My mom would have been 71 today. She passed away June 5th, 2016. I have been thinking of this day, her birthday, all week. I didn’t know what to do once today arrived. Should I try to commemorate the day somehow or just let it slip quietly past? I haven’t had time to properly think, feel or even cry this week. I have been adequately (and frustratingly) distracted by work, YouTube, Netflix and food….always food.

When I think of her, I can still see her smile and hear her laugh. She was always ready to laugh. On vacations, when squabbles broke out (usually between my sister and I), mom was the one who tried to get everyone smiling again.

When we’d visit mom’s side of the family, the uncles would come to my grandparents house and there was lots of uproarious laughter. It’s a Houtz thing, after-all. The Houtz’s are know for their laughter and good times, even in inappropriate situations. There are many stories of my mom’s side of the family laughing during funerals or church services. I honestly thought there might be some merriment at her funeral! It’s almost a tradition! I’m glad to report all went smoothly with her funeral. Good times and laughs were had with the family afterward.

I thought of making a cake or having some chocolate ice cream to mark the day. I didn’t call my dad or mention what today marks in our morning email. I didn’t know what to do or how to feel so I chose to write. My sister wrote a piece today. I haven’t read it yet but I’m sure it’s eloquent and full of nice memories. I don’t want to let myself swim amongst the memories today. I don’t want to be sad, but I am nonetheless. I really don’t want anyone to see my cry. I so hate when people see my cry.

Happy birthday, Mom. Love you.

Pep talk: Take 157 *clack*

Today, I was working the visiting specialist clinic and I can usually find a few moments with my thoughts. I started thinking of the future (as I often do) and where I’d like to be.

As I’ve mentioned in other posts that I want to go to massage school once we move from our current, tiny town. I hopped on the school’s website (I know, not the best idea at work) and started looking at all that is offered. Suddenly, a huge wave of fear and doubt splashed over me. I suddenly felt immensely inadequate to even consider going to massage school. I felt as if I was reaching too high and dreaming too big. What if I suck? What if I fail? What makes me think I can do this?

I looked at massage tables and other supplies online. Before, when I thought about school,Β I could clearly imagine myself with my own business. I could see the building and layout of my shop. I could see the reception desk. I could see the long, white drapes hung from the windows. I could see the hardwood floors and the 10 foot tall ceiling which housed my bright and cheery waiting area. I could smell the fresh laundry and see the linens folded neatly on the shelves. I could see what I was wearing as I greeted clients.

Today, I couldn’t see myself doing any of this and it frightened me to try and envision my future.Β *long, laborious sigh* Bloody hell.

My mind is my greatest enemy. It is the thing which I must continually overcome. The doubt. The fear. It’s all in there, just under the surface, waiting to spring forth and smash my confidence. This lack of confidence spills into and effects every facet of my life. Not only is it trying to mess with my future and hold me back, it wants to keep me from connecting to people. I have been learning sign language online. The thought of communicating with someone with my imperfect, limited knowledge is terrifying. When this fear and doubt creep in, it makes me so angry! It keeps me living small, makes me want to hide from the world and disappear! When a person is told they can’t do something or shouldn’t do something, it has a huge effect. For some, negativity motivates them to “prove the haters wrong”. For others, negativity crushes them and they give up before even trying. I’d doing my damnedest to stay out of the latter category. The negative, fear-filled voice I heard as a youngster has silenced but it’s effects still linger. I wish they did not. Again, it makes me angry.

When I got home from work, I took a step back and figuratively slap myself about the head an shoulders. I feel a bit better now. Writing about my weak moments also helps. I keep telling myself: I am capable. I am intelligent. I am personable. I don’t know everything right now, there is plenty to learn (and that’s OK). I am unsure of the obstacles ahead but I can do this.