Friday, March 22, 2013

Every Day

This is me every morning:

Get up,check my email and read any errant text messages from the night before I may have missed. Then, I shuffle off to the bathroom to pee, shuffle off to make coffee.  Shuffle off to the shower to get clean and while in the shower, I'll think of something that really gets my head going.  Get out, dry off and think "I should write about that." Make coffee (still down to one cup a day), take a drink, think more of the brilliant thought and how I can tie it in with another brilliant thought, check Facebook, iron clothes, all the while cursing the iron for leaking water, but still expounding on my brilliant thought in my head.  Imagine becoming a famous blogger like Dooce (except without all the haughty "Look at what I bought" bullshit, of course)  because this one is IT baby.  This one will get me passed all over the internet like $2 whore working at the docks!  Do hair, brush teeth, get dressed, think about that thing with a little less intensity, but think I should probably try before I lose it, look at my laptop, look at the time and say "THIS TIME I will not forget"

Then, I forget.

I get home and I try to remember what I wanted to write and I can never remember. Or, I'll remember the subject, but I can't get the words out I want to say, they all sound stupid and dumb and I realize I'm a big ole dummy and I hate myself and now I have to start dinner.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Caffeine Queen Hands In Her Resignation

I loved coffee.  I loved everything about coffee.  The way it tasted, the way it smelled, the way it sounded brewing in a pot.  There is nothing better than that first sip of coffee in the morning.  Coffee and I were team, never to be broken a part.   A nice strong cup of coffee with half and half and sweetener was truly heaven at times.  My identity was so wrapped up in coffee.  Everyone knew I loved it.  Never far from my hand.  My walls and even my Christmas tree is an ode to the love I had with coffee.  BFFs forever.  Everyone knew if I forgot my coffee, I'd be a mess at work.  Coffee and I were simpatico.  Coffee and I, we had an understanding.  I'd often rather drink coffee than booze at a party.  So, where did it all start going wrong?  Why did I decide to stop drinking so much?  I say "so much" because I haven't given it up completely.  I still have one cup a day, compared to the three or four I had before.

I've been toying with the idea for a few years for a myriad of reasons that I willl share with you now:

1.  I wanted to see if I could do it.  Sometimes, I get a wild hair up my ass and when I hear myself say "Oh I could never blah blah blah" I try to see if I can.  Not to prove that I'm better.  It's just something I have to see for myself.  Movie popcorn is something else I've given up only because people often say they can't go to the movies without popcorn.  It's not something I brag about or lord over anyone.  It's not even something I really care about.  Just one day I said "I'm going to NOT get movie popcorn" and I didn't and the movie was just as enjoyable, and now I rarely buy it.  Coffee was going to be harder to give up.  Movie popcorn is easy.  I don't go to the movies that often.  Coffee is an everyday thing, that can make me sick if I don't consume it. Which brings me to number two.

2. My body went through crazy withdrawals when I didn't have coffee.  If I was a few hours late with the caffeine my head would start to hurt and then go into full blown migraine status.  I'd feel foggy headed and lethargic.  I hated that my body needed something so bad, it made me sick to get it.  It was an addiction and that's never a good thing.  What makes caffeine an acceptable addiction?  If I said "Man, I could never give up crack"  or "If I don't drink my vodka, my body sends me into withdrawals"  I'd have serious issues.  I admit, crack and vodka shouldn't be compared to coffee, but what if I said "If I don't have sugar, my body goes through withdrawals"?   Addiction is addiction and I had one and I had to let it go.

3.  It had kind of become a chore.  I had stopped enjoying coffee as much.  I'd want it, I'd crave it but sometimes, it was a pain in the ass to drink it.  Especially in the evenings.  It never tasted as good as that morning cup, yet I felt compelled to drink it.  I'd been drinking it so long and with such fervor that I just continued to do it.  Every morning I would make a to go cup of joe for work.  I found myself drinking it even though I'd rather have water.  I'd drink my water and leave half of it sitting there.  I'd feel bad about wasting it, so I'd chug it down to "get it over with".  

