Monthly Archives: July 2011

Focusing on Me

I’ve had a fairly quiet weekend which has given me plenty of time to think…

Normally, I don’t like a quiet weekend because then I dwell on the fact that it’s just me and the boys 99.9% of the time and sometimes that’s just depressing…but this time is different.  I used the quietness (?) to think about internal stuff instead of focusing so much on the external (when will I ever get a break, when will I ever leave the house again without 2 small children in tow, when when when!)…most of that is pointless.  Whatever is supposed to happen will happens when it’s supposed to happen…

I can’t control Almost Ex, I can’t control work, I can’t control anyone (including my own children, unfortunately) but me…so that’s what I’m choosing to do…I’ve got plans for myself but if I keep focusing on the stuff I have no control over, that will be what consumes me…and I’m too damned tired for all of that…

I spent a lot of time reading about health, food, and fitness this weekend.  Most people don’t know it but I’m an actual weight-loss success story.  Before I became pregnant with Sean, I spent about 3 years losing 88 lbs – the hard way.  No pills, no points, no surgery – just exercise and portion control. 

Of course, I gained weight while I was pregnant – more than I wanted to, but by the time he was a year, I’d lost all but 3 lbs…and then I managed to maintain that weight…until I started the whole divorce process.  I’m an emotional eater so for a couple of months, everytime I went near Almost Ex, I left with an urge for a cheeseburger…and I indulged myself everytime…so 10 more lbs later, I’m feeling pretty crappy about my weight loss efforts…

I’ve noticed that doing what I did to lose the first 88 lbs doesn’t really work anymore…before I ate whatever I wanted, I just watched my calories…if I wanted cake, I ate cake…if I wanted chocolate, I ate chocolate…as long as I hit the right number by the end of the day, no biggie.  Well, maybe it’s because I’m older, maybe it’s because I’m closer to goal, but that does NOT work anymore…

So after a lot of reading this weekend, I’m going to try the most basic thing I know – exercise (of course) and eating NATURAL foods – as Jillian Michaels says, “If it doesn’t have a mother or come from the ground, don’t eat it!”  And that, sadly enough, involves trying not to drink Diet Coke…because I’ve never seen a Diet Coke plant and if I had, I’d have a whole field of them.  I’m not giving up caffeine completely, I’m just not going to drink it in carbonated form…no more processed foods – which will definitely cut out a lot of sugar and other crap I don’t really need.

I don’t know if it will work, but if after a couple of weeks, I’m not feeling better or seeing a positive change, I’ll try something else…the point is that I’m going to focus on myself…I’m even going to attempt the truly impossible – 7-8 hours of sleep a night…EVERY night…Based on what I’ve read, that may have a lot to do with my weight not going down, too…

I know that eventually I’ll want to not be completely and totally alone anymore…but what good am I to someone if I’m no good to myself?  As long as I take care of work when it’s time to work, and the boys when I’m with them, then the rest of the time needs to be about me…

I’ve been searching for something for a few weeks now that isn’t there, hasn’t been there, isn’t going to be there…I don’t really know what it is, but I’ve felt like I was looking for something and have constantly been disappointed…so I’m done with that…if it means I sit in a quiet house more often than not, that’s ok…I’ve just got focus on me right now…

And for those who have wisely pointed out that I need a vacation, you’re damned right I do…I haven’t had a week off from work since I was on maternity leave with Sean (he turns 2 on September 10), and I haven’t GONE anywhere (other than my mom’s house in MS) in YEARS (for pleasure…I’ve gone plenty of places for work)…so yeah, I know I need a break…and when both work and finances cooperate, I swear, I’ll go…

Something’s Got To Give…

I’ve been grumpy most of the day…not the whole day – free sweet tea from McAlister’s definitely perked me up…but I’ve been irritable, moody, and GRUMPY for the majority of the day…

I jumped on the treadmill thinking it would get me out of my funk…45 minutes later I felt no better…I actually felt worse because I’d spent the whole time thinking about why I could possibly be so freaking irritable…and I figured it out…

I’m tired…tired’s not even the right word…I don’t think there’s a word in the English language that accurately describes how I feel right now…there is no reprieve….work provides no relief from home, home provides no relief from work…something more is constantly being requested by someone (whether they’re 6 or 36)…

Something’s got to give…I don’t think I’m capable of adding one more thing, making one more thing happen, pulling one more miracle out of my butt for someone…but there’s nothing to give…

I’m a mom…no matter how tired, how exhausted, how whatever, that doesn’t change…and I don’t want it to change…I adore my boys.  I just wish their father was more of a factor…1 or 2 afternoons a week for a couple of hours does NOT bring relief…I just fill up those hours with the things I couldn’t get done at another time…

