What Christmas Means to Me

christmas_fireplace red and white socks hot chocolate_rockinrandommom

Christmas is a wonderful time of year! Next to Halloween, it’s my favorite holiday but it isn’t just the holiday. It’s every thing the holiday represents. Good Cheer, Christmas decorations, hot chocolate, snowmen, and being with family. We celebrate several different holidays this time of year as well. We have Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, among many others.

However, for the past – oh I don’t know – five or six years, I haven’t been in the mood to celebrate. I’ve gone through the motions but I haven’t felt much in the way of the Christmas Spirit for quite some time. I even wrote a post about not being in the spirit a couple years back HERE

In the past I have suffered from depression this time of year and it played a major role in my lack of Christmas cheer. Last year was probably the worst year due to the unhealthy relationship I was in at the time. You can read more about that HERE and HERE However, I think in hindsight it was the best thing that could have happened to me.

I know what you’re thinking. How can an unhealthy relationship be the best thing? Remember when I said I was just going through the motions with every holiday? Last year I couldn’t even think straight. Last year was just different. After the break up, the blinders came off and not just with the relationship but with my life. I went down the rabbit hole of deep sadness then when it was over, I came out so much happier.

It set me up for a better year, a better Christmas!

For the first time since I was a teenager I was in the Christmas spirit in November! Thanksgiving came and I was so excited to watch the parade with my oldest and ready to watch Christmas movies right after. I couldn’t wait to decorate my home or get the tree. I don’t actually have my tree yet but I’m so excited to get it this week and play Christmas music while decorating it with my kids!

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It’s like the magic came back for me. It is flowing through me and the spirit of this wonderful season is working its magic in my soul! I have been baking cookies every week since Thanksgiving and not begrudgingly. I am enjoying the baking again!

I do have to give credit to my new gamer friends!

I struggled for a while after my break up to find other gamers that I really enjoy playing with and talking to. I joined a Destiny clan and met some really great women with whom I share a lot in common. Four of us are parents and the others are just a pure joy to talk to and play with. I can enjoy gaming again but more than that, I have finally found some like minded people who have lifted me up and helped me through a tough time.

I also have to give credit to my new advocacy position at Safe Passage!

I have written about this recently. HERE is the post if you want to read it. I have met some really great people through this organization. Safe Passage is a non-profit that advocates for those who have suffered from Domestic Violence. We provide resources, shelter and legal advocacy as well as a crisis hotline and education in the community. I love working  here because of the people I work with.

They are such a supportive and compassionate group of people. I look forward to my work every day because of the supportive environment they provide. Through this work I have gotten my confidence back. My last work experience was pretty bad and I lost my confidence in my skills but now its back. I feel better than ever!

So what does this have to do with the Christmas Spirit?

Everything! When you have good, positive people in your life, it’s contagious. Next thing you know, you’re positive and you’re happy. When you have a great group of supportive people who are willing to listen to you and offer you positive feedback, that affects your outlook on life.

I have great people in my life and I have gotten rid of the negativity that has surrounded me for the past few years. Because of this I am now feeling the same way I used to feel as a kid. Christmas was always my favorite time of year. I lost that for awhile. I’m so fortunate to have found my way back to it again!

So Merry Christmas to all of you! I wish you much happiness with whatever holiday you celebrate this season and best wishes for all of your holiday dreams!

I am leaving you with one of my favorite Christmas songs by one of my Favorite all time actresses: The late great Judy Garland!

 

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Thanks so much for reading!

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Rockin’ Quote #34: Dracula, Children of the Night

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This quote is from the first movie version of Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi. It’s a classic and one of my favorite vampire movies. Dracula, Children of the Night. As anyone who knows me knows that I love all things vampire. It all started with a little movie called The Lost Boys. There is no Dracula but they were just as scary.

That started my whole obsession with vampires. I always knew who Dracula was. Dracula was everywhere during Halloween. I used to watch The Munsters. Sesame Street also had a hand in my introduction to vampires. The count was my favorite character. However, it wasn’t until years later when my mom introduced me to the 1930’s version – and the best version.

While studying literature in College I also read the book in my Gothic Lit class. I loved that class! So here is my ode to my favorite vampire of all time

 

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There are other great actors who portrayed my favorite vampire:

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Christopher Lee was the scariest Dracula! A superb actor!

