Sunday, May 27, 2012

Summer Break - and the adventure begins!

I haven't really felt inspired to post this week, but I do feel like catching up, so here goes:

This was the first week of summer break.  We ran around a lot.  My mom is having injections to control back pain, so I took her to that.  The kids had friends over Thursday.  Had my MOMS Club Annual Banquet Wednesday night, which was a lot of fun.  We played Bunco, drank wine, and generally had a great time.  I love those lady friends of mine.  We've never tried Bunco as a MOMS Club activity - I don't know that anyone got drunk enough to really stand up to the other times I've played.  No shots, nobody calling anyone else a wh***, and nobody peed on the floor.  Pretty tame, I guess.

Relay For Life is less than 2 weeks away!  We had our final committee meeting Tuesday night to settle up some last details, and honestly, I was more stressed after the meeting than before.  At that point we had no DJ, but Friday I lined one up, and feel much better about the whole thing.  This is going to be an incredible event - we are already hitting goals and making money, and I think it will be a blast.  If you live anywhere near Boone County, KY, I hope you come out to Relay For Life on June 8-9, 7PM-7AM, at the Florence Freedom stadium. 

My birthday is in less than a week and my scrumptious man got me a new camera.  I've been complaining that my daughter's camera is better than mine, and apparently he was listening.  That's two good presents in a row, how on earth can I match that?  Here is a picture with my new camera.  I can't store more than 5 on the camera itself yet, so I'm waiting on a memory card.  Of course, my husband has to order everything online instead of going to a store, so I have to wait.  The same with my coffee maker.  Oh yes, didn't mention that did I?  My coffee maker broke down last Saturday.  I haven't had coffee in a week.  And rather than going out and getting one, which would have been easy and cheap enough, he had to order one on ebay.  So I'm still waiting.  I will be visiting my mother in a few minutes - I need coffee and she has some.
My goofy girl
Yesterday was Husband's birthday.  I got him a chair for baseball games (his old one broke, and this one has lumbar support for his bad back!)  And a pizza.  I feel pretty lame.  He's so hard to shop for - if he wants something, he gets it for himself, and he rarely really wants anything.  The stuff he's into - computers, sports, comic books - I know nothing about them, and the only thing he gets excited about is saving money.  The other day I went to get my brakes fixed, and the guy (CarX on U.S. 42 in Florence, they are great!) said my brakes were fine, and he could fix the squeak and charge me money, or I could deal with the squeak and be perfectly safe.  I told my husband about my $200 save as part of his birthday present. 

The kids are leaving for camp on Tuesday morning.  Yes, both of them.  My father-in-law asked me how I will cope without them here.  Ha!  I said I will cope just fine.  I would very much like to redo the Girl's room (I did the Boy's last year when he was at camp.)  She says she wants it to look like "an ocean breeze."  All I've got right now is that I will paint the walls blue.  That's the hardest part, so I'm not too worried.  Of course, it's going to take a good amount of time to prep, so hopefully I can finish it in time - there is a wallpaper border and she is a messy chick.  Wish me luck!

Ooh, I finished a really great book last night!  Or this morning, around 3AM, actually.  Divergent by Veronica Roth is a story about a 16 year old girl, Beatrice, in a dystopic society (based in Chicago).  Society is separated into factions, each of which is devoted to a particular attribute: selflessness, bravery, honesty, intelligence, and peace.  At age 16, each person is tested to determine which faction they belong in, and then they choose where they will spend the rest of their lives.  Occasionally, the results of a test will be inconclusive, and that person is a "divergent" which is considered a danger to the society they've built.  The premise is a little like Hunger Games, but the story and characters are completely different.  There is a romance involved as well, and it is very well-written, to the point I felt very deeply for the characters.  Thank goodness it's a trilogy, I'm on the list for the next one.

That's enough for today - enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend.  My baby brother was recently deployed (3rd deployment) to Afghanistan. He has a wife, two boys, and a baby on the way.  If anyone who reads here is a veteran, or has family currently overseas - thank you so much for your service. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Me, when I'm not feeling so nice.

