These days it feels like I can breathe again.

It helps to know that you are ok, and that you no longer have to struggle. This is what I hold on to now.

Warm memories of your smile and laughter fill my heart when I think of you.

Yesterday you turned 14 years old. I still find myself wondering how I ever got so lucky to have you in my life, and I’m still forever grateful for the time we had together.

Thank you for helping me see that there can still be light when you are traveling through a storm.

You are the light in my dark and always will be.

I miss you. Every day.

I know you are flying now.

I know you are free.

I love you to the moon and back.

Fly away Karty.

J. Rounds ©2019 ~Peaces of ME

I am Not Afraid.

I am not afraid of the dark anymore; this is why I can travel through it.

It has made me stronger.

Time.

It heals most things.

But the real healing comes in facing the demons inside.

Ruthless reminders of the past, put upon the shelf of life, where they belong.

You owe it to yourself to live the life that you were given.

Not just give it away to whatever and whoever would take it from you.

Be grateful because it will save your life.

You make your own path in life, no one else. There is hope on the other side of despair. Always. Reach for it.

Be grateful every time you conquer adversity.

Look yourself straight in the eye, and be proud. You deserve to acknowledge that you did not break where you would have before.

There is internal strength and acceptance that comes in that gesture. Grace, healing, courage…so many other things.

Be kind to yourself every day.

In doing that, you can also be kind to others.

You will want to be.

Be the person you needed to be all along.

It spreads to others like a rash.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

Thankfulness.

I don’t know what my life holds for me. To be honest I sometimes still feel like I don’t deserve the good things in it, because I’ve taken life for granted (or did), for so long.

It is still hard for me to see the positive in some situations. It still takes practice to be mindful in times of stress.

I am a work in progress and I know it.

I think we all are, really. I think things happen to teach us about ourselves, what we are capable of, and what we can do to become more whole as individuals; *so at the end of it all, we are at peace when we leave this world.

Remembering a school friend that passed yesterday, and his entire family.

It got me to thinking about thankfulness.

This Thanksgiving I am truly grateful for so many things.

I’m grateful that I chose to end my alcoholic cycle for good.

I’m grateful that I have the desire to work every day, to keep it that way.

I’m grateful that I feel like it’s ok to be me.

I’m grateful that I have my beautiful children in my life, and that they are willing to forgive my past, because they believe in our future.

I’m grateful that I have a loving mother, and sisters who have always loved me, even when I was lost.

I’m grateful for my niece.

I’m grateful that I am still able to learn and grow, and that I’m not stuck in my ways, because many of them were not healthy.

I’m grateful that I have wonderful friends who encourage me to live, and listen to me and encourage me when I feel weak inside.

I’m grateful for my animals.

I’m grateful for my job, and the kind of work I get to do for a living.

I’m grateful that I have the desire to keep moving forward….not back.

I’m grateful that I got a chance to know and care about people that are no longer here on this earth; and for the things they taught me about life, love, and the human spirit.

I’m grateful that I have a place to call home, and that I’m ok with being the only one in it.

So many other things as well.

What are you grateful for? What has your story taught you?

There is a light in all of us and every day we are alive, we have the opportunity to share it with others.

I hope that you are grateful for that fact, because it could all end in a moment. This I do know.

This Thanksgiving I will be working.

It may seem corny, but I will be a light for the animals that could not be with their families this holiday. I will be their family.

To me, that is the second best thing, to being with mine.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.

Love yourself. Always. Xo

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

{The picture kept will remind me.}

When I see pictures of us that are from when we were together, it still messes me up inside.

I still see you in real life from time to time, but the images I have of us are what get me the most.

I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because it turned out so much different than I wanted it to.

Maybe someday I will be able to delete them, but I am not there yet.

I go on with my life because I know that things happen for a reason, and my place is obviously not with you.

I can’t help but wonder if the lessons in it all, are more than I am realizing.

Every day, I become a little bit more ok with the fact that you are gone, and were never really there to begin with.

I used to be so angry about it; now there is a certain peace in the fact that it is no longer consuming my every waking thought.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

Focused on the DO

Today I’m focusing on focusing.

One of my biggest issues is DOING, because I’m easily distracted. I have to focus on focusing, or I won’t get anything done.

I don’t know why I’m like that; I am also changing it day by day with actions; because I don’t like that I’m like that. I’m sure it will continue to get better, if I keep moving forward and trying every day.

People do it all the time. I’m not special in that regard. I get what I put in.

FOCUS.

I’m happy to be feeling generally positive. A little anxious, but it’s normal. A lot to do to get to where I want to be with my life; and where I want to be with T, and our life together.

