Archive for May, 2009

Sweet Dreams Are Made of This

May 30, 2009

I had the most peaceful sleep the other night. And this is quite unusual for me, I normally don’t have restful sleep. I can remember every second of the dream I had, something else that is quite unusual – normally only remember a snippet here or there of dreams, and more often than not only when they are bad. But this dream was so different. If someone had been videotaping me I know I was smiling in my sleep.

Some people think dreams are an insight into your soul. Some think they foreshadow the future. I think that maybe they are a key to unlocking thoughts and feelings that are trapped in your subconsciousness. A place that we seem to push things on the back burner and other things that we want to bury so deep we never have to see, hear or feel them again. I will admit I have a lot of junk stashed in this closet. And a good amount of it has something somewhere to do with hurting my heart (emotionally).

If you follow me on facebook then you saw a status update not too long ago: “Lindsey is taking a chance on something…”. One friend responded that life is boring without chances. Very true. But this is where the scary part for me comes in – my heart was completely, utterly and totally shattered after my divorce, past the point of repair I had thought. As I slowly tried to put the pieces back together, and slowly allowed my heart to have any feeling what-so-ever, anyone who remotely hurt it got cut off, cut out. Especially after my hospital visit in December. At that point my heart was medically and emotionally broken. As a mom does to protect her child, I went into serious defense mode. You can’t live without your heart, I was going to do anything I could to protect it.

You may be wondering why I am even talking talking about this – I said I wouldn’t talk about my divorce. And I still won’t talk about the details behind it. But I haven’t been doing you guys any justice by steering away from a big part of this website – me finding my way back after a broken heart. Maybe I have been avoiding it because I am hoping that magically it would just put itself back together. Maybe I have been avoiding it because in every situation it takes two to tango, and I haven’t been ready to look myself in the mirror and see my faults with each situation. (side note: except for the situation with architect, go back and read that blog. That one was NOT my fault!) The crazy thing is, I have let you guys miss out on a lot of good and hilarious experiences, and there have also been some extremely hurtful ones as well. All part of finding your way, right? All a part of this journey….

So….this dream I had. Was it trying to tell me that I had made a huge mistake for cutting someone out of my life that I had loved? That I was wrong for not letting them back in when they messed up or made a mistake, because God knows I make them all the time, and my friends still love and accept me. Was it because I was scared, this is one person I truly believed wouldn’t hurt me. And when they did I had no idea how to respond, except to go into defense mode. (right now I am envisioning myself decked out in an army camouflaged suit, with an AK-47 standing on top of a tanker….) And he would probably agree that is about the position I took with him.

Now that I have unplugged from things, I really have a different perspective on matters of the heart. So.. I took a chance and reached out to him. All I know is he will at least talk to me. If this means we will both allow each other back in our lives to build back up a friendship or more, I don’t know. If this means this is just the opportunity to get closure on what was a 17 year chapter in our lives and say goodbye, I don’t know.

I don’t know what will happen. But I do know this – either way, whether its hello again or goodbye, this is something my heart needs to move to the next step.

Can we get a ski lift here people????

May 28, 2009

I’m sure everyone has been told at some point in their life that you have to pick and chose your battles. Especially if you’re a parent (I’ve heard…). While I’m not a parent, I’m somewhat in the same boat. I’m having to very carefully pick and chose my battles. Is it more important for me to enjoy that Big Mac or be able to breathe tonight when I lay down to go sleep? You may think this one is an easy decision, but when you are deprived certain foods, it gets hard. As symptoms for both my heart failure and MS progress, its coming to a pivotal point where I will have to pick which battle to fight. Since it seems I can’t truly fight both right now without doing fatal damage to my heart??? So what is more important to me – the ability to walk without problems everyday or my heart’s functionality? I know many may look at that question and think the answer is so easy – stop being vain Lindsey! But truthfully, its not so easy….

I can see in my mind exactly where I want to be, but there is a big voice from my doctor telling me I will probably never get there. When I close my eyes, I am back in my dance studio. Every song I hear on the radio I can choregraph in my mind how I would work the floor, rock the pole. Feel the music embrace every fiber of my soul and let it translate on the dance floor. So is it more important for me to be that dancer I know in my heart I can be, or is it more important for me to be alive? (because my heart is too weak to take that type of adrenaline to it, cadiac arrest!)

