Clearing out the Garbage.

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I’ve been so overwhelmed and busy I haven’t been writing, and I have to say it’s really impacted my well being. I feel better when I write, more in balance.

I have been working on my roof for a week straight, my body is screaming bloody murder. Everything hurts. My toe nails hurt. I am exhausted. My part is done, the roof has been torn down and all the shingles are in a dumpster, I am completely inept as far as putting the new roof on. 

I have written a bit about how much my trip cleared my mind, brought me peace, and closure on so many things. My mental health is tip top right now so I’ve decided to clean my physical space out as well. It’s time to let things go. I have worked my way through 2 rooms while my better half pounds away above my head. 

I have also been pricing plane tickets to head out on another big trip this next summer.. can’t decide if I want to see what I missed in Ireland or explore some place new. Switzerland looks amazing. Florence Italy maybe? I’m not sure, but I know I will never not travel again. 

Father’s Day Blues.

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Father’s Day sucks. My husband says not to pay any mind to some made up greeting card holiday created by Hallmark. I try.

I celebrate the father my husband is to our kids every day, I feel so thankful and blessed he is there for them. He is involved, and that’s more than I can say for the asshat that helped create me.

My biological father was a terrible person. My mother was 15 when she got pregnant, and he was 18, they married and managed to make it work for 2 months. On my 5th birthday he pulled up in front of the house threw a five dollar bill out the window and drove off. I didn’t hear from him but a couple times after that. The word is that he has something like 6-8 kids he never took care of. I have some issues. Abandonment issues, anger issues, and I spent way too much time wondering what was wrong with me.

The man in the photo at the top of this post is my dad. Tom and my mother met when I was 6 months old. He did his best to fill the bottomless pit of abandonment I felt. He was a good father to me. I adored him, idolized him, did anything and everything to get his attention. He talked to me like I was a human with intelligence. He taught me so much about being an accepting person, that judgement should not live in my heart, he spurned on a passion for music in me that lives to this day. I am so grateful he was in my life. He made me who I am. He was my dad, the only one that counted.

My parents however, we’re addicts. My dad hid it so well that as a child I hadn’t a clue. My childhood was decent, we were hippies, we lived in communes, surrounded by love, peace, and music. My parents fought like devil’s, but I never doubted their love for one another, or for me.

My dad died of an overdose in 1998. I can’t seem to find my way. I am angry. I may always be angry. I miss him so bad. 

My biological father died a few years back of cancer. I felt nothing. I did try to let him know I forgave him for abandoning me, in a phone call, he told me he didn’t need my fucking forgiveness and hung up on me. He couldn’t even give me that. Some people aren’t meant to be parents.

So, here it is, Father’s Day and I am an orphan. Someday I hope to find peace. I am working on it, but today I say Dear Hallmark, kiss my ass.

 

Adjusting to Being Home.

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I miss Ireland. Because I’d never traveled before I am trying so hard not to romanticize my time away, this is proving difficult.

Beautiful architecture, history, perfect temperatures, food without chemicals, friendly people, art, culture, no billboards, castles, good beer, slower pace… seriously what’s to romanticize? Ha.

I am having such trouble adjusting to being home. My routine is all screwed up, I’m finding no joy in my regular habits, I’m eating garbage when I promised myself I wouldn’t. What the hell is wrong with me? Is it normal to go through a depression after traveling?

I feel misplaced. I think I always have. Utah and I don’t fit. I’m a square peg, with no shape that exists hole. In spite of staying at hostles and hotels, Ireland felt like home.

Here is something strange I realized, I have hung art on my walls in my house, but even after 20 years I’ve yet to hang photos of my kids. It’s as if I never feel a kind of settling in, I have a continuous sense of impermanence. I keep telling myself that when I get in my forever house I’ll hang photos. 20 years. 20 damn years. Sounds fairly permanent. 

I moved a lot as a little kid, but I was in the same house from the time I was 8 until I left home at 17. Why I am so unsettled is a mystery.

I miss Ireland. I am so conflicted. I can’t move. We have a successful business, my kids are here, my grandson is here. I am scared to take that risk. What would we do for work? How would we survive? The predictability of our regular paycheck is too comfortable.

One thought would be to buy a little vacation spot somewhere else and spend time there regularly. Maybe I wouldn’t feel like such a Gypsy if I could escape occasionally. We are broke. There has to be a way.

I would be interested in hearing if others have these feeling. I wonder if depression is normal after such adventures.