There doesn’t seem to be enough time to do it all.

Daily I work on the patience part of it, as well. It can be hard, but I know that change and goals take time to come to fruition. I can’t compare my time line to others.

Today is going to be a day that I will have to work at anyways; I cannot lie. I’m fine with that because it feels good to work…it’s my side projects; but I have a lot on my mind this morning as well…so in that way too, I will have to work.

I’m am going outside, and I’m going to enjoy the sun and take photos 🙂

I don’t know where I’m going with my photography; but I do know that I have the drive to make it a permanent extension of who I am as a person; in many regards.

My issue has always been financial (lack of). Also focus. (Focused on wrong things). Also time management. Also thinking I couldn’t do it. Not doing it.

I have to focus always….even on my days off…. to get to where I need to be, for me.

I’m just glad I can still be positive, and I have the motivation to try to spread that positivity. I have the belief in myself now, that I never did before.

Today I am spreading more than usual positivity on myself….because I need it 🙂

I’m admitting it fully because that’s OK.

I am eleven months, and eight days sober; and very grateful for that. I am grateful for my family and for T and for my friends that never left me, and believe in me.

That is a GOOD thing.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

{In and Out of Love}

I wonder how it is,

That so many people spin on a whim for love; but never truly find it or feel it. 

It’s as if the world is in love with being in love; hungry and desperate for it; but there is no real love left, to be found. If there is; it isn’t valued for what it is worth; or even wanted most times from the receiver.

The measure of love seems to be these days; just how much you can bend to fit the mold of your “other”.

There shouldn’t be a mold, or any bending going on; because that bending always bends you eventually, to the point that you will break.

Love doesn’t mean much, if you’re moving on to the next best thing in your head, after your “other” is asleep. 

Love is just a word that people use to describe a feeling; but most of the people using the term, don’t even get the concept.

There is no loyalty, or true assurance backed up by actions anymore. Nothing to rely on, except the latest fight…and what will be spun into something that it’s not…next.

There is nothing really but people falling in and out, of what they claim to be love; and then wondering why and how things didn’t work out; and then going on to love someone else, that will only bend better than the last one. 

J. Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

To be Present. My Visit with my Children in Michigan.

I was very anxious and also nervous to see my kids this last Saturday. When I saw them… all that left me.

I became elated.

Sitting there with them in those first moments; when I actually was faced with the realization of just how much I had missed out on these last years without them; I automatically began to feel so small and unworthy of their love; also ashamed of myself. There are no words for it…

I know that feeling will take time to go away; and I had to push it aside and focus…but it’s still there. As it should be, maybe…I don’t know. I struggle with it.

My kids are as beautiful and amazing as I remember. It was the very best thing to see them. I needed to be present; to talk with them and hug them. I needed to make that effort to show I could be…and can be there, when I say I will be. In the past I have made promises that I could not keep. That is over now.

 I know it was just one visit, and that I have a long way to go. I know that things are not the same anymore, and that none of us can get the time back ….but it is a start of better things to come…I am sure of it. Also a huge goal for myself that I have met…a first step of being there for them. 

My kids and I spent time together; and we laughed 🙂 I got to give them their gifts from the holidays; it was nice to see them open them in person. We bowled, ate and played video games, and laughed some more. 

It was a good time.

If I’m being totally honest, then it makes sense to tell you this as well. It was awkward for me at points, because I tend to over think things a lot; and I think for me, that was really the reason for that feeling. I want to be positive around my children you see; and always if I can manage the very highest percentage of that. I try to put myself in my kids minds sometimes…but I know that it’s not smart to do so much…because my guilt comes again…and it makes it hard to focus on the moment. Also not going to help me be Jenni today. 

I guess it’s to be expected for a while…that I’d do that, though. Guilt can kill you, but it’s way worse when it’s guilt about your present.  I don’t have guilt at all about my present self. I am grateful for the fact that I can feel again. I wish I could stop the feelings of the past that pop up though; quicker; until it goes away for good, because it sucks to replay in your head. Maybe that is selfish, but I can’t be positive when I feel like I’m shit. It’s unhealthy to dwell on the negative past too; because it cannot be changed. I tell myself that.

Geez….what am I going to do with you Jenni.

………………………………………………………

It’s strange to see my children growing so fast; and it is hard to get the memories of when they were younger into proper focus sometimes. That was then; and this is indeed now. They are both so kind and smart; beautiful and handsome;  both amazing kids, growing into amazing bigger ones. 🙂 

It was really a sight for sore eyes, and very comforting to me…despite my fleeting thoughts of guilt.

