Caution: You are about to enter my mind; the good, the bad and the ugly. If at any time you feel faint, dizzy or as if you may pass out you'll want to move on to the next blog. Enter at your own risk. Don't say I didn't warn you.
As many of my readers know, life here has taken a hard left. What many of you may not know is the most common saying I found myself repeating lately is "I don't know what I don't know."

When I repeated those words it was like a oxymoron to many around me. Somehow over the years I have become the constant, strong, level headed one. I'm the one who works through the crisis quickly and efficiently. I seem anticipate the next logical step in many situations. See, I'm not supposed to openly reveal to everyone "I don't know."

I wouldn't consider myself the 'leader' by any means, rather I'm the one who is called on to divide/plan and conquer/execute. In fact in many situations when I pull away from a situation I am faced with the question "What do you think?" I have to be honest with you, I've never been comfortable with all that comes with 'leadership'. There's an ole saying ... "Screw me once shame on you, screw me twice shame on me." Been there done that.

I realize this type of role can be seen as a revered trait by many but I also believe it's a cursed trait; a trait with a high personal price. For me the price is suppressing emotion so often that it interferes with my personal life.

Those who are closest to me experience it more often than they realize and knowing they are paying the price breaks my heart. I see it in their eyes, I see it in their reaction and I hear it in their conversations.

I can't give you the exact date when it began but I do recognize over the past 14 or so years it has gotten worse. So much so that when faced with showing emotion my mind typically screams "Shut. it. down!" Instead of showing the most common reaction my mind kicks into overdrive or what I call 'managerial cruise control.'

I'll admit it, since my Mother's passing I have been in 'managerial' mode 24/7. Anything not to reveal my emotions including the beloved 'shutting down' ... just not participating in anything unless it had to do with helping my Dad or Grandmother. Even then it has been just getting from appointment to appointment or a recon mission of sorts.

I am sure there was a loss of confidence but even deeper I know it was a loss of self. It's as if I needed "the shelter of my own self, to be with myself and center, for peace, clarity" (Fergie - Big Girls Don't Cry) and did it without formal notice to others around me. Physically I could get it done but emotionally, with everyone around me openly in distress and looking towards me, the pressure was on to be the constant in a earthquake of emotion.

Let me be the first to tell you ~ it's over. Yup, it's so over. It's sad to say but all this death has jumped started my battery back to life. I guess you could say as the calender year flipped, life here, both personal and professional, took a hard right. I've lowered the top on this convertable, I've got the sunscreen on and I'm ready.

Like a long lost road newly discovered, I've opened the throttle and once again rejoicing in family accomplishments. Sometimes it's just a simple smile & thumbs up while watching them, other times it's initiating a full on hug out of nowhere and this morning it was 'goosing' hubby just because I could. Heck just last weekend I convinced the clan it was a good idea to brave the frigid temps in order to hurl ourselves down a 10 story ski hill at 40 miles an hour with nothing but a inner tube between us and the icy snow. We screamed with laughter all afternoon ~ it was ... priceless.

I know the clan can sense the change. I've seen it in the way their face warms, in the twinkle of their eyes and in their tooth grinning chapped smiles. It's been a long time since I've been declared "The Best Mom Ever!", by my kids, in public for all to hear, and I'm happy to report I've hit that status 3 times just this week.

As for my professional life, all cylinders are engaged and working at 110%. I'm no longer going through the motions of just getting the work done at the surface level. The hazards are off. I'm digging in deep, envisioning the bigger picture and shredding tires from the dirt encrusted ditch if need be to make it happen.

In my philanthropy dealings, it's been a long time coming but I finally tell you I stopped in the center of the crossroads, made my wishes known and reached out towards a goal yesterday. There's a lot of work to do but I'm no longer asleep at the wheel. I wouldn't say I've turned into the offensive driver we all know and love, but I can tell you the merge into the fast lane happened when no one was looking. Like the deer darting out from nowhere, standing statuesque in the middle of the road, I'm already inspiring others to get involved instead of just letting others do the work for them.

