Archive for December, 2008

10 dec

When Unrequited Love Becomes Requited?

I met someone in college whom I fell head over heals for. Instant connection, just one of those kindred spirits or dare I say it? soulmates. You look at each other and just understand! But nothing really happened back then…didn’t live in the same place and still never have. Our lives were always like two parallel lines, never meeting. Recently we re-connected, soooo many years later after off-and-on sporadic communication all that time.

Well, hello sparks! Unexpectedly, we spent the weekend together. The entire story is very movie-like, but the fact remains, we live very far away from each other. I’m also sort of in a relationship that I’m unsure about. This unrequited love, now requited, and I both want to date, but it feels so impossible. He travels a lot for work (but never here) and I work a million hours and have a really busy life here. What to do? My heart literally aches when I think of him and I know something must happen, no matter what it takes, because you don’t ignore these once-in-a-lifetime feelings.

Shared by SunnySide.

Posted by First 30 Days on December 10th, 2008 in Personal Stories | 3 comments

08 dec

Career, Relationship, Living Change

So 2008 started great. Amazing hedge fund career, great girlfriend, loving living in New York. The universe had another thought though. So over the last 3 months, the hedge fund was shut down, the relationship ended, my visa to stay in New York terminated with the hedge fund, so a move was in many ways forced onto me. Lessons learnt?

Take nothing for granted, not that I did, but it has made me appreciate being in the present more and living more in the present.

Go with the changes that are upon you or that you feel in your gut you need to make. The more I resisted, or why me attitude the longer the “fight” prevailed.

Look for the best option at the time in times of change and move forward towards it. I have really learnt there are no mistakes, just mistakes if you dont learn the lessons. So make decisions in a state of certainty and move towards them confidently. If they dont work out, you readjust.

Trust. One real lesson I continue to learn is to have increased trust and faith things will work out. And the more present I have been and moved to things that feel right for me, the more things have opened up and flowed. Do not be affraid to do what is right for you during times of real change, like work, relationships, where you live, because if you are doing what is right for others, friends, family and what is seen as right, it will not work. So in a way being selfish but honest is what you need to do to look after yourself during times of change.

Have fun with it. I moved to Sydney, missing my NYC friends like mad, then I was running along the cliff tops here, thinking, well life doesnt suck, I miss my friends, but if they are true they will stay with me, and life is one international play pen anyway. Also I decided to have fun with all the change. One example I have a flat, nothing in it as my furniture is on a ship arriving end of January. So I am like camping in Bondi, but I open up to having fun with it. Once I did that, I befriended the Bondi House Hotel ladies, they ask me in, tea on their beautiful balcony, and before long I have crates of kitchen wares, couches in my pad. If I hadn’t shifted my mindset I dont think I would have these excentric ladies and recieved all these cool things!

Ask for help. In times of change, you can be like a dear in a head light. Ask for help from your friends. I have and they are there for me. I asked a friend if we could be at the airport when I arrived, and sure enough the team was there, took me away to an amazing farm for the weekend, and a great way to settle into Sydney. If I had not asked, I would have been in a cab, likely down as I headed to my new vacant apartment.

Lastly, stay in touch with your international friends, they are your life blood and will keep you going.

Also lastly, stay healthy and rested and look after you. For me that is my key.

Hey I am still going through all this, so what do I know, but at times it ain’t easy, but then through it, there is so much growth and new experiences, I am now kinda diggin it.

Hope you get something outta this. But above all embrace it, there are no mistakes, and go with what feels right…lol

Shared by montgomery.