I have made a promise to myself, to make sure I never let them down again. I cannot. That is a solid commitment that I can only fulfill with my actions, and by remaining sober…and I will;  doing it day by day….like today; I will make that choice to live

I’m dying if I drink again….I don’t want to drink…. It ruins everything, every time. That is a fact for me, and you can definitely agree, based on my BS track record.

I don’t know, but…..

I feel as if my entire life came to a head when I had to say goodbye. I tried not to cry, but I couldn’t help it. 

I hope they will forgive me for that….sometimes it just comes out.

In the future, I will either be moving back to Michigan, or somewhere way closer to Michigan.  I want and need to be there for my kids in whatever capacity I can, and that they want or need me to be. I do not know what that will be; but I will be there for them regardless, and none the less…by being able to physically see them more, if that is something the future holds.

I owe them that. I want to be there. I wasn’t…but I can be now.

Although I do think it was a good thing that I left Michigan; I don’t think the way I did it, or the circumstances surrounding my move; did anything but cause a huge rift, that is not repairable.

I hope that new, good memories, and my solid commitment to be well; can replace the bad ones, until they sink to the bottom and get lost.

My kids will always be my kids; and I hope now that they see me well, they will start to realize that I am different than when I was sick, and want to know me again. 

That’s my hope.

I’m just going to continue to call them, and decide about what would be best with everything else, as it comes. I’m trying not to be overly dramatic about everything, because I know that it’ll just make things more confusing for everyone. 

It is a very emotional time for me right now though.

I appreciate my ex for being so respectful towards me; and for him and his wife allowing me the opportunity to see my children; because they didn’t have to. 

I know it’s because I am backing up my words with actual positive actions now…and also that that’s the way it SHOULD have been all along. 

People CAN change for the better, if they really want to.

 I thank you both for giving me a chance to prove it to my kids… because it means more than I can tell you.

My kids are happy and thriving, and I count my blessings every day to know this. 

This is the first chapter in a road of twists and turns with them I’m sure…but I can’t say enough how much seeing them, made me know that I’m on the right path in my life. I knew that before; but it was re-affirming.  I know it’s not going to always be easy; but I am moving forward. 

I owe it to my kids (all 4), to continue. I owe it to myself. I owe it to my family. I owe it to my true friends, and anybody that ever looked up to me. 

I am 9 months and 16 days sober; and every day that I am alive is a gift, and a chance to make a positive difference in the world. 

I know this; and I finally feel like it’s all possible. It’s nothing without my children, and it’s nothing without my sobriety and the truth of life.

This I know for sure. 

Whatever happens from here on out, is directly hooked into these three things.  My direct efforts are going into them…because to me, it’s the only thing that matters to me at this point.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2017 ~Peaces of ME

To Live…2018.

Every year I look back with a new respect for myself, the people I love, and the fact that the world is still spinning.

2017 is no exception.

On this 2018 New Years Day, I am nine months, six days sober. I’m finding every day that my attitude about things I find hard to deal with in life; only changes when I change it; allow the change to happen; and embrace the change fully. I have learned a lot this year about myself; and to what extremes I will go to for health and happiness.

I do not have to hold on to turmoil; or things, habits or people that cause my life stress or harm; and to spin out of control. I do not have to be that kind of person, that focuses on the negative either…and have been doing well In that area, compared to how I used to be. 

I’ll take that.

To value myself in times when others may not, or in situations that may not be ideal for me; causes a rift in my unhealthy thinking cycles; and it then pushes me towards the positive change, that is now starting to stem to every other aspect of myself, and my life.

Little things have added up.

The change was and is still slow sometimes; it is always ongoing, and often still frustrating….

But I AM becoming.

I WILL CONTINUE TO PUSH THROUGH THE BULLSHIT IN 2018.

This year, I’ve made a promise to myself, to live every single day as if it were my last and without regret at all; and to also help as many people as I can to feel worthy of doing the very same… NO REGRETS. I have goals that I’m excited to meet; and a hope that I will get to where I need to be; if I just keep, keeping on.
I look back at this last year….and it was difficult, but worth every single second. 

2018 is going to be a solid year for me, because I refuse to let it be anything else. 

It’s taken me a long time to get here….and I know it’s just begun. 

I couldn’t be more excited.

I hope your New Year will be full of positive things, happy moments, and goals met.

I also hope you rock it in your own kick-ass way…and LIVE it like there’s no tomorrow… Because that’s what really matters. 🙂

Love yourself. 

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

Festivus for the Rest of Us.