I love my job…and I take a lot of pride in my work…I spent the first few years paying attention and learning as much as I could about where I work…and that knowledge is being used now when it’s needed most…but there is no reprieve on that end, either…everyday brings another priority…if everything is considered a priority, then NOTHING is a priority…

I want a distraction…a bright-shiny…something that’s not connected to motherhood or work…but that doesn’t take away from the precious little sleep I’m already getting…something that lets me forget for a few minutes that I’m overwhelmed and ready to drop…the treadmill should have been that tonight…but all it did was make me stop (sort of, I mean, it IS a treadmill) long enough to focus on what I didn’t want to think about…

And God, I hate to sound like I’m whining…I really have been in a great place for several days…and I’ve had some great moments…even today, Eebee was able to get me to laugh (as usual)…I’ve just been forced to admit to myself that I’m at the end of a rope…and I just need someone to hand me a little more so I can tie a knot in it and keep on going…

Maybe I need to figure out how to do that for myself…maybe that’s part of this process…maybe I just need to figure out how to be more self-reliant…I wish I knew the answer…

I Got A New Attitude

I’ve noticed lately that I’m more lighthearted…I laugh more easily…I smile a whole hell of a lot…and being the person I am, I can’t just accept it and move on. No, I must dissect it and try to figure out what it means…

I still have all the same problems and worries that I’ve had…I still have all the same stressors…but in a way, I’m happier than I’ve ever been.  I’m much more comfortable being alone…I’m used to bearing the load everyday – it feels normal, now…

But I’m also very realistic about myself…I’m a moody Scorpio, and I know it…I think way too much…I dwell…I worry…I plan…

I’m surrounding myself with people who bring out the best in me…who allow me to be me, but care enough about me not to let me get bogged down…right now, it’s a very small group…but I’m also putting some of my natural shyness to the side and trying to engage with the world a little…

Here’s what I’ve noticed about the people in my group – They let me be silly..they encourage it, actually. They make me laugh – mostly at myself. They show me their true selves, which lets me be my true self with them.

I love to laugh…I love to be silly…I love to be a rowdy girl…for however long it lasts, I’m a happy happy girl!

Boys, Men, and Observations

So I’m new to the idea of being single (still not technically single, but you know what I mean)…and I’m a people-watcher, an observer…I’ve made some observations recently based on what I’ve seen for myself and the personal issues of some of my friends…and I’ve come to a conclusion that’s not meant to offend and certainly does not apply to every guy, but here’s what I’ve discovered – Some boys are dumb.

So first, a little side-note: in the past few weeks, I’ve made a decision about how I will handle this blog when it comes to my (currently non-existent and unimportant) love life – without express permission from whoever that person ends up being (a long, long, long time from now), I won’t blog about the specifics of that part of my life.  So just know, that what I’m about to say comes from what I’ve seen in general- some personally, some as an objective third-party…and remember, I’m a thinker…I can’t help but dissect some of what I see…

Don’t make us chase you.  My personal rule is that I’m not chasing anyone – and I don’t expect anyone to chase me.  A lot of what I see is in text – Facebook, text message, whatever.  If a chick initiates a few conversations with you, AND you’re interested in her – return the favor.  If she makes it obvious that she’s into you, just tell her or find a way to let her know.  Have you ever seen the movie “He’s Just Not That Into You?”  Trying to figure out the signs makes chicks nuts.  Forget signs.  Just be straightforward…me personally, I love straightforward – even when it’s not what I want to hear.

Don’t word vomit all over us.  No, that’s not an out for not talking about how you feel.  But think about what you say before you say it.  Some things can’t be unsaid…some words can’t be forgotten, even if they’re forgiven.  I have too many friends who can remember every detail of the moment when their boy said something hurtful or stupid that he didn’t really mean. 

Don’t disappear on us or just stay away all together.  Again this goes back to text – text messages, Facebook, whatever.  If you talk to us one day, and then we don’t hear from you for three weeks, that’s confusing – especially if it becomes a pattern.   Here’s the pattern I keep seeing – random text message from boy, enthusiastic response from chick, silence…two weeks later, urgent message from boy, no answer from chick (who’s fed up), three phone calls and an angry text from boy, argument with chick…If you only make me an option, don’t expect me to make you a priority.