Posted by First 30 Days on December 8th, 2008 in Personal Stories | 3 comments

07 dec

“Unconditional Love”

How does one begin to write in a few short sentences what it took 25 years to play out? It certainly cannot do it justice. How can I make anyone understand the depth and breath of a love that knew no bounds and limitations? I will try to summarize the key points to my life with my husband who suffered with Multiple Sclerosis for over 25 years. My husband, Nick, was diagnosed at age 33 – we were just married a short 2 ½ years but his symptoms existed prior to our marriage. If anyone knows about M.S. it is constantly changing but the worst part is that as things change, you need to start the grieving process all over again, and then again and then again…..At the moment of diagnosis, Nick could no longer work and was wheelchair bound……I was his primary caregiver which entailed everything from dressing, feeding, bathing, shaving, driving around, emotional and spiritual support, bowel care, cathertization of the bladder, etc., etc. For anyone who has been a caregiver of a chronic illness, the list is never ending. I worked at home so that I could be around to tend to his needs, but what happened through all of this was I lost myself, my own person, but he was my primary focus. Eventually, 23 years after our marriage, Nick passed away from the complications of a chronic illness on May 23, 2004. I was at his bedside when he journeyed to a better and peaceful place…..I always told him that I would be there to the end and I thank the Lord that I was given that great gift…..The most amazing thing about our marriage is that it was never consummated. Due to Nick’s illness we were never able to totally become husband and wife and for him that was a greater suffering than anything else that he had to endure or myself…..I could write a book about our day to day challenges and ups and downs and one day I will but in the mean time I just want to get bits and pieces of my story out there. During our journey as husband and wife we spoke on “Commitment” to the pre-marriages courses at our church parish and stressed what that word means and how to live it fully. I am attaching the eulogy that I wrote and read at Nick’s funeral mass and it was written in just a couple of minutes as the words just flowed. I hope I can help any of you that are out there . After Nick’s death I had to find myself and figure out who I was as I was a total stranger. But through spiritual reading and friends who were angels sent to me – I found myself and continue to grow in ways that are unbelieveable even to me…..Change is good but as long as in that change we grow – then we will not fear it – we will look forward to the new things that we find out about ourselves – welcome change – as it is always for our spiritual growth…..May God’s Blessings be on each and everyone of you…….I hope the eulogy will also inspire you…..as Nick’s life and suffering inspired me and made me the person I am today…… Maria – not only’s Nick’s wife/widow – but my own person…….
To My Beloved Husband, Nick:
I don’t know quite where to begin to express in words everything I am feeling right at this moment. How do I summarize into a few sentences what you and I have been through; from the instance we met to the day we said good-bye. Good-bye is such a final word and so I will say “Arriverderci, mio amore”, until we meet again.
We just celebrated our 23rd Wedding Anniversary on May 16th and there you were fighting for your life in the hospital and I was at your bedside. When I reminded you of what day it was, you could only mouth with your lips “I’m sorry” and I said please don’t be sorry.
How could you be sorry for teaching me how to be compassionate, loving and patient and grateful for every moment of life we are given.
How could you be sorry for bringing so many wonderful people into our lives through your illness and visible suffering. It was your smile that was a magnet to everyone you encountered. It was your sense of humor in the midst of all your limitations and dependency. When people would ask how you are doing you would always answer, “50-50″. God used you as an instrument for His great plans and you willingly accepted it with grace and heroism. I know that at times your sorrow and pain must have been unbearable, especially when you had such hopes and dreams for our life together, however we will never understand God’s plan for each of us but we must trust that everything is for the good of all.
I need you to know that I did the best I could and I only hope that you can forgive me for my shortcomings. For all those times I may not have been there for you. Forgive me for the times I may have been too overprotective and not allowed you to take those risks like you so many times did. Remember the time you and I were walking in our neighbourhood and you “popped a wheely” with your wheelchair?
At this time Nick, you and I should take this opportunity to thank everyone that helped us along the way, family and friends. Some with their physical presence, others with their constant prayers and intercessions and others through their work, like those health care workers who came into our home and stayed with you. I always referred to them as your “other wives” and you would just laugh.
Allow me Nick to recognize and acknowledge the pain that your mother and sister are feeling at this time. It is unimaginable and I pray that God will comfort them. I know that you will also be praying for them.
When I think of your whole life Nick, the only passage that comes to mind is found in 2 Timothy, Chapter 4 Verse 6, which reads: “As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
Pray for us Nick, so that we may all keep the faith. I WILL LOVE YOU ALWAYS!!

