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Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Cyndi Lauper's amthem was much easier to embrace when I was 19.  Now, at 49, I just want to have a good nights sleep.  Hard to achieve when I'm sleeping on a couch with a dog and nocturnal cat.  

I want so much more than a good nights sleep.  I want to sell a house I own with my ex.  I want to buy a house for me and my family.  I want it to be a home.  I want to be the best mom I can be.  I want to publish my novels.  I want women to read them and feel encouraged and entertained.  I want to be healthy.  I want to relax.  

One of my girlfriends e-mailed me that she was depressed and frustrated, largely due to politics, posturing and crap at work.  I brainstormed with her on how she can make her job work for her. Cause, yeah, it's work.  You work but work has to work for you too.  She e-mailed me yesterday that she made it work for her and felt fabulous.

I need to take my own advice about my life in general.  I have been so focused on doing the right thing, focusing on my priorities and generally working myself into the ground trying to keep up with the endless to-do's that must happen in order to move me and my family forward, that what little fun I've had over the past year has been brief and inconsistent.

As a result, I did something last night I've never done before and hope to never do again.  I'm walking out the door to go to a concert with Mylene and I slipped two aspirin into my purse just in case I have a heart attack and need them.  A heart attack.  I felt that bad last night.  I Google'd the symptoms.  Beyond exhausted, stressed to the point on muscle cramps that were starting to freak me out.  Red flag.  Red flag.  Reality check Malia?

As I stood and listened to Christina Perri sing I believe, these words jumped out at me,"this is not the end of me, this is the beginning.  hold on, I am still alive"

Wow.  That pretty much sums up my life.  The end of a 25 year relationship is not going to be the end of me.  This is my beginning.  But, I need to hold on, because I still have several more months of transitioning to where I need to get to be settled and truly moving forward.  And, I am still alive. I need to keep it that way.  I need to relax and give myself a break.  Not push quite so hard.

Despite my exhaustion, I left the concert tired but amazingly stress free.  No headache.  No muscle pain.  I simply needed a break.  I needed to have fun with a friend.  I need to brainstorm ways my life can work for me and make it happen.  Cause right now I'm working hard and I'm putting myself dead last.  If something doesn't change that figurative expression could become literal.

Every morning I receive a scripture from KLove radio.  This mornings was from Proverbs.  "As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend."  God knows just how important friends are.  And so do I.  Lets keep each other sharp girlfriends.  It's a jungle out there and I want to be ready with a good blade to wield against whatever blocks my path.

Hi. My Name is Malia Martin

I've written a novel.  It's called Take Two. 

Sounds pretty simple doesn't it.  That my name is Malia Martin and Take Two is a novel I wrote is anything but simple.  

I've lost much in my life.  And in these past several months of grief and winter of a relationship of which there will never be a spring again, I wondered if I lost myself.  I certainly lost my personality and began to wonder what happened to Malia.  Then I realized nothing happened to her.  

I've often referred to my life in recent years as a journey through a desert valley, recently coming up and out only to find myself still in a desert, just one without walls blocking my view.  I'm still me. I'm just moving and growing in my life.  Of course I'm not exactly the same person I was a year ago. Thank God I'm not.  That Malia was silent in many ways.

As as walk further away from the valley I sense much around me.  I'm starting to get hints of green grass, spring flowers, blue sky.  Just hints.  Enough to know that somewhere ahead are verdant meadows filled with wildflowers, breathtaking beaches and mountains to climb.  There will be rocks in my path.  Twists and turns and maybe even valleys again.  Yet, I know this - I will not be silent ever again in my life. I will not be quiet anymore.  I write and my words will be read.  Why?  

Because my voice matters and so does yours.  If you shout loudly in the valley and no one hears you, do you exist?  You bet you do.  You hear yourself and that's enough to not give up.  Keep walking . . . one foot in front of the other.

Thanks for the Feedback

Ever wanted to tell someone to f@ck themselves but it just wasn't completely appropriate?

I had a boss who's position required him to train and work with large groups of colleagues.  Most people loved this guy but he did have a strong personality and he'd occasionally get a negative, personally attacking kind of reaction.  At his level he couldn't tell someone off, he had to take it.  So, he'd say, with a pleasant smile - "thanks for the feedback"  He was basically telling the person to f@ck themselves but in a very professional way, complete with a smile.

