Be it so angry


Ironically, I woke up angry today.  

Anger is natural.  Anger is the response we as tiny humans choose unthinkingly when we don’t get what we want, and at 44 I am embarrassed to say it is still often my first response. 

My poor little kid’s coughing and hacking in the night after finally having a day where he was mostly well after a 5 day streak of viral fevers had me instantly furious. 

WTH?  Can’t we get a break?  Can’t I get a break?  Why does everything happen at once?!!  


After two hours of positive reading,  praying, drinking tea and trying to get warm downstairs I’m letting it go.  I should have probably gotten on the treadmill but I am letting that go too.  Baby steps.

Yes, it’s been a rough two weeks here.  I’ve been sick with colds and stomach flu, we’ve suffered some minor injuries, we’ve been washing laundry non-stop, and we’re all pretty exhausted.  When life gets like that, and it seems you go from one trial to another, it can get rough. 

The truth is, this stuff – this stuff that happens: sickness, pain, struggle – isn’t going away. It’s a part of life. It sucks, but honestly it’s minor league.  But when we give into anger over it we lose every time: our energy, our focus, our joy, and our immune systems are compromised.  

And the last thing my little boy, my gift, my treasure needs from his mom is any negative energy.  Only positive energy heals.  Only love prevails.  I will be that love. I will be the mom he deserves.  

Thank you God, that it is a fever and cold, and not something worse.  Thank you God that the coughing is getting the garbage out of his system.  Thank you God that I can afford a house with heat and blankets and medicine to care for my child.  Thank you God that he is getting well.  Thank you God.  Thank you God.  Thank you God. 

Advertisements

Split a Million Ways


Those articles that shout “you too can have it all” must be outright lies…or just belong to someone else’s reality.

It has been well over a month since I have written anything more elaborate than a Facebook status: partially because I haven’t had time and partially because I get ashamed when I see myself falling behind and would rather fall off the map than admit I see an inability to get everything done as a weakness instead of just a practical reality.

In the past few weeks, I have had a loved one unexpectedly hospitalized (way scary), giant projects at work, the birth of a new niece and travel shoved in with general survival. Add in several anxiety attacks, occasional bouts of exercise, toddler tantrum remediation and obligatory social occasions and you have…

Life.

It’s the way it goes. You roll with it or fight it; the former has benefits of conservation of energy, the latter allows room for the illusion that we have much control.

I went away for a hiring event (one I worked my arse off to plan and execute) for one of my company’s locations. It was many long hours on my feet, and my blister’s blisters had babies over a 4 day period.

My sainted hubby had the kids alone while I was gone. Both kids and the dog got sick at the same time. After 4 days of business travel I flew home, got off the plane, arrived at my house (after an hour stuck in rush hour traffic) and took over for the weekend.

Today I went back to work wondering
If I really did anything this weekend beyond herding crying children, wiping gooey, snotty faces and hiding in the bathroom (which doesn’t work by the way).

And yet? I have a job to go to and a reason to work hard. I have the children and family I always wanted. We’re not rich, but we have a roof and clothes and help should we need it. I have reasons to laugh daily.  Everyone made it through their various illnesses, and I am still here to write about it all.

And while I wish I were writing more, perhaps I should just be grateful I can write at all, and  be pleased when I can eek out more than a fragment in a bathroom stall (ew!) or during bouts of insomnia.

Or maybe at least I can be willing to accept that I am human, I can only do so much, and be thankful for those things that I do manage to get done…and accept that for me, if I am spending time cuddling my babies (and yes, they are not technically babies, dangit, but they are my babies) and providing for their welfare as best I can, I’m doing okay…and maybe work on trying to better fit some of the other bits in there too and not be so hard on myself.

Hiding from Food


I may have mentioned before that I am fat.  It’s not much of a secret.   I don’t like to use that term, hate it in fact, but it is a medical reality. And I am struggling once again in attempt to fight it.

My inspiration is simple: I don’t want to be this big. I hate it. I sometimes hate me because of it. And that is not a good example to be setting for my kids.

When I went to a doctor recently because I seem to struggle with losing weight – even when I eat the right things, I was put through a battery of tests that basically said there isn’t a darn thing wrong with me. The dietician looked at food logs I presented, then back at me, perplexed.

Continue reading

True Confessions: I want to be like my Mom.


I hear all the time how women don’t want to become like their mothers. I feel sorry for them.

Don’t get me wrong: my mama isn’t the cuddly, Hallmark type. She can cut you down into shreds with words if you get on her bad side, she can talk you into doing things you would never in a million years otherwise consider, and I would pit her against Mike Tyson any day: the power of her stare would make the guy quiver and shrink into the fetal position in a heartbeat.

  • She once tackled me, sat on my stomach and put gum in my hair when she caught me chewing it with my braces on.
  • She abandoned me post-surgery in the food court of a shopping mall because I couldn’t keep up. (Notably, I had had my wisdom teeth removed and couldn’t eat either.)
  • She cancelled Christmas one year on us because we were such naughty kids.

In essence, my mommy is one tough b*tch. She is the badass of motherhood. And I want to (mostly) be just like her when I grow up.

My mama can out-cook, out-clean, and out-organize just about anyone that I know. She will give the clothes off her back to someone in a pinch. She has raised most of her grandchildren for free. She is an artist, a poet, and an accountant, and had she had the opportunity to go to college, she would have pulled straight “A’s” out of pure determination.