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We can’t forget the 90’s version, starring Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, and Winona Ryder

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Even Buffy took on the famous vampire

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Of course Mel Brooks turned the most fearsome vampire to ever live into one of the funniest I’ve seen

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Then there is two of the sexiest Draculas, played by Luke Evans in the feature film, Dracula: The Untold Story

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The other sexy actor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, played Dracula on a short lived TV drama titled, Dracula

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Ironically, he played another one of my favorite historical figures, King Henry VIII

I can’t write a post on Dracula without naming the real historical person who inspired the undead icon, Vlad Tepes, a.k.a., Vlad the Impaler. Honestly, he was a real person. Just look him up. Warning though, no undead version holds a candle to the evil of the real person!

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And last but not least, the fun loving Disney Dracula my kids love: Hotel Transylvania 

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Before Bela Lugosi though there was this guy:

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Nosferatu

But for me, Bela Lugosi is my favorite Dracula. The movie may be old and the filming sucks compared to today’s films but the movie scared the hell out of people back then and that’s why I love it

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Which Dracula is your favorite?

My Random Musings
My Random Musings

Rockin’ Quote #13: ‘Tis Near Halloween

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Updated Post from 2015

Rockin’ Quote #13: ‘Tis Near Halloween

halloweenquote2_rockinrandommom October is my favorite month of the year. Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love the aura of Autumn and of Halloween. I can’t explain it but it fills me with a weird fuzzy feeling in my stomach and chest. This time of year makes me feel more alive and more free than any other time.

I read once, a long time ago, that the seasons represent life. Spring represents birth. Summer represents youth. Autumn represents old age and/or dying. While Winter represents Death. The circle of life affecting nature in its finest and most raw form. So then why do I feel the most alive during the old age season? Maybe its because getting older doesn’t mean the end. It can sometimes mean a new beginning.

Halloween is the season of the witch, black cats, vampires (my personal favorite) and all the old school monsters. Some how these days, I find comfort in these “monsters.” With all of the bad that has been happening around the world lately, I think finding comfort and solace in a good ole fashioned “scary” story where the vampire is feared and the witch is green, (No offense to my mom, who is a Wiccan. Love you Mom!)

I also have a black cat and in no way believe they are bad luck. Just saying!

Anyway, I found this quote a while back and just love it! It has everything that draws me to Halloween in one short quote, save the dressing up part, but that’s just a given.  For ’tis near Halloween, when all the ghosts and goblins come out!

We get to dress up in our scariest…or sexiest costumes and cause some mischief in the world without any repercussions. Of course, the cops are out this night so you might want to not cause too much havoc now, hehehe!

Halloween is almost here ladies and gents! Get Ready to haunt, trick, and be scary!

Here are a few more of my old tags I made for Halloween:

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I can’t remember who the artist is for these two. It might be Joel Adams but I could be wrong.

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The artist of the lovely lady holding the skulls is Myka Jelina. She’s one of my favorite artists!

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I hope you all have a fantastic and hauntingly happy Halloween!

Thanks so much for Reading!

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A New Adventure is About to Begin on the Career Front

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This past week was a busy one. It was the first full week of school for the kids. Something else happened though. On the Career front that is. It’s pretty exciting. At least for me. This isn’t a paying job but an internship. However, the training is one that I’ve wanted for quite some time and Internships are always good for anyone looking to advance their career.

Let me explain a little of what I mean:

I did an internship during college with the local Rape Crisis Center. I went through a full semester of intense training before becoming a certified counselor/advocate for the center. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I didn’t just learn about the job and duties. I learned a lot about myself as well. I learned some very valuable skills, like Self-care, that I have use in my career and at home.

I worked there as a volunteer for almost two years. It was a very fulfilling job. Every time I counseled someone on the hotline or advocated for someone in the hospital, I felt… complete. I knew that I was answering to a higher calling and I was participating in something so much bigger than myself. That’s when I knew that helping people was the career path for me.

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But it didn’t last…

My internship ended because I had gotten a full time paying job that took up most of my time so I had to leave. I really enjoyed it there. I felt like I was finally giving back but all good things must come to an end I suppose. The job didn’t pan out. The stress of the demands of my old boss were too much and I wasn’t feeling like I was furthering my career in any way. It left me depressed and lost.

Three months later I started my blog in hopes of expressing my thoughts and finding my path. I love writing and I will continue to write and help people through my writing but I need something more. I’ve spent the last two years trying to figure out what that was. I don’t just want a job though. I want my career to mean something. I want to leave an impact, even if it’s only a small one.

So What is this Internship?

I can’t go into details about it because like the Rape Crisis Center, it is a confidential type of organization but I will be working with survivors of Domestic Violence. I will be working with children and adults. I’m not exactly sure what my duties will be but I’m very excited to be a part of this great organization that I have wanted to work with for several years.

