Monthly Archives: September 2011

Big, Fat, Hairy…Goals

I’m a goal person…if I don’t have a goal (no matter how small), I feel like I have no purpose…which leads to stress, chaos, and all sorts of negative things…including procrastination and loss of focus…

I complained earlier about feeling soft…I complained yesterday about stressing and emotional eating (today was worse)…I’m sure I’ve gained 10 lbs in the past two weeks – mostly from sweet tea and cheeseburgers…I’ve talked before about taking control and taking care of myself…and it worked, while I stayed focused…

But, that’s not happening anymore…and I feel….blech…

This morning, while I was driving to work, I was thinking about why I’m not able to sustain the focus on myself…and I think my goal is too vague and I’m too vague about how I’m going to get there…I’m a planner…I’m an organized planner…it’s what I do, it’s who I am…

But I don’t plan our meals…I barely write a grocery list…I don’t keep us (as a family) organized…and it’s leading to chaos, utter chaos…and 10 extra lbs…because it’s easier to run through drive thru and order off the $1 menu (especially since sweet tea is a $1 – that’s just EVIL!)…

With any big, fat, hairy goal I give myself, I need a plan…but first, let’s start with the goal.  My birthday is at the end of October (October 30 to be exact).  I thought that it would be fitting to give myself a birthday present this year – the gift of not feeling like mush.  The official start date is October 1 but since I’m pretty excited, I’ll probably get started a little tomorrow…I would like to lose 10 lbs by the end of the month, but overall I want to be less like a side of mashed potatoes (soft and mushy)…

What’s the plan?  That’s where I’m fuzzy – I know I need to eat right and exercise…that’s a big ole duh…but what exactly do I need to do?  Since this goal is a 30 day goal, I’m thinking of doing Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred, again…but this time the straight 30 days instead the 6 weeks it usually takes me…but I’m also adverse to pain, so I was thinking 30 Day Shred 3-4 times a week and supplementing with the treadmill 3-4 days a week…opinions?

With the food side, I think I just need to get organized…I’m envisioning charts, calendars, color-coded things…and a trip to Staples to make it happen (I’m sure different colored Sharpies will be involved)…I need to plan out every meal – so that’s it one less thing to think about…and, this is going to sound crazy, but I need to stop with leftovers…I hate leftovers…if I like a meal well enough to want to eat leftovers the next day, I usually end up eating the extra helping the same day I cook it (soooooo not good for me)…and I’ll bring leftovers for lunch the next day with every intention of eating it…and then find 10 reasons why I need to hit the drive thru…bad, I know…I need to accept the fact that I almost never eat leftovers and stop pretending that I do…

I know how to eat, I know what to eat, I know when to eat…I just need to make it one less thing to think about…because frankly, I’ve got too much on my plate (no pun intended) to be worrying about what we’re going to have for dinner…

Time to treat this like the office…where’s my clipboard and to do list?  It’s time to get to work!

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Quietly Freaking Out?

I’m pretty used to feeling stressed…stress from work (temporary, thank God)…chronic stress during my marriage (there was a reason I got a divorce, you know)…but I think I’m experiencing a different type of stress…and the only real indication I have is all of the cheeseburgers I keep eating…

No word vomit in my life…my mind is pretty calm…nothing crazy or majorly negative happening – woohoo, by the way!  Is it the pending move? Is it the fact that finding daycare sucks? Is it that I have to pack up the house and get it moved almost by myself?  Probably…

But it’s strange to show all the signs of stress – sleeplessness, emotional eating, yadda yadda yadda, but no crazy mood swings, no outbursts, no…word vomit…I really am in a pretty decent mood most of the time…is this a sign of maturity?  Am I growing up?

So, because I have to analyze and over-analyze everything – am I just quietly freaking out?  Will the desire for cheeseburgers (and sweet tea, don’t forget the sweet tea!) end once I get the move taken care of?  And then that begs the question, what else will occur that drives me to cheeseburgers (and sweet tea)?

Who Am I?