It’s the classic Seinfield episode, that most accurately fits my holiday celebrations; and/or, lack thereof; depending on the year and how I’m feeling. Festivus…It’s the safest Holiday greeting to give; if you don’t want to get beat up or shunned this Holiday season. (*Huge sarcasms) (I’m laughing as I type this)

Christmas used to be a time that I was excited for every year. When I was a child, I’d literally make myself sick with excitement; and I could never sleep well Christmas eve, because of it. My mother still refers to those days sometimes…and we always have a laugh about it…because seriously, I was a total dork back then too, as well; whoda’ *thunk it.

Yes; I do have good memories of Christmases past. Memories of my childhood, and memories of my kid’s childhood Christmases too.

As I’ve gotten older, and am also divorced now;  I’m no longer involved with my kids Christmas mornings. I’m grown as well. So what used to be a really special time of year for me, has morphed into a rather take it or leave it holiday instead. It’s just another day to me really; except everything’s closed. Not to mention the over-commercialization; and the obvious over-inflation of the idea, that you must spend money to excess. It starts sooner and sooner every, single year. People act more desperate and “Scroog ish” as well. To me that is frustrating; and also sad. It’s not about the Black Friday deals…

My Christmas changed to Festivus because of it.

It suits me better.

Grievances.

I don’t know. I guess this year I’m just happy to be able to celebrate with T; and to know my kids had a wonderful holiday; because I know they did. I don’t have grievances that I’d really like to share…most are internal struggles, and not really grievances at all.

This year I am sending my friends and family some candies I made, that have my own Festivus Jenni touch on them.  I’m considering doing more of these in the future to sell (this is just one idea); but I thought I’d do a trial run first on the “immediates”. Haha.

I also made a donation to the Ronald McDonald house in my son Karter’s name. I try to do that every year; because I know without their support, my son could have never gotten the care he needed in Detroit or Cleveland.  At that time, we were a new family, and just doing the best we could financially. We were able to stay with the Ronald McDonald house while in those hospitals; and it really did take a big financial/mental burden off of us because of it. We were able to focus on more important things; like my son’s future care and treatments.

I will always be grateful for the Ronald McDonald house; and I look forward every year to donating, so other families that need help, can focus on healing as well. It makes the holidays better for me.

Here is the link, if you are so inclined. It truly will help people who need it.   

  The Ronald McDonald House 

I did not have a pole this year like a regular Festivus celebration; and my feats of strength consisted of lifting and moving a lot of dogs at work, and whatever yummy goody I could manage to shove in my mouth. I got to talk to my kids; and I was happy to be with T and his family today; and happy to know that T and I are celebrating one year together; AND 9 months sober today as well. That’s a Festivus gift we both gave to ourselves, and the people we love. We worked for it; and continue to do soevery day, because it will always matter most.

Also, if you ever want to look at a cool light display, check out Light up Middletown, if you’re ever in my neck of the woods next Season. It’s awesome! 

That’s about it, and what counts this season, in my world right now. 

I hope wherever you are, and whatever you are doing and did this year to celebrate; it truly was and will be festive and beautiful for you. 

I mostly say Happy Festivus to people; because it saves me time from dealing with the PC people of the world, that have to have their Christmas greeting worded in such a way, that it suits their beliefs/religion. 

Festivus knows no boundaries, and is ALL inclusive. 🙂

I think it’s safe to say, that it really doesn’t matter how you say it; as long as you remember what truly matters in the holiday season, and really always. That is kindness; family and loved ones; giving of yourself in any regard that is positive, and in any capacity; and to remember that gifts come in many different forms. Just being there for someone and valuing them when they really need you, is probably one of the greatest gifts you could ever give someone…and is FREE.

Happy Festivus for the rest of us, and all that jazz. I hope your holidays are amazing.

Love yourself. Xo

J.Rounds ©2017 ~Peaces of ME

Untitled.

You choose the easiest way, because it requires less effort…and suits you directly; right now.

I know, because I’ve lived it; and was that person too, in the past.

It’s never the easiest way though. You know this. 

That’s why it’s frustrating.

Unfortunately, the easiest way, is not always the best way to go. Many times you end up missing out on things you could have achieved or had, or people who would have stayed in your life; because at the time you didn’t think taking the easy way mattered…and it was easier than trying to go the other way. 

Everything is relevant. Your choices on ways to go are relevant too…

Like a last goodbye. 

What and whom you focus your attention on; is what you put your effort into; and it is like anything else. 

What will you choose to fight for?

Empty promises, words destroyed by your actions time and again.

More than anything, I want to take the best way, not the easiest one. 

If you are not beside me; I will go alone. 

There’s a future that awaits me; and it’s coming regardless of the hurdles.

There is no easy way to get there at all; and I can’t walk for both of us anymore, because I am tired.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2017 ~Peaces of ME