Did I mention I miss Ireland?

Body Image Reality vs Fantasy.

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I have been sorting through my online photo folders for weeks, trying to get them organized and cut down to a manageable folder. I have approximately one million photos spread between my phone, IG, Facebook and now this app.

The photos span a time period from my birth until now. I am a bit overwhelmed. I can logically delete a tree from God knows where, the hilarious coffee urn photo from 1996, bad memes I have created, and all the online stuff I’ve shared trying to be funny. 

The photos of myself are harder to send to a trash bin. I look at the photos and think I sure do wish I still looked like that, yet at the time any photo was taken I perceived myself as absolutely disgusting, fat, lumpy, and gross. I have always thought of myself as short and fat, not once over the years did I say “looking good!”.

I suppose the only time I perceived myself at a good weight was during the worst of my drug addiction, those photos at 83 lbs. or so are truly disturbing. That period is really the only time in my 48 years that at the time I thought I looked good, and absolutely did not. I looked sickly, malnourished, with sunk in eyes.

How do women go through life like this? Only feeling positive about their bodies in retrospect? It is such a distorted view of reality.

Two photos struck me more than any others. One is a photo of me hiking in Colorado at 15( with high heals, a cigarette, and spandex no less…shut up, it was the 80’s). The other my husband took this week in a new shirt I like. It has been 33 years between the two photos, and snapped me into reality.

I need to start appreciating the here and now. I need to understand that my perception of myself is wrong. I think we all do. 

How can we live daily with such negative self talk about the thing that carries us through this world? The reality of our bodies is so much better than our twisted perception. We are beautiful. 

I am certainly not saying accept being unhealthy, but if you’re eating well, staying active, and living a positive life, chances are you’re looking far better than you think.

It’s time for women to take an objective look at ourselves instead of looking back at photos knowing we were ripping ourselves apart in that time period, and wishing we’d known how good we looked.

Loving myself and the body I have is a struggle. I have concrete evidence that I am wrong with these two photos. My perception is changing. I urge others to change your perception as well. We are perfect, and from now on I will thank this amazing body for carrying me through these years, good and bad. It’s not the mirror that is the liar, it’s ourselves.

6/10/2017 :

1980 something:

Communication Breakdown.

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I am old fashioned. I still call people. I am a weirdo.

I’ve been thinking about how social media and our handheld devices have changed the way we communicate with one another. I have also been thinking the way in which we lose friends has changed because of misunderstood communication due to social media.

I remember a time, probably 1986, when I got into an argument with a friend. She called me to tell me what a bitch I was and how I’d betrayed our friendship in one way or another, and that we were done being friends. I haven’t talked to her since. 

Boy I miss those times. Now, you can block numbers, remove people from Facebook and other social media, and never have to actually have a backbone. I call it passive agressive defriending, or cowardly cut off.

In this political climate I see it more and more. Family cutting off family, friends doing away with each other over nothing. Everyone is so spineless and sensitive, it’s easier to click a button than communicate.

I posted some smarmy thing a while back about not watching some politician on TV. A friend came on to comment about not watching a different politician. Ok so no problem right? Another”friend” ripped friend number one a new ahole over her comments, I deleted the entire thread, I didn’t need 2 people I care about bickering over stupid political BS, and boom both unfriended me. I find this hilarious. What a circus. No call..”hey, I don’t like that you did that..” or ” why did you do that?” Or even “fuck you”. The world has lost its guts and ability to communicate, or discuss problems we have with one another. This saddens me. I am ok with losing this friend, clearly no one needs people in their lives that don’t give you the benefit of the doubt. I am just disappointed in how isolated humanity has become. Soon we will just grunt and moan like cavemen. We have already reverted to high school.

I like blogging. I’ve had zero negativity on this site, and my use of my other social media platforms has been cut down quite a lot. I have considered many times just deleting my IG and FB, however this is how I advertise and sell art. Maybe I’ll break down and do an Etsy.

I have really been trying to make phone calls, text when I have to, and spend time with people instead of social media interactions. I am one person though, there’s no going back, this is what we’ve become for good I think. It’s a lonely existence when you really think about it. 

I long for those days of being called a bitch in person. I long for the joy of losing friends and family for legitimate reasons. 

When the Roof Caves in.

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My roof has finally forsaken me. The next two weeks will be spent in a spastic panic trying to fix it, afford it, schedule it, and not burst into spontaneous ulcer over debt.