I promise that question isn’t from some meltdown gone wrong.  It’s a question I still don’t know all the answers to…after all these months, I don’t think I’m any closer to an answer…and it’s a little frustrating.

Several months ago, I read an amazing blog post written by my friend Doug Devitre (and yes, normally I would create some cute nickname, but I totally want him to get credit for his blog).  He and I are buds now, but when I first read the blog, I had just met him…after reading it, I felt like I knew him, and he’s definitely a cool dude.  He really gets who he is, what he does, how he does it…the whole thing. 

And I was inspired…I wanted to write a blog like that…so that at the end, a person reading it had a pretty good picture of who and what I am…and I failed miserably…I couldn’t even begin to describe who I really was…past the basics, I mean – mom, check; daughter, check; ex-wife, check (ok, at the time I wasn’t that far along, but you know what I mean)…

That type of blog has become a goal…a big, fat, hairy goal…something so simple and it seems almost unreachable…almost…I do know one thing about myself and I am tenacious with a big, fat, hairy goal…I feel like if I can write that blog (maybe not quite as comprehensive as Doug’s) then I’ll be able to say, “Yes, I know exactly who I am.”

Every once in a while, I start to doubt myself…shocking, I know…I had a great conversation with BBFF tonight…I told him I wanted to be a strong woman instead of a scared girl…he wants it for me, which is sort of comforting…it’s not complicated, it’s not mind-boggling…I think most women want that…

Professionally, I grow stronger and more confident every day…I feel it within myself…the more I learn, the more knowledge I’m able to share with others, the stronger I become…and I love that feeling…personally, though? Hell if I know what I’m doing! I feel like that girl of 18 before I met The Ex who didn’t know what she was doing and was stumbling blindly through the world…and you see how well THAT turned out, right? I’m wiser now, for sure, and definitely more cautious…am I strong?  Probably…you can’t go through hell, survive it, and not come out at least a little stronger, right?

But who am I?  I’m still trying to figure that one out…

I’ve Got Good Friends

Today should have been smooth as silk…if yesterday’s plans were any indication.  Today should have been ruined…if this morning’s craziness was any indication. Today was just right…because I’ve got a damned good friend.

The boys were with The Ex last night…because Mom #2 picked them and delivered them (I owe her lunch for that one – because she wouldn’t accept gas money)…they went to the circus…had a big time…life was good…until this morning when I was informed that I needed to come get them (long story that I won’t clog up my blog space for)…I wasn’t in a position to get them quickly…and to be honest, I wanted the freaking day off…I asked for 24 hours off…24 freaking hours…

Mom #2 to the rescue…I’m not sure if it’s just because she’s such a good friend…or because she considers my boys her psuedo-grandchildren…or because I was sobbing hysterically on the phone (mostly from anger)…either way, she picked them up and showed them a big time for the day…and since she won’t accept money from me EVER, I bought her dinner…ahhh, even better, adult conversation with someone who knows how to keep a child occupied without ever causing a break in the discussion…I have so much to learn from her…

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BFF is that friend that I don’t have to talk to everyday (and we usually don’t), but when we do, it’s like we haven’t missed a beat…she’s the one whose house I ran to in MS when I was trying to decide whether I should stay married or not…runny nose, bronchitis, and all…we talked over margaritas and chips and salsa (as usual)…she knew before I did that I had already made up my mind about what I was going to do…but she also knew I had to talk it out…that I needed a sounding board…and in true BFF fashion, she didn’t express her joy at the idea until after I had made up my mind…

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BBFF lets me email him about whatever is on my mind…sometimes it’s my thoughts about an ongoing discussion we’ve been having about relationships…sometimes it’s whatever thoughts are in my head at the moment…I love having that outlet…he may get tired of it soon, though…when we have time, we can talk for hours…we don’t get to very often, but we can…I get antsy if I have to go too long without a conversation…he tends to ground me, whether he realizes it or not…