4.  It was a LOT of added carbs.  I drink my coffee with Slenda and half and half.  A few months ago, I started using MyFitnessPal to track my carbs.  Half my daily carb intake was freaking coffee.  One packet of Splenda is one carb.  I was consuming at least 6 packets a day.  One TBL spoon of H&H is 1 carb.  I like a LOT of half and half.  So, I was drinking about 12 carbs in creamer with a grand totals of 18 carbs and sometimes on the weekends, I would have more coffee than that.   During induction, you should stay under 20.  It kind of freaked me out that I was drinking my carbs away. 

5. And this is the biggie.  I have high blood pressure and for awhile, it was getting out of hand and I knew I had to stop.  Even though the verdict is out on whether caffeine helps or hinders BP, I didn't want to let my stubborness over a drink keep me from being healthier.  How could I go to my Dr. and say "I can't give up coffee?  Did I want to take more medicine just to continue to drink it?  Also, I read it can cause anxiety and I'm hoping it will help with that, too.  If stopping will keep my heart from skip jumping with an accompanied feeling of impending doom, that so be it.  People who don't have anxiety can never understand how it feels. 

Anway, that's the scoop.  I'm sure I'll miss it and it's not like I'm giving it up completely.  What's funny is I feel so much better.  I feel more energetic and alert which is something I never thought I would feel without caffeine.  I'm sleeping better and I do feel more calm.  Today, I made my one cup of coffee and set it down as it was too hot to drink.  I got dressed, walked out the door, went grocery shopping and realized I only took one sip of the coffee before leaving.  This is coming from someone who couldn't get her day started without a cup.  I came home, warmed it up,and I drank 3/4ths of it before dumping it.

It's not coffee I've given up, it's caffeine, soda included.  Not that I'll never drink soda, I may have a diet caffeine free soda on occasion, but I haven't bought soda at all and haven't had any in a week either.

Since the change came so easily, I have a feeling I can stick with it for a long time.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

"Good! But, thank GOD it's over!"

I work at a financial institution and we are encouraged to make small talk while waiting on people.  Since I've been on vacation, I've been asking a lot of my regular members if they had a good Christmas.  Do you want to know what the number one answer is?

"It was good, but I'm so happy it's OVER."

It's kind of depressing to me that this is how people view the holidays.  One more burden to get through.  It's almost a forced frivolity.  No one wants to participate at the level they do, but guilt  makes them feel like they're going to ruin Christmas if they don't do it just right.  If they don't decorate every square inch and make cookies and hand wrap gifts and spend thousands of dollars on gifts for everyone they ever talked to in the previous year, they'll be judged for being lazy or a Grinch.

It's that kind of attitude that makes Christmas stressful for people.  Yet, this year I had  ZERO stress about Christmas. Some minor grumblings about putting up the tree (and soon, taking down the tree) but I grumble every year about the tree, so that's not anything new. It takes me a week to get it up and get it just right and then I fall completely and utterly in LOVE with my tree.  I spend hours looking at it and wanting to take pictures of it and post them to Facebook.  I used to be a big ball of stress around Chritmas.  I was not pleasant to be around.  I bemoaned Christmas every year.  Last year though, I had a really humbling Christmas that forever changed my view on Christmas and how I was my own worst enemy when it came to Christmas.

Last year, I had quite a few financial difficulties that happend around Christmas, causing me to not have a lot of money to spend on gifts for anyone.  Although I had always been low key about Christmas in the past, the Christmas wasn't going to be low key, it was looking like it might turn into a "no key" Christmas!  Friends stepped in and helped me get gifts and winter clothes for the kids. I spent a lot of my Christmas crying.  First from despair and then from joy when I realized how truly blessed I am to have all these amazing people in my life.  I was able to get the kids some presents, even though they were kind of lame to my eyes.  Yet, when they got their gifts, they were so happy and thankful.  The $3 dollar package of army men entertained Jonathan for hours.  None of my family threw my gifts back at me and declared them unacceptable. It was what it was and it was over. 

So, here are the lessons I learned from my "bad" Christmas, for lack of a better adjective.  It actually ended up being good, but you get what I'm saying.