I really try to make this a positive-ish blog.  I like to think I'm a nice person.  Sometimes to the point of detriment - I'm extremely non-confrontational, which I think may be a small part of the cause of my panic attacks.  Unfortunately, those things that irk me that I refuse to say out loud tend to fester in my brain as I dwell on what I didn't say.  So, here are three things I didn't say out loud this weekend, and they have been living, rent-free, taking up space in the prime and not-so-plentiful real estate of my mind, causing some mild anxiety and a little trouble sleeping:

1.  Why does my daughter have to prove herself more than the boys on her baseball team?
I may be a little sensitive on this one, but my Girl has been playing on this team for three years, has rarely missed a practice or a game.  She has put in her time, and she truly holds her own.  Admittedly, she has not been hitting her best, but neither have the boys on the team.  Anyway, she is a pitcher, and a pretty darn good one at that.  But the coach will not put her in.  He let her pitch one inning of game against an undefeated team a month ago, and right before she went in, he warned her, "you better not walk anyone."  Yeah, coach, no pressure or anything.  He never says anything like that to the boys on the team.  She did walk two players, but the inning was scoreless, in part because of her playing.  This past weekend he told her if she practiced Friday she could pitch Saturday.  She practiced, and we played the best team in the league Saturday.  He relieved our starting pitcher with a boy who has pitched once before (and walked most of the players) and our slowest pitcher.  He told my Girl that she walks too many people.  He also stuck her in the outfield (she's one of the best fielders on the team) and sat her two innings - he sits her more than anyone else on the team.
I will admit, her attitude has been less than stellar lately.  She wants to play softball, and each game the coach refuses to pitch her pisses her off a little more.  But she apologized last week for her attitude, and she puts in her time.  I feel she is being treated unfairly, and I am so so glad there are only 6 games left in the season. 

2.  Why do the teenagers in this neighborhood have to travel from house to house by golf cart?
We do not live on a golf course.  We do not even connect to a subdivision on a golf course.  Our neighborhood is only a couple of blocks.  And not one of these teens are licensed to drive.  Why, oh why do their parents give them a golf cart to drive around - on roads, on sidewalks?  I thank the lovely teens who kept coming back to buy my cake pops at our Lemonade Stand Against Cancer the other day, but seriously, they were only traveling a block at a time.  Is riding a bike really that taxing? 

3.  Yes, your ass is smaller than mine.  Congratulations.  Now tuck it back in your miniscule shorts.  I'm so sick of seeing asscheeks.  And summer has only just begun. 

Ok.  I'm not going any further on that one, I think I ranted enough on number 1.  School is out and I will take tons of pictures to post so as to keep my blog a little sunnier. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Today I'm Loving...

Ok, well my camera is still missing, which is infuriating, but everyone needs a little positivity, so here are two things I'm loving today:

1.  Gotye.  Yes, I know, I was the last internet-having person to hear "Somebody I Used To Know," but I've become enamored with this amazingly talented Belgian-Aussie musician.  Last night I listened to his "Fresh Air" interview from April 7, and he's so adorable and self-deprecating.  I'm kind of obsessed with this song right now (it's an older one) - the video is surreal.

2.  Jen Lancaster.  I read her novel "Wish You Were Here" a few weeks ago, and found it rather adorable.  Especially since it's based in Chicago, and she has a slight obsession with John Hughes, and thus is totally relatable.  This led me to check out her memoirs, which so far are hilarious, and her website.  I'm pretty sure we're going to be besties, friends, so check out her website:

3.  Relay For Life of Boone County hit 40 teams!  I've shared that I am one of the chairs for this event, right?  Woohoo!  My own team is doing our own fundraiser this Friday afternoon (last day of school) - we're holding lemonade stands in our various neighborhoods.  So if you're in the Union area, please visit a lemonade stand in one of the subdivisions here. 

Not a long list, I admit, but I'm really loving them.  Now I'm going back to perusing various blogs while listening to songs suggested by Tish from Fit Bottomed Girls on YouTube.  I need some new tunage for my workout playlist.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Movies and mayhem

So I've misplaced my camera.  Which is driving me insane.  I feel like I should tear the house apart looking for it.  What's funny is I was complaining about the fact that I tend to not take as many pictures as I'd like to, and now that my camera is missing, I see something every few minutes I'd like to take a picture of.  And my son's 15th birthday was last week, and I didn't get a 15th birthday picture.  Boo.

