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Leaps of Faith

Two posts in one day?!  Crazy, right?

I’ve got stuff on my mind…gotta get it out, I guess…

I admitted to BBFF today that my mind has been unnervingly blank lately…I can’t handle the things that stress me out…because I don’t think I have any control over any of it…so I’ve just stopped thinking about it…

That probably sounds sort of healthy, but it doesn’t seem healthy…because instead of focusing on other things and thinking about other things, I’m literally (and I do mean LITERALLY) thinking about nothing…there aren’t even crickets in my head, it’s so quiet…

But I think I’ve taken a leap of faith (of sorts) that I’ll figure things out as they come up…instead of worrying and stressing about things I have no control over and can’t seem to do anything about, I’ll just try to make the best decision I possibly can when the issue comes up…that almost sounds like I’ve grown up a little…but I think it’s more that my brain and heart can NOT take anymore…it’s a self-preservation thing

Why is it so quiet in my head?  If I refuse to let myself think about the things that bother me, stress me, scare me, and keep me up at night, why can’t I turn around and focus on something else, something positive?  And I think I have the answer, and it’s sort of depressing…I don’t feel like I have any control over my life right now…I can’t do anything to fix the problems…or at least I feel like I can’t…so I feel hopeless…how do I plan for a better future if I can’t figure out the present?

If I can take a leap of faith that I can stop worrying, why can’t I take the leap that it’s ok to plan for the future?

When I figure out the answer to that question, maybe that’s when I can start to move forward again…

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Hiding Out and Anger

After yesterday’s post, of course my mind didn’t just shut it all off and go, “Whew! Glad that’s off my chest – now on to bigger and better things!” Of course not…I’m a thinker…a dweller…an obsesser…and my mind can’t seem to stop…

I realized part of the problem is not just that I’m not taking care of myself the way that I should…I’m hiding out…even though I know better, I’m using the excuse that I can’t get hurt by anyone if I just fade into the background…if I just mold myself to the people around me…well, that’s bullshit and I know it…knowing and doing are two different things…

I’ve also had to admit to myself that I’m carrying around a lot of anger…a LOT of anger…there was no denying it anymore when I got into Aidan’s face this morning and yelled like a crazy person about some minor transgression that didn’t require that kind of response…and then I stayed angry for most of the morning…

Poor Aidan…yes, he’s a typical six year old with the typical lack of impulse…but what tends to set me on edge is any negative similarities he has with The Ex…which isn’t Aidan’s fault…and I used to be the level-headed parent…the one who discussed issues most of the time and only raised her voice when it was necessary – making it much more effective…now, I’m a yeller…and while its sometimes unavoidable, not as often as I’ve been doing it…

I’ve taken to listening to hard rock again when I’m driving to and from work…45 minutes of blaring guitars, pounding drums, and screaming vocals…all set to the highest volume I can stand…just so I can drown out the crap in my head…and pretend that I don’t care, that I don’t hurt, and that I haven’t been let down – again…

Moth to Butterfly…and Back?

I’ve been mulling over this one for a while…I’ve been lost in thought for days now…deep in thought, grinding my teeth…and while I was driving to work the other day, the image that came to mind was that for years I was like a little brown moth…for a while, I felt like I was blossoming into a butterfly…and now I’m moth-like again…

Ok, so maybe that analogy seems over the top…let me try to explain…

I have a lot of people…a lot…ask me why I ever married The Ex…and frankly, when I was 19, I thought that was the best I could do…he loved me, he was sweet, and he (for whatever reason) thought I was beautiful…so why wouldn’t I stick with him through every crazy drama, marry him, defend him, take care of him, work myself into the ground for him? Even though he never actually did anything that showed his love for me?