Shared by mggiusti.

Posted by First 30 Days on December 7th, 2008 in Personal Stories | 5 comments

06 dec

Period of Adjustment

Period of Adjustment

As I opened the vertical blinds, light spilled into my mother’s room, reflecting off the yellow walls and gleaming white vinyl-tiled floor. It shone on her bulletin board, festooned with photos and Valentine cards and a heart-shaped Mylar balloon, half deflated but still bobbing with the air currents as I bustled about.
I moved her wheelchair closer to the window so she had a clear view of the wide boardwalk at Coney Island and the ocean beyond it. No one was passing by. Snow gusted in horizontal sweeps from the Atlantic; a few seagulls braved the icy winds.
“Look at the way the snow is blowing, Mom.”
“What do I care? I’m not going outside anyway. I’m a prisoner here.”
“I’ll take you out when it’s warmer. Remember, we went outside last Thursday. But it’s too cold today. It’ll get warmer soon.”
“What month is it? October?”
“No, it’s March. Did you notice the sign on the wall in the lounge? March 4, 1999.”
“Whatever,” she said with a shrug. “I’m a prisoner. I want to go home.”
There was a new flower arrangement on her dresser, still wrapped in clear plastic. “Isn’t this pretty?” I brought it to the sink, removed the plastic and added water. The gold and red flowers were in a ceramic mug. A small stuffed dog, his paws tipped in Velcro, was attached to the handle. “It was very thoughtful of Mark to send you this.”
“What?”
“The flowers. From Mark,” I said loudly. “Did you see the dog?” I handed her the palm-sized toy and for the first time a slight smile lifted the corners of her mouth.
“Put it there,” she ordered, pointing to her bed. Her roommate, Elaine, had a white panda in the center of her bed.
“What will you call it?” I asked and tried not to think about a similar conversation I had with my three-year-old grandson.
“Cutie.”
* * *
Later, driving home, I watched seagulls whirling in Mobius loops over the Atlantic Ocean, a sullen greenish gray churning with whitecaps. Loops like the conversations with my mother, but at least the seagulls were free to swoop and swirl. They seemed to derive some elemental pleasure from their actions. My mother’s loops were tight, trapping us in a repetitious pattern: she would complain about something, like the hot cereal at breakfast that looked like sand and smelled moldy. I would try to explain: the menu listed it as Maypo. Would she like me to ask them for Cream of Wheat?
Where was my compassion? It was as though I were a little girl again and she was holding my hand too hard as we crossed the street. I wanted to be free of her then. I could not allow myself to follow this twisting loop. It was my duty to bring flannel nightgowns, small boxes of soft cookies that wouldn’t hurt her teeth, even if she forgot to eat them.
I held the steering wheel steady against the gale as the Verrazano Bridge disappeared in a grayish haze. Then the sun thrust its warming rays through the dense clouds. In seconds the snow dissolved and with it the mist shrouding the bridge. Now I was heading west, heading home, away from the nursing home, away from my mother’s surges of fury, spite, bewilderment and sadness. In another moment the sun withdrew, and the gray pall closed in again.
Holding the clear sunny moment in my mind, I pictured my mother as she was an hour earlier, napping in her wheelchair, her head sunk forward on her chest. Then she woke and said in a quiet voice, not the loud, harsh voice of the near-deaf, “I was never a good swimmer. I was always a little afraid of the ocean. My sister Sophie taught me how to swim by dropping me in the water. I still remember how I was choking when she pulled me up. I called her my mean sister.” And she smiled her uneven smile as seventy-five years fell away.
This wasn’t my idea of a happy memory, but it seemed to please her more than reality, which kept slipping away. Maybe I should give her what she wants, I thought. I’ll bring a stuffed animal next time.

Shared by poetessxyz.