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Eebee is the one who is most like me on a lot of levels and yet my total opposite on others…its sort of strange…she’s one of the first women my own age I ever clicked with (most of them are older than me)…some people think I mimic her style…which she and I both know isn’t true…I mimic her ability to have a sense of style…thanks to Eebee, people actually refer to earrings as “Michaela earrings” as in, “I saw these and thought, ‘Those are definitely Michaela earrings.'” Eebee helped me remember that I’m a woman…a young woman…a GIRL…

I still remember the day she dragged me to the MAC counter at Belk, sat me down with her friend Nova, and said, “Do something with her, please.”  And I haven’t looked back.  (By the way, I wore make-up before, no matter WHAT Eebee thinks.) We have the same body language, we laugh at the same stuff, we do a killer fro-yo dance…we don’t always see eye-to-eye on things but I think she’s a forever friend…

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I got to hang out with Cool Chick last night…LOVED it…I am definitely someone who likes to just chill and talk…still not good at talking to people I don’t know (and of course she knows EVERYONE)…but it was nice to just be a single woman last night…not a mom, not an employee, not someone’s date…chilling, talking, laughing, and listening to music is my idea of a good time…and it’s refreshing to chill with someone who gets it…has been there, done that, and can be the example that I can do this…I can be a successful, professional woman, a great mom, AND still have a life with some fun in it…

I’ve got good friends…

 

Am I Intimidating?

I’m sure the answer to that question depends on who you ask…I’d like to think my friends would laugh hysterically and say hell no…

But it’s something that I’ve been thinking over for a couple of weeks now…

Several months ago, I was in a conversation with a male friend about, I believe, my constant worry that I was going to spend the rest of my life alone…if I remember the conversation right, I asked him how people viewed me…ok, how men saw me…his answer?

“Michaela, you walk around with a don’t fuck with me attitude, and it’s very intimidating.”

Wait, what? 

That comment has stayed with me ever since…part of me thinks, “Damn straight!”…another part is very confused…I know I’m often deep in thought which causes me to look and act serious…but unless I’m in a completely uncomfortable and new situation where I just want to disappear, I don’t think I walk around feeling that way…with my friends I laugh and talk…with people I’m not very close to, I’m usually smiling (at least)…and if I consider you a close friend, I’d like to think I’m very considerate, sweet, and loving (most of the time)…

And, now that I’m re-entering the single world (ok, whatever, I’ve jumped in with both feet and am having a pretty good time), I’m starting to think I might be a little intimidating…

Ok, so if you’ve followed my blog long enough, you know my opinion about boys and men.

Here’s what I’ve noticed…those of the male species who are willing to approach me are definitely what I would classify as men (though with a few dumb boy tendencies, but it’s all good)…they are dominant, often complete and total alpha males, fairly opinionated, and extremely straight forward…no guessing, no wondering, and when I speak my mind, they might not like it, but they don’t run from it either…there’s usually a maturity level there that I find extremely comforting…(and yes, I realize a man doesn’t have to be a domineering alpha to be a real man…I’m only commenting on the type that I seem to attract)…

And then there are those who my friends point out to me as someone who seems to be checking me out or is “obviously” interested…I say it like that because in my mind, if you aren’t talking to me, I have no clue how interested you really are and I assume you probably aren’t…but these guys shy away, won’t hold a conversation for more than a few minutes at a time, don’t initiate anything, whatever…so my first impression is that NO they really aren’t that interested…but I keep going back to what my friend said…and I have to ask…am I intimidating to some people? Especially those who aren’t the alpha male type?

Another friend has threatened to set me up with some of his friends…oh Lord is all I can say to that…in the course of the inquisition conversation about what I’m looking for, he decided that I need someone who’s “dominant like you are, Michaela.”  Um…is that how you see me, dude?  And is that a good thing?  Guess it depends on your perspective…

Feeling Soft

Please do not mistake that title as anything warm, fuzzy, and/or sweet…I mean soft as in flabby, lacking definition, blech…

A couple of weeks ago I made the decision to let something, anything slide so that I could sort of maintain my sanity…and it ended up being exercise.  Yes, I realize that if I exercised I would probably have more energy, sleep better, feel better about myself, and a million other things…I could write the book on why I should work out…

Unfortunately, I’ve also been emotionally eating for a couple of weeks – yes, I am an emotional eater…stress, conflict, uncertainty – those are my usual triggers…I don’t feel like I have time…I constantly feel rushed…there’s always something else that needs to be done, handled, finished, completed, submitted, whatever…it never stops…and so I never stop…it’s my own fault…

And all of this has created this horrible soft, mushy feeling…and I hate it!

