else are you going to see a 2 story statue of the man of steel...  He was larger than life and a beacon for others as well... There were two other families that had stopped as well... They were leaving the south, one returning home from a honeymoon and the other seeking safety from the storm... There was almost an unspoken kinship between us all as we took our photos, wished each other safe travels and then headed our seperate ways...

On the final stretch of my trip I knew I was almost there when I saw a familiar glint in the sky... Past trips "home" have never been so emotional, but I have never really traveled under such circumstances... My brothers had told me to take 255 around the city to avoid all of the downtown craziness but I follwed my gps and I am so glad I did, because that beautiful gateway to the Midwest greeted me towering over the city... My breathe caught and a tear came to my eye as soon as I caught a full glimpse of her... The beautiful Gateway Arch welcomed me Home...

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Every Bite, Every Morsel - Day 26 #JoinMyJourney

Sometimes the best thing you can do is step outside your comfort zone to find out something new about yourself... This weekend I did a little bit of that... Back long ago... That sounds so funny, but it is true... Back long ago when I worked back in the STL, I dressed for work... I dressed for going out... I made a point out of wearing makeup and putting my best face forward always... Silly youth... Or lazy age now... Or possibly I can't always afford paying for my clothes by the yard... but I digress...

Anyways, this weekend I had a bit of a fashionista reawakening you might say due to my nephew's pending nuptials and a semi dressy Yelp event this coming Monday... I remember back in the day when I worked for Lane Bryant and I loved trying on the new clothes when they came in, but that was a good 100 pounds less ago and over 15 years younger ago as well and now trying on clothes is more of a burden than a fashion runway show extravaganza...

During my shopping journey this weekend we traveled to 2 different Torrid's, JcPenney, Macy's and Lane Bryant. Let's just say the 1st and the last were the winning combination and the middle, well just sadness... Without giving too much away about J & M, if you are above a 24, or what they consider to be that size, than just walk on by... Oh and don't expect the clothes to be on trend in their "Womens" lines as they call them or to have attractive prints either unless you enjoy a good rinse and set on Friday morning each week...

From now on, I will stick with Torrid and Land Bryant... The ladies and on occassion, gentlemen that work there are wonderful... They really know how to help find your inner diva and help make an outfit work... Each store was able to help me find an outfit for both of the upcoming events and both outfits are versitle enough to be used afterwards and they are on trend and made me feel good about me, despite being heavier still...

I used to be a shoe person, all different styles and colors and heel hights and than I don't remember what happened and this weekend I found an amazing pair of heels! My 1st in too many years, and hopefully not my last!

I wish I knew all of the lasdies names that helped me, because sometimes all it takes is a little word of encouragement... I felt like I had some fairy godmothers this weekend watching out for me getting me dressed and ready to impress...

feeling beautiful again...

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Every Bite, Every Morsel - Day 25 #JoinMyJourney

It's been a long time since I have stopped and evaluated what is going on and put into words how things are... This summer has been so incredibly busy with emotional highs and lows and my weight has been as well...

Right now we are staring at the high end and sadly I am just three weeks from seeing family but this too shall pass...

Life at the most magical has been a roller coaster ride, changing from Front of House to all Heart of House and taking on different responsibilities of sorts... Helping prepare for the largest festival on property and still managing to stay somewhat sane through it all even though we aren't quite there yet...

I am learning with baby steps on how to handle stress better, and trying not to turn to food as often... But I need to remember that getting off my bum now and then is always a great way to destress, even when it's warm outside... There are air conditioned places I could go and just walk, like the mall... or Target, or Walmart... or I can wait until it starts to cool off and walk around the block...

I guess I just need to find my desire again, because right now, I just kind of have the case of the why bothers... I am feeling complacent and it isn't that I am intentionally over eatting or looking for snacks usually it's that honeslty... I don't really care...

NO, I am not looking for a buddy... I am not looking for someone to come along and inspire me... I just have lost my way for a bit and I will find my way back... It's kind of like when someone quits smoking and they haven't smoked in a few years and something happens and they snap and they just need it. Just for awhile... Then they do what they need to do to quit again...

I am just waiting to get to that point where I am ready to do what I need to do to quit being a lazy arse again... To take charge of what I am eating and get things together...

The other big thing that happened this summer is that we went from 2 cars,  to 1 brand new car... Mom decided that she no longer needed a car after both of our cars ended up at the mechanic within a week of each other... Mine was traded in for a new one and hers was donated... This was 100% her decision and I truly admire her for it...

I remember when I was younger and my Uncles had to make the decision to take the car from my Grandma and how hard it was on everyone... I never wanted to go through that with Mom and so we have always had open conversations about it and we decided that when the time came, it would be her decision... So yesterday we bid her 17 year old Ford Focus a fond farewell...  It was extremely bitter sweet but I know in my heart this was the best choice for us...

Our journey continues...