Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"By Invitation Only" April 2013

International Blog Party

welcome to our monthly international blog party consisting of invited members
from around the world.

with this post, I am delighted to announce our newest member, the brilliantly humorous 
professional writer & blogger,  a beautiful woman, 

D. A. Wolf 
of the blog
"Big Little Wolf's Daily Plate of Crazy"
(whatever life dishes out)

you will find her link below

we all thought it would be interesting to talk about our 
maybe really big ones, or small ones, but ones which have changed us
& educated us and, perhaps, enriched us.
difficult things from which we learned much.

one of my challenges which has forever been a problem is never having enough time.

rushing, too much on a schedule, working, raising children, social life, managing everything
because there was no one else to do it.  
and a husband who expected nothing less than perfection of everyone except himself, but he 
thought he was perfect, and for a very long time I believed he was too.

I was always drawn to our garden, it was so very important to me, it was where everything
slowed down, where the only thing important was to take the time to make the plantings
flourish.   I loved hibiscus because every single morning you would have new gifts in
the awesome flowers, even though by evening they would close again, having spent their
short life in the sun and allowing us to gaze in wonder at their beauty.



I nurtured everything, and it didn't bother me when the rabbits ate the coleus, or when the
2 Collies laid down on the impatiens.  They, too, were part of my solace and our garden.

whenever a holiday came round I was the one who did everything.
and I did a lot.
finally realizing the reason I did so much was that I didn't dare risk criticism if it wasn't done perfectly.

this, of course, was my own requirement, no one else's.

I finally went to counseling, two times a week. not only because of my hectic lifestyle, 
I knew my marriage of many years was over, 
that I could not go on in the same way, I could not continue to do everything while
a brilliant and talented man sank into the depths of depression & alcohol.

you know, it takes a long time for one to speak aloud to a therapist before you hear &
process exactly what you're saying.
I mean, the answers are right in front of you.
the one thing she asked me one day was this, "What would happen if you only did
1/2 as much?"   
I laughed out loud, and said "Nothing would happen, I would be the only one
who would know."

as with everything else, it's easy to recognize there is a problem,
the difficulty is doing something about it.

I did divorce.  I thought it would be easy because it wanted out so badly.
but, somehow, learned behaviors and habits take a long long time to change.
I actually don't think I missed him, I just missed having a relationship.

learning to live on my own was not easy.
I had always earned enough money, and when I divorced I didn't receive
one cent.  I continued to earn a living, but transitioned from one 24/7
profession back into luxury retail / fashion where I had begun so many
years ago, and where I always knew I belonged.

when I wasn't working I cherished being at home, alone or with my dogs & kids,
and I built the most beautiful garden, it grew & became lusher and more verdant.
it was my satisfaction then, something I was so very proud of because I did it all myself.
and I did it my way.

my life has had ups and downs, like everyone who has lived awhile,
it's been a good life, and there is still so much more to do.

I am now never over-committed with endless charity projects, I almost never go to lunch,
I've given up sports which have become hard instead of fun, aka skiing, white-water
rafting, skeet shooting, tennis, running 3 miles (now it's walking 3 miles),
water-skiing, skydiving, snowboarding, skateboarding & para-sailing.

the challenges were overcome a long time ago,
and I finally learned no one can be both the pitcher & the catcher.
it is a good lesson to learn.



  1. A true "from the heart" post Marsha, it takes a lot of courage and strength to face our old habits and change them for the better, your words are inspiring and insightful, I love it :)

  2. Incredible shots...no words to comment..these all are outstanding pictures

    Android Developer

  3. Oh this explains much about you and your strengths Marsha. Going through a journey like that has obviously been very difficult but ultimately has given you much more than if you hadn't faced it. Such honesty and such courage - inspiring for the rest of us in so many ways. xx

  4. Amazing Marsha... Your words strike a chord in our hearts... xv

  5. You have had so much to deal with in your life Marsha and you have so much courage. They say that the difficult things that we face in life make us stronger .
    A beautiful, touching and heartfelt post which will certainly give others inspiration and hope.
    Much love. XXXX

  6. Marsha such a heartfelt post inspiring and full of wisdom for many not an easy thing to lay our souls bare xx Carla

  7. BRAVO MARSHA!!!! This was amazing, thanks for such a candid and personal post. You have always struck me as a super capable able and accomplished woman...lifes hurdles are what build us up into the people we become. I love how you have your garden as your own private sanctuary.....change is hard, takes a lot of courage and discipline, its scary and daunting......but you did it and I think the fact that you recognized you were in a bad situation and had the courage to leave and stand on your own two feet says a lot about your inner strength. Thanks for this Marsha!

