18 November 2010

Scary question of the day...

What if my parachute is translucent?

17 November 2010


Cloud following me
Can't seem to shake the feeling
I need some sunshine

01 September 2010

because time sneaks up on you.

I'm getting it together starting... now! Well, not now because it's 2:30 in the morning and I'm not in bed and that does not classify as "getting it together". But starting in the morning. The real morning. The morning in which Izzy leans over and whispers "Mom, it's time to wake up..." and kisses me on the forehead.

List of things to do that count as getting it together? Sure!:

1.) Start meditating. I did this wayyy back in the day, right before I lit that damn "Changes" candle and it turned my world upside down. And I remember enjoying it. Right before my world turned upside down, that is.

2.) Stay on the healthy eating train. There's no point in spending all this damn money at Whole Foods and then sneaking in chocolate every night. Seriously, every night. I need to save the chocolate for Sundays.

3.) Exercise. For the love of God I need to start doing something. I had that week of pilates before all hell broke loose. I need to get back on it, at least until it cools off enough to run. And then Krav Maga. And then Yoga. Because I've decided I want to be the kind of woman that "does yoga".

Because I am now 26 days away from my 35th birthday and just typing 35 gives me anxiety. How did that happen? Mid-30's. I don't feel mid-30's. Well actually, I do. Which is why I need to start on this list. My body is no longer in line with my mind and that sucks pretty hardcore. Thirty-five. Nope, the anxiety doesn't go away if I spell out the number. Holy shit, how the hell did 35 sneak up on me. I really want to be the cool chick that's like "Yeah, I'm 35 - so what? Look at me. I'm awesome." But I'm not feeling awesome. In fact, I'm feeling 40.

Ugh. Thirty-fricken-five. I'm going to sleep now.

10 August 2010

What its all about.

It's a good thing I did that Reset because the crazy has continued. Although thankfully I have not had to deal with crazy people. Just a terribly sad funeral, a daughter who has suddenly insisted on waking up at 5am, a twin mattress worthy of a prison setting and a mom who has decided to leave again. As well as a number of smaller bumps along the way.

Please believe me when I say I'm not complaining, really I'm not, but I swear something happened in the act of giving birth that made my life suddenly stop being about me. I am beyond blessed to have moments/days/weekends that are about me (whereas many mothers get no such thing) - but for the most part I feel as if I have put my own wants and desires on hold for the good of the many (or few, as I'll later reveal). In fact, as I sit here typing, I'm not even sure what my wants and desires are (besides cookies and LOTS of sleep). Even my personal desires seem to revolve around a greater family plan. That was definitely not the case 5 years ago. My greatest desire for many years (starting in the 8th grade, in fact) was a trip to Europe. And I came so close, right before discovering I was pregnant. But even that dream seems to sit in a clouded haze. So completely unattainable a part of me is just wishing for it in the next life. And on the whole I am completely okay with that. But there are moments, sometimes brief, sometimes lasting days, that I am overwhelmed with the burden of reality. That reality being that my life is no longer about me. And while I do my very best to keep it all in perspective, sometimes my resentment spills over the healthy line.

I had an epiphany a few weeks ago. It was that we are all guided by one major factor. That factor differs for everyone. Some are motivated by money. Others to sever themselves from their past. Still others are motivated by a desire for success, education, love, security or worldly experiences. But behind each and every one of us there is one desire that dictates a large majority of our decisions and actions. My whole life's motivation can be traced back to a moment when I was 4 years old, when my mom informed me that she was leaving my father. The idea resurfaced many, many times until I voiced it distinctly when I was around 12. As my parents yelled, slammed and broke their way through our living room, I became a young Scarlett O'Hara that evening when I swore: "As God is my witness I will one day have a happy home. I will be a strong woman who sticks up for myself, with a husband who doesn't break, slam, yell or resent me. I will raise a child without fear and without guilt. And I will let no person come between that, if it's the last thing I ever do."