I was becoming firm, toned, high and tight…now, not so much…my treadmill just looks on in sadness, wondering when I’ll come play again…

I keep telling myself when life calms down a little – especially work – I’ll focus on myself again.  I know taking time for me is the healthiest thing I can do…I get that…I just need to slow down a little first…

As for the emotional eating, I have another reason excuse for that one…The Ex told me yesterday that he’s getting married in October…at the end of October…but he assured me it wouldn’t be on my birthday…um…ok?  Eebee wondered if I was going to be ok once it sank in…surprisingly, it doesn’t bother me…it seems strange to me….but it doesn’t hurt at all or make me angry…I feel like I’m learning something about a stranger…it’s just information that has no bearing on my life…is that healthy?

I wish it would mean he’d stop being so interested in my personal life, but somehow I doubt that…

But, it hasn’t stopped me from reaching for the cheeseburgers, either…

Raising Boys #8

I get an education with my boys everyday…some days I get it right…some days, not so much…

Aidan: “Mom, I really don’t like being teased.  I think it’s mean.  Please don’t tease me again.  It makes me sad and I cry.” This was after I made the joke that he better stay in his bed or the sharks were going to nip his toes.  Yeah, I won’t make that mistake again…

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Sean: “Da-maw! Da-maw! I wan Da-maw!” Translation: Grandma! Grandma! I want Grandma! This was at 2 o’clock this morning and he had barely slept all night (the same for me, by the way).  I went against every parenting rule I know and put him in the bed with me (and Aidan who had crawled in at 12:30 because he was tired of hearing Sean cry all night).  It didn’t matter.  Sean laid down for five minutes and then popped back up to play and crawl on the bed.  Finally, at 4:00 a.m. I picked him up, took him into the living room, settled into the recliner, and we slept until about 8:00 a.m. And the whole problem was that he wanted his “Da-maw.”

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Aidan: “Mom, why are you just so beautiful?” (This one made it to my Facebook page because it was too good.)  Once I regained my ability to speak, I asked why he thought I was beautiful. 

Aidan: “Well, I like your shirt.  It’s a work shirt.  And all you do is work, work, work, work, work, work, work, work, work, work, WORK!”

Yep, I sure do…

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In another effort to make sure I never EVER win Mother of the Year, I gave away my children’s dog this weekend.  Kahlua the Dog has moved to Mississippi for Paw-Paw and Da-maw to find a good home for her.  The other day, I told Aidan we had to have a grown up conversation.  When I explained that I couldn’t take care of her anymore and that because we were moving, she couldn’t come with us, that she was going to Mississippi, this was his reaction: 

Aidan: “Well, FINALLY! She’s been driving me nuts, Mom! She always sleeps in my bed and gets in my way!”

Wait, what?

I still cried when she left.  What kind of mom gives up the dog that her children love?  Sean woke up and looked for her.  That broke my heart all over again.

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I hope I’m raising them to be well-adjusted, productive men…

I Wouldn’t Mind Being Pampered…Maybe

I’ve been sick all week…and since it’s the second time in a few weeks, I’m feeling a little sorry for myself…wishing someone would pamper me, baby me, take care of me…except, I don’t allow that kind of thing…not since I was a kid and didn’t have a choice…

And that got me to thinking…why do I want to be pampered?  What does it mean to be pampered – what would I expect someone to do for me?  And why I haven’t I been pampered in the past?