I love taking chances, taking risks. There was a big one I took last year that about gave my mom a heart attack – skydiving. And can I tell you its addicting (just like tattoos!!) I can close my eyes and feel the powerful rush of the air as I sore thru it at 150mph. I can sense the intense, peaceful and crazy sensation that permeates thru your body while you have a view of the world few ever get. And for me, its the one time that I can give true meaning to the saying “walking maybe difficult but together we fly”. I can fly….. So is more important to me to fly or is more important to me to keep my heart intact (as I’m told this could make it possibly explode…)?

Now, maybe you can somewhat start to see why it may not be so easy for me to pick and chose my battles. I know that goodbyes are a second chance. And it may just be time for me to start crafting some new dreams for my life, but I’m just not yet ready to let go of the old ones and say goodbye. My life over the last 15 years has been a constant uphill battle. And until 2008, I never lost.  To be honest, I still don’t know if I am losing some of my battles or if I am just being too stubborn to see the real win before me because its not the one I envisioned???

I will tell you the biggest battle I have to compete with is patience. If I can endure the long run, wait it out, sit still and listen then I may not have to give up on my dreams…..
If you are a parent of a little girl right now, I’m sure you are sick and tired of the name Miley Cyrus. I will admit that Hannah Montana gets on my nerves a little. But I have to give this girl credit, she has one of the best songs out on the radio right now. And as much as I love to write, I couldn’t have put into words any better the struggle I have been facing. “Ain’t about how fast I get there, Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side, It’s the climb.” How incredibly true. Maybe one of these days I will truly believe that its not all important what’s on the other side, because again – I’m not quite ready to let go of the dreams I have. In the meantime, it would be nice if I could get a little help with the climb……

The Climb lyrics
Songwriters: Alexander, J; Mabe, J;

I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there’s a voice inside my head saying
“You’ll never reach it”

Every step I’m taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose

Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb

The struggles I’m facing
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I’m not breaking

I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I’m gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going

And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on

‘Cause there’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose

Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb, yeah!

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody’s gonna have to lose

Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb, yeah!

Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It’s all about, it’s all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa

Go Braves and Be Brave!!

May 25, 2009

A week ago I got the opportunity to go to the Brave’s game with my nieces and some of their friends. We had a blast. If you haven’t tailgated before one of the games then you must add that to your “to-do” list. All you need is a cooler of beer, and little charcoal grill, some hotdogs/hamburgers and people ready to have fun! And let me tell you – we had enough food to feed an army and we had a blast!!!

But what was so amazing about this game wasn’t just the incredibly fun time I had, it was this precious lesson I saw my niece teach everyone there when no one was really looking. Anyone living in Atlanta knows that we have no shortage of homeless people in this city.  And events like the Brave’s game brings them out of the woodworks. Well, my niece invited a few of them over to our tailgate and offered them any food we had – hotdogs, hamburgers, sausage, corn, chips.. anything. She invited them over when others were so rudely turning them away. And in return, they danced with us. One man’s name was Koogi. He kept saying, “I may live in a dumpster under the bridge, but I look like I just walked off 5th Ave.” And he did! He had more class than some of the suits I used to work with. The other gentleman kept giving us all of this great worldly advice: look up in the sky and see the other stars twinkling to know you are never alone. And as Santana sings – “We danced on into the night”!!

What an incredible gift to observe from my niece. A younger generation that is normally tagged by society as being greedy and selfish, and even mean. But there was none of that last Tuesday night. It was all about when you have an abundance – then give. Its not always about the activities you do, its about the company you keep. Jess – I am very proud of you for the example you set when no one else was looking. Pay it forward!

Bowyer Unplugged

May 24, 2009

Do you remember back in the day when MTV actually played music videos? They had this show called MTV Unplugged. Artists would come on and play acoutically their music. It was raw, it was open, it was vunerable, it was beautiful. There wasn’t any behind the scenes electronic sounding board that could cover up their vocals. You got to hear who they were, and more often than not, you got the chance to see and feel the artist in their music. Hence, why I think it was beautiful. I miss that show.

Here recently there is a commercial for the AJC advertising their new Sunday edition. It has a couple sitting on the couch and all of their cell phones start going off and you see emails coming in. The commercial says to unplug, turn off your phones, it’s Sunday so just relax (and enjoy the new Sunday edition of the AJC). But the point behind it is good – just unplug. Like the old MTV show – you have everything unplugged and its just you.