And as my resentment sometimes grows, I remind myself of my motivator. Of why I do the things I do and why I expend effort until I am out of energy. Until I am cursed, disliked and disrespected. It is all in protection of my happy home. Happy homes don't come easy - it's why they are so few. It takes energy, communication, sacrifice and countless battles. It may seem contradictory, but you must fight like hell for a happy home. And when all is said and done, I will continue to fight. I will continue to defend and sacrifice. I will continue this life that is not motivated by my own personal desires, but by my idea of a happy home. For myself, for my daughter and husband and for my extended family. Because in my home, the good of the few outweighs the good of the many, as well as the good for myself. And at the end of the day I would have it no other way.

07 August 2010

Reset # 284

After a week that was comparable to the entire year of 2009, I think things have finally managed to settle down once again. Of course, not before we Dawson's had to clean house again, both literally and figuratively. And not before I had to go through some more self-examination after a series of wild accusations. Again.

There is something about me that attracts crazy. Of that much I have become certain. I am a firm believer that if you continue to experience the same type of drama it must be you who is creating that drama in some way. I'm willing to accept my role in these things, if only I could completely discern what it is I'm doing. Others have thrown out suggestions: "Perhaps it is your bluntness." Or, "Perhaps your need to communicate and clarify make others uncomfortable." Either way, the message is the same - I need to shut up. And truly people, I'm working on it. In fact, I've accomplished a lot of shutting up this year (seriously, you have no idea). But if you want me to continue shutting up, you need to do two simple things: Don't bring your shit to me AND don't ask. Plain and simple.

Whew, okay... that said... I have had to do another 2010 'Reset' this year. It took a little longer to accomplish than expected. For a week the house was trashed and I wanted nothing more than sleep. It all climaxed with an anxiety attack that was, quite simply, beyond insane (note to self: stay away from Excedrine Migraine at 3am - it contains CAFFEINE!) But thankfully that attack served to push me into the much needed 'Reset'. Now, three days later, the house is clean (or getting that way, at least), the crazy is gone (for now, at least) and my spirits are high. I'm back to "okay" - and these days that's all a stay-at-home-mom-dealing-with-the-outside-crazies can ask for.

28 July 2010


I applied for 15 jobs tonight. I hate applying for jobs. I hate being broke more. In a fit of anger and frustration (I always get angry and frustrated when applying for jobs), I applied for a job at Walgreens, thinking I could work the night shift and enter the yearly Martyrdom competition. I must say, applying for a job at Walgreens is more complex and complicated than applying for a job at St. Davids as a unit coordinator. Odd. One of the many stupid and ridiculous questions Walgreens asks was this: "It is sometimes okay to give free items to return customers - True or False?" Why wouldn't it be okay to give "free items" to anyone? They are free, right? But of course we all know that isn't what they were getting at. Stupid.

So here's hoping I land that perfect job. Here's hoping it pays $50k a year. Here's hoping they offer 6 weeks vacation and stock options. Here's hoping I don't keel over and die after a full days work and 30 loads of laundry. Here's hoping.

23 July 2010

playing mind tricks with death

I hate funerals. I really do. I know, I know - everyone hates funerals (well, not everyone as I've never known my mom to say "no" to one). But we can generally agree that most people aren't fans. But after giving the matter much thought, I've decided this: I would rather live in a state of denial regarding death. I don't want to say "goodbye". In all other aspects of life I say "no" to denial. But as it turns out, I prefer death come with a huge chunk of denial and a dash of mind games.

I've never lost someone that I've been extremely close to at the moment of their death. I've lost grandparents that played a huge part in raising me, I've lost great uncles that were beyond wonderful - but at the time of their death I could not say that we were extremely close. For one reason or another there had been space between us. With my grandmother (who I stayed with more weekends than not as a kid), I had grown older and she had created more space the sicker she became. With my grandfather (ditto on the weekends), there was a family falling out that separated us years before his death (luckily we briefly reunited before he died). With my great uncles and great grandparents (and I have been blessed with some wonderful great uncles/grandparents), it was distance that kept us apart.

For many years I wondered if I was cold inside because I did not "sufficiently" mourn their deaths. I say "sufficiently" because next to my mother I always came off as stone cold. My mom will cry for a good solid hour at the loss of your 2nd cousin twice removed if you let her. Me - well, I was always a little more reserved with my mourning. But as I lay in bed this evening mourning my great uncle Gene's recent passing I realized it was something else. It isn't that I don't care, it's that it doesn't register with me that they are gone. Most especially if I skip out on the funeral (which I will almost always try to do). And even if I get wrangled into going (and my mother is a pro at this), I seem to have some weird coping mechanism that allows me to think they are still here.

