Escaping Vida

Jemma was a good girl. She did what she was supposed to do whenever she was told to do it. She was loved by the people in the land for her kindness and goodness to all. She was creative and funny, and very intelligent.

Jemma had one enemy in the kingdom. An evil old witch named Vida. Vida did not like anyone to be happy, but especially Jemma. So she cast a curse on Jemma and her husband Jefferson that whenever things were going too well or they became absolutely overcome with joy, something disastrous had to immediately follow. Vida loved to see Jemma suffer because she was too kind and the world should not be kind to nice people.

So for years it went that Jemma would find a short respite of happiness, only to be knocked on her ass five minutes later. Her wedding day? Pure bliss. The rest of the year was a disaster: Jefferson’s aunt passed away, the family cat passed away, and Jemma lost her employment. Jemma and Jefferson finally afforded their own home and immediately things began to go wrong such as the furnace breaking in the middle of winter, Jefferson losing his job and not being able to find another. Stress on top of stress.

So Jemma finally gave up trying to be happy. Instead she buckled down and got to work and paid her bills, and tried to find ways to make it through the days of bleakness. Friends left, too busy with their own lives, careers, and babies, to bother with Jemma and Jefferson even when Jefferson fell in the well and was laid up in bed for days.

One day Jemma had had enough. She marched up to Vida’s door and banged as loud as she could. Vida smiled knowing this day was going to come. “All right you old hag,” screamed Jemma, “I know you cursed me and my husband and I want to know how to break this curse so one of us could be happy.” Vida laughed at the enraged Jemma, so far from the lovely, sweet girl everyone thought she was all those years ago.

“I will give you the knowledge you seek, but once heard, it can never be unheard,” said Vida with her evil grin.

“Just tell me you wicked woman,” snarled Jemma.

“If happiness is what you seek
Then listen close to me
For one to be happy
The other must be set free.” replied Vida

“What the hell do you mean?” asked Vida

“Simple, my child. In order for one of you to be able to experience the full measure of joy without the ever present disaster after, one of you must die to appease the evil spirits holding the curse in place. They will feast on your soul, and while they are busy doing that, I will be able to eliminate them. There is no other way,” cackled Vida.

“Fine, let’s do it,” said Jemma with a deadened look in her eyes

“What?!” said Vida startled at Jemma’s quick agreement to the terms of lifting the curse.

“I can’t live this life always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Anxious about when the curtain of doom is lowered. I am tired and if it means Jefferson can be happy, really, truly happy, then I’m willing to die for that.”

“Are you sure?” asked Vida curiously. “Once I start the ritual, there is no turning back.

“I’m sure said Jemma,” standing resolutely in front of the old woman.

And so Vida let loose a barrage of lightening at Jemma, stunning her but not killing her. She sent daggers soaring through the air into Jemma’s stomach, arms, and legs. Not enough to kill her of course, but enough to cause her excruciating pain. She lit Jemma’s feet on fire and soon Jemma’s simple dress caught and the fire crawled up her body and lit her hair on fire. Jemma screamed at the pain and agony of it all until finally she fell silent, dead at last.

Vida watched as the shadows crawled out of the walls and towards Jemma’s charred, bleeding, body. There were hundreds in the room feasting on the pure spirit that was formerly Jemma. Finally, as promised, Vida muttered the chant to kill the demons and lift the curse.  A bright burst of white light filled the room and all the shadow demons were killed instantly.

Back at the house, Jefferson woke with a start from his bed. Something had happened, but he wasn’t sure what. He looked all over the house for Jemma but could not find her. As he stepped outside the front door to see if she was in the garden, a beam of pale blue, glittery light enveloped him and he felt a sudden lightness he had never felt before. He wanted to dance, and laugh, and sing, and cry tears of joy, it was so beautiful.

He saw a beautiful woman in a white robe approach the house. She had lovely auburn hair and eyes as green as a four leaf clover. She seemed familiar somehow but she was glowing so it was hard to tell. “Jefferson, my love, you are free to be happy,” she whispered. “Jemma?” he asked bewildered.

“It is I my love. I have allowed the witch to kill me in order to ensure your happiness,” she said smiling at him lovingly.

“No. Jemma….I…I can’t live without you,” said Jefferson

“But you must, or my sacrifice will have been in vain,” said Jemma

“I will see you soon, my love,” said Jefferson as he pulled his hunting dagger from his pocket and slashed his throat.

Jemma stared in horror as her husband laid on the ground bleeding out. She wept bitterly as she realized the full enormity of what she had done. Suddenly she felt a tap on her shoulder.

“Hey now, no crying,” said Jefferson behind her. “Now we can be happy together forever.”

And so the two walked hand and hand into eternity together, at last beyond the grip of Vida and her cruelty.

Hope you enjoyed my short story! Comment below but be kind.

