Thursday, March 29, 2018

All I Really Want

...Is some patience.  A way to calm the angry voice.  

Fuck yes. I can recognize and relate to that.

I had to turn Alanis off, though.  I switched to Yanni.  Way better for thinking, sorting your thoughts.  Still reminds me of my adolescence.  And reminds me that we need a piano in our lives.  I would like to play again; the girls would love it.  I need to make that happen.

Also:  I want to paint.  I bought oils and canvas over 2 years ago - I've not opened them yet.  It's past time.

I need to leave social media.  I recognize it plays an addictive role in my life and I use it the way an addict uses and it is sucking away my time, making me agitated and angry.  The bad is outweighing the good.

I fucking suck at blogging anymore.  I don't know what stories to tell.  I don't know how to tell them anymore.  I want to record our lives, to document our day to day, but fucking facebook and Instagram are so much better for that than a blog - so much easier and convenient when you feel like you never have any time.  Of course, if i gave up the facebook and Instagram and twitter, i guess I'd find some time...

I'm going to be 38 next month.  Heh.  In a week and a half.  38.  That sounds way older than I feel.  I don't know what that means, I just know that I have an idea in my head of what a 38 year old woman is, and that's not me.  Except...stable career, married, couple of kids, house, lease, dog, cat - okay.  Maybe.  I also want to say "my life is not at all what I imagined it would be at 38," but that's not true either.  The truth is that, while I full expected I'd be making fuckpiles more money than I currently am, I never pictured many details in my adult life beyond "married" and "kids".  I got that going for me.  So true, I've not published a book or jumped out of an airplane or traveled the world - YET - I'm really not doing bad for 38.  Not by my personal standards, at least.

The truth is, I'm happy as a pig in shit with my boring little life.  I have this fabulous man who loves me and made the most beautiful children with me and he is just the best daddy in the whole world and my boss thinks I'm awesome and my parents are the absolute best and my brother, well, I love my brother, and we have this great dog and cat and our jobs pay the bills and leave a little left over and we've got a house with good bones in a safe neighborhood and our girls will go to a decent school...I mean, what else is there, at 38?  At any age?  I'm not being facetious, or sarcastic - I'm thankful.  I went to the doctor earlier this week for my annual health-insurance-required physical, and as she was filling out the form, the doc commented, "Your numbers are great, I wish all of our patients had these numbers."  They were all in normal range.  WTF?  Seriously, so far, 38 is killing it.

I need to make some changes, though, if I'm going to live my best life.  I've been doing a great job of focusing on self-care, of being more social, of reaching out to my friends more.  I need to do better at home, truth be told.  I still come home and spend too much time on my phone when I should be playing with my girls.  I excuse myself by saying I'm tired or that I need to take just a few minutes for myself, to clear my brain, but it always becomes more than a few minutes and I end up letting them sit in front of the TV so I can scroll through the nonsense.  I do need a few minutes for myself, to clear my brain, but social media sure isn't the answer to that.  I can find better, less distracting outlets to clear the day from my mind so I can be a good mom.  I'm typing this here because if I put it in writing then I'm acknowledging it and maybe I'll be more inclined to actually do something about it.  Maybe. Probably.

I need new hobbies, or to focus on the ones I've tried to cultivate in the past.  I have a partially-knitted scarf for Jimi in a bag hanging on the inside of the coat closet door in the living room. I started it 3 years ago, unraveled it when I fucked up a few rows, then began again this past winter.  I'm maybe 8 inches into a 36 inch (minimum) scarf.  I'll finish it one of these days.  "I do what I want," is what I say when Jimi asks if I'll ever finish his scarf.

I also have a lot of garden spots in my yard that have been pretty much ignored since summer of 2015 when I planted the garden in the spot that was sunny in January but not-so-sunny in June.  I moved in a few raised beds the summer after that, but their yield was mediocre and i think i was in the full throes of my personal version of postpartum funk by then - it was hard to give too many shits about too much of anything - If it wasn't easy, fuck it, it wasn't happening.  There's something to be said for living that way, but you can't live that way and be a gardener, probably.

Hiking.  I want to hike so much - I wish I could get into the wood every day.  But it rains.  Or it gets cold.  Or it rained for the last 4 days, so all the trails are muddy washouts.  Or it's in an area where they say you shouldn't hike alone as a female because there have been "incidents".  For a city with so many parks and so many trails, it sure it difficult for me to find the right alignment of the stars to be able to get out into/onto them.  It's frustrating.  But the girls are bigger and bigger - I started taking them last year, and we'll do more, so much more, of that that this year.  G has already asked when we're camping again.  "Soon, baby," is what I tell her.  Camping and hiking go hand in hand.  My girls will love the woods and the outside at least as much as I do - hopefully more.