Posted by First 30 Days on December 6th, 2008 in Personal Stories | No comments

05 dec

Moving Away From “Home”

I more recently moved to Ohio and I am still adjusting to the change. Prior to moving to the Buckeye State, I had lived in Pittsburgh for my entire life (24 years). I was never more than 30 minutes from my family or less than a mile from my younger sister who also lives in the city.

I knew all of the streets like the back of my hand, my favorite coffee shop, the best place to get pancakes (Pamela’s!) and my favorite places to run — it was MY domain. Not to mention, all of my friends were close by.

But when my fiance got a job offer that he just could not pass up, we made the decision to move to Ohio. It was hard to say the least.

I have gone through moments of, “OK, I can do this” to “Oh, my, God … get me the heck out of here. I hate it, hate it, hate it!”

So much of me was identified through the area in which I lived, and for awhile I feel like I lost a huge piece of me.

What has helped, however, are a few things: (1) My fiance is incredibly supportive. Even when I am screaming, “This is all your fault!” he is there to lend a helping hand. He really is a saint. (2) Getting out and about. I work from home, so staying inside is natural for me. But I have noticed that when I actually get out and explore, I have feelings of, “Hmm … this isn’t so bad.” (3) My family and friends keep in touch with me as much as possible through phone calls, text and picture messages, hand-written notes, and, of course, by visiting me.

I am, alas, a work in progress. This move has been one of the biggest changes I have ever experienced. But I am adjusting … one day at a time.

Shared by carolineshannon.

Posted by First 30 Days on December 5th, 2008 in Personal Stories | 1 comment

05 dec

Happy Thanksgiving…I’m Dating Dad

It wasn’t quite what I was expecting from a call on Thanksgiving morning to my Mom who lives in another state with my sister. After exchanging pleasantries and the update about my 2 year-old son’s latest pre-school artistic abilities with paint (mostly on his clothing) and playground sharing protocol, the conversation segued to a few changes in her life which had energized her. I was happy to hear this since she’d become somewhat isolated in her current living situation.

At first she was coy about the changes she was referring to but after some prodding she dropped the familial bombshell–she was “seeing” my Dad. Yes, my dad whom she’d divorced more than 3 decades ago. Yes, my Dad whom she’d had such a volatile relationship with during their 15-year marriage and for whom she’d harbored so much anger for many years. Yes, my biological Dad, whose most significant role in my life was at conception and then being his namesake. I legally changed my first name at age 36 and gave my son my wife’s last name at birth.

My mom had recently reached out to him to offer her condolences and advice is grieving for the death of his wife. Both of my parents remarried shortly after their divorce in 1974 and remained with their partners until their deaths. My stepfather passed away in 2005. Ironically, each partner succumbed to the effects of alcoholism, despite the fact that both of my parents are non-drinkers.

My mom informed me that she had been speaking with my Dad for the past six months and admitted that these conversations sparked old feelings and presented an opportunity for reconciliation on a number of issues. While it’s true they’ve seen each other from time to time in the past decades, I never imagines nor pined for them to be together again, as some children of divorce often fantasize about.

At first I was stunned by the news, but then took on the role of parent by offering advice to proceed with caution. They’re planning to spend some block time together within the next month in my father’s hometown to get reacquainted and see where it leads them.

While some may see this situation as somewhat romanticized I’m taking a wait-and-see approach with this major change in the dynamic of our family. Despite my non-existent relationship with my father I will not jeopardize my mom’s happiness should it proceed in that direction. Each relationship is repaired in different ways and I will have to reconcile this if he becomes part of my life by extension in the future.

Shared by mannyb.

Posted by First 30 Days on December 5th, 2008 in Personal Stories | 1 comment

05 dec

Transition

I didn’t really understand at the time what early meant. The companion words, either: Brief, short, finite. I knew them in a King’s English sort of way. But I didn’t UNDERSTAND them. I didn’t connect with them. Until a wet day in February, 1997, they were just tools in a toolbox, used when appropriate.

Five years prior I heard the words, and they should have registered. But in the midst of mid-20s confusion and arrogance I somehow discounted them. Or maybe denied is the better word to use.