I think I know the answer to the first one…like most of us (I hope!), the few times I was sick as a kid, my parents took great care of me…sometimes a little overzealously – the only time I ever had the flu, all my dad fed me for a solid week was Campbell’s chicken noodle soup and Saltines…and to this day, I detest chicken noodle soup…but I think there’s something comforting about having a parent take care of you when you’re in need…I hope Aidan and Sean feel that way about me one day…

I’m not sure what it means to be taken care of- I think it’s different for everyone…today, I would have said it was someone carrying Sean for me (he’s sick, too, so he’s definitely being babied)…or cooking dinner for me…but I don’t really know which answers the last question…

Why haven’t I ever been pampered, coddled, or babied?  Easy, because I don’t allow it…hell, I don’t even take good, well-meaning advice when I’m sick…you think I’m actually going to sit still and let someone else do everything for me?  I have no need to analyze this one to death…it’s just how I am…it’s probably a trust thing (and I have plenty of trust issues)…

This isn’t a woe-is-me, poor Michaela kind of thing…this is a genuine curiosity at why I have a desire for it when I’m sick and what it really means.  If I know what pampering is, I’ll recognize it when someone’s doing it…and then tell them to stop that shit and let me take care of myself…

Finally…A Little Relief

Not to brag on the industry I work in, but Realtors are pretty freaking amazing.  Ok, so I don’t typically discuss work in my space here, but since there is a time and place for everything, I guess this is the time and the place…

For the two people who read this and don’t know me personally, I work in the Realtor Association world…I’m not a Realtor, and I don’t help people buy or sell real estate…I help Realtors…that’s what I do, and I do it fairly well.  And, weirdly, I enjoy it…

And while I support all of the Realtors in my world, I have a favorite…she would be my Realtor…and she is providing me with the first real relief I’ve felt in ages…hence the let’s-talk-work blog…

I have no good memories left in my house…the crap I went through pre-divorce pretty much erased the good…and I feel defeated everyday that I walk inside…I have a long commute (originally by necessity and then later by choice) that doesn’t work for a single mom…I have home repairs and maintenance that suck for a lot of people – sucks even more when you have no inclination for things like that (isn’t that why there are handymen?)…and I have no connection to this place now, it’s just a house…the boys do – this is their home..for Sean, it’s the only home he’s ever known…

And I am so ready to get out of here…here’s the thing – I have a teeny, tiny, itty-bitty little eensie weensie bit of knowledge about real estate…which means I don’t know crap, so I called my Realtor …whom I adore, LOVE, and am so freaking grateful for…I was concerned about the house…I know I need to sell it…I need to get away from it…the karma, ju-ju, whatever here is not good…and she’s going to help make that happen for me…she reassured me…she put all of my fears to rest because the little bit I do know about the market scared the crap out of me…and she did the same thing she did when I bought the house through her, she told me not worry, it was going to be ok…

Owning your own home is absolutely part of the American Dream…and I worked damn hard to get here…but owning a home can also be a crushing weight when you’re drowning in everything else…and right now, it’s not my time…I have to get to a different, better place first…and knowing that my housing issue is half over (only half because I still have to find a new place to live) is a relief I didn’t know I was waiting to feel until I realized I could breathe again…

Maybe I’m Okay With Change…

I have said before that I don’t like change…and I still believe that – to a certain extent…except…I think what I really don’t like is just changes in my routine…

I’m working on moving closer to work – less commute, less wear and tear on whatever I happen to be driving today, less time away from the boys…all good things…I’m dealing with a 90lb dog that needs a better home than I can give (which I hate to admit)……changes in Aidan’s in school and Sean’s daycare…pretty massive changes…and yeah, I’m a little tense about all of it, but I’m more excited than anything…

I’m excited about picking out a place based on my own needs (and of course the needs of the boys) without compromising with anyone on what’s best…I’m excited about being closer to my friends and work…I’m even a little excited about creating a new routine…

Everything I do now is based on what I’ve done for the past several years…I get up at a certain time, get ready in a certain way, drive a specific route, come home and do very specific things all based on routines created in the last few years…And now (eventually), I’ll have the opportunity to create something that’s just about us…with little basis on the past…that’s a pretty intoxicating thought…it moves me a little closer to being truly independent, I think…

Whatever I (we) do in the future will be based on what I create with the changes in our lives…I can live with that.

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