Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Open Letter to My Happily Married Friends

*I didn't write this letter.  But change the name and a few details, and I easily could have.

Dear Happily Married Friends,

You may remember me as a twosome. I was married for a long time. I had a husband. And then we decided to separate and divorce. Now I'm just Becky, on her own.

First and foremost, let me say that I am truly glad that you're married and in love, that you're working on fixing that leaky roof and redecorating the master bath. I think that sounds like more fun than wrestling Cameron Diaz in a vat of baked beans. Honestly.

But I'm going to have to talk to you about something I've wanted to say since my husband and I split in July.

Divorce, unlike this flu I can't seem to shake, is not contagious.

I know, I know -- it may seem like I'm dying of divorce. But I can assure you I'm not. I'm okay; I'm going to survive. I know this because I'm a nurse and I watch a lot of hospital drama shows -- which, when you combine the two, pretty much makes me a doctor.

I've seen the way you look at me now and it's not in an "Oh, that darn Becky and her foolish hijinks!" way any longer. I see the pity and the sadness and I understand it. Getting a divorce sucks. I'm not sugarcoating it and I hope like hell it won't happen to you and your loving partner.

But I see something else underneath it, too. I know it's there because I used to feel it when my own friends struggled with divorce: it's a sort of smugness, and I'm here, talking to you through keystrokes on my computer, to tell you that you should probably rethink that attitude. I wish I had.

See, I didn't get all dressed up in the foofy white dress, march down the aisle, and say my vows in front of everyone I knew with the intention that I would one day be Becky, As Herself, again. Like anyone who gets married, I knew divorce wasn't an option. At least, I told myself it wasn't an option because we were going to make it, dammit!

Things don't always work out as planned, my dear married friends. Even with every intention of staying married, my husband and I grew apart. There's no one person, no catalyst, no particular reason for it, and most importantly, there's no one at fault. Just like it takes two to get married (in most states), it takes two to destroy one.

No, no, don't back away from the computer horrified. I'm not trying to tell you that this will be the Ghosts of Divorce Future for you, not at all. You'll probably be just fine, happy as clams under your new roof and redone master bath. It'll be beautiful and rosy, just like you two.

But in the event that it doesn't (no, not trying to be a fearmonger, just trying to be honest about this and level with you), maybe you can remember the words I typed on a blank computer screen and remember that if it happens, if you do get divorced, it's not the end of your world. Nor are you contagious.

It's just the start of a new life. And while those of us who have been or are going through a divorce don't forget where we've come from, we also know that we'll live. It's a hard road, my dear friends, and it's full of bumps and pot holes and things that scare you damn near outta your skin, but I promise you one thing: it won't kill you.

There is life after divorce. I promise.

Love You,

Becky, As Herself

Reposted from "Aunt Becky"

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013

From MLK to BHO to my SON

With all the pageantry it deserved, today's Inauguration of Barack Obama to his second term as President of the United States of America did not disappoint.  And on the Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday, no less. 
Black Americans shouldn't be the only ones proud on this day. 
ALL Americans should be.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


DJ, our Chinese Dwarf Hamster.  Someone needs to define "dwarf" for him, because he hasn't stopped growing in the past year and a half we've had him.

Monday, January 7, 2013

In the RAW


 I am now shooting photography totally in RAW and in M!!!

{chirp, chirp, chirp}
Maybe I should explain. 
Today's digital SLR cameras come loaded with various modes for taking pictures.  You can have as much or as little control of the images as you want.  For years, I shot in completely automatic mode (AUTO), which is fine. But many photographers prefer the freedom of manual mode (M), which requires a decent understanding of lighting, exposure, aperture, ISO, shutter speed, blah, blah, blah.  (It's more like a rite of passage).  One of the first images I was able to capture in M was the fireworks shown above - something I never would have been able to pull off in AUTO.
Shooting in RAW was another huge step for me (not to be confused with shooting in THE raw *blush*). In RAW, the image captured by the camera is basically pure and unaltered, which means I have better control of the final product during the editing process.  I can tweak to my taste without the opinion of the camera.
But some of the most fun has been learning how to rid pictures of random objects that weren't noticed before the snap of the shutter.  Like this fence post that photobombed Baby Brownie.  A few YouTube tutorials later and my Lil' Unicorn was no more:
And it didn't hurt him a bit.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Obama, Aspie; Aspie, Obama

The Oldest Brownie had the opportunity to meet President Barack Obama last year at a special White House screening of "Men in Black 3".  Although this picture doesn't depict it, she has come far in maintaining eye-contact in social situations.  It is an enormous challenge for someone with Asperger's.  I'm just relieved she didn't pull out the germaphobe softball glove she carries around in case of emergencies.  I guess the Leader of the Free World gets a pass.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Fake it Until You Make it

Truth is I’m weak
No strength to fight
No tears to cry
Even if I tried
But still my soul
Refuses to die
One touch will change my life

"Take Me To The King" ~ sung by Tamela Mann

People don't ask me how I am doing as much as they used to.  At the beginning of my transition, it must have been written all over my face.  Truth is, I was battling debilitating depression and struggling with daily anxiety.  Looking back at photos from that season in my life is both striking and sad. A profound, full-color, and startling personification of a broken heart and yet a reminder of the the sheer will to live.

Some days I could barely function.  Life became a series of "must-do" tasks.  Eating, sleeping, and any activities that brought even the most remote possibility of leisure was not a priority.  Keeping my kids fed, clean, and clothed was Job #1.  Smiles were forced and usually accompanied by a nervous giggle. It followed just about every sentence that came out of my mouth - appropriately punctuating it or not.  I was scared.  I'm a glass-half-full kind of gal.  Of course there were reasons to smile, but faking it was the only way I knew for sure.

Then one day while we driving home from school one of the Brownies made a hilarious quip - and that's when I heard "it". A familiar, gut-busting laugh coming from deep inside of me.  It started in my belly and worked its way up and out of my mouth with the effervescence of soda bubbles. Once I realized that joy had been inside of me all long, through even my darkest days - I began to weep.  My bewildered children must have thought their poor mother had finally lost it completely.  (Not only that, but I've developed this habit of snorting after a belly laugh, but not with any warning.  So yeah, that was a fun ride).

From that day, I knew I was going to be OK.  My nervous laughter disappeared as noticeably as it had appeared months prior.  Replacing it was real laughter - the song of my soul.  Reminding me that yes - some days it's harder to do it than others, but every single day holds the promise of delivering a real smile...

...and a sinus-clearing, child-frightening, ear-shattering, "Did my Mommy just do that?!" snort.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Stressed Backwards is "Desserts"

I am officially finished Christmas shopping. Yes, the Holidays have come and gone and I am just getting around to scratching the last person off of My List. 

December is typically a busy month , especially with the Middle Brownie's birthday smack dab in the middle of The Season.  Not to mention the added stress of mediation and court dates last month.  So in an effort to unclutter my mind, I brought simplicity back.  Instead of running around at the last minute, I made the surprisingly easy decision to skip Christmas cards and purchase "New Year's Treats" for the army of folks in our lives at after-the-holidays prices.

The best part?  I overcame my apprehension of parallel parking and snagged a space with time left on the meter - right in front of the gift shop.  Score!

A free dark chocolate truffle never hurts either.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year

Well hello there.  It's been a while.  Four months to be exact. This year is shaping up to be quite the sequel to 2012 - a year that far exceeded my expectations.  Things didn't go as I had planned; they went much better than that -  thanks to God's Plans.

So away we go...