As the years passed, I sort of faded…my clothes were drab, I didn’t take care of my appearance (beyond normal hygiene, of course), I lost my entire sense of self and a lot of my identity…I was so worn down by life’s normal stresses that the rest didn’t matter…feeling like a woman held no meaning for me…I stopped being this sassy, sarcastic, sexual person that I was becoming at 18 and 19…

I look back now and realize that I know exactly when the beginning of the end of my marriage occurred…it was the day I saw a picture of myself on Aidan’s first birthday…in that instant, I started to care about myself…my appearance, my health, myself…it was a long battle…several years, Sean’s birth, and the recovery from being pregnant…the moment I finally realized I was worth taking care of was a defining moment that I didn’t even know I was having…

Had I been married to someone who understood the give and take of relationships…who had seen my worth as far more than a support system…maybe our marriage could have survived…but once I realized that I had a certain self-worth that was unrelated to him, I think I primed myself for being strong enough to say, “I can do bad by myself. You’ve got to go.”

In the months leading up to the split and in the weeks after (admittedly with some bad days and weeks in between), I started to find myself again…eventually I could smile…I could show confidence…hell, when necessary, I could fake confidence…ask Eebee, she’ll tell you I started being my sassy-self…she thought it was new…I didn’t have the ability to tell her that no, back in the day, I was like this…vivacious…that’s a good word – vivacious…

In the past few weeks, I think I’ve faded again…and some habits die hard…instead of truly believing that I need no man to be happy, I’m like that puppy you can kick but will wag it’s tail when you pet it…yeah, give me 5 seconds of decent behavior and apparently, I’ll forgive 5 days of being ignored or being taken for granted…I don’t smile…I laugh, but it’s usually a harsh, angry laugh …there’s nothing sassy, vivacious, or alive about me…for a while I felt light and airy…now I feel weighed down…And I’ve gone back to the self-destructive behavior that made me fat so many years ago…

None of what is causing it is unusual for anyone…and the fact that I feel this way probably isn’t unusual…some people will say it’s a slump and it will pass…yeah, the last slump took 12 years to work through…sorry, I don’t feel like going backward in time…I miss the person I was discovering…and I’m not completely sure how to get her back…

I don’t want to fade into the background again like the brown moth that you don’t see until their flitting around, desperate to get to the light…I might not ever be the most brightly colored butterfly out there, but I could definitely be one of the most memorable…how do I get back to that?

Stuff…Random Stuff…

Do you know I hit 100 posts the other day and didn’t even realize it?  I’ve been blogging since April 30 – that’s a LOT of talking…I wonder if I’ve changed at all…hmm, that’s something to contemplate later…I haven’t posted anything for a couple of days…at first I didn’t have anything to say…and then when I did, I couldn’t get my internet to work…now I’m just filled with random stuff…

*****

I found a place to live!!!!!!!!  It’s quiet and safe and the right size and has a balcony off the master bedroom…a spot that, if I do it right, will be MINE…I have no intention of sharing it with the boys…mostly because I’m that mom who would be a nervous wreck that they would fall – even though they wouldn’t…

When Mom #2, who doubts EVERYTHING, knew I would take it in the first 5 minutes, I knew my instincts were right…there will be some adjustments, and probably some whining – from all three of us – but it’s going to be our new place…closer to work, closer to friends, and hopefully a little less wear and tear on me…

*****

The Ex was caught in a pack of lies over the weekend by his girlfriend…and myself…because for the first time in 6 months, we talked…I don’t know if she called just to get info to use on him…I don’t know if she called to stir up trouble (I don’t think so)…but I discovered I’ve been lied to for several months…about things that don’t matter…things that didn’t have to turn in to lies…

And somehow, as it has been since February 13, 2011, it was my fault that they fought…wow.