 

The Twists and Turns of the Past Month

Early October, my husband calls me at work saying he doesn’t feel well and is going to Urgent Care. The doctor there says he looks okay but wants him to go to the Emergency Room because he can’t get a full breath in. Turns out he had a massive blood clot in his lungs and another in his leg. One day later and I would have lost my love and best friend. He’s now on medication and doing fine but three days in the hospital were very scary for me. I got a taste of what it would be like to live alone, without my best friend, and I definitely did not like it. There was much sobbing and fear.

On the same day my husband went to Urgent Care, I was sent home from work early because I was totally and completely burnt out. I was snapping at my boss, crying, stomping around like a 2 year old, and engaging in much muttering under my breath. Thank God in the long run she sent me home because then I was able to deal with my husband. But at the time it made me angry because I had SO MUCH WORK TO DO!!

My boss has finally realized driving her team into the ground was not working so as a team we came up with expectations that seem more reasonable. This has lifted a load off my shoulders in the best possible way because I felt like I was drowning and would never recover from the stress of it all.

Last weekend I went to an Apple Festival with my mother in law and a bunch of people from her work. It was the most wonderful weekend I had in awhile. There was  crisp fall breeze, the scent of fresh apples in the air, beautiful leaves that were changing color, craft vendors, and of course fresh apple cider which is literally one of my most favorite drinks on the planet. The whole day was a big soul refresher and for the first time in months I fell asleep contented and did not wake up once.

Also in the past month I have joined two Bible studies. One is for people struggling with mental health issues called Hope and Grace. They meet every week and its a great group of people. I am making my husband go with me for support but it’s actually helpful to him so YAY! I also joined a Bible study about Romans which is very difficult because the book they are using is written like a college text book and is very hard to get through. But the people are nice so I’m going to keep trying.

My church has been doing a sermon series on the Beatitudes (Matthew Chapter 5 in the Bible). It has been very helpful in giving me insight into what God is looking for in a person. I also finished reading a book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. That book blew me away! It really made me question how I am doing things when it comes to my relationship with God and also some strongholds I have in place that are getting in the way of my relationship with God which has been tough.

My fellow blogger, Jenny Lawson, also opened up her own book store which I was really excited to hear. You can find her blog here. She is one of the most hilarious writers I’ve ever read and you should definitely read her books. I would love to meet her in person one day.

Well that’s it folks. My mental health is back on track, I am no longer wallowing in despair and I hope to be writing more often.

 

Life Goes On

So it’s been a few weeks since my father in law passed away and I am doing a little better. I can’t say the same for my mother in law, but she’s taking it day by day. The evenings are hardest for her and it truly sucks I can’t do anything to ease the pain.

This latest death has me thinking, really thinking, about my life. I mean let’s face it, anytime someone close to us dies or even a favorite celebrity dies,  it makes us consider our own mortality.  If I were to drop dead tomorrow for some reason I’d like to think I left behind a legacy of kindness, support, and genuine love for those I encounter. I would like to be remembered as a patient person, who tried to never give up on others, even if I didn’t extend that courtesy to myself.

The truth is, I don’t know how anyone else sees me. And you never really can truly know because most people aren’t going to say to your face the things they really truly think. When I look deep into myself I see a lot of fear. I see so many chances not taken in order to have a sense of safety. But in that safety is disappointment, and it’s not a fun place to live. I want to be bold. I tell myself to fling myself head first into something, ANYTHING, at this point because I am not really living so much as existing at this point. But then fear tells me no, don’t do that, you’ll get hurt, you will fail, people won’t like your idea or you. And I shrink like a flower caught in a cold breeze.

I recently read a book called My Year With Eleanor by Noelle Hancock. It is a fabulous read about a young lady, much like myself, who is constantly living in fear of doing anything. So after seeing a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt in a local cafe (“Do one thing every day that scares you.”) she takes it as a personal challenge to do so. She takes acrobatic classes, she swims with sharks, and she does a lot of other little things. The book culminates with her climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. It is a fantastic book and I highly recommend it.

Until I finished the book I did not realize that this was a memoir and that this was a real person that did all of these things. For about five minutes I thought about doing something similar. But after those five minutes, financially and physically I realized that tackling some of my fears would be next to impossible. Still it got me thinking that maybe it’s time I just tackle some of them. I can write and submit my stuff to places. I can reconsider school again. I can reconsider becoming a foster parent again. Maybe I can’t do one scary thing a day but I can do some scary things.

So with that I will say my goal for the rest of the year is to simply try. Try to do some things even though they are terrifying. Put myself out there just a bit more. We shall see what happens.