Camping - we're going to camp so much this year.  Jimi and I have both missed it since the girls came along.  I know it's possible to camp with babies and small children - for other people, it totally is. It wasn't for us. I mean, we could've survived it, but it was never going to be easy.  Maybe that's because my brain chemistry was all fucked up so everything was hard, but whatever the reason, we've only camped a handful of times in the last five years and now our children are big enough to enjoy the great outdoors so we're going to go get all up in it this summer.  It's good for the mind, body, and soul.  I need it.  I miss it so much.

I wish we had The Property to go to - my grandparents owned 20ish acres in Adair County Kentucky, we dubbed it The Property.  When they bought it, there was no road leading to it - it was just a large field and a couple of hills and hollers back off a county road.  Papaw mowed it and laid gravel and rebuilt the barn, and although there was no running water or electricity at first, it was the perfect campground. My mom's brother and sisters and their spouses and granny and papaw and their brothers and sisters would all drive out, pitch tents in a circle we'd call tent city, and the men would build a huge bonfire and sit around with their guitars, pickin' and grinnin' as they'd call it - singing songs old and new.  It was Papaw's dreamland, and eventually they built a house on the land and moved there full time. He got 3 years or so there before he died.  He was getting the soft dirt from under the treeline to add to his flowerbeds in front of the porch.  Heart attack.  Granny lived another 6 years.  They sold the place after she died.  I still keep some little fantasy in the back of my heart that one day I'll have the cash to walk up to the front door of that house and make the owners an offer they can't refuse - to move and leave The Property to me.  Not that it's even that great of a house or land - but it's my childhood.

Roller skating.  Bike riding.  Reading.  Giving myself a facial.  Listening to music.  Writing.  And that's before I even dive into the mile-long list of mom-related things I should be doing to better the lives of my children.  Not that they're wanting for anything at all, but you know how mom-guilt is - i could always improve, right?

I've got half a mind to do something drastic - like cut off my social media access completely. At least Twitter and Facebook - they are the main source of my time-suck.

I'm struggling with this social-media thing, can you tell?  Like, a lot.  The internet is the best and worst of all the things.  Like parenting.  And cheesecake.

I'm not making any promises or declarations tonight. I will promise to come back here and hash it out with myself a bit more at a later date, because frankly, I'm sick of talking about it and it's getting late and i need to get to bed.

Sweet dreams.




Tuesday, February 20, 2018

It's Tuesday. Here's what I think:

I'm so damned impressed by these kids in Florida.  I hope they change the world.  I'm trying to convince Jimi we need to go to Washington DC in March.  I may just go by myself.

Arctic ice is melting. Russia totally fucked up our last election.  More people died because someone's feelings were hurt.  Are we great again?

So many complicated thoughts.  So many things to worry about.  My kids ate cupcakes at 8:30 tonight.  WTF?

But.  Mountain pose.  Pay attention to your breath.  Be in the moment.  Calm.  Steady.

It isn't all bad.  There's Sheli and Dot.  And Mom.  And Jimi and those sweet babies who love you so much.  And the puppy and the kitty.  Life is sweet and good.

And Sheli made sables and I brought some home.  I'm going to eat one now.  One of the ones with strawberry jam, because those are amazeballs.

The world is really fucking scary.  There are lots of bad things happening every day.  Remember to look for the helpers.

Dot moved her momma into her home tonight.  Her momma took a train all the way from Oregon to Chicago, then she and Dot's sister rented a car and drove down, but there were lots of roadblocks and hiccups along the way, so they arrived about 24 hours later than originally planned.  But there was Dot, with a smile and a hug, and a warm healthy dinner, and a houseful of beloved friends, to welcome her momma home.  She's a real helping helper.  It warms my heart to think of her selflessness in this - the work she put into making sure her mom's room was just right, the details she watched.  She's a good woman.  I hope her momma can feel the love tonight.

Geneva did not get into the school we wanted her to get into.  Knee jerk reaction from me is to look into private schools.  I went to my 20 year high school reunion this past weekend, and I had a conversation with an old classmate of mine who is a teacher now.  As I found myself in the middle of telling this woman that I think public schools aren't the best choice for my little angels, I realized I'm an asshole.  This woman paid thousands and thousands of dollars to go to school for years and years so she could make a barely-livable wage to have the privilege of working in a public school.  She's signed up to buy her own work supplies because her employer can't.  These days, she's signed up to be an actual human shield should some gun-wielding nut decide to shoot up her school.  And she does it happily, because teaching is what she loves.  And there I was, saying that wasn't enough.  What in the actual fuck, Natalie?

So.  Maybe we're going to try out this public school thing.  I won't lie, these kids in Florida give me great hope for our future.  They are starting a movement.  If the Russian trolls are against you, I'm with you.  And I'm thinking - if I can find the money for private school, why can't I find that same money to donate to my child's public school?  Why can't I help boost their resources, literally put my money where my mouth is?  Maybe I can talk to some people and get them to feel the same way. Maybe we can start a thing.  Maybe.