I've been feeling better and better each day.  Wednesday morning I woke up around 5AM shaky and needing to MOOOOOVE.  I tried to get back to sleep for a little while, but then I just got up, got dressed, laced up my running shoes and went outside to walk a few miles, fast.  I even ran a little.  I didn't feel great after, but a little later I felt a LOT better.  So each morning I've woken up with the crazy adrenaline rush, I've exercised.  The trick is keeping up the moving as I feel better.  Especially since I know all the movement will help me feel even better in the long run.

My Girl hates playing baseball now.  She's been playing a few years, but she decided this year she is sick of playing with the boys and she wants to switch to softball.  Of course, I told her she had to wait out the season, since we already paid and the team was counting on her.  So every practice and game is like torture for everyone, watching her sulk on 3rd base.  The whole tragic affair came to a head yesterday when her bad attitude irritated husband to the breaking point, and they both came home yelling at each other.  I had to put on my mediating hat and talk them both down.  And then inform Girl that we all know she doesn't want to be there, she has nothing else to prove, and she's only making it bad for herself, so she may as well try to enjoy it, learn from it, and it will be over in a month.  I think...maybe...I have gotten through.  Why are my children so dramatic?  Aren't siblings supposed to be different in temperament?  Because both of mine are extreme drama queens.  I'm pretty sure that's not fair.

I just finished watching "Crazy Stupid Love."  Sigh.  It was fine, but I have to admit I was expecting a little better character development.  Ah well. 

Oh, and since I wrote in my last post about needing to work, I've applied for 3 transfers withing the school district, and two other jobs.  Fingers crossed...

Ok, so I'm going to meditate and then go to sleep so as to wake up and tear apart my house looking for my camera.  Wish me luck!

Friday, May 11, 2012

More psychobabble.

Last Sunday morning I woke up feeling crappy again.  More anxiety, more ick. 
So I've been dealing with that this week.  I saw my therapist on Monday and this was the first time I've been feeling bad since I started seeing her, so, you know, she could see I wasn't faking it, right?  We started talking about whatever - what are you feeling, what are you thinking when you start feeling panicky, what are you dreaming about - and somehow we got onto the subject of work.  And how much I loved my last job.  And I started bawling.  Hard, ugly sobs.  I was good at my job.  I loved my job.  I need something in my life that I feel successful at, and I don't feel I have that right now.  She responds with something along the lines of, you feel worthless, that you are not contributing the the household, that you are not good at what you are doing.  And I say, absolutely, and cry harder. 
Stay-at-home moms are some of the hardest working people I know, and this is not a post on the merit of one way to parent over the other.  But both of my kids are in school all day.  I do stuff, don't get me wrong, and I love working in the schools, but I need something steady.  Something I feel good about. 
I felt really cleansed and refreshed after that session.  I was hoping it would end the anxiety attacks.  It didn't.  But I got some interesting insights, and I've spent the past few days subbing and applying for other jobs.  I want to spend this summer with my kids, and when it's over, I need a job again. 
Talk about lucky, right?  I need to focus on how lucky I am that I am able to say, I need a job for my mental health, not because we are suffering. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My brain and her silly antics.