For instance, I know my loved ones are gone. I know this without a doubt. But in my mind I still think of Uncle Carl gathering corn from the fields and Uncle Gene cracking peanuts on his front porch. As for my Grandma, she is still sitting at her kitchen table drinking a Coke and skimming through the Sears catalog. My Granddaddy is off running the roads in his 'Green Machine' (a 1970's puke green wagon) looking for a good beer joint or fishing spot. My Great Grandma and Papa John are busy in the kitchen chiding each other on something someone said at last Sunday's church service. And because we weren't entirely close (in a call each other on Sundays kind of way), I will be allowed to go on thinking that as I grow old. None of them are actually gone.

I don't know if this is healthy or not. Perhaps I listened a little too well at the very first funeral I ever attended. I remember someone saying "they are still alive in your heart and memories" and it made perfect sense to me. However, that comes as no consolation to someone like my mother as she is breaking down in sadness during these times. Because obviously this sort of mental defense tactic works on very few people besides myself.

And in all honesty, I can foresee a lot of heartache in the future due to this kind of mental trick. At some point, hopefully in the extremely distant future, I'm going to lose someone I'm truly close to. Someone that I can't trick myself into still being alive. And when that day comes I will be completely unprepared with how to handle it, as all my little mental and emotional tricks will no longer work. And when that day comes, some distant person will most surely say "they are still alive in your heart and memories" and I will want to punch them in the throat. Because I'll know that memories don't call you to see how you are feeling and hearts don't visit on the holidays and I'll be mourning a pain I've yet to experience in this lifetime.

18 July 2010

2010 - Start writing again

Never before have I gone this long without journaling in some way. I'm honestly confused as to why it's happening - that I just don't have anything to say. Actually, that's not right. I have a lot to say. I think the difference is that, in a weird way, I've found my voice in person and have had nothing to get out independently. I've always been a communicator, but these days I over-communicate. I've been drawing boundaries, expressing feelings and clearing up misunderstandings. I've been voicing my insecurities, my frustrations, my hopes and my dreams. I've been doing so much damn talking, I haven't had a whole lot of time to reflect. And reflection (and bitching) has always been what most of my journaling has been about.

2010 started out right. It's been the best time I've had since my early 20's. I was selfish, I made some difficult choices, I took a lot of action. It's been a very external time for me. Thank goodness, as I was about to explode internally. But tonight as Chris and I had one of our future-at-a-glance discussions I realized things weren't going to stay this way. A lot is coming down the pipeline. Issues with our families, new work situations, me possibly going back to school. The selfish fun is going to minimize a bit as we reevaluate and renegotiate our life. And this certainly will bring me back to writing. I think a fragment of why this year has gone so well is because I spent some time out of my head. Because of this my anxiety abated, I stopped analyzing so much and I was able to gain some fresh perspectives regarding a lot of issues. And I stopped writing. And because writing is no longer routine (a first in over 10 years), when I do write it feels awkward and fragmented. It feels uncomfortable. Which is why I've stopped. But yet here I sit, writing away, once again figuring out things about myself as I type and I realize how much I've missed it. Hopefully I can get back to it soon enough.

16 May 2010

2010: Choose for Me, Phase 2

Okay, I'm finally going to try to write something. I have no idea what this block has been about, but as life has been good I've decided to take it as a good thing.

I am going into Phase 2 of Choose for Me this year and I wanted to spend a little time focussing on those goals. This year has, thus far, been a great time to finally make things happen and clean things up. Phase 1 was awesome and included camping trips, river trips, wedding receptions, birthday parties, a weekend of SXSW and a long weekend spent in San Francisco. A BIG shout-out to my Mom who helped make those things happen. Without her we wouldn't have had the freedom to do most of it. But as Izzy said the other day, our "vacation is over". And really, what better timing as we are broke, Izzy is at a fantastically fun stage and quite honestly, I'm worn out from the fun and ready to re-establish some kind of routine (I use the term "re-establish" loosely, as I can't remember the last time we actually had a routine).