BKS would put any executive to shame with her ability to understand the bigger picture of a situation. She will go a week without sleep preparing for a party and making it perfect; she is relentless in her diligence to everything. She never forgets (although she may occasionally get confused) and she is always prepared.

She is the strongest woman I know, and can simultaneously be trusted with your deepest secret and depended on to help wherever she can. She is ridiculously self-less. She has bailed me out of my own messes so many times I cannot even count, and she loves the heck out of me even if I make absolutely no sense to her.

And believe me, I make little to no sense to her. It’s not that I’m so complex, it’s that she thinks I am completely ass-backwards in most respects. She’s probably right.

  • She told me not to move to the City – I did so anyway.
  • She told me I was a fool to go on vacation on my own to the Pacific Northwest, renting a car and staying in hostels up the Pacific Coast.
  • She yelled at me when I called her from the side of Multnomah Falls, telling me not to use the cell phone because I could be lynched or fall.
  • She has told me on numerous occasions that I have far too much fun and that I should work harder. She’s probably right.

Truthfully, my mother’s not entirely sure how I’ve survived this long. I’m not entirely sure how I’ve survived this long either – except by the Grace of God and the help of friends and family.

Anyway – even if I don’t make sense to her – my mom has pushed me to do something with my writing for about 25 years now. I think she knows that inside, that’s what I really want to do, if I can only figure out how to do it. I haven’t managed it yet, but I am trying: if I had half her moxie and drive, I am pretty sure I’d have managed a book or six by now.

I love her dearly, respect her more than anyone, and hope someday to do as I am told like a good girl and to make her proud.

So, Momma, it’s not a book, and I doubt you’ll ever read it – but this Blog’s for you.

Multiple social identity (dis)order


I like to believe I am pretty honest and straightforward. I do not like the fake, and I am not a fan of the airbrushed. Half of my job depends on my ability to see through the facades people project to find and in some respects, judge, the character and potential beneath.

And I am damn good at it.

But here’s the thing: I am coming to believe in the necessity of multiple personalities and identities. Where blood types and hair color used to be enough to identify bodies, we now have to use DNA to really make sure. And these days, the same level of research seems critical to figuring out who the heck you’re dealing with on a daily basis.

No longer are these judgements based on resumes and simple conversation. You now have to cross-reference LinkedIn profiles versus Twitter feeds versus Facebook. And in some cases you’ll find all 3 vastly different, and that is not by accident.

Even on a micro-level, we compartmentalize our identities more and more, and with social media that trend expands. I am attempting to write not one, but two blogs: one that speaks to me, myself and my experiences and the other to those as they relate to my kids. Why? Because even though I am the same person and tied to my world in both ways, there are some people who dig reading about kids and my stories there and others who just don’t.

I would add a third blog to cover my career gal side if I had time. My work life is catalogued on LinkedIn, my personal on Facebook, and other parts of me scattered among blogs and hash tags. Fragments of who I am show up all over the internet.

I don’t think I am less of a person, less deep, or less kind (usually). I am still me. But adaptation to the social landscape comes at a price: using
so many different outlets for connection and business and self-expression shapes our identities as well. The very tools we use to craft our outward identities change us and the way we think in the process.

I am Google-optimized. That can feel scary, and occasionally leaves me feeling fragmented. But I try to believe I am becoming more of a person, not less, and that we grow to fit not shrink the identities we develop – at least I pray that is the case.

To keep myself sane, I make a conscious effort to step away from the machines, the laptops the iPhone and television and unplug. I play with my kids, pet the dog, and drink a glass of wine on the porch.

Call a friend you usually text message and see them in person. Remind yourself (and them)  how much more you are than your status update or latest tweet. That’s what I do anyway. And if maybe you are feeling a little fragmented and overwhelmed by all the social media in your life, you can try it too.

The Schedule


1:55 am. Respond to screaming baby and try to put him back to sleep. Change diaper. Put permanent dents in chest from leaning over side of crib rubbing infant’s back.

2:18 am. Return to bed. Rescue pillow from pug, try to block out combined snores of husband and dog. Resent hot pillow.

3:34 am. Wake to sound of child’s screams. Try to blot out sound ineffectively. Wake up husband and delegate bottle duty. Lay in bed pretending I am not monitoring activity. Fall back to sleep. Nightmare. Damn.

4:50 am. Wake, remembering that I forgot to send a work email. Panic.

5:50 am. Husband’s 20-year-old alarm goes off – for me. Horrid sports radio. ::shudder:: Force self into shower, away from annoying sound.

6:30 am. Trick daughter into clothes for preschool, search house for hair clip and left shoe. Try not to wake baby.

6:34 am. Woke baby. Cuss under breath. Remind daughter she didn’t hear anything.

7:45 am. Leave house with random food items for lunch.

7:50am. Blow through Dunkin Donuts for the coffee I was giving up. Burn mouth, make note to order iced tomorrow.

8:30am. Arrive at office. Pluck eyebrows in car mirror, apply makeup so as not to scare coworkers.

8:34am. Work. Try not to mess up. Eat lunch at desk, try to remember what day it is. Make note to play Lotto.

6:13pm. Leave office. Report location and status to spouse. Pick up dinner for family.

6:53pm. Walk in house. Drop purse, pick up baby. Hug toddler. Share food. Cuddle and play with kiddos.

7:45pm. Give baby bottle. Hope baby falls asleep before I do.

9pm. Fall asleep in clothes on bed while husband continues to try and wrangle toddler.

::Repeat. Rinse. Pray. ::

20120716-212231.jpg