4/12/2017

One Year Anniversary in Florida!

Anniversary of a year in Florida! Hard to believe it has been that long that we have lived here, it seems like yesterday that a decision was made by my husband overnight, we needed a new chapter


and it should include a move. I felt like I came kicking and screaming to some extent but with unbridled anticipation of excitement, afraid I would be disappointed so hanging on to fear of change. This was a reversal of roles in our marriage! And after one year, the rewards were plentiful and the time has been enlightening.

The fear was that with Jim’s retirement and limited income, we would not be busy. Moving to Florida, closer to new sights and an active 55+ community felt like that might invite activity on our calendar.  Leaving behind three grandchildren in Nashville was heart-breaking but also realizing we cannot plan a life around them while we still have our health was vital to our decision.  Their life is not planned around ours, nor should it be.

So with the move has come opportunities to spend Thanksgiving with my cousin Scottie and his wife Levaughn, my Aunt Nancy and my cousin Renee! I still have a few family and friends I have yet to catch up with down here, unbelievable as it sounds!  Janis, Patty and another Renee are on my list!

We have had company come down to stay with us that has been a wonderful opportunity to spend uninterrupted fun time. These trips are vacation trips for others that allow us time to share in their fun so as thankful as they are for free lodging and company we are just as grateful for the priceless moments and sharing of life’s moments!  Truly a treasure and we know, if not living in Florida, guests would not abound!  Everyone seems to love the beach and Disneyworld!

It has not been all fun and smiles. During this year, we have lost our most beloved family member, Charley. We had to say goodbye, in our home here. Watching him quickly deteriorate before our eyes was heart-breaking and the aftermath seemed as bad. We have his ashes in our room, reminders in our yard and home and speak of him still pretty regularly but with smiles once again.

We have seen an election come and ago that has been quite upsetting to us and troubling as we are both on Medicare and are starch Democrats living in a Republican county, for the most part. Being called Libtards and having family subtly support views that affect you directly and are in direct contrast to your Christian morality have been unsettling but seem to have drawn us closer and more prayerful at our church. We have been blessed to have priests that support all sides that show compassion towards people.

I never realized that Florida had so many beaches with such varied personalities? I suppose you have
to live here to truly see the magnitude of it but it is astounding! The parks are plentiful and several have much more than alligators lurking in murky areas including tropical birds walking around freely. Our community has three “mates “of sand cranes.  We still stop and stare whenever we see them, whether driving in a golf cart, walking or riding a bike as it is so odd for us to see large tropical birds walking down the street!

Experiencing tropical storms wasn’t all fun but we were aware this was an issue so were strategic in picking Zephyrhills knowing it was not close enough to the beaches to be affected as much. However, we had no idea, when mail came, people would misspell it so much, mispronounce it and an hour and 15 minutes to the beach in rush hour traffic down here equates to, whelp, it varies….not good!
 
Our home in Tennessee was hard to leave but as a friend, Tammy Ratliff said to me, before moving, only take with you the pieces you love to Florida. She suggested make your home look like the new chapter in your life, all new and Floridian. She was right, being frugal with money is easier in Florida and the new look suits us perfectly here.  Everyone that has seen our new ‘digs’ raves about the look. I am so proud of the outcome, honestly, as I went outside of my comfort zone and went for a totally new color scheme and peaceful easy feeling look that is Florida Tammy!  And the smaller size home doesn’t seem small actually once we were living here either. It is plenty for us and accommodates visitors great. Love the fact it is so much easier to keep clean and I got to competely redecorate with all new colors and new scheme!  The end result, well, I am quite proud and the compliments roll in for someone who is not known for being remotely close to Martha Stewart! 

Our community is full of fun things to do so in a nutshell, hot tubs, pool tables, pool (heated in the winter), new clubhouse that now has coffee bar inside, dance floor, library, newer restaurant opening
inside it in June, all sorts of clubs and activities, on and on….you can’t get bored unless you stay in bed. There are the bunch here into golf, as we sit on a golf course, hence Southport Golf Course Community, lol, but nope, we are not planning on taking it up!  With too many issues the entire time I have been here with both shoulders, not a chance!

Thomas Promise has become part of my non-profit passion, a program helping feed hungry children over the weekend in the county. I not only help pack several days a week, with Jim when he is free, but handle their Twitter account now opting to bypass Breast Cancer work for now. This seems a greater need here. I find it exhilarating and am meeting some wonderful people and making some great connections in local business and government.

Tampa is very cool. Busch Gardens is a regular for us as there are concert series two times a year for season ticket holders and we live only 20 minutes away.  We have seen so many sites in and around Florida but still have items added to our bucket list regularly.  Being close to cruise ship ports is an added benefit for last minute cruise deals, yes we love cruising!