1. People will never tell you they hate your gift, even if they do.  Why?  Because they love you!  Even if they can't or won't or don't want to use it, they can re-gift it and that's less money they have to spend, since they have what you gave them.  You'll never know  because do you honestly remember what you got your sister 2 years ago?  I don't.  On the flip side, don't just get stuff because it's cheap.  I know I could go to Target and get a $10 lotion set for my sister, but she hates smelly lotion.  That brings me to lesson 2...

2.  Having less money to spend means you may have to work harder, either by finding a great gift within your budget or becuase you have to hand make 20 jars of snowman cookie mix you found on Pinterest.  Either way, it's totally worth the time and energy. 

3.  Christmas is the same time every year, so be prepared!  I see more stress in my customers around this time.  It comes off them in waves as they try to rob Peter to pay Paul and hope that guy Bill doesn't show up at the door looking for his share.  A standard payroll calender usually has 26 bi-weekly paychecks.  If you get paid twice a month, like the 1st and the 15th, then it's 24.  If you tuck away $25 a pay period, by Christmas you have $600-$650 saved, depending on your payroll schedule.  Trust me, coming from a single mom on a tight budget, you won't miss it!  Find a system that works for you.  A Christmas club account,  envelope system, buy $25 dollars in coin and put it in a piggy bank. It helps your Christmas spirit to know you have Christmas covered financially and that January won't bring a Visa bill that you're afraid to open.

4.  Don't let your neighbor, your Facebook friends and Pinterest make you feel bad.  This is so tough in our "share all" society.  Between Pinterest posts showing you how to make handmade gifts and Youtube videos of houses decorated and synced with music, it can make a lot of people feel inadequate.  If you feel that one tree is all that is needed, by all means, put up one tree and one tree only and don't let your Instagram dictate otherwise! Some people are really into Christmas and it's ok if your level of enthusiasm doesn't match theirs.  If you don't have the time, patience or talent to wrap gifts, put them in a gift bag.  No one who cares about YOU cares about your Charlie Brown tree and bare undecked walls!

5. Create traditions to do every year.  This is something I think makes every Christmas cozy.  Traditions don't cost money and are usually looked forward to the most by kids.  Either an early present on Christmas Eve, new pjs, reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas" or finding the pickle in the tree.  These will creat memories more than any gift will.  Two new traditions here were the pickle, with the winner getting a crisp $2 bill and the kids have to make gifts for each other.  Those were really fun!

So, there it is!  Christmas is what you make it.  One person's way isn't better or worse.  I love Christmas on a much smaller scale then say, my mom and sister.  There are people I know who love it on smaller scale than I do.  That doesn't mean they love it less, just different.

Next year, vow to make Christmas YOUR Christmas and enjoy it so when asked how  your Christmas was you don't resond "Good, but thank GOD it's over!" 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

All About Boobs

Yesterday, I was sitting at a table with 8 other people, joking around and having dinner. We were in a room full of men who had just finished a golf tourney. Someone made a joke about how I should hit on the guy who'd just bid $200 on a round of golf at some country club because he had money. (For the record he bid against himself twice, which indicicated to me he was probably bad with his money)  Then as it always does when dating is discussed, the conversation turned to my boobs and how I, once again, have them covered.

My best friend is a guy and he insists that the best way to get a man is to show off some cleavage.  We have gone back and forth about this for a few months.  I decided to settle it once and for all and show him that he was WRONG.  There were two other girls at the table.  I knew they'd have my back, even if the guys didn't.  Imagine my dismay when everyone, ladies included,  all nodded and shrugged as if to say "Well duh of course!"   My arms immediately crossed my chest to hide my knockers and I blushed. 

I am a bigger girl now, but even when I was a skinny little whip of a thing, I had big boobs.  They were always a source of embarrassment for me.  I went to a military school and I DETESTED the days we had to wear the "salt and pepper" uniform, which consisted of tight ass pants and an even tighter white shirt. (Although, looking back I wonder if my shirts weren't given to me too tight by the old Navy Chief that ran the Supply)  I was mortified that my buttons always strained to stay closed no matter how many times I traded it in for a new one.  It was like the damn thing was MADE to shrink, but when they fitted you for it, they never took shrinkage into consideration!

