Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Never too late, never too old

2018 brings me one year closer to 50. Middle age. What? Me???   WOW...there was a time when I thought OMG 35 is going to be like so old! Then 35 came and I was thinking, hmmm, not so bad.  Now here I am sliding into a half century (that sounds kind of cool) and feeling young and full of life!  I realized that age is a state of mind.  Let's not confuse it with maturity.  There are a lot of people who are 'of a certain age' who behave like small children.  I am a mature woman.  I am confident and unapologetic about it. That doesn't mean that I don't have some insecurities, it just means that I accept them, and embrace that I am not perfect, will never be.  There will always be someone smarter, prettier, etc.  That is ok!  I am who I am.  I have lived a bit...been through some things, birthed and raised children, survived cancer (twice!) been married a LONG time.  I have put in some time.  I think I have some cred now.

A few months ago I came to the realization that I was putting limits on myself because I thought of myself as getting 'old'.  But something inside of me just did not accept that narrative.  I have no problem with aging.  I am going to get wrinkles and gray hair at some point (good genes have held them at bay for the time being).  My mind will say YES you can do it and my body will say OH NO you won't.  But I don't want to put limits on myself.  Will my body say no because it's not strong enough?  Then I have to work on making it strong.  There is nothing unachievable. 

I had the pleasure of spending the evening with an amazing group of young people.  Their energy was so inspiring.  I learned so much! That is another reason I don't want to put limits on myself because of age; I don't want to have all the answers, I want to learn from and connect with others as well as share my life experience and knowledge.  We are all in this thing called life together.  I want to squeeze every bit of goodness out of and share it with others.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year 2018! Climbing Victory Mountain...Part 2

Pacific City, Oregon Cape Kiwanda State Natural Park Sand Dune

What a way to start the New Year!  I spent the day at Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City climbing the sand dune my friends and I have affectionately named "Victory Mountain" (AKA the Sand wall of death...).  The first time I did it was almost 7 years ago.  Somehow I let my fearless friend talk me into it...again; at least we didn't get a vehicle stuck in the sand!  What was different this time was that I didn't have my love climbing with me looking back telling me to walk where he already made steps.  Telling me I can do it, that there wasn't much more to go-rather he had to sit in a chair at the bottom of the dune because he was too weak to make the climb.

A few thoughts that I had as I tackled that dune.  First, it was HARD! people were strolling by like nothing...there was a toddler passing me by for goodness sake!  Ms. Fearless and her daughter were way ahead, encouraging me on telling me to look for the footsteps that were already there.  I just wanted to turn around and go back.  I was thinking, this was fun, I tried, it's too hard I'm uncomfortable and I don't want to do it anymore.  Kind of like 2017.  Yes, there was some fun times here and there, but I spent a good portion of it telling myself that I just can't do 'it' anymore.  I am tired, I am uncomfortable and I just don't want to do 'this' anymore. It's been 2 years since my last new year post.  It was such a time of sadness and brokenness.  I would love to say things got better but sadly, no.  Oh sure, wonderful things have happened, there have been bright spots, but there are parts of my heart, my mind, my soul that remain broken in pieces that I don't know will ever mend to the place they were. 

I had to keep stopping (because I was sure I would go into cardiac arrest at any moment...).  There was a small log and I told myself that if I just get to it, I can rest then head back down, but that was not the top and the top was not far at all.  That is when people started telling me I can do it, that it wasn't that far, to take my time, no need to rush.  This is just like my real life!  I have had complete strangers in addition to those who know me speak love, life, and encouragement to me.  This little band of people literally stood at the top and told me they were waiting for me to get up there and describing the beautiful view that awaited.  It took me awhile, but I made it, they had fist bumps, high fives, and cheers as I took that last step and saw the beauty awaiting me. Sometimes the thing that gets you over is someone to tell you CAN do it.  
Top of the Sand Dune

The last few years, to be quite honest have been very, very difficult.  As I walked up that dune I thought, if I made it through 2017, surely I can make it to the top, and when I got to the top I thought that if I made it to the top, surely I will make it through 2018.  It was bittersweet to get there.  I wanted my husband to be there to share that moment with me to see the beautiful view. As I struggled to keep my eyes from sweating (from all that exertion) I realized that sometimes though you have to go it alone knowing that there are those who will come along and give you the encouragement you need to keep going.  That is what I will do, I will keep going, keep loving, keep living in 2018!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Year