Always amusing to watch, I've adopted the same technique myself.  It actually works well.  I don't take on the negative energy and I don't perpetuate it either.  In the past couple of months I've used it with my ex and a co-worker.  In both cases it was great because I was calm and reasonable and they had absolutely no idea I was telling them to f@ck themselves.

Next time someone is condescending, negative, offers unwanted off base advice or just plain pisses you off, make sure to respond with "thanks for the feedback"  This works just as well via e-mail as in person.  Oh, and make sure to smile too.  It's actually kind of fun.

I Should Write a Book

I just Super Glued two of my fingers together.  My son had something that needed glued so I pulled out the glue and promptly glued two of my own fingers together.  This all happened really, really fast.  Like in one second.  Fortunately for me, I’m not the first person to do this, as evidenced by the “Fingers bonded?” section on the directions.

I grabbed a bottle of olive oil, lubed my fingers (not nearly as exciting when you are doing so because they are glued together) and after several minutes they separated. 

Ever the mom, I’m explaining to my son why he should learn from what I just did and never do this himself.  I randomly utter to myself, “stupid things I have done”.  My son replies, “you should write a book about that mom”.


Yeah, I thought to myself, I should, just as soon as I get my fingers unglued.

Surrounded by Asses (Or My Year in Review)

2013 has been possibly the most stressful and strange year of my life.  Considering everything I've been through the last several years this actually says a lot.  Change is change and it is what it is.  Good.  Bad. A mix of both.  Life carries on.

Moving on is a process.  For me, it turns out that I have been a stuffer (we're talking emotion here.  I haven't stuffed my bra since 7th grade).  In order to deal with all the bad that just kept coming, I stuffed my grief.  Sure, I've processed some of it with writing, shopping, venting to my girlfriends and consuming copious amounts of cheese, chocolate and caffeine (The Three C's of Stress Survival).  So I'm finishing off the year allowing myself time and space to grieve. 

Part of my healing was to hop on a plane and visit my brother, who lives in Northern California.  I spent a wonderful weekend with him.  We spent the better part of two days driving through parts of Cali that I had never seen.  We talked until we were all talked out.  We looked through family pictures and I was able to bring some back with me.  I was with family.  Family who understands some of my loss, because it is his loss too.  It was good.

While we were driving, we stopped at a little general store out in the middle of beautiful nowhere and I saw this calendar.

Not much has made me laugh out loud lately so I had to take a picture.  This is definitely not the calendar for me though.  The last thing I need is another year of jackasses 

The expression "follow your bliss" doesn't work for me.  I say "blaze your own trail of bliss"
I'm done with following.  I'm a blazer.  Unfortunately, it's hard to blaze when there is a jackass blocking your path. It's also hard to blaze when you are utterly exhausted after moving said jackass out of the way.  And, of course, there they are, braying at you as you move on by.  You know what I'm talking about.

So, my word for 2013 was Stay.  Did I stay?  In the physical sense, no, I did not.  In the emotional, spiritual, mental sense?  Yes, I did.  I stayed faithful to my priorities.  I stayed loving and open hearted.  I stayed strong, focused, resilient, determined and true to myself.  I stayed true to the character I carry deep inside me.  I'm not perfect but I tried.  I really did.

My word for 2014 - Freedom.  As in freedom to be me.  And that me is a fluid, growing, changing me.  With great freedom comes great responsibility.  I have chosen great responsibility and I take that very seriously.  Once again, focusing on character, stability and love.  Freedom.  It's going to be good.

How was your year?  Were you surrounded by asses?  Did you blaze your own bliss?  Don't wait until January 1st.     Every day is important.  Every day counts.  Go grab your boots girlfriend.  Whether you are kicking ass or blazing trails, a girls gotta have a good pair of boots.  My closet has several.  I'm ready.  Are you? 

Seasons

Summer is over.  Fall is here and winter is close on it's heels.  Metaphorically I am in the winter phase of my life in a major relationship.  The best part about winter is that spring follows.  I'm going to embrace my winter by writing.  How can my writing have it's spring if I don't hibernate now and write?  Yes, the days are shorter and the nights are cold.  So, I'm all the more determined to take advantage of the light I have.