*****

My children love my Separated-At-Birth Sister…adore her…and her children adore mine…and she cooks so well it makes her house smell divine…damn, I miss home-cooking…makes me so tired of living out of paper bags and drive thru…yes, I recognize it’s my own fault…and thanks to her, I had a couple extra hours to myself this weekend – that, my friends, is priceless…

*****

I’m back to being completely worn down again…it’s lack of exercise, lack of good, healthy food, and the addition of new stress…I find myself grinding my teeth while I’m driving or just sitting quietly anywhere…once I get lost in thought, there I go, grinding my teeth…

Some of the stress will alleviate itself once the move is done…and I’m finally taking a vacation, too…I’m not going anywhere, but I’ll have my days free from children and work…

*****

I realized that I miss intimacy…I’m not talking sex (that’s definitely a conversation for another day)…I’m talking about pure intimacy…simple, small stuff that we all take for granted when there’s someone with us…quick hugs, pecks on the cheek, curling up on the couch…leaning on someone, wrapping your arms around each other for no other reason than just because…

I don’t want it with The Ex…but I do miss it…

I Don’t Like It When…

I don’t like it when I yell at my boys for no real reason other than I’m frustrated…

I don’t like it when I start feeling sorry for myself for no good reason…

I don’t like it when I let myself think about the bad instead of focusing on the positive…

I don’t like it when I eat cheeseburgers because they’re easier than anything else…

I don’t like it when I stay up late when I know I need sleep…

I don’t like it when I dwell on the past instead of dreaming of the future…

I don’t like it when I let the quiet close in on me…

I don’t like it when good ideas feel impossible…

I don’t like it when I stop avoiding the things that bother me…

I don’t like it when I avoid the things that need to be dealt with…

I don’t like it when I let my anxiety and worries take over and guide my decisions…

I don’t like it when I hold the people I love to an impossibly high standard…

I don’t like it when I lower my standards for people who don’t care about me…

I don’t like it when I wish for things I don’t have instead of being grateful for what I do have…

I don’t like it when I neglect myself because I forget that I’m worth caring about…

I don’t like it when I have to be reminded that I’m not screwing up my children…

I don’t like it when I’m mopey.

The Difference A Day Makes…

I always feel kind of bad when I unload in my blog…because people who genuinely care about me read it and then worry more…and usually within hours, I feel better…

Yesterday, I had a very dark cloud over my head…it followed me, rained on me, and generally just brought me down…

This morning, I woke up feeling pretty crappy…I wasn’t overly pleasant with the boys…I felt horribly guilty when Sean ran, fell, hit his head, and then started crying – even though there’s no way I could have prevented it…

It’s amazing the difference a day can make in life…

I had a business meeting over lunch today – which is always fun, but I genuinely like this chick, so it was even better…and while we’re chatting, she mentions she has a condo that she rents out…I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure she could sense my excitement…I’m not that person who should go to the car lot alone, because I have NO poker face…

The more we talked about her condo, the better it sounded…she showed me pictures on her phone…she told me, honestly, about the damage that had been created by her last tenant and what she’s done to fix it…and Saturday, I will view it and find out if it’s going to work for me…

And, as someone who listens very carefully to her intuition, I was amazed at how excited I am…maybe because she used the two best words to describe it – safe and quiet…

Without even viewing it (and knowing intellectually it could be all wrong for me – even though my gut tells me it won’t be), I immediately felt a weight lift off my shoulders…to everyone who said to be patient and that it would happen when it was supposed to happen (advice I have often given to others), you’re right…as I was sitting there, talking to her, I sort of stepped away from myself and saw from the outside how perfectly this was working out – with no real effort on my part…when something is meant to happen, it’s easy…when something is supposed to happen, doors seem to open out of no where…

I still have plenty to do and to worry about and to stress over…but…by Saturday afternoon, the biggest hurdle will probably have been crossed…

My faith has been restored in the decisions that I’m making…I needed a sign that I was on the right path, and I would have had to be deaf, dumb, and blind to have missed this one…

 

Frustrated

There are times when I feel like I spend my life frustrated…sometimes it’s because my expectations are either too high or not fully thought out…sometimes its because I’m looking for easy – and that almost never happens…

