Uncanny Shared Feelings

My husband and I sat on our love seat, both reclined all the way back, and reached for each others hands. As we laid there and held hands, he began telling me about how foggy he felt mentally as of late and how he can’t seem to pin anything down that’s amiss, but wishes he knew how to fix it so he can stop feeling that way. All I could do was nod my head and repeat, “I know what you mean” over and over. I think it happens to us all occasionally. Some people call it a funk, or a rut, or maybe brain fog. I describe it as not feeling ‘centered’ or ‘balanced’, and wish I could find my center, or focus, again. I’ve spent so many years being super positive and optimistic, so these feelings are actually rather foreign to me.

I think I’m partially just emotionally drained from everything that’s happened in the past month – live interviews, a book release and launch and all the work and emotion and ‘heart’ that goes into something like that. Maybe for a lot of people, this kind of stuff is pure excitement that produces an adrenaline rush, but since my particular book is so personal, it all becomes tied to the emotions.  Like they always say, though, it’s amazing how resilient the human spirit is. I know I won’t be in this funk for long :)

I just noticed my book is one in the stack of books on the Cedar Fort Facebook page cover photo this time. Awesome!

I’d also like to thank everyone that came to our book launch last Saturday in St. George. We had such a great time talking to everyone and seeing many friends and family from the area. Thanks for all your support!

Only 6 more days!

Only 6 more days until my book, Patchwork Reality, officially hits shelves! (It’s available already on Amazon, yay!)
Here’s a little snippet , which gives a good example of how readable and down-to-earth the book is:

     This was beyond the strange or radical things Curtis had
done through the years, things that I had gotten used to by degrees. This
was too strange to talk about, so I kept it to myself.
     Things weren’t always strange and tense, though. Curtis still called
me every morning from work. There was one morning phone call
that we will joke about forever. I didn’t answer when he called, so he left
a message on the answering machine that said, “I hope you’re on a walk
and not still in bed.” He knew I went walking quite often in the morning.
I totally took his message the wrong way, though, so when he returned
home from work that day and asked me if I got his message, I replied, “Yeah, what was that? A fat joke? ‘I hope you’re on a walk,’” I mimicked
in a snarky voice. “You’d better not still be in bed like a lazy butt.”
     The total and genuine shock that registered on his face immediately
let me know he hadn’t meant it like I thought he had.
     “What? No, that’s not what I meant!” Curtis frantically explained
when he realized how I’d taken it. “I just hoped I wasn’t waking you up
with the phone ringing. Aw, man, I’m an idiot.”
     “Oh!” I laughed, relieved. “I should have known what you meant.
You’re always considerate like that.” I shook my head. “Sorry about that,”
I said with another laugh.
     It was good to laugh.

Family!

I gathered my three children still living at home around the table and we worked together to address the invitations for my book launch in two weeks. As we worked, we chatted, and I found that I wished we would never finish. At least for a really long time! They spend  a lot of time in their rooms or at their various activities, as do I, so anytime we just sit and talk are the times I cherish most. We had an incredible music backdrop, too. Look up The Piano Guys Radio on Pandora. Wow, great stuff!

In the words of Michael J. Fox, “Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” I heartily agree, and I’ve been blessed with the most amazing family!

The Laughter!

More than any of the possessions that were a casualty during the time that my husband’s schizophrenic delusions were at their worst, it was the laughter I missed the most.

Curtis has always known how to make me laugh — the streaming-tears-aching-gut kind of laugh! So when that went missing, it left a large void in my life. It was only for the last few months before his diagnosis, though, a time where Curtis only spoke to me, no one else — not even our children. A time when load after load of our household possessions were taken to the thrift store because of strict rules he felt we had to adhere to in what he called “The Game”. A time that I consider the most difficult of my life.

I’m happy to say that we have laughter back in our lives. Curtis’s quick wit is back and quicker than ever! Our family conversation from yesterday (Steven is my 23 year old son):

Steven: “What’s Carla’s mom’s name?”

Me: “Marie.”

Steven: “Do you know what Marie has on her bucket list?”

Me: “No, what?”