I haven’t paid attention to the world of guys and girls since I was 18 – back when I thought I knew everything, but actually knew NOTHING.  It’s amazing how a few years and a lot of life can give you perspective…I don’t think all men are really boys, but I do think the one’s who act like boys are dumb…I feel bad for my friends who go through crap with boys…I get annoyed when I feel myself getting sucked into crap with boys…

I can’t speak for other women, but here’s what I want – honesty and straightforwardness…the more real, weird, and uncomfortable the conversation, the better (to me).  If you think someone is a cool chick, tell her.  If you’re into her, tell her.  If she’s not responding to it, move on – or stop trying to be subtle.  Some of us (me, especially) are sort of dense when it comes to stuff like that, subtlety is lost on me.

Ok, so, for the  men out there (if any guys even read this – and I have no clue if they do), I have a few questions for you.  I genuinely want to know and I’m asking because, well, it’s my blog and I can…and because I like understanding stuff…note: I’m going to ask these questions, and I don’t really think I’ll get a response but if Ido, I’ll definitely be impressed:

1. Do guys really want girls to make the first move or is that just a bill of goods we’ve been sold by rom-coms and self-help books?

2. If a girl does make a move and you’re not interested, does that make it weird to be around her later – or is that something else that’s all in our head?

3. If a chick (inadvertently) shows her dorky side, does make us seem a little more normal or do you just walk away thinking, “What a dork!”? (Ok, that question is more for me because I have a LOT of dork moments.)

Raising Boys #6

I love the way their eyes light up when I’m reading a book to them…I love the way they compete for who will get to sit closest to me…I even love it when Aidan whines, “No fair!” when I let Sean sit on my lap while Aidan is snuggled up as close as he can get to my side…

Sean wants to hear any story involving a train…but if I answered every, “A dat?” (What’s that), we’d still be reading the same book from this morning…Aidan doesn’t really have a preference in books when I’m reading…I think he just wants to be close…personally, I prefer Dr. Seuss books…I really get into those…I love the tempo and meter of Dr. Seuss…I love the made-up words…

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“Mom, can I help you clean?” Suuuuure!  Today I handed Aidan the mop, and he went to town…Was it the cleanest it’s ever been, hell no, but I wasn’t going to re-do it…he put his heart and soul into mopping that floor…but ask him to clean his room?  Forget it!

“I hep! I hep!” Sean took a little screwdriver to the back of the dryer while I was trying to finish up the repair job (I replaced the heating element today!!!) He was too precious! And I can’t help but wonder just how long this phase will last (Aidan never went through the helping stage.)

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I hurt for them when they ask for their dad…I just tell them he’s working…that’s probably the truth, because hell, I don’t know…everytime I drive past the park near the house, Sean yells, “Da-da! Da-da!” because he associates that park with Almost Ex…that’s where he takes them everytime he’s in town…

Aidan finally stopped asking if Almost Ex and I were going to live together again…but he tells me that he’s never moving out…and that if he moved out it would be because we don’t love each other anymore…I have to explain to him that it doesn’t work that way with moms and sons…I hope he understands by the time he’s 18…

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I have to admit – they constantly amaze me.

Work, Work, Work

Ok, I have to admit…I might be a workaholic…maybe…just a little…

It helps that I love my job…but even when I’ve worked jobs I hated, I was like this – just with more ‘tude about it.

No matter how busy I get or how crazy the workload might be, I feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility to get it all done…and at a high level…no slacking off for me! Even when I’m burned out, tired, and lacking “sizzle” (as someone recently pointed out – thanks Big Bro)…But that’s not really my point…

My BFF taught me (many, many years ago) the phrases “Work to live” and “Live to work”…I’m a “live to work” kind of girl…I like working, I like the sense accomplishment I have at the end of the day, week, whatever…I like getting better and better at what I do…I like being depended upon (on?)…yeah, I’m weird…

I think I need to figure out how to be a little less of a workaholic, though…I don’t want to lose opportunities in my 30s the way I lost them in my 20s…I need to learn how to play more…I’m learning how to be comfortable being alone (that’s going well)…I’m learning how to be more independent (which is awesome)…I guess this is another lesson to learn…

I’ll take any and all advice…

Different States of “Alone”

I had no intention of blogging tonight…nothing much to say, feeling relatively peaceful for once…and then regular old life intervened…

Almost Ex was 30 minutes late dropping the boys off this afternoon…right before I went into the panic-mode of thinking they were dead on the side of the road, I realized that I was alone and I was okay with it…and then I started thinking about the different states of “alone-ness.” But it was my children who brought it all home for me…

Sean’s in a phase of asking “A dat?” (translation, “What’s that?”) and he has appliques on the walls of his room that he’s curious about.  One is a large elephant followed by a baby elephant.  Sean pointed to the large elephant and said, “Daddy” and when he pointed to the little elephant, I said, “Baby.”  Aidan said, “The elephant over here that’s alone is the mommy.”  Um, ok…so they’re figuring out that mommies are sometimes alone…

The kicker, the absolute kicker was when he started singing: “Mommy in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G…” Really, dude, you couldn’t at least pair me up with someone, even a pretend someone?