All that said, today is the day I deemed the beginning of 2010: Choose for Me, Phase 2 (the get shit done and save money version). Here are just a few things I hope to accomplish by the end of this year:

* Get a job. I've been saying this for 2 years now, but the time has finally come. I need to get out of the house, Izzy needs more structure, education and friends and we need more money!

* Go back to healthy eating. When we lack routine, we lack discipline. It's time to go back to planning meals and cooking every night. This has always been a challenge for us, but it's super important to both of us that Izzy grow up healthy and unfortunately it's our job to make it happen.

* Start some sort of exercise routine. I've considered yoga, pilates and and kickboxing. Hopefully in the next several years I'll have done all 3 - but realistically I need to pick something and go with it. Every picture of myself I see lately just makes me want to crawl into a hole. My extra weight is actually becoming physically uncomfortable and quite simply, I'm tired of it.

* Create! I'm broke, I want new fancy stuff and the only way I see to make that happen is to learn to start making it myself. I'd like to get back into making jewelry, as well as some yard art and some original stuff to decorate our house.

* SAVE! Above all else we need to start saving again. If Suze Orman says one needs to have 3-6 months salary in savings, we are 7 months behind. The credit cards also got used in our last couple of trips, so we need to work at having those paid off by this time next year. Luckily we never stopped contributing to Izzy's CSA, and I just checked it the other day and almost fell out at how much we had saved (not a drop in the college bucket - but not bad considering how terrible we are at saving.)

There are a TON of small details involved in Phase 2, but I think this is a pretty accurate summary. I'm feeling more confidence than usual that it can all be accomplished, only because this year has already been so different from other years in the past. I'm feeling hopeful and optimistic. Capable and oh-so-ready.

31 March 2010

dry spell

I've got absolutely nothing. Again.

04 March 2010

Too many X’s

Time stopped. The sound of the dryer stopped. The tv goes off. There was only the sound of the music. I stepped into the imaginary jail cell, closed the imaginary door, locked the imaginary lock and threw the imaginary key. Me now was on the outside, me then on the inside. The nostalgia was almost too much to handle. Painful even. And yet I wrapped the feeling around me like a heavy, soft fleece blanket. Unable to give it up. Drum beats could be heard in the distance. I let my mind go – not bothering to fight. More came flooding in. Me on the inside could vaguely hear me on the outside yelling to make it stop. But I opened to it, relishing it, not bothering to feel the guilt of it. More pain. More bliss. I wrapped the blanket around me tighter. I swallowed the lump in my throat – even the me on the inside had no tears about it anymore. I let the last of it come over me in a wash of ecstatic pain. And then it all rolled away as the music faded. Softly, slowly. I dropped the blanket to the floor and slowly opened the door to the cell. Reluctantly, the me on the inside walked out, joining the me on the outside. Looks were exchanged. The clock on the wall started to tick again. The sound of the dryer faded back in. I turned the tv back on. Back to now, and we've both come to terms with it.

26 February 2010

silence on the blogging front

I've hit a writing dry spell. It's not like there isn't anything going on (although that is somewhat true). It's more like there's a lot of planning for things that will be going on in the near future. "Choose for Me" has cut a lot of drama out of my life, and when there is no drama there is no commentary. I swear I used to write before there was drama - but then now that I think about it, there has been drama of some kind for a very, very long time. Perhaps that is why I am really loving 2010. I obviously should have Chosen for Me long ago.

In addition, I'm personally in a really good place. I'm content, bills are paid, cars are working (knock on wood) and family is well. Izzy is feisty, yet lovable; mine and Chris' relationship is solid and I haven't been struggling with the inner imbalance that I seemed to suffer from for so long. The stars seem to be aligned very well in my favor these days.

And when that's the case, what does one write about? Life is pretty boring to be honest (though I'm absolutely reveling in "boring"). I've never been one to wax on about the good things. It's the disputes I'm fond of exploring. The dissection of dysfunction. Yet I couldn't let a cereal suggestion sit as my last blog entry for long - that's just boring. But I'm obviously in need of a 30 Days of Write month, because otherwise I'm just drawing blanks...

