No Resentment

posted by Momo Fali on April 2, 2016

It’s no secret that life has changed a lot around here. Many days are still hard – there’s a lot of anger and resentment, and having a child with special needs who goes through major life trauma isn’t as easy as it sounds. As a matter of fact, it sounds a lot like a screaming cat. In heat. Dying.

But, some days are beautiful. There have been so many new experiences that were possible and yet, not possible, in my former life. I’m specifically referring to an eight year period in which I didn’t travel more than a couple of hundred miles away from home.

I love to travel. I’m sure there are people who would say I didn’t sacrifice enough during 18 years of marriage, but I would beg to differ. I think deep inside I knew what I was missing. Maybe that resentment manifested itself in little ways I wasn’t even aware of. Related: My new relationship mantra is, “No resentment.” There will be no more of that.

In the past 13 months, I have traveled to 11 states. I may have been meant to be a trucker, because my heart is really happy on the road. If I had a CB and an orangutan, I’d be all set. Also, I just made a reference that no one under 42 years old understands.

My latest adventure was on the west coast experiencing the northern California and Nevada I’ve only seen rushing by in taxis on the way to conferences. The best part? I got to take my kids.

This is the picture where I crossed #4 off of my Life List. Stand under a giant sequoia. Check.

image

Here’s my daughter, on the edge of a cliff at Lands End park. This child of mine, who is almost a woman (GULP) was quite the risk-taker on this trip; literally living on the edge.

image

What you can’t see in this picture is the mighty Pacific and fields of green so vibrant I was sure we were actually in Ireland. So, here you go…

image

This is my son sitting inside the roots of a fallen tree in Lake Tahoe.

image

What you can’t see is the waterfall to the left, or the bluest lake I’ve ever seen, or the snow-capped mountains dotted with fir trees. Oh, wait…THERE they are.

image

And, this? This was when we pulled the van over on the side of the road at a completely random spot, scrambled over some rocks and found a perfect view. You know the feeling when the wind gets knocked out of you? This did that to me. I’m sure it was partly the altitude, but it was also this view. Undoubtedly.

image

There was so much more to this trip – dear old friends, Alcatraz, swimming pools and sushi. And, there was the memory created when my son pulled a fire alarm in the hotel at midnight. Sigh…good times, good times.

Mostly, though, there was so much beauty and happiness and I’m thankful to have moments like these in my life again. The bonus is that it’s really hard to be resentful when you experience goodness like that.

On Forgiveness

posted by Momo Fali on March 6, 2016

We Catholics are in the home stretch of Lent. I used to give up chocolate or beer, or something else that would slim me down in time for spring break. Part of me offered something up out of faith and part of me offered something up out of vanity. At least I’m honest.

This year I decided that instead of giving something up, I would try to do better; as in, improving upon being human. I’m not doing so well.

My thought was that I would focus on forgiveness. I have a lot of anger and resentment and, honestly, on top of it being WRONG to be filled with that much hatred, I’m just tired of feeling this way. It’s draining and unbelievably bad for my soul.

So I started out on Ash Wednesday hopeful and feeling good about improving myself. I felt good – clean, for lack of a better word. There is something to be said for a fresh start.

Unfortunately, it didn’t last long.

By that evening I had lost my cool and said horrible things that didn’t make me feel better and certainly didn’t do any good. This forgiveness stuff is hard.

Ultimately, I have to find a way to get to this place so I keep trying every day. I need to not only turn the other cheek, but also forgive the person who slapped me in the first place. The problem is that I am a master grudge-holder.

I think I’ll get there. I can honestly say I am thankful for where I am today and appreciation is a start, right? RIGHT? Being grateful has been a journey and I’m happy to say I’ve truly arrived. The road wasn’t easy, but the destination has a pretty stellar view.

image

And, knowing that someday I’ll feel the same way about forgiveness is what motivates me now. I am aware that it’s going to feel really good when I finally get to that place.

But, I’m not going to lie. It would be a real bonus if I’d go down a size.

 

Are You Whole?

posted by Momo Fali on March 1, 2016

Well, are you?

Oh, I know. Half of you are just staring at the words thinking, I don’t even understand the question!

Let me back up.

image

Last week, I was keenly aware of how fulfilling my life was. My son had a successful surgery (lucky number 13, to keep his eardrums from collapsing, because OF COURSE his ear drums are collapsing), work was going well, I exercised, I studied, I had dinner with friends and even had time for Netflix. One day, the sun came out! Thanks, Ohio!

Then something happened which made me realize the joy I felt was only half as good as it could’ve been. I realized only a portion of me had experienced all that goodness because I was really kind of empty inside. I just didn’t know it.

I know you’re dying to know what my realization was, but that doesn’t matter. It was something intensely personal to me.

YOU might get filled up by a well-placed smile on the face of a grocery clerk. It could be a hug from your child or a liver-breathed lick on the face from your puppy. It’s whatever you need, at a given moment, to make you feel like you are FEELING with 100% of you. It’s fulfillment multiplied because your soul has soaked up enough to make it a puffy, smiley-faced sponge.

The trouble is being able to recognize it. I certainly didn’t feel like anything was missing – quite the contrary. So, how do you make yourself whole when you don’t even realize you’re half-empty?

My suggestion is that even when you think you’re at your peak, push on. Try new things, travel outside your comfort zone, let people in, read more, believe in something greater than yourself, give back, practice acceptance, trust people, LET GO.

You may think you have exactly what you need. You may feel complete, but there’s a chance that a new experience will move you away from being a fraction of yourself. And what’s crazy is that you may never know you were missing anything until you find it.

You’ve certainly heard that you should give your best effort, but do you receive with that kind of effort too? Most of us don’t think we deserve an abundance of happiness, because we are defeatists. We believe that bad things happen to good people (which they do…they definitely do), but good things can happen to good people too.

So let yourself be whole. Trust me. It feels 100% good.

I Fed a Troll

posted by Momo Fali on February 27, 2016

Don’t feed the trolls.

It is the first rule of blogging. Don’t engage with the haters. Don’t let them get in your head. If someone leaves you a nasty comment, you move along without reply, because they are not worth the anger, frustration and, most of all, your precious time.

I haven’t written in five months because I let someone tell me that no one cares what I write about and people who read my posts are actually laughing behind my back.

So I haven’t written, because what if they were right? What if my content has been one big joke to the Internet?

Years ago I was in an abusive relationship and I can assure you that the names he called me hurt far more than any slap in the face. No bloody wound feels as bad as being called worthless. Five months ago, that’s exactly how I felt.

Today, though, I suddenly woke up and realized that as much as I love my readers and the people who have surrounded me through blogging, I don’t write for anyone but me. If you don’t want to read these words, don’t read them. I don’t really care. Now the troll can say I’m selfish. So be it.

I am going to write again. I’m going to write because it’s my creative outlet. I’m going to write because it clears my head. I’m going to write to prove to my daughter that you can’t let someone control you through their hate. I’m going to write because I am better for it.

This is my start.