On the one hand, I’m that person who believes that anything in life worth having is worth working hard for – meaning that very little comes easy, and I wouldn’t trust it if it did…on the other hand, I have been told, and want to believe, that if you’re on the path you should be, doors will often open that you don’t expect…

All I want to do is move…I want to get out of this house (it goes on the market in the next day or so…know anyone who just can’t wait to live in a little town called Crestview, FL?)…I want to move closer to work…I want to pay a little less each month – because I’m freaking drowning over here, and something’s got to give…but silly me, I also want to feel safe wherever I live and have enough space for 2 rowdy little boys to be, well, rowdy little boys…apparently, I’m asking for a miracle…

I’m filled with doubts – can this space hold most of our stuff? I don’t have a lot of stuff but I think the beds, couch, and kitchen table are essential items, and dammit, wherever I live should be able to hold at least that…Is this area safe?  Would we ever actually leave during the day, and how would I feel if I brought them home to this late at night??

Is this the right place for us?  I’m a big believer that you know when something feels right – and when it doesn’t…and I should wait for it to feel right…but I’m feeling pressured from my own deadline – November 1.  Why November 1? Because 8 days later, I’ll be in Anaheim, CA for 5 days…and right after that it’s balls to the wall until February at work…this is the perfect time…except the perfect place isn’t materializing…and I’m filled with self-doubt…

I’m making a major decision which affects my children…and I need to get it right…this isn’t something I can half-ass or just make work…the safety of the boys (and my perception of their safety) is too important…which is why I found myself driving around town this afternoon after looking at yet another really crappy option, lost in thought, mentally panicking…I was almost back at work when I realized I hadn’t returned the key to the rental company…

I’ve made plenty of decisions for our family in the past few months, but none like this…I’m uprooting Aidan from his school, I’m taking Sean away from a daycare that adores him, to do what? Put them in some crap hole-in-the-wall just so I can get away from my own personal demons?  Am I being selfish?  Couldn’t I just toughen up a little, tighten the belt a little more, and deal with it?

Intellectually, I know the answers…but if I screw up this decision, what does that say about everything else that comes after?  I’m responsible for this family, for two little boys who are looking to me to keep everything right in their world…I just want a safe, decent, affordable home…how can that be so damn hard?

Are You Sure?

As I was loading the boys into the car this afternoon, the strangest thought crossed my mind…”Who left me in charge?!”

For a brief moment, it was like I was on the outside looking in, and I just thought, “Are you sure this is my life? How did I get to this point? What the hell am I doing?”

Was it because Aidan had thrown his daily afternoon fit, and I still don’t have the right Mean Mom look yet to stop that in its tracks?  Was it just a moment when the full reality of being a single mom actually hit me?  I usually don’t think too hard about my life during the day while I’m trying to get through from moment to moment…that what this blog is for, thank you very much. But that was a moment when my introspective self collided with my just-gettin’-by self, and it was strange.

I wasn’t upset before or after the thought crossed my mind…I’m still not…this isn’t about me not being able to handle my life…actually, I think it stems from be finally starting to take a little bit of control back…

I’ve accepted a lot of help from my family over the past few weeks – for which I am extremely grateful…however…when someone else is spending the money, their opinion carries a lot of weight…and today, I got to thinking about the past few weeks and the next few weeks ahead – the move, the new school/daycare, eventually the new car…and I realized I was waiting for someone else to make the decisions (whatever those decisions might be)…I was waiting for someone to tell me when it was ok to do what…

And I realized that’s crazy! Yes, I am accepting a LOT of help…and after years of struggling with no help, yeah, I’m finally ok with taking help…but that doesn’t mean this isn’t still my life…and I’ve waited in some sort of holding pattern for the past few weeks, waiting on…hell, I don’t know…but back to waiting.  I’m done waiting…

I don’t know who the hell left me in charge, and I’m not sure they aren’t crazy…but if I’m the one in charge, then we’re doing it MY way.

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!

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?

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