Then as I got older and I got bigger, my boobs did, too.  That comes with a whole other set of problems.  I tried (and still try) not to be a "typical fat girl" and in my opinon, typical fat girls show off their tits because they have no other physical attribute that any man would want other than those.  Even writing out that sentence, I see how stupid that sounds.  Yet, that's how I feel and I don't know how to change it.  Now, it's worse that I'm single.  When I was married, I would occasionally show off some boobage because my husband liked it.  I feel if I do it now, I'm just another single and desperate girl trying to do whatever it takes to get a man to talk to me.

Also, there is something wholly unsettling to know that maybe the reason my future husband to be talked to me was because I have huge boobs.  I want him to come talk to me because I have a nice smile, or he liked my laugh and he wanted to make me laugh again.  Maybe he thought I had beautiful or hair, or hell, nice legs.  He thought my wit was sparkling and my eyes shone like the moon.   Anything BUT my boobs.

I've tried recently to let them out, so to speak, and I can't do it.  One day I had on a cute dress, and some cleavage and I thought "Ok, I'll go like this and if I feel weird being out of the house this way, I'll put this tank top on underneath."   That's right, I brought a tank top with me, just in case.  I got to my mom's house and I immediately put it on.

I realize that this is another form of self loathing that all women experience in one way shape or form.  I value in myself my intellect and my humor.  I like to be center of attention because my brain makes me so, not the two large lumps of flesh on my chest that I had no say in. 

I don't even know what to do about this.  I've had several people tell me I need to loosen up about this, my father included.  Girls seem to think this is a no brainer and these are smart girls who are not at all skanky!!

What this all boils down to is being a 30 something single lady really blows.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

And it was Exactly What it Needed to Be

Your journey has molded you for your greater good.
And it was exactly what it needed to be.
Don't think that you've lost time.
It took each and every
Situation you have encountered
to bring you to the now.
And now is right on time
~Asha Tyson~
A friend of mine sent me this yesterday and I love it and I love that someone knew I needed a reminder.  She sent me a picture of this on a card and I cropped the picture and used it as the wallpaper on my phone so I could see it and remember it and try to keep it to heart when I feel stressed.
A lot of my stress is self-inflicted because I've gotten away from my reaffirming statements that I relied so heavily upon when I was going through major stuff.  I guess I figured that because my problems seemed small in comparison to the big problems from before, that I didn't need to remind myself to remain positive, live in the moment and never look back.  The thing with little problems is that they have a tendency to multiply and next thing you know you're unknowingly being suffocated by them.
I'm going to try harder to live in the moment and to remember that this moment is how it should be.  Always.  Nothing changes that.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Being Mom

I think once you become a parent, your automatic default emotion is guilt.  Pure guilt.  Before you had kids, the only person you were screwing up was yourself.  You'd dust yourself off and keep moving.  Yet, now you have to not only keep yourself alive and fed you have to do the same for these other little people who can NOT do it themselves.  If I'm hungry, I eat. If they're hungry, I feed them.  If I don't.... you know.. they like, get taken from you and given to people who WILL feed them.

That's a lot of pressure.

From the moment your children are brought forth into this world,  you have to put yourself on the back burner and focus on them.  Some people are great at this, some aren't.  The majority of us I think, float somewhere in the middle.  We do some things right, we do some things wrong.  No matter what we do, right or wrong, we still feel guilty.

This doubles I think once you become a single parent. There are a whole slew of extra things that other married parents don't have to think about.  This isn't a "Yeah single moms rock!" kind of thing I'm getting at. All moms rock.  Most dads do, too.  I just find myself thinking about things to worry with the kids that I've never worried about before.  Is Jonathan afraid of everything because his dad isn't around as much as he was before?  Is Aislinn going to hook up with some grease ball asshole when she goes to high school because I wasn't there for her like I should have been during her teen years?  Will they end up on a therapists couch saying things like "My mom did the best she could, but it wasn't enough.  She wasn't THERE for me." 

This all came about because last night, during MY weekend with the kids, I went to dinner.  Not even with a guy. I went to an adult only dinner with my family.  I felt terrible the whole time.  I felt like I ripping them off of quality time with mom, even though they live with me and spend most their time with me anyway, even though I never plan things when they're with me usually, even though had I stayed home, we wouldn't have done much of anything anyway.

