Friday, January 24, 2014
Friday Fodder…Refocusing and Finding Inner Peace

Well friends, it's Friday. I'm not gonna lie, the past two weeks have been less than kind to me. A little over dramatic…probably, but perspective is everything and well, right now, I'm pretty drained. I will warn you, this is a mental cleansing post. I have been thinking a lot lately and I really just needed to journal my thoughts so I can get them out and move forward. I completely understand if you need a fun post to read on a Friday, so by all means, come back on Monday. I promise to move past this and get myself mentally back on track…

I turned another year older last Tuesday. I was actually doing really well with that thought. I was still feeling fresh and ready to tackle 2014 head on. Me and my purposeful action year, we were on a roll. 

Photo: Helen C. Wilson, my beautiful mother
(Grandmama was 13 or 14 here)

Sadly, on that day, I got word that my beautiful grandmother was dying. I was beyond crushed by this news. At first, I was coping with it understanding that she was 82 years old and had suffered from horrible dementia for years. It was her time. I felt an odd sense of calm for her. I focused on her beautiful smile and always happy demeanor. She was an amazing cook that always made the best Sunday dinners for us. I like to think I got that from her. I remember her pork roasts (with mustard sauce), lima beans, coleslaw (with Dukes mayonnaise), rolls and either German Chocolate Cake (the best in the world) or pecan pies. She and my grandfather had huge pecan trees in their yard. My cousin, Michael, my sister, Tara, and I would spend hours picking up pecans for our treats. Definitely a delicious rewards! Grandmama was the type of person that always made you feel happy because she was so incredibly happy. She never met a stranger. You instantly felt like she was a long time friend. She was simply amazing. I will forever miss her laugh and the Southern way she said my name.

I got a call that Thursday evening letting me know that she had passed away. I fell apart. I was completely irrational and angry…mostly at myself. I had let way too many years get between she and I. For that, I will forever feel guilt. My feelings grew sadder as I realized how far gone my youth really is. Not about my age or getting older, but that time has gone and it's going fast (if that makes sense). Driving to South Carolina for her services gave me plenty of time to reflect on things. I have never done so much meditative breathing in my life. My thoughts were all over the place from regret, to sadness, to missing my cousins (whom I hadn't seen in far too long), to missing my grandfather, to not understanding relationships that have gone bad…I was beyond sad.

My expectations of life are not what I thought they would be. I'm guessing most people struggle with this. I should preface this with saying that I am in the most amazing marriage with my best friend. That will forever be true, but there are relationships in my life that I just don't understand and probably will never understand. I'm coming to grips with the reality that we are responsible for who we are. I can't control the people around me or make them see what I see. I really need to move in a direction that makes me happier with me. I need to find inner peace with who I am and where I am (in life and in relationships). I did not take any time off from work this past week. Starting two weeks ago, I went from a crazy work week, to a horribly sad weekend with a lot of stress saying final goodbyes to my grandmother, to driving home at 11pm on Sunday night after her funeral service, to getting up at 4:15am Monday to train clients and then working my butt off this week. Emotionally, mentally and physically I am drained. So, this weekend, I am taking time to regroup and refocus. Two things I will definitely be doing…running and cooking. I have done neither this week and those are both things that I love to do for me. Hopefully I will be catching up on some rest too. I want to start next week on a positive note with positive affirmations.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and definitely tell your loved ones that you love them (hug them if you have the chance). While true friendship and love always know, it's always nice to hear it too.


posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 11:56 AM  
  • At January 24, 2014 at 12:02 PM, Anonymous Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table said…

    Sarena, I am so sorry to hear about your Grandmother. She sounds like a wonderful lady. Thinking about you all. Let me know if you need anything. *hugs*

  • At January 24, 2014 at 12:38 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Sweet friend ... sending you big big hugs. You know I'm always here for you.

  • At January 24, 2014 at 12:47 PM, Blogger Jolene said…

    ((hug)) you are one of the most beautiful souls, and have the biggest heart. I am so very sorry for your loss, your rough week and emotional toll it took you on. I hope this weekend is renewing and gets you back to where you want to be mentally. XOXO!