This is a great analogy for my life. The roof has caved in repeatedly. I have come to the conclusion that once the worst happens, every other event becomes bearable.

My father and grandmother have died. I am still alive. Every event, every drama, and every mountain since then has miraculously become a small hill.

How does one cope when things fall apart literally and/or figuratively?

I have hashed through so much turmoil that expecting the worst and having the skill to cope with the worst has simply become who I am as a human being.

There is nothing I can’t handle. No amount of pain I can’t endure. I have found that being unbreakable is a double edged sword. People and the universe see this and will continually test this theory. 

I like winning these wars. I like the ability to breathe deeply, smile, and shout in my best lieutenant Dan voice ” You call that a storm! Blow you son of a bitch!!!”.

There are some valuable coping skills I’ve learned during this circus of life.  I thought it might help others out when your roof caves in.

1. Weigh it out. How serious is it in the big scheme of things? Is it a blip or an earthquake? If it’s a blip, you got this. If it is an earthquake..guess what, you got this too. The human mind and body is amazingly durable. You will survive, whether you think so or not.

2. Is it earth shattering or ego shattering? If it is earth shattering, seek others. Talk to people, lean on your support network. Is it ego shattering? Stop it, seriously.

3. Be weak. It’s ok. It’s ok to stay in bed for a week. It is ok to eat the entire stores supply of Oreos. For God’s sake comfort yourself, then get up and figure out how you’ll live, and prevail.

4. Don’t forget music. Ever. Music heals.

5. Self destructive behavior does exactly what it says. Don’t hurt yourself. 

6. Try not to isolate. This one is the worst for me. After I’ve eaten the Oreos, I try to remember that I do have love, I do have people who will listen.

7. Money means nothing. Really. If it’s a financial problem, hold close what is important. The bills will always come, money stress is bad but there’s always help. I’ve had to utilize food banks, ask family for help, sell things I love..but it was just things. 

8. Don’t ask why. It’s a waste of time, and puts a wall up against solutions. Give yourself only a finite amount of time to feel sorry for yourself.

9. Life is beautiful. It doesn’t feel like it at times, and life is always shitty if you blame others and live as a victim. Everything that happens is on you. What a relief right? It simple means you’re the one who can flip your circumstances and mindset.

I can only express what works for me. I’m learning too. 

The next year will be spent on a slim budget, having to ask for help, depending on friends and my husband to help fix my house. It sucks. But it’s not the end of the world. I’m glad it’s my literall roof this time. 

Art and Compromise.

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My last blog post was cathartic but heavy. Let’s lighten it up and chat about art for a tad. 

I started painting in December of 2015, almost a year and half ago. I began to combat depression, when creative people aren’t being creative it’s a problem.

I started an IG (peayntings@instagram) and was surprised with the response, people actually liked what I was doing, and I was pulling out of my funk. Win win.

I had started with abstracts, and really just experimenting with color and texture, for fun. People started buying my paintings, and I expanded to posting on Facebook. I sold more. Shocked is an understatement.

I really really like abstracts, it expresses my feelings more susinctly than any other art form. I wanted to do more. I also didn’t want to be known as the woman who did abstract paintings because she didn’t have the chops to do anything else.

I started trying my best to paint people, in abstract, before moving on to Painting people as best as I could realistically.

One of my first portraits:

My most recent portrait:

I learned that if you paint and practice long enough improvement is inevitable.

I have been so fortunate, I was able to quit my job to paint full time, I found a gallery willing to represent me, and was able to travel for the first time in my life.

This week I took on a project I was very nervous about. I painted a dog. Most would think this is no big deal, but I’ll tell you animals are so much harder than people.

My friends were pleased with their portrait and I have received 5 new commissions for pets. 

My goal for this year was to get back to Painting abstracts, and cut my commissions down. I have realized that I may need to compromise. In order to continue doing what I love to do, I still need to earn money, portraits and commissions ensure I can do this, I still need to make a living. Onward.

Winning the Addiction Battle.

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A Facebook friend suggested that I write a little more about addiction. I would like to discuss the effects on the addict, and family of the addict in this post. my personal feelings on dealing with addiction from both viewpoints may be valuable.

Addiction in any form is painful for addict and family alike. I would like to discuss this from an addicts perspective to start out with.

My addiction, like most started out slowly. I had started out with marijuana as a teenager, which at the time seemed like no big deal. There have been many discussions over the years whether pot should be considered a gateway drug. I think yes to some degree, in the sense that once you’ve given yourself permission to try drugs, any drug, others aren’t far off.