I don't know what I'm really trying to say here. I think I'm trying to say that I'm trying and I hope the kids can see that. I also see that sometimes, I could probably cut myself some slack. Today, we didn't go anywhere or do anything special. We all just did our own thing. I did some cleaning, some reading and they did whatever. It was quiet, it was peaceful. I felt like shit. This is something I never worried about being a married stay at home mom. I never worried about spending every free moment doing fun stuff.  Realistically, I know that it's impossible to keep them entertained 24-7, if anything because of the amount of energy this would take and lets not even talk about the impact it would have on my wallet.

I have really great kids.   I'm still trying to find my bearings in life and I'm trying to keep them from being collateral damage in what me and my ex screwed up, yet they take all this in stride like champs.   It's been two years and with each passing month, life seems to even itself out.  I'm still trying to figure out what I want out of life and what I need to do for myself to be a better person, woman and mom.  I try to focus on the good things I've managed to accomplish with the help of family and friends.  Yet, I still walk around, waiting for the other shoe to drop and the floor to come out from under my feet.  It's an awful way to feel and I know the kids feel it, too.

Without them though, I'd be nothing.  I'd have nothing.  I love them more than words can express and I want them to know that.  Our divorce has changed them for the positive, too.  Both of them thank me profusely for taking them to the pool yesterday despite my rules before going. (If you ask for food, we're leaving. If you ask for a soda, we're leaving.  If you say you're bored and there is no one to play with, we're leaving!)   They now appreciate the small things like going to Five Guys Burger and Fries for dinner for great report cards, when in the past fast food was expected anytime we left the house.  A trip to the library is cause for great excitment!

I know that no matter what life throws at me, I'll get through it, because I have to for them.  I may not get through it gracefully, but even if I get through it kicking and screaming and crying, I did it.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bringing in the New

My last post got me thinking about what I can do to make something new happen.  I believe that you get what you give, and I know I'm stuck in my comfort zone.  I've been racking my brain and I can't think of anything.  What do I want to do?  I don't know.  I really, really don't know and this scares me, because it means I really am THAT boring.

I'm doing what I like to do.  I read.  I watch tv.  I play on Facebook. I read some more.  I play Words with Friends.  I read again.  I look forward to my trips to the library and I enjoy sitting on my couch, cup of coffee by my side and a good book in my hands or with my kids and mom doing whatever we found to do for fun that day.

I worry that I'm doing this because it's easy. Will I wake up five years from now, eyes blurry from five years of reading, wondering why the hell I wasted so much time?  I can't dispute that fact that I'm content. I'm HAPPY doing this. 

The first year after my seperation, I was on the go a LOT.  A friend of mine in Virginia was newly single, too.  We were both stay at home moms, and she lived on the beach.  Me and the kids spent most of our spare time there.  It was constant go, go, go and my phone was constantly "ding ding"ing from the various men I was talking with at the time.  I needed to be stay distracted so I didn't have to feel the pain that was bubbling just under the surface of my super happy fun time facade. 

I kind of did things backwards and right now I'm in my pensive, reflective mode.   I think I'll get back out there when I'm ready and I have no idea when that will be.  Right now is my time for finding out who I am and what I want to do.  I have to remember that nothing is set in stone and I don't need to make life determining decision right now.  I'm just going to BE.  I'm going to breathe and live and mother and work and love my family and laugh with my friends.  I'm going to read until my eyeballs fall out of my head.  I'm going to rewatch Battlestart Galactica and watch House from season one.  I'm going to be quiet and paint my nails and wonder at what life has in store for me.  I'm going to go to church and pray and learn and grow.  I'm going to request classics from the library I think I need to read and then return them when I can't get through them.  I'm going to follow Stephen King's career starting with "Carrie" and ending with "Wind through the Keyhole"  I'm going to cook and clean and fold the laundry, but not put it away.  I'm going to sit by the pool and watch my kids being kids.  I'm going to make a lot of trips to QT for Arnold Palmers.  I'm going to make iced coffee by the gallons and do the photo a day on Instagram and post a lot on Facebook, no matter how pathetic it makes me seem.  I'm going to make Aislinn draw me pictures and take away the Wiimote from Jonny so I can crash some cars on the game, too.

Now that I think about it.  I've got a lot going on after all.