That is why I have been absent this last week. I’ve needed to just unplug and relax. As you guys know there has been a lot on my shoulders. And there still is. But what I found is that I was concentrating a lot of my energy in areas that I cannot control – wasted energy that turns into negative energy. And by unplugging, we’ve cut off the electric current to that. See, everyone kept telling me to just “let go”. And while I know everyone’s heart was in the right place, you have to understand that there are some things  I can’t just let go of — my heart. With MS, the reality of my disease getting worse meant me being in a wheelchair. Over time, I came to a serene peace with that because MS could never take away my mind, which is where my strength is, and MS could never kill me. With heart failure, the reality of the disease getting worse is something I don’t know if I am ready to face. (if I am truly being honest here…). But its something I am working on.

And in the past, if there was something I wanted to do, an activity, then I could train and in a month be prepared to do it. Some cases it took a little longer. (I’m sorry but you can’t train and be ready to ride the MS 150 in a month. It just doesn’t happen). However, now, if I wanted to do that same activity that used to take me a month to prepare for, now it could very well take me three years. And in my mind I took that as a sign of failure. It took me “unplugging” to realize that I have been looking at this all wrong. Yes this is a fight. Yes this is a daily battle against reality I aim to win. But the fact that I am still willing to tackle that activity (whatever it may be), and still give it a try even if it takes me 3 years is a sign of preserverance, not failure. Failure now is if I totally throw in the towel.

And it took me “unplugging” to realize that there are some things you can control, and the ones you can’t – you just let go. Those are the items I need to let go of. Alot of these items I can’t control were adding serious stress in my life. I can’t control the fact that my company laid me off. What I can control is what I am doing to find employment, insurance, etc. And there is some of this I just have to leave in God’s hands. I can’t control the fact there is a member of my family who doesn’t want to acknowledge my existance, doesn’t want me in their lives, doesn’t care whether or not I am even alive (and yes they know I have heart failure, they know I was back in the hospital again in March, they know that my heart continues to get worse). I can’t make somebody love me, even if they are a family member. What I can control is that no matter what, I love them. And if they decide one day they want a relationship, then I am here. The rest – I have to just let go.

Unplugging for me is an attempt to slow my mind down. I’m not perfect at it, but I’m slowly getting there. The reality for me is that my mind has always operated at 200mph and never stopped, I stay stressed out and get worked up about things/issues. All of this was/is sending poisonous darts directly to my heart. And after the last doc’s appointment, it became a top priority to unplug. Now the key is staying unplugged!! Ha!

You have to go thru the darkness to see the light. Over the last month I was in some serious darkness trying to deal with everything my doctor laid on me (its honestly not something I am ready to write about fully). To say I was freaked out honestly doesn’t do any justice to the word. By unplugging, I found something that had been missing in my life over the last month – my smile and my laugh! So watchout people – its back!! Could be a very dangerous thing for Atlanta!! 🙂

In all seriousness, I ask for you guys to be patient with me. This whole thing is a work in progress. There is some good and some bad. While lately there has been more bad, I am going to make it a point to remember to showcase the good as well. If for no other reason, because I need to remember its still there.

My Dad summed things up perfectly after my doctor’s appointment. He just simply said, “This not tournament Daniel-son.” And I have to keep remembering that. I am not training for this tournament to showcase my skills for a brief moment in time. I am in this for the long-haul, no matter how long that takes me. (and for anyone reading this that does not know what movie that line is from, shame on you! You need to make it a Blockbuster night!!)

So everyone, raise your glasses with me:
Cheers to unplugging
Cheers to smiling
And here’s to many, many more laughs!

The Hallway is Hell

May 9, 2009

I thought when God closed one door He was suppose to open another, or at least a window. And there is the saying “but sometimes the hallway is hell”. I’m stuck in the hallway right now. Every door is not only staying closed for me, they are being slammed in my face. And right now I feel like I am in the depths of hell. Is this what it feels like to be closterphobic? The hallway is getting smaller & smaller and its harder & harder to breathe… Or is this what it feels like to finally go crazy?

For me, the battle to control my mind is just as important as the fight against the attacks on my body. Its one never-ending battlefield. Anyone in the military knows of the meaning behind psychological warfare. Those of us battling diseases have that fight as well. It’s one of the mind, and one that creeps into the very depths of your heart. So I have one disease that creates lesions to grow on my brain and constantly attacks it. I have another disease that has sent my heart into failure and consistantly weakens it. Then add a layer on top of that with this psychological warfare. So, from a battle perspective, what do I have left? I’m not making excuses, I’m simply trying to figure out my strategy.