Even in the hours leading up to her death, I didn’t really acknowledge the weight of those words in my vocabulary. For when you’re sitting next to your last living parent in a hospital room, listening to the sound of air moving in and out of lungs working much too hard, you distract yourself with more practical things. Has someone been over to feed the dog? Does work know that I’m not going to be there tomorrow? Is my car going to get towed? Is my sister-in-law getting enough sleep? When did the doctor say they’d be back? 10pm? What time is it? How’s bro doing? When was her IV changed last? Did we just have a shift change?

As the hours grew late and things became quiet on the floor, I thought about running home to get some things, take a break. She was sleeping peacefully. I could come back in the morning. My girlfriend said no, you need to stay. She said she’d go pick up my things and come back. And she did.

I paced the dark hallway outside of the room, listening to her breathing cadence, counting the tiles. I remember this drill from five years ago, when the man of the house was in this same hospital, in a similar situation. But five years ago the woman of the house was with me, and that made all the difference.

The moments ticked down without me knowing, until the cadence changed. I went into the room and things happened slowly, and quite quickly. There were nurses, doctors, noise, confusion. My girlfriend was there. And at some point in it all a timeline ended.

I found myself out in the hallway, alone with my girlfriend as tubes were removed and alarms silenced. It was 11pm. And it was early.

Shared by davidharpe.

Posted by First 30 Days on December 5th, 2008 in Personal Stories | 1 comment

05 dec

Looking for a Manufacturer

I have a great innovative product that has helped me to save money and time. I discovered it by accident while trying to come up with a low cost /low maintenance solution to the never ending gray hair. My best friend 30days has taught me to look for the postive, and be optimistic. So I decided to use that approach on the dreaded feelings I got when walking by a mirror or putting on my make up and seeing those awful gray roots creeping back after what seemed like a couple of weeks, and a costly salon visit!Thinking positive did work, and I was successful because I found the perfect solution, one that was not available to me on the market. I have since filed for a provisional patent, starting making on my own hair coloring product for roots, know what is needed next, and would like to mass produce and begin marketing. I am looking for a manufacturing firm to partner with, one who will not want to own the license but share in the profits. Any contacts to be shared? I can tell you first hand when I put my make up on now, and fix my hair I feel great, and wonderful things always seem to occur! Could be the fact that gray hair no longer rules my mood, and is replaced with the the feeling of “I won”!

Shared by carlabeau.

Posted by First 30 Days on December 5th, 2008 in Personal Stories | No comments

05 dec

Mind, Body, and Soul

Fortunately (or unfortunately) I’m not going through any specific major life changes at the moment. I am ,however, attempting to make positive changes in all aspects of my life. I’m in my mid-twenties and have dated a bunch of jerks up until now and have a tendency to get caught up with what others think of me. I’m in the process of trying to weed out the negative influences in my life and creating more positive energy. I realize this is a lifelong process, but its something I really want to focus on in the new year. I can already notice some great changes all around me, and ever since I made this commitment a lot of really great people have showed up in my life. To me this is proof that I’m headed in the right direction.

Shared by alegria.

Posted by First 30 Days on December 5th, 2008 in Personal Stories | 3 comments

05 dec

Navigating New Motherhood

I am experiencing the biggest change of my life – the arrival of my first child. Although I read baby books and took child care classes during my pregnancy, nothing prepared me for how hard this is. And it isn’t just the lack of sleep or constant feedings that has been overwhelming. For me, it is the worry. When I first came home from the hospital, I was filled with anxiety: Is he healthy? Am I doing things the right way? What if something bad happens? When my husband went back to work after his paternity leave, I cried. But I have found talking to my sister and girlfriends who have been through this has helped a lot. And every day I feel a bit more confident in my parenting abilities. I’m also coming to terms with the fact that I’m not always going to do things perfectly. The most important thing is that I love my son, and he grows up knowing that.

Shared by lindad14.

Posted by First 30 Days on December 5th, 2008 in Personal Stories | 1 comment