My brain hurts.  But in a good way, I think.
A couple of weeks ago I went to a Mom's Night Out at our local bead shop (which is about to close, sniff.)  Made a cute ring.  They had Coldplay's "Parachutes" album playing over the speakers.  I had forgotten how much I loved this album.  And I have this album.  Excellent.  I'm listening to it right now, so I can finish the post I've been brewing over the past two days.  That's not to say it will flow, but I have a lot in my head, and I want to write about it.  Maybe one of you out there will be able to make sense out of all of this - my mind does not really work linearly.  Yes that's a word, because I say so.
I mentioned yesterday that I attended a women's spiritual retreat at the beautiful Grailville in Loveland, OH.  It was a really lovely place - nature paths, a labyrinth, and an environmentally friendly waste system of which they were very proud.  The first evening we spent around a camp fire, getting to know each other.  The next day we had a few large group activities, plus two break out activities.  I chose to do a writing exercise and meditation. 
The writing exercise began with a short guided meditation and then an essay called "She Let Go."  Then the facilitator placed several sheets of paper around the room with prompting questions, which we were to answer with one sentence.  "What is one thing you have never shared with your partner?" was one, I can't remember the others, because the prompt that opened a whole barrel of brainsludge was "What do you need to let go of?"
About a month ago I was dwelling on one thing or another and my husband, who is often more astute than I give him credit for, asked me, "why can't you just let go of anything?"  And, of course, I couldn't answer him.  I have no idea.  This is why I'm in therapy, for crap's sake.
My one sentence response to the prompt was "all the crap in my head that is holding me back." 
After this exercise, we had 10 minutes to just free write whatever came into our heads.  I filled up 2 pages.  With "all the crap in my head." 
Two full pages of vitriol.  Horrible, hateful things I would never say to another person, but I say to myself, over and over, every day. 
I wrote and wrote, faster and faster, my handwriting getting less and less legible.  I was not writing this to get advice, or to punish myself, or so someone would say, "Oh, no Missy, you're not ________."  I just wanted to get the crap out and on the page in front of me. 
And then I read it out loud, to everyone at the session.
After the writing session there was more large group activity and discussion, and then meditation.  Not guided meditation, which I love because it relaxes me, but a true Buddhist seated meditation.  For 20 minutes.  It was...hard.  Really hard.  But it gave me time to process what I had written about myself earlier - not really to dwell on it, either, but just to let it settle and brew.  I'm still not sure what happened in my head this weekend, but I know I'm feeling a little different, a little less...hateful. 
With all the stuff I obsess over, everything I feel guilty about, or stress about, my spirituality is not one of those things.  My beliefs are less than traditional, certainly, but I've taken the time and space I've needed to work through them, and I've come out feeling comfortable with my spirituality, and the way I'm helping my children to cultivate their own spiritual selves.  In working through all this with my therapist the other day (found a new one, by the way, so far so good,) she asked me why I thought I felt comfortable with this aspect of my life, and no other.  I said I am confident that my beliefs are right for me, and for my family.  She suggested that I try to view other aspects of my life with that spiritual self, that part that is confident and strong.  Which is great in theory; I just need to learn to access that part of myself.
One of the things I noticed about what I wrote was that so much of it started with "I should."  "I should be a better mother" "I should make healthier choices" "I should be a better listener."  The psychologist I was seeing before told me I said that a lot, and why "should" I do anything?  Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling connected or trusting of anything he said, and I totally blew him off, but this past weekend, as I was ruminating over the experience I had in that writing workshop, I realized - I won't be successful at anything until I turn all the "I should's" into "I choose's."  That's good, right?  Mine, people, nobody steal that. (wink)
Ooh, this is my favorite one - "Sparks."
Okey doke. That's enough deep stuff for tonight.  I've fed my furry hoard of boarders, so it's time for another silly kitty pic.
Kitty in a bread bowl - and yes, there was still bread in there.  We did not eat it.
  "Yellow."  My friend Jen's daughter used to tell me the color yellow made her angry.  I thought it was kind of cool that a color could affect a person's mood so obviously, but I also kind of enjoyed singing this song to her.  Which, in hindsight was kind of mean, but it didn't seem to bother her too much.
Time to meditate and then sleep.  Sweet dreams, friends.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Something to think about...

Every once in awhile we read something that had an enormous impact on us.  This past weekend I attended a spiritual retreat.  The retreat was incredible and prompted some major thought overhaul, and it deserves a well-crafted post of its own, but during one of my workshops the facilitator read an essay that I will likely read again and again.  It helped guide me in a good direction, and I want to share the essay here. 

She Let Go
by Ernest Holmes

She let go. Without a thought or word, she let go.
She let go of the fear. She let go of the judgments. She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head. She let go of the committee of indecision within her. She let go of all the “right” reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go. She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go. She let go of all the memories that held her back. She let go of all the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. She let go of the planning and all the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it. She didn’t write the projected date date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.
She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn’t call the prayer line, She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.
No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forever more.