This is a wonderful opportunity for me and I am so hoping that it will further my journey on my chosen career path. I really want to work with children, teens, and young adults who have survived great childhood trauma. This internship will allow me to develop new skills to work with children. It will also allow me to really figure out the best way to do that.

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There are many different ways to work with children. I just need to find my way and I can’t wait to find that out. Maybe it is going to ultimately be through writing. Maybe its through counseling. Or maybe it is both.

What will this mean for my blog?

Well first, I am not going anywhere. I adore my blog and I plan to keep writing as long as I have the words inside me to write them. I won’t be as active on the linkies and other groups that I am involved in because of the internship but I will still be here ready to interact with all of you lovely readers out there.

This blog has changed my life. The wonderful bloggers I have met and became friends have truly opened my world and I am so grateful for all of you. Writing has truly become my favorite outlet for expressing myself. I write for you but I also write for me. If I didn’t I’d probably go insane. It is one of the ways I keep my depression at bay too. So for you and for me, I am staying. Yay!

My training starts next week and I’m so excited for this new journey to begin! Wish me luck and I will certainly keep you posted.

Thanks so much for Reading!

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Rockin’ Quote #34: Know When to Walk Away

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It’s been awhile since I posted a quote of the week. This quote “know when to walk away…” is piggy backing off of my last post When a Romantic Relationship Affects Your Mental Health. I spoke a little bit about my suspicions of my ex-boyfriend possibly having a mental illness. I also spoke about how he always shut me down with every suggestion I would make about getting help.

Reading over it though, it occurred to me that I didn’t really talk about one huge reason I felt I had to walk away from him. I want to talk about this because if there is a reader out there who feels they need to stay with someone in order to help that person, please consider all of your options first.

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If you’re anything like me, you don’t like to give up on the ones you love. You may also be what I call, a fixer. If I have a problem or if someone I love has a problem, I like to find a solution to that problem. I can’t tell you why I’m like this. Maybe it’s because I am the oldest of four. Maybe it has to do with my childhood and how I grew up. Or maybe I was just born this way.

The point is this: Because I have a fixer type of personality and I hate giving up on people, I don’t always know when to walk away. But years of therapy and much, MUCH self-reflection have helped me to see that sometimes I really do need to walk away from a negative or toxic person. I have to for my own benefit.

Sometimes I struggle with this because I wonder if I’m being selfish. I was told constantly as a kid that I was selfish. You know how kids are. When I wouldn’t let my little brother play with me and my barbies because he was my annoying little brother. Or when I was called a selfish bitch as a teenager because of whatever I wrote in my diary that day.

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I talked in my last post about my depression while in that relationship. There were days when I wouldn’t even get out of bed. My kids noticed the very obvious change in me. I have struggled with depression my whole life. However, for the past two years I have been doing very well in spite of that.

I was very active and very involved with my children’s schools. I was writing every day, either in my blog or working on other projects. Then I met someone and while the honeymoon phase can be expected to take one away from the world a little bit, it went deeper than that.

Then there was me trying to help him. I wanted to fix his problems. Except he didn’t want to fix his problems. When I think about it, I know its because he isn’t ready. You really do have to be ready to take that journey into self-improvement and healing. NO ONE CAN DO IT FOR YOU. Remember that.

walkaway_rockinrandommomThe second part of my quote, “Be strong enough to stay away” is what tends to be a problem for so many people. To walk away is one thing but when you really care for someone, staying away is a different story. Because I wanted so much to help him, even after we broke up, I wanted to remain friends. 

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The problem with remaining friends with an unhealthy person though is that you get pulled back into their world. You get pulled back into their darkness. Before I knew it, I was right back where I was before. I knew then that in order for me to be healthy I had to walk away completely.

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I had to think about myself and my boys. There were also questions about what we had in common. We didn’t have a whole lot. Video games were the most prominent. He didn’t take interest in any of my interests yet kept “strongly recommending” his interests. Even gaming stopped being fun after a while because if he wasn’t constantly jokingly insulting my gaming, then he was criticizing the game itself and after awhile that just stopped being fun.

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This also applies to those who find themselves in abusive relationships. Most people stay out of fear but many stay because they believe they can “fix” their partner. Remember what I said earlier? They have to WANT to fix it. They have to want to change. It’s out of your hands. At the end of the day you have to be happy. Know when to walk away…Be strong enough to stay away.

I would love to know what you think about this topic. Leave me a note in the comments.

Thanks so much for Reading!

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I am linking with:

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