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It’s The Good Kind Of Ouch

Day#2 of the challenge and I am sore. My back and abs are killing me. I worked out with the trainer tonight and she kicked my butt but she also pushed me to do way more then I thought I could so that was good! I feel very proud of myself and the best part is my blood sugar was down to 170 this morning which is awesome because for the past 2 months or so it has been about 249. I still have a ways to go but I feel confident I can do this. Please remind me that I said this when I can’t stand up straight tomorrow. I also started a video blog of the challenge on my YouTube channel to keep me accountable. I figure if I can’t get to writing I can at least keep track of my progress in quick videos.

Also in the light of fitness I would like to wish my friend and co-blogger Stephen a lot of luck as he runs Causeway Coast Marathon tomorrow. I know he’s going to do amazing as he has been training hard and has a lovely family behind him cheering him all the way as well as fellow bloggers and friends like me! Check out his blog here. He is a much better writer then I am and I love reading his posts. He also runs a flash fiction contest every once in awhile and while there is no prize it’s a fun challenge for those that enjoy writing for the sake of writing.

Today at work I also had a victory. I was able to talk to a parent about closing services for her son so he could be placed in a higher level of care. I was terrified she was going to scream at me but she actually accepted my logic in a calm manner and agreed he needed something more. I was so happy! I know the kid was upset but I really feel that we made the right decision as a team. He’s a good kid inside once you get past the bravado and threats that he makes.

Have a great night everyone! This is me and my trainer Morgan! She’s super awesome!

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Ch Ch Ch Changes

I have been quiet on WordPress for awhile and for those that actually read my blog I apologize. Life has been hectic and I am in the middle of some major changes.  I am afraid to blog about these changes because if I fail and tell no one then I fail alone. But if I share my goals and fail then it feels like seemingly EVERYONE in the whole world will know and that is terrifying.

I have started to try to pray again. It has not been consistent, or beautiful for that matter but it is real. I am working towards reading my Bible again which is also inconsistent at the moment but could get better as I put more effort into it. I remember when I first became a Christian I was so excited to read about Jesus and God and all the things he had done. It was truly like being in love and wanting to know every and anything. There was some major passion and excitement. Now it’s like “Ugh. I have to read THAT again?” I am starting to think maybe I should join a Bible study because I tend to learn better in a group then alone. I feel like a jerk for feeling so blase about wanting to know more about my faith but I’m in a place where I’m not sure what else there is for me to learn.

I have also joined a challenge at my gym which starts in September. Basically whoever loses the biggest percentage of weight in 8 weeks wins $500 and whoever loses the highest percentage from ALL the gyms wins $5,000. I signed up myself and my husband but I think I made a mistake now. I signed up right after my friend Royal passed away out of fear. He was only 38 and died from weight related health problems. That is only 2 years older then me and so I freaked out and signed us up.

The reason I think it is a mistake is I am extremely competitive and I do not like to lose and when I do lose it destroys me. My husband has a healthier approach of we’re going to lose weight (hopefully) and learn some new workout skills as part of the package is 3 personal training sessions. But the trainer I’ll be working with has given me some exercises to start with before the challenge and I have been in excruciating pain after some of them. I did a whole body workout 2 days ago and my knees and legs still do not want to cooperate with me.

On top of the exercise, I am having food difficulties again. I was following this ketogenic diet where I was eating a lot less carbs and was doing well. Unfortunately I fell off the wagon and have not been able to get back on. Chocolate is literally like heroin to my body. I can’t stop once I start and then the cravings hit every day around the same time of day. I know I should make something else but it’s so darn good. It’s delicious, it’s soothing, and most importantly, it’s quick.

I can do this. But it’s going to take time. So please be patient if I do not blog daily. I am trying to add a lot to my life but this is still important. Any advice on making changes would be appreciated!

Time-for-Change

 

 

Can I get a letter up in here?

Letters of Love

My online friend Stephen recently wrote a blog about the way we communicate nowadays and how he and others miss getting letters in the mail. You can read it here You should just read his blog in general because it is really fabulous!

I too miss getting letters in the mail. All I get nowadays is bills, magazines, more bills, junk mail, and credit card offers. When I finished 8th grade my parents and I moved from Philadelphia, PA to New Jersey. I literally had to leave all my friends behind and it felt crappy. I was going to start high school not knowing anybody. So to get through the summer we all wrote back and forth to each other. It helped me to still feel connected even though they were so far away. We would decorate our letters and envelopes with pictures and silly drawings. I still have some of them tucked away.

I know we have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. and we can connect that way, but it’s not the same. So I am going to extend the same challenge Stephen did. Reach out to a fellow blogger and see if they want to exchange real letters. Decorate your envelope. Go wild, be creative, but most of all connect. I think in today’s age we are way too disconnected from one another. Get to know someone better. A little love and connection can mean the world to some. I am completely open to writing to anyone who would like to receive a letter. Send me an e-mail and I will get back to you with my address.