  8. I have to smile Marsha, you and I are so much alike. I’ve never divorced but I did manage to fill every waking second with way too much to do but I did it to myself. Thankfully I’ve learned to let go and you know something the world didn’t stop. Congratulations on having the courage to walk away and find yourself!


  9. Dear Marsha... I know the day we will finally meet will be an instant connection. Your raw honesty about your life and its challenges, your solace in your garden bring shivers down to the pit of my stomach as if you and i lived parallel lives. You have overcome the biggest challenge which is to stand for yourself and understood what is good for you in this life. For that, my hat to you!

  10. Dear Marsha,
    I am a reader but have never commented. We lived in Sugar Land a few years ago. I used to read Paper City and attend the CASA fundraiser/or other fundraiser and look at all 'the beautiful' Houston women, which I am sure you were one of.....you never know what each person is going through in their life. Thank you for sharing. You are a brave, strong and beautiful woman. You are a REAL role model.

    Warmly, Kathleen

  11. Marsha this is beautiful, sincere and courageous just like you. Like the others, there is so much that rings true for me. So much. You have given me much to think about.
    I was not so brave, shying away from the personal to a global challenge. Your post will encourage me to go further next time. We had to drive up into the mountains to get an internet connection so I will look forward to discovering the other responses at the end of the week when I get home. Hope the wicky link worked!
    xoxo Heather

  12. Hi Marsha,
    I'm a writer/artist/photographer splitting very limited time between two countries so I can completely relate to your time challenge. Just last year, as a New Year's resolution I decided to stop running out of time and start running into it instead. That's helped. Lol. (Oh and the therapist too, she's helped a lot) Did you take the photos? They are beautiful. I always think the best advice is to take care of yourself so you can take care of your family.
    Best to you. :)

  13. I found you today, as I sit with my morning coffee, in someone else's country, in someone else's home...i have come to believe that the way forward is to honour the past, our lessons learned and wisdom earned. Thank you for your story. You related it well, and a tenderness towards self is evident. Continued blessings:)

  14. Beautifully written and expressed - photos ans words.

  15. Marsha, lovely to learn more about your self and your experience. I didn't know this - it makes you more real and therefore more dear.

  16. Marsha, it is very brave of you to be this open about your personal experience.
    Thank you as ever for being such a great hostess for your BIO parties - off to check out the other contributions


  17. Oh Marsha, You've given me such a lovely intro - and my writing this morning is tinged with melancholy. I do hope you will forgive me.

    As for your beautiful post, I love this: "no one can be both the pitcher & the catcher..." - a lesson I still struggle with, thinking I can and should be able to do it all!

    I'm so thrilled to be part of this astonishing group of writers. I thank you again, most sincerely.

  18. Marsha, after all the wonderful comments all I feel is necessary at this point is "Thank you."

  19. Hello, what a heartfelt post...so very raw, tender, honest...enlightening. I am proud you chose my own garden with the patio and fountain to post with your thoughts about the courage of moving forward and learning to say no to yourself and others. Creating something that was truly you, a part of yourself...that's how the garden at Biddlestone Cottage came about. It is such a healing thing to create a garden and continue to tend it. Thank you for sharing,
    Linda Floyd

  20. Hello, what a heartfelt post...so very raw, tender, honest...enlightening. I am proud you chose my own garden with the patio and fountain to post with your thoughts about the courage of moving forward and learning to say no to yourself and others. Creating something that was truly you, a part of yourself...that's how the garden at Biddlestone Cottage came about. It is such a healing thing to create a garden and continue to tend it. Thank you for sharing,
    Linda Floyd

    1. Linda, I've just sent you an email. But on my next post I will give you full credit for the photo. Of course, I had no idea whose beautiful home this was, and you are the most graceful woman ever to inform me in this lovely manner. Thank you for visiting my blog today, it means so very much.

  21. Such a big touch to me is you post,Marsha!

    How special is all these iamges by....
    It makes your post even more sensitive.

    Thank you SO much for share your true feelings here,Marsha.