I started thinking about the different states or phases of being alone and how they’ve made me feel:

Why Am I So Alone (aka Will I Be Alone Forever)?: This is when the weight of being alone becomes unbearable.  It can include a feeling of heaviness, being weighed down with emotion…usually accompanied with tears, reliving old memories of better times, worries about the future, and sleepless nights.

Thank God I’m Alone!: I have been left alone for the first time in a long time, and there is finally quiet – this involves children,  family, whoever finally leaving me the hell alone (which is probably what I asked for right before they left)…usually accompanied by feelings of relief, euphoria, and disbelief that I am indeed, FINALLY, alone.

Eh, I’m Alone (aka So What?):  Alone is not so bad, it’s actually sort of peaceful and comforting to be left alone with my thoughts.  I might think about the fact that I’m by myself, but then I shrug and return to what I had been thinking about…accompanied by nothing but silence, comfort, and peace.

Today, I noticed that I finally reached that last state…it doesn’t mean I won’t return to the others…but I was alone, completely and utterly alone, and there was no sorrow or joy…there was simply peace.

Are there any other states that I’ve left out?

The Story of Aidan

Today is Aidan’s 6th birthday…I’ve always said that this isn’t just a celebration of his birth…but a celebration that Almost Ex and I managed to keep him alive to reach his birthday…I don’t like being bad at stuff, and I don’t like admitting I’m bad at stuff, but as a new mom, I was clueless…as a pregnant woman, I was really clueless…

My co-workers told me I was pregnant for weeks before I ever took a pregnancy test…my response was always, “I don’t wanna be pregnant, so I’m not!”  I was 25, made $9 an hour, was the sole source of income in our family, and had just interviewed for a promotion (to move to Florida) so that I could make a living wage…I couldn’t be pregnant…it was the worst possible time…

I couldn’t even afford a pregnancy test…ok, so that was the reason I used not to buy one…until a friend of mine showed up at my door with a two-pack.  I made plans to take it the next morning…see, the tests come with these handy little instructions guides and if you’ve never taken one (which at that point, I hadn’t) and you’re a little OCD (which I am), you read the instructions…morning was the best time to take the test and I had a few more hours to live in denial…

So, the instructions tell you that once you’ve peed on the stick, it may take a few minutes to see the plus or minus sign…in my case, it was instantaneous…there was no waiting…it was a plus…and my response was, “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God!”  I woke up Almost Ex and made him go look…he said, “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God!”  I called my mother, and she said, “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God!” I think the announcement that you’re pregnant is supposed to be a joyous occasion…in Aidan’s case, not so much…

Fast forward a little…I got the promotion, made the move to Florida, found an ob/gyn, made a couple of friends, stayed “small” during my pregnancy (as small as an overweight woman can stay), was told my due date was August 20, and had a baby shower on July 17.

The afternoon of July 19 I was sitting in the living room reading the latest Harry Potter book.  I stood up and something ran down my leg.  I’m a grown woman, I know I didn’t pee on myself.  My water broke and it was pink.  Is that normal?! Hell, I don’t know…

I called Almost Ex and told him to get. home. NOW!  I called the hospital (which was 45 minutes away), crying…it was a month too soon, my water wasn’t supposed to break, my husband wasn’t home, oh my God, oh my God, oh my God…that poor nurse…I was a wreck…

After a 45 minute drive, we arrived at the hospital…I was freaking out, but feeling fine…they strapped me to the monitor and started checking…for those of you who don’t know, having someone check to see if you’re dilated when you’re NOT dilated hurts like hell…I was told that I wasn’t in labor, that I had a UTI, and when I explained I was starting to feel a pain deep in my side (near my back), I was told that labor didn’t start there…so I was sent home…we stopped Wal-Greens for the UTI medicine…

By the time my prescription was filled, I wasn’t even walking upright anymore…why no one in the Wal-Greens didn’t stop to help the pregnant woman bent over double, I’ll never know…but the doctors and nurses had said the pain I felt wasn’t labor, so it never occurred to me to question it…we went home (another 45 minute drive)…