It has been a long time since my last post.  I went on a hiatus of sorts...so many things have happened since then.  My world changed in 2014.  By the time 2015 rolled around, I was so relieved with the expectation of new beginnings, preparing for graduation...but I met 2015 with challenges that I frankly did not think I would survive.  My husband retired from his job with a medical disability and husband was hospitalized multiple times.  My mental health was in distress and it became necessary to take a leave of absence from work.  Every turn it seemed there was something breaking my spirit into pieces.  Sure there were rays of light here and there in 2015...my college graduation, my niece going off to college, beginning a new job; but there were the absolute heartbreaks-the deaths of friends and family members, notably my father in law. The grief and sadness just does not let up! My daughter in law lost her mother.  Then a week later her sister's father died.  The love of my life, my rock, my everything, is fighting for his life.  I am trying to be optimistic about 2016.  I have a new focus on health and wellness for myself, and know that whatever comes my way I have the tools to deal with what comes along.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Another Perfectly imperfect Thanksgiving

I am a bit late on my Thanksgiving post.  My plan was to host dinner at our home.  My in-law's are in town, and though my husband had been in the hospital I was sure I could pull it off.  Not quite.
As much as my mind was convinced I could pull it off, the reality was that my husband was sick and starting dialysis, I was working very long hours and just didn't have the bandwidth that I imagined.
My Superwoman mother stepped in and saved the day.  She hosted, and all I needed to do was prepare a few dishes--small ones just for my husband because he is on a special diet, and for my mother in law because she has some food allergies....Simple right?

The night before Thanksgiving turned into a sleep over with my son and three grandchildren.  We were up until the wee hours of the morning, laughing, playing games, talking.  My other son came over and wanted me to make him a crust for his now famous peach cobbler..only to find out that I didn't make enough.  I decided at the last minute to make a cake.  Oh, the mashed potatoes!  Yeah. time ran out.  Couldn't do it.  So there I was, what was supposed to be so simple turned into something not so simple.

Guess what, it was everything it was supposed to be.  The grand babies were running all over the place.  The house was abuzz with life and laughter and yes, chaos.  But most of all?  It was filled with love.  Having my sons as my side, one tending to his own children, the other baking side by side with me.  I would not trade the warmth of those memories for anything.  So while it felt like I cooked a full dinner and I was rushed and feeling a little bit pressured as time was ticking by and I still needed to get dressed and get to my mother's house, it was worth every chaotic moment!

A long time coming....back

March 12, 2014 I shut down.  My beloved Uncle Bobby (Rev. Robert Probasco Sr.) died that day.   It was not a surprise, I knew it was coming, yet when it happened it was devastating. He suffered so much the last months of his life and it was so hard to watch.   He was my trusted Pastor for over thirty years.  He was so instrumental in my life from childhood to adult, marriage, motherhood, spiritual development.  To lose him...I still find it hard to describe the absence of him in our lives.  So on that day I shut down.  Yes I still attended church, went to work, went about daily life, but I was numb inside. So many changes and transitions.  Adjustments to a new pastor, my best friend moving, professional challenges, personal issues,  I just went through the motions to survive.  But I'm back. I am ready for 2015 and am thankful for the tough times that have endured, because it has made me stronger!

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Today was one of the most beautiful days of my life.  Today, with my very best friends, we were consecrated as deaconesses to do the work of God.  Not to preach the Word, but to work behind the scenes, to do the things other either don't want to or can't.  Sit with the dying, pray for the sick, comfort those in need...the messy things in life.

What made it so poignant  is that our Pastor, (who happens to be my BFF's father, and other BFF's uncle), on his dying bed, performed the consecration.  I don't ever want to forget the power in his voice when he spoke to us and encouraged us...for over twenty five minutes; this when he has barely had energy for more than a few words. 

I just had to put it in writing.  My heart is full.  I really don't have words.  Today may be the last time I see him on this side. I will see him again Glory.  But it is well with my heart and soul.  I will honor his memory  by being faithful to God and carrying on the work started long, long ago.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Another Perfect Thanksgiving

It's been a couple of years since I have written about Thanksgiving.  All the other posts are under the Thanksgiving tag.  I am really that tired right now that I am not going to put in the hyperlinks!  I digress.  I didn't have to host dinner, I just had to make a side dish and grandma's apple cake.  How easy is that?  Seriously, it was awesome...I feel a new tradition coming on. My mother hosted dinner, and it was fabulous.  It's always fun to spend time with my siblings.

Today was a beautiful day.  The sun was out, the sky was so blue!  It's the end of November and the weather has been amazing.  I had a nice run, called friends and relatives and enjoyed having a day off.  I think this is the closest to doing nothing I have had on a holiday.  I had an opportunity to reflect on all the things I am thankful for: My husband, sons, daughter-in-law, grandchildren, family and friends.  I am gainfully and happily employed and have adequate food and shelter.  We may not have the newest baubles and trinkets, but we have love.  I am wealthy beyond measure not monetarily, but in the intangible ways that matter. My life is far from perfect but I honestly couldn't ask for better and for that, I am thankful!