Einstein said the definition of crazy (or was it insanity…) was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Every warrior enters the battlefield with a strategy, even dating back to the Samuri warriors. And I guess for the first time in my life, I don’t know what mine is. That scares the shit out of me, from a fighting perspective, I’m leaving myself powerless and open for my enemy to strike a lethal blow….

The only thing I feel is remotely relevant is that it doesn’t matter how fast you go as long as you are moving in the right direction. That is completely opposite of how I have lived my entire life, how I have ever fought any kind of battle. So… I’m trying to figure out my next move, my strategy. And for now, my mind is blank on what to do. I’m stuck in the hallway of hell.

You’re Uninvited

May 6, 2009

Most people like visitors to stop by. Especially when they’re old, long lost friends you haven’t seen in years. One day when I was 20 I got a knock on my door from a visitor. Like most people, I assumed this visit would be temporary. 11 years later and he still hasn’t left. And no matter what I did to entice him to find another residence, he refused to budge. In fact, he would do small, annoying things everyday to remind me that he’s here, not paying rent, not going anywhere. Kinda like when you can’t get your roommate’s boyfriend to leave, and just to piss you off he leaves the toilet seat up. I guess some people just don’t know when they’ve overstayed their welcome. See, my little visitor, my permanent roommate touches everything I do from head to toe.

And if his never-ending presence wasn’t enough, he invited one of his friends to move in too. Yep – you guessed it – rent free, and completely uninvited with no intentions of moving out. And to make matters even worse, these two moochers have decided to get jealous over who gets to occupy more of my time and compete for my attention.

I know what you must be thinking….. get a back bone and put your foot down about kicking them out. Get control of your house – have a little order. Well, I’m open for suggestions. I can’t get these two guys to move out. I can’t even get them to pick up after themselves. They are constantly pulling stunts to sway my loyalty to the other side, and it’s not pretty. The sad thing is, as bad as I want to kick them out – I wouldn’t wish these two morons on my worst enemy. So in a way, I guess I’m stuck with them.

But I am open to any ideas, suggestions, or advice you may have…..
Maybe it would help to introduce you to my unwanted roommates: Multiple Sclerosis and Heart Failure. Any takers??

To My Dear DaddyFrank

May 3, 2009

Dear DaddyFrank,

I can’t tell you how much I miss you. Right about now I could really use a steak from Calhoun’s with you. I really need to be saying this on one of our visits, but I don’t know the next time I will get back to Knoxville, hence I’m writing.

DaddyFrank, I really wanted to apologize. I finally get it, I finally understand. I am so sorry for all those times I nagged you about having another cocktail, watching what you ate, taking your blood sugar, and all of the rest of the things that I thought would make your health better. See, I was just being selfish. I wasn’t ready to let you go. I thought if you did all of those things just as the doctor ordered then you would be here for many more years. But for you it wasn’t about adding years, it was about being happy and enjoying the years you had left, not living miserably. I get that now. And I am so sorry, because all you wanted was for us to live happy with you and not think about the end consequences.

Now I am on the other side of the fence. And I want to live happy, but everywhere I turn I’m being told what I should be doing differently to add years to my life. Great, so I add some years to my life but I will have a miserable existance. DaddyFrank, I wish you knew how sorry I am. I should have raised my glass with you and toasted the time we had together instead of being scared of the time we would be apart. I am sorry for the nagging. I am sorry for being selfish. I am sorry for thinking I knew what was better for your life than you did. Because in the end, others may not understand the decisions we make, but if they love us – they should respect them.

Now I know better. Now I realize the error of my ways. Now I endure the nagging, the constant criticism of how I live my life. I know its only because people love me and want to add years to my life. Even if it’s not years I want and even if it’s years that I will live a miserable existance.

And you just wanted the family to be happy and enjoy our time together with you. You knew first hand that life is too short to stay angry. A lesson that many in our family can’t seem to grasp. And unfortunately it took my heart going into failure for me to truly understand it. But now, I get. Now, I finally understand. And my prayer for our family is that we can all just put our differences aside, forgive what ever grievances there are and just be the family you and Granny created. Because life is short. And sadly, for some of us, our lives are shorter than others.

So now DaddyFrank, I raise my glass to you in the memories we had and the lessons you taught me. For what is this life worth if in the end you were too proud to say you were sorry when they were alive?? And what is this life worth if you can’t live it to the fullest??

Until we meet again,
With all my love and admiration,

Your grandaughter – Lindsey