I went on a tear this weekend - I believe the issue of school shootings is absolutely a gun issue, BUT, if you don't, that's cool.  If it's an education thing, let's fund the shit out of our public schools and give teachers and counselors the tools they need to educate and support and guide our children.  If it's a mental health thing, let's fund health programs and make mental health services readily available for everyone.  If it's a parenting issue, let's fund family leave policies so parents can attend to the individual needs of their children without fear of losing their jobs and/or going bankrupt.

There has to be an answer.  If we are the greatest nation on Earth, we can find a way to stop these massacres.  Doing nothing is not an answer, and it's not okay.  I think we're seeing the beginning of a movement that will make something happen.  I have hope.

When Trump was elected, my Daddy told me, "The US has survived things far worse than Donald Trump."  True.  But he's still pretty fucking bad.  The indictments that came out this past weekend show that Russia was actively working to get him elected because they believe that was literally the best way they could hurt America.  Our sitting President was elected by people swayed by Russians trying to harm our country.  That's a pretty fucking big deal.

I'm waiting for the leaders to emerge - the ones who lead the charge of infuriated and outraged Americans who demand justice for our democracy.  Surely we have elected someone to a higher office who is up to this task?

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Catholic huh?

Catholic education is the topic tonight.  Catholics.  Catholicism.  The Church.

I don't want to send my kids to Catholic school because I don't want them to be indoctrinated into the Catholic faith.

I've grown up thinking that the Catholic church is a sham that turns its back on people in their time of need.

I think that because I was told, I think, that when my Dad's Dad died, when my dad was 14 and his youngest sister was 9 months old and there were 5 kids in between the two of them and suddenly Mamaw found herself alone with 7 kids, she went to the Church to ask for some help, because JFC she probably legit needed some help.  I heard she didn't get it.  That my dad left the Church because of that.

Cool.  Not cool, but okay.  I get it.

Tonight, discussing Geneva's kindergarten school placement - she didn't get into our first choice, but got into our second choice which was only our second choice because it was the best ranked school in our cluster at a 5 out of 10 - the other 5 schools we could've chosen were 2s and 3s out of 10.  This is the education system in America, folks.  If you don't live in the rich neighborhood, you can choose between mediocre, okay, or absolute shit when it comes to your kids' public school options.  W00t.

We've thrown out there for discussion the topic of private school because, well, we can't home school and because our public school options were collectively not great.  But we don't have private school money, truth be told.  We're already stretched paying more than our mortgage each month for daycare for 2 kids - daycare plus private school tuition is more than daycare for two kids and we spent 13K on daycare in 2017.  Still, education.  It's important.  A big damned deal.

I asked my Dad tonight for his opinion on Catholic Schools.  He shocked me when he said, "If you can afford it, I think it's the best choice.  I don't think they could get a better education."

WTF, Dad?  I'm confused.

He went further, "It's a deep topic and we should talk about it alone another time."  The girls were both on his lap, as he sat in his recliner.  "I think it's the one true Church.  But the Church and the people, those are different..."

Mind. Blown.

I'm so confused.

This will definitely have to be continued.  I wish I could call him now and be like, so, um, talk to me yo.  Not tonight, though.  Soon.


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Things I'm worried about tonight:

.  How much difference does it really make in the entirety of your life, which kindergarten you attend?  I suppose not much.  Unless you go to a really bad one.

.  How does a parent identify, from the outside, a really bad kindergarten?

.  Is our president working for Putin?

.  What are we going to have for dinner tomorrow night?

.  Today I've heard three separate tales of how white people, as a culture, actively worked to destroy people who were different from them.  Three separate cultures, too.  WTF, white people?

.  Why haven't white people realized yet that we're the problem?

.  What happens to someone who is deported from the US, after living here for most of their lives?

.  Why can't I stop arguing with my 4 year old?

.  I give my kids most of the things they ask for; they usually respond by complaining about it.  How do I break that in them without beating them?

.  How many members of Congress are working for Putin?

.  I'm pretty certain the NRA is working for Putin.  Okay, not really.  Well, maybe.  But it's fucked up how much of our nation they control.

.  What is a religious person's objection to making sure peoples' basic needs are met? i.e. Universal healthcare, welfare, food stamps, WIC and SNAP, etc.

.  Why can't I find the motivation to move my ass on a regular basis?  I want to exercise more, to lift more, why don't I do it?

.  Is my husband reading this over my shoulder, or did he really want to stand next to me and pet my head in the dark dining room for 45 seconds?

.  Is the weather really turning to shit tonight?  Man, I hope the roads aren't bad in the morning.  Will need to get up a little early.  Maybe I'll get to bed a little earlier...but it's almost 11, so that's unlikely.