I tried to lay down, I tried to sleep, I read (and finished) the Harry Potter book…and Almost Ex called the hospital 4 times…they told him to give me Benadryl…by the 4th call, he didn’t call to ask what he needed to do, he told them we were coming…by now, I was actually screaming…I’m a pretty composed person when I’m in pain…not that day…it was now about 5am on July 20…another 45 minute drive to the hospital and there I was again, strapped to the monitor, and getting checked to see if I was dilated…

Aidan’s head was RIGHT THERE…Wait, WHAT?!  If it hadn’t hurt so damn much, I might have laughed at the expression on the nurse’s face… 

I really wanted to push…I mean, I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally wanted to push…and the nurse told me not to…well, that’s like telling someone who has to pee not to think about water…really?  Finally, a doctor arrived and two pushes later, so did Aidan…6 lbs 7oz and too small for preemie clothes…a healthy weight, but unable to suck so he barely ate the two days we were in the hospital…

The cluelessness didn’t stop at pregnancy…Aidan peed on me everyday for 6 months because it took me a while to get the diaper thing…Aidan was the first newborn I ever held…his was the first diaper I ever changed…he was the first baby I ever fed – bottle or otherwise…he is my grand experiment…I had never discplined anyone, I had never taught anyone, I had never raised anyone before Aidan…he may be my oldest, but he is, and will always be, my baby…

Happy Birthday, Aidan…your brother will probably never know how grateful he should be that I practiced on you first…

What I Know vs. What I Feel

I’ve made some decisions today…because of last night, because of the past 6 months, because of the last 12 years…I’ve been given good advice lately and it boils down to this:  Everything takes time…

My self-esteem is in tatters…I realized that months ago…and it’s going to take time for me to heal.  I have to face that. 

My problem right now is that my head and my heart aren’t matching up.  I know a lot of things, but I’m not feeling them…

I know that I am a good person. I know that I am a good friend. I know that I am a beautiful person who loves deeply. I know I am funny, smart, and “suck-see” (see my Facebook page for that to make sense). I know I can be hot. I know I’m little out there and crazy.  I know I am loving, kind, and caring…I know that…And the bitter, miserable people of the world aren’t going to make me think any differently…not anymore.

Feeling it is harder to come by…I allowed other people to dictate how I feel about myself …I allowed myself to be sucked into someone else’s misery…I allowed myself to feel guilt after I had already dealt with my fair share of remorse…I allowed so much that now I almost believe the bad…because sadly, its easier to believe the bad than the good about ourselves.

I have to face it that I can’t fix this overnight…everything takes time.  So this is where the phrase “Fake it ’til you make it” comes in.   I’m going to fix me…I know what’s good about me, what’s great about me, what makes me awesome…and I’m going to act like I know it every chance I get…eventually, I’ll go from knowing it to believing it.

I’m ready to be my sassy self again…my fun self again…I’m ready to say “Bring it on” to anyone who wants to bring me down.  I’m ready to go all Stuart Smalley on the world…

And yes, I will celebrate when my divorce is finalized…not because I’m happy that a 12 year relationship didn’t last for 50 years…but because I’m starting a completely new phase in my life…and the sky’s the limit…

Yes, life will be hard and I will have bad days…and I will be alone and lonely…yes, I will cry and emote and probably even have a little word vomit…but it’s all good.  The next day, I’ll get up and keep moving forward, keep striving to be better than I am…and eventually, I’ll feel in my heart what I know in my head…

I Knew It Wouldn’t End Well

I usually listen to my instincts, my gut…but every once in a while, I decide to be more hopeful and give the benefit of the doubt…even when I know I shouldn’t..

I opened myself up to someone who I knew didn’t really want to be cordial, to be polite, to be decent (and no, it wasn’t Almost Ex)…I knew it, but I told myself that I was being too cynical and too untrusting…sometimes I hate it when I’m right…

Now I feel like I was hit by a truck…and that was the goal, I think.

I’m too tired to play tough…I’m too tired to see the bright side…

Tonight was supposed to be a night to blog about my boys who made me smile so much tonight…tonight was supposed to be a night when I went to bed and actually slept…

And now I feel like I’ve been sucker-punched…and I know I’m being vague, and I’m pretty sure the 2 or 3 people who actually read this are dying to know what happened, and I will probably get a message or call…but this isn’t about what caused me to be upset…it’s the fact that I allowed myself to enter the situation…that I knew the situation wasn’t going to end well…I actually said, “I wonder how this will bite me in the ass.” And I went down that road anyway…

And if you’ve ever been where I am right now, you know why I went down the road…and why it hurts so much that I was right about how it would end…even though I really wanted to be wrong…

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