A little background history. Mom and Dad divorced when I was 4 years old. Mom moved back to live with her parents, bringing me and my little brother along. My grandparents provided for our family, helping my mom out with my brother and me. They made sure that we had all of our needs and quite a few of our wants. I appreciate the foundation that I was given, even with its many ups and downs.
I was double promoted from 1st to 3rd grade, changed schools going into 4th. For a 5’8”, 200 pound, 8 year old, that was not the shining time of my life. But I got through it. I had girlfriends who lived close to me and some that I went to school with. I did OK. My teenage years were spent hanging out with my friends, doing things that teenagers shouldn’t be doing, but we all watched out for each other. I couldn’t wait to graduate from high school, get a job and get on with my life.
Married at 19, a mother at 20, life was going well. It was my goal to do a little better than my parents did. To work a little harder and to make sure that my kids thrived and were encouraged to realize their dreams. I wanted to keep moving forward. When my daughter was in the 1st grade, we tried to have another child; it wasn’t happening. We tried for 8 years and then I thought, “Well, I’m just going to be a parent of one child. When she is off to college, I’ll be 38 years old, I can travel, and I can do anything I want!” Just when I had given up…surprise! I was pregnant with my son. I will tell you that we all didn’t know how much we missed him until he came into our lives.
During this time, I thought that I was in control of the direction of my life. I was steering the course so that everything would turn out right, or at least what right was in my mind. I was on a specific journey, a directed path. HA! I was mistaken.
I lost my best friend to cancer when I was 36 years old. That was a major curve ball in my life. She was always there, then, poof, she’s gone. I lost my mind a little, started with panic attacks, anxiety, scared all the time. I was able to get through that period of my life, but I miss her every day.
When I turned 40, I was irritated all the time. Frustrated with my job, my family, my friends, just everything. I went to bed crabby, I woke up crabby. Bitching and moaning, ALL the time. I am amazed that anyone wanted to be around me. I was just black, black, black, but my sense of humor saved me. That and I’m blessed with friends who truly love me and are able to tolerate me, even when I am a bitch.
The economy tanked, stress level is rising, aggravation on my plate every day. Some days spent crying my eyeballs out. Other days just so mean, well, again, I’m amazed that anyone talked to me. I went to work, took care of my kids, just going through the motions. Everything was a problem and I couldn’t get a handle on any of it.
Then fate, a higher power, karma, whatever it was, took over and I experienced my “event.” It’s not that I want to be identified by it, but it truly was a life-changing moment for me. It changed the direction of my life. I don’t want to walk around in a black mood all the time. I don’t want to cry about things that I can’t help. I don’t want to be co-dependent or an enabler any longer. If I am going to have one year or a hundred years left to live, I want to have a life, not just go through the motions anymore.
Living life optimistically…it’s not easy, but it’s better. Some of the people who love me are a little worried. They don’t like the “new” Jude. I’m not a new Jude, I’m the same Jude, but heading in a different direction. One that will help me enjoy the life I am fortunate enough to be living, really living. It doesn’t matter what happens to change the course of your life. Actually nothing has to “happen,” it’s a choice. It’s a choice for YOU. It’s time to examine who you are and what you are doing. Decide which way you want to live, but live without regrets. I’m not saying that I am “Ms. Sally Sunshine” everyday, but I am someone who likes to see the glass half full, instead of working so hard just to keep something in it. Change direction; make a choice…with love.