Steven: “She wants to catch a 300 pound halibut.”

Curtis (without even a second of hesitation): “Do you know why she wants to?”

Me: “Why”

Curtis: “Just for the halibut.”

Oh, my, he’s fun!

 

Farewell, 2013

I look back on the year and I am amazed at what I was able to accomplish. Here are some of the things that I learned:

***I can do hard things — if I just jump in and tackle something that seems difficult, I actually find it’s easier than I first thought.

***Failure is just another path to success — as noted in my last post, I failed, originally, at something very important. That failure, however, sparked a determination that created a success which far outreached what I would have accomplished had I not experienced failure first. I also learned that fear and doubt are our worst enemy, and that it’s best to move ahead fearlessly!

***Think twice before speaking or posting on social media about grievances — knee jerk reactions need time to mellow, and there are many times that the best thing to say is nothing.

***True selflessness is an attribute I wish to strive for — beautiful people who possess this quality are such a boon and asset to society.

GOALS FOR 2014:

*Be selfless and giving

*Celebrate more!

*Read something out of every Ensign

*Send my missionary son care packages as often as possible

*Rewrite my first novel and prepare it for publication

*Begin my children’s series, or at least create some solid themes and subjects to write about

*Keep an “Events of 2014″ jar — record things I’ve learned, events I’ve attended, milestones, exciting news, accomplished goals, things that my family is involved in, good books and articles I read, inspiring ideas.

*Have my Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving (I hate fighting the crowds every year but I forget about it until the following year).

I may end up adding to this list, but that’s it for now. I’m very excited for the new year ahead, and I know that what it brings will largely depend on what I decide it will bring!

Happy New Year!

Fear of Failure? Nah!

Today I failed at something big. And important.

At first, it was painful. Then my son came up to me, right when I was sending an email to the person I had failed, and shared what he was reading at the time, a book by Napoleon Hill. His quote:

“Failure brings a climax in which one has the privilege of clearing his mind of fear and making a new start in another direction.

Failure is a man-made circumstance. If they knew that every form of defeat, and all failures, bring with them the seed of unborn opportunity, they would keep on fighting and win.”

There’s great things around the corner, I can feel it!

The Joy!

How can I possibly explain the beauty and wonder it is to have such an amazing marriage? Previously, if someone were to tell me their spouse was paranoid schizophrenic, I would have felt extreme sympathy for them, and only my wild imagination could conjure up what their life might be like, having never experienced anything of the sort myself.

Now, though, I’m on the inside of that equation, and I’ve found true joy . . . after the trial of my faith. In other words, there was a season of great difficulty, but my life now is better than I ever imagined it could be again. Better than ever, really.

My husband and I watched A Beautiful Mind together, and although I was worried it would hit a little too close to home and therefore cause me anxiety, I ended up loving it! There’s no way I could have watched it 3 years ago, though — when it felt like the bottom had dropped out of my world and I was left floundering and uncertain. I’m happy to say that time, and small town country life, has worked wonders in our healing — both for my husband and myself.

Curtis made an ironic comment after the movie. “There’s some parallels in the movie and our life,” he said.

“Ya think?” I asked with a laugh.

The Beauty of Routine

Curtis wears the same shirt every single day. Well, if not the exact one, he wears one of its brothers. On his days off. Even on vacation. I used to tell him to wear something else when we went out on dates, and he’d agree, but he’d have me choose a different shirt. Lately though, I’m starting to understand it’s one of those things that gives him comfort — routine. So I let him wear his dark blue long sleeved cotton shirts that my dad gave him, no matter where we go.

Jokingly, Curtis says he wears them because he hopes some of my dad’s intelligence will rub off on him if he wears the shirts often enough. Curtis often speaks of how amazed he is at my dad’s vast amount of knowledge. Also my dad’s ability to retain that knowledge. It seems he knows a little bit about everything and a lot about a ton of things. He also has extremely steady hands, for working with screws on a pair of glasses or soldering tiny parts together. 

Quote from Curtis:

“Have you ever seen your dad draw a circle on an etch-a-sketch?”

Kids now days would probably say, “What’s an etch-a-sketch?”