  • At January 24, 2014 at 12:56 PM, Anonymous Heather @ Better With Veggies said…

    I'm praying for you friend! I have lost a lot of grandparents in the past few years and it's a really difficult time. Sending you a hug from Colorado! :)

  • At January 24, 2014 at 1:13 PM, Anonymous Lisa said…

    Thank you for sharing your process with this sadness. It is really a gift to have family, and at the same time, because families are made of people it's generally not all that glamourous or perfect... We have moments in our lives when we are smacked in the face with the movement of life--we can't count on people being there forever, and less than a reminder that you haven't been ideally connected with some family members, it's a reminder to love and tell those closest to us how we feel about them.
    Also, the wellness coach in me wants you to (1) focus on the amazing relationships you have rather than thinking about some are not ideal, and (2) give yourself enough rest after all of this. It sounds like you have plans for that. And if you have to cancel on a client or two, they will understand.
    Take care, I'll be thinking of you and beaming you lots of meditative deep breaths, my friend.

  • At January 24, 2014 at 1:52 PM, Blogger Kristina @ spabettie said…

    oh sweet friend, first of all I am relieved to hear you are taking some time out this weekend. trust when I say this is essential. you may think you are helping yourself by getting back to routine and schedules and distraction, but you need to heal. you need to feel.

    celebrate your grandmother, mourn her and be with the comfort that she is in a better place. hug your men close and focus on the sheer wealth of quality people you DO have in your life - choosing family is definitely allowed!

    I will remind you again what you already know - that I am always here for you!! ALWAYS. and for some feel good and a smile on your face: when I read this: "I really need to move in a direction that makes me happier..." I took it literally and said out loud "Portland."


  • At January 24, 2014 at 5:38 PM, Anonymous Anna @ On Anna's Plate said…

    She looks so beautiful in that picture. I'm so sorry for your loss-- I know what you mean exactly about regrets after someone is gone. I'm thinking about you and sending love your way-- I hope you get some rest and calm this weekend.

  • At January 24, 2014 at 9:51 PM, Blogger gfe--gluten free easily said…

    I'm sending you my deepest sympathy, Sarena. Please try not to be so hard on yourself. I just read this poem that a friend shared and I thought it might comfort you. It's not exactly the right message, but hopefully it's enough of the right message.

    Love to you, my friend,

  • At January 25, 2014 at 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Sarena,

    To you and your family I extend my deepest sympathy in your time of loss.

    I completely understand how difficult it is to lose a grandparent. I grew up with my Gramie and Grandpa (lived with them for many years of my life). They saved my life in many ways as my family life was very difficult. I was very, very close to them and my grandfather was like a father to me. So when they died it was horribly painful.

    I'm sorry to hear you are carrying so much guilt with you right now. My hope for you that one day this will feel less heavy in your heart and you can make peace with the relationship you had with your Grandmama in those last years. Dementia is a nasty disease, Sarena. It's very difficult and confusing for loved ones. You want to see them, but also don't want to see them. It changes them completely and sometimes we just want to preserve the memory of them when they were well.

    May time heal your heart and mind my friend.

    Hugs to you,

  • At January 25, 2014 at 2:14 PM, Anonymous Alisa said…

    I'm so sorry Sarena! Big hugs to you and your family.

  • At January 25, 2014 at 11:19 PM, Anonymous Mich said…

    Praying for you and your family. I know I'm a stranger but death always get to me and I know how a few words of encouragement can help. Stay strong.

  • At January 26, 2014 at 6:08 PM, Anonymous Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets said…

    I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother. I'm sending you hugs and good thoughts from Cleveland. Take care of yourself this week.

  • At January 27, 2014 at 10:28 AM, Blogger Heather said…

    I'm just reading this now and am so sad for you and your family. I'm sorry it was such a rough week - thinking of you!

  • At February 3, 2014 at 1:11 AM, Anonymous STUFT Mama said…

    Oh Sarena- I had NO IDEA this happened and I don't think I even wished you a happy birthday. I am sooooooo sorry dear friend. Praying for you and sending you huge hugs!!!!

  • At February 23, 2014 at 10:43 AM, Anonymous Frances R Dean said…

    Finding inner peace is the first step towards meaningful relationships with anyone - friends, family, and romantic partners.

  • At April 28, 2016 at 11:53 AM, Blogger Messages For Mothers Day said…

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Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen
Home: Atlanta, GA, United States
About Me: Lactose Challenged
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