My parents smoked pot, and at times sold it, so access was easy. Pot made me feel good, it was something that my friends and I did together. Getting high is fun. Getting high is an escape that only years later I was able to examine. 

I moved to Colorado at 17 and continued to party with alcohol, marijuana, and added in cocaine recreationally. Little did I know that my friends in Utah we’re doing the same, at a much higher (no pun intended) level. When I returned home at the age of 21 cocaine was readily available, free, and popular. I was free from a horrifically abusive relationship in Colorado, and drugs were a welcome escape.

I started dating an old friend within a year of arriving home and swiftly became pregnant in late 1991. My drug and alcohol consumption stopped completely. In July of 1992 I gave birth to a perfect and healthy son. I was overjoyed, I would have the family I’d longed for after all. I picked up drinking fairly swiftly after his birth, not to excess, but regularly. My partner at the time drank quite a bit and our relationship was turbulent and abusive when alcohol was involved. I left when my son was 6 months old. 

I didn’t know at the time but I’d left while pregnant with my second child. Because of my irresponsibility, and continued drinking, I found out I was pregnant at 5 months along. I quit smoking and drinking immediately. I am beyond grateful that my daughter was born healthy.

I married my high school sweetheart and current husband shortly after the birth of my daughter in July of 1995. We were working on our first home and used cocaine together regularly for the long nights of remodeling the house to be inhabitable. When the house was done we continued to drink, use, and try to be decent parents. My husband eventually saw this was unhealthy and quit. I continued, and a friend at the time introduced me to crank. Better high, longer, cheaper. I was hooked. I did not understand that the drug I was ingesting was a form of meth. I was happy to be losing pregnancy weight, have energy, and convinced myself I was a better parent with my use.

I became so dependant on meth that functioning without it became impossible. I used daily, I was unfaithful to my husband with anyone who would use with me, I pawned my kids off with family often. I pawned my husband’s tools, I sold drugs to maintain my habit, I never slept, my house was in disarray, I lost my hair, weighed 83 pounds, and still justified my addiction. I wasn’t like those losers who were shooting it and smoking it. I was fine. I looked great in my mind. 

I became pregnant with my youngest child during this time, and somehow cold turkied my way to her birth. I immediately started using again once she was born. After all I told myself, I need it to handle 3 small kids under 6. My husband had had it.

I couldn’t quit. I was in the midst of a full on addiction. How dare he try to tell me what to do. How dare he say it’s a problem. I hated him. 

On December 15th 1998 my father died of an overdose, my sister was in residential treatment for her heroin addiction, and I was plummetting towards death, divorce, and losing my children. I had to go to Denver to bury my father. I managed to not use through this trip. Boy did I fool everyone. Look how fucked up everyone except me is..

On December 26th I drove my car up Emigration canyon, ingested 300 Valium, washed down with Robitussin, a large amount of meth and convinced myself that my family was better off. I woke up 9 hours later and drove to a payphone. I was taken to the hospital, stomach pumped, and swiftly committed to the mental health ward. I was furious. 

January 1st 1999 is my clean date. I came home and never used again. I am alive. My husband stuck with me. He loves me. It has taken years to forgive myself, many tears and apologies, and days when I wax poetic about my love of cocaine. Never meth.

My point of view on addiction has changed. I am angry at my father. He won’t know my kids. I miss him. I hate him. I am disappointed in him. My sister as of this writing is still using, is selling what she has available to continue her addiction to heroin. I have spoken to her maybe twice in the last 3 years. Every time the phone rings I am scared. Every activity and accomplishment I can’t share with her is painful. I miss her. I will lose her. Being on the other side is hard, I now pick up the emotional tab for the people in my family still enveloped in addiction. I am angry. Addicts are users, manipulators, liers, thief’s, and care little for how their actions effect others. Who knows this better than me. I was them.

My life is extraordinary. I am so blessed to have been able to be a mother to my children, none of who use. I am so thankful. Most of all I know that if you can win against the addiction demons, a beautiful life is waiting for you on the other side. A life an addict can’t imagine, not perfect but feeling everything. There is help. Please have strength if you’re in the crisis of addiction. Please know that there are people who won. I did.

Dumbing Yourself Down.

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My high school career was not what anyone would call productive, seeing as though I dropped out in the 11th grade, earned a wopping 11 credits(5 of which I earned through a GED). Truthfully I spent most of my days skipping classes, smoking pot, day drinking, and sneaking off with the boyfriend of the moment. How I managed to earn the credits I did is a miracle, how my school managed to let me slide into the next grade having never attended says a lot about our educational system.