.  What am I going to wear to work tomorrow?

.  I still didn't play GO Fish with G tonight.  We've been talking about playing Go Fish since Saturday.  I suck at momming sometimes.

.  Is Cora ever going to be potty trained?  I'm so over buying pullups.

.  My 20 year high school reunion is a week from Saturday.  What in the fuck am I going to wear to that?

.  I really should spend more time paying attention to my sweet husband.

.  I should've gone to bed 2 hours ago.  I'm tired.

.  How can I convince my boss I deserve a raise?

.  I should walk Finn more.  Damn it, it's so cold, though!

.  He really does need a good brushing.

.  I need there to be more hours in the day.

.  I still need to get my damned oil changed.  Shit.

.  Ugh.  I need to get a copy of TurboTax and get started on our taxes.  Do i know where all our forms and receipts are?  Ugh.

.  Are we going to take an actual vacation this year?

.  Speaking of vacation - my balance was only 40 hours when I checked online today.  I need that fixed.

.  Why am I writing out a list of this stupid shit at 11 p.m., as I sip my hot tea and try to get myself ready for bed?  I already did my bedtime yoga, even.  Probably should've let this shit out before then.

.  Geneva and Cora's bedroom is a disaster; so is the entire upstairs, again.  And my laundry is piling up.  Nature loves chaos - i wish it didn't make me feel so fucking anxious.

.  And the kitchen sink is full of dishes.  I just can't, not tonight.  I have no energy, no drive.  It's no wonder my back aches, you should see the way I'm slouched in this chair.  (I straightened up, though, because that was dumb.)

.  I still need to make sure mom can keep the girls Friday night.

.  What are Maria and I going to do Saturday?

.  I forgot to tell Jimi Mom wants us to come over for dinner Thursday night.

.  When can Patricia and I get together in the next week? 

.  That's a lot of socializing and it's starting to freak me out.

.  I've got to get over this social anxiety bullshit.  It's making me a terrible friend.  But dammit.  Some days it just feels impossible to even read a text message, much less respond to one.  Natalie from 10 years ago would be aghast.

.  Stacy never emailed me today - I need to make sure I check in with her tomorrow.  We need to get the girls together soon, too.  More socializing, but they don't really count.

.  I hope I'm not screwing my kids up too badly.  I just want to be a good mom.

.  Jimi and I won't always be the parents of tiny children - it'll get easier to find time together, and it won't always be this hard to just get through the day to day.  Right?

Not even gonna read through this again.  Just gonna post it.  My Crazy: A Sample.  :)  Sweet dreams, friends.

Feel free to leave a list of your crazy brain commentary below. Show me I'm not the only one.


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Resolutions v. 2018

My house is as neat and straight as it's ever been, maybe.  My laundry is handled - not completely, but it is no longer in the realm of out of control and is now my bitch.  My sink is clear, my bathroom is clean, my daughters have a freshly-vacuumed carpet.  My living room is also vacuumed, and there's a fresh coat of paint on one wall.  I have a new clothing-storage solution in my bedroom, and that alone is worth cartwheels.  There are a hundred million things that still need to be done and it will take a hundred million years to get them all done, but I feel like I'm off to a great start.  My mind is more calm than it has been in a long time.  I walk from room to room in the middle of the night, reminding myself that the chaos is at bay, and I breathe a big sigh of relief and contentment and go right back to sleep without a single toss or turn.

I have a new journal and I don't think I love it, but I love the idea of it.  There may be another sort that is better suited - I think I saw it on an Instagram ad, but I'll figure it out.  This one will do for the first three months.

I have a new self-love routine, and it doesn't involve a vibrator, no matter how that sentence started and sounded.  I'm focusing on meditation - at least a few minutes at least once a day - and yoga, specifically the newest 30-day program on Yoga With Adriene.  I'm also working in a little ab-specific focus, and hopefully there will be more lifting by the end of the month, but for now, i'm starting where I feel I need to start and will get the most mental benefit.

I am going to read more books - I remember books and remember loving them, but I haven't read in such a long time, unless it's bullshit on the internet.  I just don't need that in my life anymore - I need paperbacks.  Also, painting.  I've had canvas and oil paints and brand new brushes and a brand new desk easel downstairs in the basement, unopened, untouched, for at least 2 years now.  Fuck that.  I'm going to paint.  (I have to finish my laundry project to make a space - oils are messy and I need room to be messy.  Work in progress.)

Also, hiking and roller skating.

All of this is so I can be better - a better wife, a better mother, by being a better me.  I'm trying to identify the things that make me happy and do those things - instead of reading about all of the things that scare me that I can't change.  And I need to spend less time on my phone - especially when the girls are awake.  It's inexcusable and I need to do better, for them and for me.

Resolutions, I guess these are.  Cross your fingers for me - I need them to stick.

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