A number of blogs back I posted a picture of my patio in the full bloom of summer.  It looks very different now.  The furniture has been stored, the tree has turned and will soon lose it's leaves.  So what do you do when summer has vanished?  You embrace fall for it's own unique beauty.
  
My ex didn't want a bird feeder.  Too messy, he said.  Well, turns out that life and love are messy and shit happens.  So, guess what I did this morning?  Went and bought a bird feeder.  Frodo is now on bird patrol.  He's happy and so am I, as watching and waiting keeps him off my keyboard.


Crazy Things Kittens Do

Kitty version of a rock wall.  Frodo climbed the screen a few times this summer.  Now he's almost ten pounds and thankfully has not made any recent attempts.  

Like Riding a Bike

Several years ago I used to think nothing of having 15 or so people over and entertaining for the evening.  I enjoyed it. 

Over the past five years I had a girlfriend over once for lunch.  That's it.  Nothing in my life has been conducive to entertaining. 

Not anymore.  Over the past few months my son has enjoyed multiple play dates, sleepovers and all three of my best girlfriends have been over at least once.  I'm slowly relearning how to welcome friends into my home.

Last night four of my girlfriends from work came over for apps and a movie.  As I applied my eye make up and did a mental check on what I had left to do, I realized that I felt like I was having a first date (except that I haven't done that in 25 years and most probably would have dressed a little more glamorously as attire for my evening was yoga pants).

As everyone arrived and I set out snacks I realized that entertaining is really like riding a bike.  I learned how to do it once and I hadn't forgotten.  I just need a little practice.

I can totally have fun and be in the moment with my son.  But going to a concert or out to dinner with a friend or entertaining a group of women sans kids, makes me realize that I'm out of practice having fun with other adults without kids around.   

So, I'm learning to ride solo once in a while.  It feels strange but I know it's healthy for me.  It's all about balance and trusting that if you do fall, you can pick yourself back up and try again.
 

I Have the Most Amazing Life

I do.  I really do.  Why?  Because I choose to, that's why. 

My life is stressful right now.  This past week was hard.  This next week already has challenges laid out.  Yet, here I am.

Know what?  There are millions of people on this planet right now that have far more stress than I do.  Serious stress.  People will die today.  Find out they have a terminal illness.  Lose a child.  Starve to death.  Rape, abduction, abuse and other unspeakable horrors will occur to helpless, innocent people and animals.  If we really knew, it would overwhelm us.  Perhaps that's why many of us don't read or watch much news.  Ignorance isn't bliss, it's still ignorance.  Yet, our hearts can only stand so much.

Larger tragedy doesn't negate the fact that my stress is still stressful but it does put it in perspective.

I have a life that includes love - from family, the best friends ever, pets and the unshakable love of God.

My basic needs are met and many wants as well.  I'm well and truly blessed.

I have peace, hope and a glass that isn't just half full but appears to be above 50%.  I think one day my glass of lemonade will be so full that it will run over.  And, you know what, that would be a waste.  Before that happens, hey, even now, I'll lift my glass and share with others who are feeling a bit parched.

Yet, I'm dealing with sadness, death, loss, grief and major life change that affects me and my family.  And all I can is take one breath, one step at a time.

Jenny Lawson - www.thebloggess.com - my favorite blog (after my own, of course, ) posted "Is It Just Me?" on September 5th.  I won't do it justice, just go check it out.  She asked readers to respond to "how many days in a month you actually feel like you kicked ass?"

Here's part of my response:  "  I rarely have kick-ass days.  I have kick-ass moments.  I'm learning to savor them because the next thing I know, life is kicking my ass.

So, log off and go enjoy your amazing life and savor every sweet moment. 

 

Introducing Frodo

Meet Frodo.  He is a male Maine Coon and is 10 weeks old in this picture.  He arrived at the end of June and life has been so crazy that I'm just now getting around to announcing our newest addition.
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Frodo is currently 18 weeks old and growing at a rapid rate.  He's fascinated by water and hangs out by the shower and the water bowl.  Pippin and Frodo get along quite well.  Currently at 7 pounds, Frodo has no problem holding his own with the 40 pound dog.  Stay tuned for more pictures than you probably care to see.
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