Perhaps a video is in order with pictures of some of the moments we treasure.  The hardest part though has still been being further away from some we treasure and not being able to see the
grandkids on a whim.   We definitely feel detached from their lives but it was beginning to feel that way when we lived in Nashville already.  Many had encouraged us to leave the area and quit looking over our shoulders for more time when less was the norm as the kids got older and the parents busier. We realized, too, as we aged, we are less of a priority to our children that are left.   Jim’s son passed away, my daughter and I have no relationship and my son is immersed in his own life.   He and I had talked so he knew well in advance that we were considering moving and that I also respected the fact I was no longer needed in his life as much and that his schedule was super busy.

Learning which of you have stayed in touch has also been valuable indeed!  We will always find time in our lives for you and be there if you need us as you have been this past year for us during our   
transition.    Know that taking steps towards major change is possible, it’s hard but rewarding.  You will find bumps along the way but inner strength you never knew you had.  In some ways, I felt I left much of what I had behind. In hindsight, perhaps there wasn’t as much there as I thought and I have found more anew.  May you always find, with each new page of your life, you will discover that too!
                                  
                                                 Pictures of a Year in Review





4/02/2017

Deciphering Dreams


An open window overlooking a balcony with sounds of the ocean waves crashing as you fall asleep; this is a peaceful evening sending you off to dreamland.  When you wake up, you have a smile on your face.  Many do not even remember trying to fall asleep much less their dreams. Unfortunately, there are those of that wake up from non-pleasant dreams!

Estimates of how many adults experience nightmares vary, depending on who you ask and most occur during the REM stage of sleep.  They can be quite troublesome as a bad dream lingers in your mind as you struggle to make sense of the bizarre in waking hours. In our subconscious, there are no impossibilities, no boundaries and not much makes sense.  Thus, the content of dreams is often bizarre in the light of day and appears nonsensical.

After taking a graduate level class on Dream Analysis at the urging of a Professor in college, I realized I had spent too much time on my own deciphering peripheral items.  This is the most common mistake in trying to understand your dreams. Our subconscious allows our creativity to go into overdrive! The brain has this capacity to come up with the wildest things.  But in understanding your dreams, it is sifting through the guise of white noise where you will find the true meaning.  And make no mistake, for individuals with a troubled life or with issues, it may take a trained therapist to work with much more than the dream analysis to get a reoccurent pattern to break if an issue in ‘real time’ isn’t being addressed.

Our class was required to keep journals. One of our tasks was to record any dream we remembered, each and every detail including any feelings we remembered, if in color, all colors, outlines, other persons, voices, etc..   We began to learn how to, not only understand ours but classmates, at least starter questions to begin the process of deciphering dreams.  Note: in our class it was not only negative dreams, it was also positive experiences.  The interaction with other’s dreams was indeed helpful   because we are often more objective and less protective looking at others dreams than we are at ours.

Good starter questions to stimulate thought around a dream are:
  • ·         How did you feel when this happened? Is this something you are feeling now in your waking hours?
  • ·         Who are the people in your dreams? Are they currently in your life and what relationship do they have with you?  What feelings does it create in you to interact with them?
  • ·          Has anything even remotely happened to you like this before? If so, what was it? Can you draw any parallels?
  • ·         Do any of the surroundings or items in your dream remind you of anything or anyone in your present life or past? Did you have closure with them or is there some unresolved issue hanging in the air?
  • ·         Is your creativity much wider in your dreams than in reality?  Why do you think that is? 

There are millions of questions you can ask but start with the most basic.

Nightmares, a negative dream is more common with adults than one would think.  Persistent issues can cause many a sleepless nights.  Adults can also have night terrors, similar to children. This is especially true of those with PTSD where the nightmare progresses to the point where it can involve screaming, kicking and make the individual need to be shaken to be physically woken up from a sleep stage.  PTSD can also occur at any age, bringing on these nightmare episodes, depending on anyone’s individual perception of stress and bizarre incidents in life. Everyone processes events in life differently so PTSD is not a diagnosis solely for veterans and abuse victims. E.g. a woman woke up during surgery but could not speak so was awake during the extensive surgery in Minnesota 5 years ago. She is currently in treatment for PTSD and has night terrors reliving this experience.

Bedtime for adults should be as it is for children, a routine of peace and calm. As I write this I think of all those young parents out there that as soon as they get a chance, literally fly like Superman and Wonderwoman into their bed!  But if you suffer from lack of sleep from nightmares or night terrors, know that this single step can be a life changer.

Switch sides of the bed, upgrade your pillow, put a diffuser in your bedroom with a favorite scent, spray your sheets before you slip in, read a magazine in bed before you turn off the lights but add in something new! A good night’s sleep is priceless and when you are tired you are more likely to not sleep well, thus be more restless with more negative thoughts through your sleep cycle.


And remember, a dark thought during the day creates dark dreams. Work on positive thoughts of life and you during the day so you go to bed with a smile, sleep that way and wake up ready  to spread some joy!