    Sending to you my heartwarming feelings;-)*


  22. Hello Marsha,
    On being lead to your page through Vicky Archer blog post today.. I took time out to read your brave post. You might recall my name/me .. a while back I thought I could just jump into your Invitation only blog post.. and we had an awful backward/forward email 'moment'. Today, I'm sending my apologies for that!
    On your brilliant post today, you are the winner! You can open up and speak about your divorce. Loss in any form means a severe pruning .. and the only way I can sometimes put sense to those pruning lessons in life is so that we bear that better fruit! I too was pruned, down to the core, not by divorce, but death of a daughter.. and those challenges in life, regardless of what they are, leave us changed people.
    Thank you for your beautiful garden pic.. hope my hydrangeas grow up one day to take after yours.
    Keep well. and happy blogging.. Jean Wethmar - (jeanw@thecapeclub.com)

  23. Brava Marsha - you are such an inspiration - thank you for your heart-felt post and it resonated with me so loud and clear - we have walked much the same path and I agree with you - either a pitcher or catcher - because it doesn't work doing both! Hugs to you F xx

  24. Marsha, wonderful post and extremely thought provoking. For me, a challenge is making wise decisions; I tent to allow myself to be pulled in too many, unnecessary and unproductive, areas. In turn, that causes stress.
    Your garden is fabulous, love those snow ball bushes!

  25. Marsha, beautiful Marsha, Such a honest and beautiful post, no wonder you are the woman you are today.
    We often rise up when life is hard, and you my darling have shared with us today such a special lesson for us to learn from.
    Thank you! xxx Coty

  26. Marsha, I'm back again to read and write some more ... I am still overwhelmed with your story and everyone else's post today. My heart is beating so fast after reading your story and about everyone's challenges. What can I say, but thank you to you ... thank you for hosting this remarkable party, a party where everyone has shared such honest and heart filled stories.
    I have only touched the surface with my story, I can't go in too deep with the details as they may upset others. I wish I could, but, I am respectful for their wishes and their lives. I so admire the strength of everyone today, it's a very special group.
    I'm a little late again, please forgive me yet again. xxxx Coty

  27. Congratulations Marsha for being true to yourself and having the strength to move on and creating a life that was yours. Not easy to do! I witnessed my mom doing the same 41 years ago and I can only now appreciate her courage with 3 small children. And just sharing this story is baring your soul...you are brave. Wishing you all good things!

  28. Dear Marsha, I have always felt a kinship with you and having read this post, I now know why. I too have had to learn to care for and nurture myself and my garden has been the teacher many times. Here's to you and all you share with us each and every day!

  29. A very touching post, Marsha...you are a wonderful lady...an inspiration!
    I'm so sorry not to have been part of this month's post I will definitely be on board next month...just going to drop you an email.
    With my love

  30. Marsha - the music...your soul...the beautiful comments...what a way to begin the day. Thank you so much all the way from Santa Fe, NM.

  31. I understand the therapeutic quality of a garden, and I admire your candor in this post and your strength.


  32. Marsha... me again...

    I wanted to say what an incredible topic this turned out to be... I have read some heart breaking stories and so many joyful ones...

    My readers also shared so much and I was so unbelievably touched by their honesty...

    Thank you for igniting this flame... and pushing our boundaries... and for giving everyone the courage to contribute...

    Much love, xv

  33. Marsha,
    Isn't it great to live for yourself only.
    No one to wait on or try to please. Enjoy the moment.
    working in the Garden makes me feel close to GOD.

  34. Marsha, Always loveyour blog for your refined taste level....however, this post just blew me away...you are truly an amzing person.

  35. Marsha, this is why I read your blog...grace, wisdom, honesty...Thank you, N.xi

  36. How many kindred spirits are drawn here to your words darling Marsha....You are an outstanding person. How brave to speak out about some of your challenges, but how great that your words fill us all with hope and inspire us all! I thank you for visiting earlier today I found your comment and smiled, as I always do. How fitting that you should design and make jewellery because you yourself are certainly a jewel to be treasured my dear friend! We have things in common I too alas, have been divorced, myself..twice over. (Ah well, maybe I needed to have that lesson repeated, and without the second one I would never have met my lovely Mum-in-law/Friend.

    Much love Marsha, and true blessings xx

  37. LOVE THIS! No-one can be both the pitcher and the catcher... How is it you just taught me a lesson I needed decades ago!
    Blessings Marsha, I feel relieved...
    Thank you for your inspiration and beautiful blog!


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