Sure 'this' can come crashing down at any moment. I admit the risk of being side swiped at any moment is pretty much Murphy's Law. I expect to stumble from time to time but I'm ready. I'm strapped in, have my hands on the wheel, I've yelled over my right shoulder to settle down the clan and ready to hit the open road to see what this baby can do!

All I can say is I'm back. I'm back like never before and oh yeah it's on ~ on like Donkey Kong!
10 Responses
  1. Diane Says:

    Yay!!!!!! You sound WONDERFUL!!! I'm so happy you have switched directions (now, can you send your map my way?).

    Does this mean we'll be hearing from you more often? No pressure... just sayin' ;)

  2. K and/or K Says:

    Welcome back to the new Blarney! Extreme Makeover '09!

    Thanks for the update, I can relate on many levels.

  3. Dear Blarney ~ what a treasure you are. Do you know it? Believe it? Remember that burst of energy right before childbirth/new life? You're feeling the burst, huh?

    My biggest, fattest, wisest advice? Pace yourself! Even allow yourself to coast from time to time. I'm so thrilled for you. It's like rose-colored glasses, huh? Everything shines a bit more beautifully.

    Life is seen as it is ~ short, and needing to be lived to the fullest and with the greatest joy possible.

    I love you and I don't even know you. But you are so bravely you, open, trusting us, sharing your soul. I don't find it a dark place at all! :) I certainly didn't feel dizzy or faint!

    I hope you sleep in tomorrow ~ and then go do something amazing and different.

  4. Tiffany Says:

    I am in tears.

    So totally and completely thrilled for you.

    Your transformation is tangible.

    "I've lowered the top on this convertable, I've got the sunscreen on and I'm ready."

    You go, girl. Feel the wind in your hair and sun on your face.

    I want to share with you one of my favorite quotes:

    "Life is not about survival. It's about joyously thriving."

    Here is to a year of thriving.

  5. Ann Says:

    OK Blarney, I had my Irish Whiskey ready and hunkered down to read your post. Your fantastic, inspiring, oh-my-goodness-I-know-exactly-how-you-feel post.
    I've read it like, 3 times. Wow! Wow, wow, wow Lady!!!
    HOW did it happen? When did 'the veil' lift? I'm asking because, after reading the first time through, I recognized parts of myself.
    Don't stop. Don't worry. Don't forget to dole out those hugs!!!
    ((hug)) :->

  6. SAAAWWWEEET! So glad you are feeling better and living and loving life! I missed you!!

  7. Migraine Mom Says:

    Blarney...I don't know you at all but feel so connected to you. I am crying real tears as I read this post. I am currently "going through the motions". I actually acknowledged for the first time today to my husband and publicly in my blog that I'm depressed. And you know what? I'm okay with it. Things are so hard here and I think that as woman when our mom's are sick it's okay to be depressed about it. I'm looking forward to seeing the sunlight again. Reading your post helps me to hope that once my mom is done with chemotherapy this cloud will lift and I can feel whole again. Thank you for writing this.

  8. Wow! What an amazing, insightful post!

    I think I tend to go back & forth between being the comforting nurse to all... then being the patient. Then back again.

    I figure it's all part of being a mother, wife, friend, etc. As women, we can't always be expected to be strong and yet we are when we have to be. It looks to me as if you've decided to embrace life again for a while. Bravo!

  9. Caroline Says:

    I LOVE this post. The mourning is never over, but it sounds like you got through that dark tunnel and found your light. This is going to be an awesome year for you...can't wait to read more! Big ((hugs)).

  10. wolfqueen2 Says:

    I wish you all the best for this year. I wish I could say I was right there beside you with my sunglasses on, but I am not quite there yet. You have made me see that it is possible though. I am going to work on it.