I received my GED in the 11th grade and never looked back. I feel fortunate that the women in my family instilled a passion for reading, I still to this day read 4 to 5 books a month, I read everything, fiction, medical journals, articles, how to books, home improvement, poetry, biographies, you name it, I’ll read it. Ask me a time table though and it takes me awhile, my brain doesn’t math.

In retrospect, sure, I should have gone, yes, I would do it differently, but I don’t think that is the same thing as regret. I have no regrets. I met my husband when I was 14 years old and had I gone to school we never would have ended up together. He is a badass, a fantastic human, and a wonderful father, and I know a lot of people who say their partner is their best friend, and once in awhile it might even be true, in my case he really is. I have no regrets​.

So I’m uneducated as far as schooling is concerned. Something a few people in my life have revelled in throwing at me over and over. Those people can rot.

Let me suggest that lack of a school education doesn’t​ have to mean you are just stuck with a certain level of intelligence. Ignorance and stupidity is a full on choice, period.

There are people who will try their damndest to convince others that only the people who have completed our bankrupt educational system are intelligent. Bullshit. You get to choose if you’re going to be informed, well read, articulate, witty, open minded, willing to learn, passionate about exploring how far your brain can go, and no amount of education decides your level of learning.

I am certainly not saying that I am the brightest bulb in the box, but when I did become a high school drop out and become a wife and mother rather than work, I made the conscious decision to learn about everything I could get my hands on. I will never stop reading, I will never stop learning. Ignorance is no excuse. Pick up a book, and for God’s sake don’t be a victim, and women don’t ever feel like you have to dumb yourself down for a man because you think being smart, outspoken, and intelligent is intimidating. 

I have so much to learn, so much more to study, so much to read, the most painful thing in my life is knowing that I’m probably going to die before I can read all the books I want to.

I’m no authority, and I’m not even saying I am smart, what I am saying is don’t ever belittle yourself because of educational circumstances, whether you created them or not, you can always learn, you can always look thing up, Google is amazing. Using a dictionary while I write this to try to spell everything right is learning. Never stop stuffing that giant neverending brain with cool stuff, it won’t get full, ever.

On (Not) going to the Gym.

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A while back I started going to the gym semi regularly, working with a personal trainer I admire and like quite a bit. I stuck with it for about 7 months, but in preparation for Ireland I really just stopped with the intention of going back when I got home. I haven’t. Why?

I am chunky, I like food a lot, and I’m not talking about McDonald’s, I eat really healthy about 90% of the time, I love veggies, adore salad. I don’t eat a lot of meat, drink much soda, the only time I have sugar is if I have coffee, but no matter what I’m short and chunky. I am strong as hell, no lying. So what is my problem? I should go.

I was going to the gym for the wrong reasons. I wanted friends. I was lonely. I talked too much and didn’t focus on working out because I didn’t want to work out. I in fact hate working out more than almost anything on Earth.

I have a little theory about how the gym became a thing in the first place, it’s because the world got too easy, alllllll these great inventions to help us out basically ruined our fitness levels. Think about it, people used to get p at 5 a.m. cook, clean, work, chop, walk forever, tend fields, wash their clothing by hand, you wanna talk to your neighbor..better get to walkin’, wanna buy flour instead of milling it your damn self, saddle your horse and carriage, go to town, ride back, bake your bread..by hand.

Honestly the world isn’t better, it’s just less blood, sweat, and tears. We could go on to a whole other discussion about how gross and unhealthy our food has gotten.

I don’t want to go to the gym, I want to do stuff from sun up to sundown so I dont have to. Honestly, that seems much more appealing, because I’ll actually be getting shit done. 

I don’t want to look like a super model, in fact I don’t even care if I’m skinny, I like my body, big giant ass and all.

I miss the people there, I may even try to go a couple days a week, but if something comes up, something outside, a chance to be with people I love, hiking, swimming, running outside in the world, I’m doing that instead. 

We essentially live our lives transporting ourselves from 4 wall box to 4 wall box. Why? Why not be out in creation? Why not work harder on being active in our homes, turn off the TV, set the phone down, and chop some wood for God’s sake.

“But don’t you care how you look?”

No. I don’t. I think I’m beautiful. I am aging gracefully. I’m healthy, and I’m active. The resting bitch face is part of my charm.ha.

That’s all I have to say about that.