26 January 2010

My favorite thing

Anyone who knows me knows that I love H.E.B. The meal deals, the fact that I don't need a stupid little card to get the meal deals, as well as being a half mile from a really cheap H.E.B. and just a few miles from a really fancy one. Seriously, I love them.

But my love has been brought to an all new level with their new H.E.B. Active Cereals. Because as much as I love H.E.B. is as much as I don't love eating healthy. But this healthy cereal makes my heart sing. Because it's delicious AND healthy (and has chocolate - what?!?!) It's so fabulous that it is actually worth paying $4 a box. And that is saying a lot.

12 January 2010

when the facade comes tumbling down

I'm helping my best friend work through an addiction. The hard part is that he is partly addicted to his persona. The facade that he's spent so long working on to avoid the inner truth of who he is. The sad thing is that the man he is surpasses his persona by leaps and bounds. He is truly a beautiful person hiding behind a confident sack of crap. And if anyone can understand that, it's me.

I mean really, who among us that endured any kind of heartbreak in our "youth" and rose up for a big "fuck you" didn't create a facade in the process? And in doing so, our emotional selves took a hit for it. Our desire for intimacy, love and acceptance fell to the wayside in our determination to need nobody and never feel that pain again. Often times that facade is necessary to rise above. As my best friend reminded me, "we fake it 'til we make it."

But there comes a time when you "make it" and realize you are sorely lacking in what you so badly desired in the first place. When what once was so natural for you to offer and feel becomes hard work. When you realize you are a shallow shell of your former self. Some people push forward anyway, never taking the time to rectify the problem or merge the two selves. We all know those people. They make terrible relationship partners, shitty parents, selfish friends and pissy co-workers.

Others of us snap to it, realize what has happened and peddle furiously to find our emotional selves again before losing it forever. We open our hearts - just a little at a time of course, swearing never to fully open it for fear of feeling that pounding pain again. And as time moves forward, hopefully we open it a little more, letting a little more light and love enter. And after even more time we find a place in which we are comfortable - hopefully creating an equal balance of emotional strength and love. And in doing so are rewarded by deep connections with others who are working at the same thing.

As I've been writing this I've realized how many of "my people" are going through this right now. My friend who was emotionally closed off for the last 10+ years and seeing her face the first time she came over with the announcement that she had opened her heart to love again. She's more beautiful than I've ever seen her. My other friend who has NOT made that declaration, in fact she's avoided it despite all efforts, and we get to watch her spiral wildly in the process. My mother, who in her 50's is having to learn that some require more than she can easily give and her trepidation at fulfilling that requirement. And my husband of 7+ years that I'm patiently waiting to love me as much as he did before I broke him so badly.

I guess we are all there in varying degrees. Battling who we are versus what we want people to see. Working on giving ourselves permission to want what we've always desired. Testing the waters to make sure it's okay to feel again. Trying to forget the pain of when we felt so deeply. It's important to remember that this is exactly what makes us human. We are neither predators or machines. We are souls looking for a connection. And without it we will die inside. We may keep standing, eating and breathing - but we will most definitely die on the inside. To quote my friend Jess, who has made a remarkable turnaround, "Choose Love and Trust". And when you get it (and you will) "Receive and Be Thankful". Because that's what living is all about.

06 January 2010

2010 - Make it happen

I've started this year a little differently than years past. In the past I've just had general ideas of what I wanted to accomplish, ie: lose weight, get more done, be a better mom, yada yada. But this year I'm borrowing from two friends, Em & Jess. Excruciating detail and be specific. Yes, they are the same idea - but hearing it repeatedly from 2 different sources really drove it home. So here's an excruciatingly specific list of what I want to get done this year:

* Be drama free. Personally, I can't stand drama. I like routine and predictable and drama offers none of that. But lately I've been adopting other people's drama and I am d.o.n.e. 2010 - Choose For Me!

* Get a life for Izzy. She's already signed up for gymnastics but it's time for her to finally go to "school".

* Travel for ME. Not family obligations, but places I'd like to go. Portland is already on the calendar (May!), and I'm hoping to add Scotland as well (tentatively scheduled for August). There WILL be a tubing trip down the Guadalupe, come hell or high water (high water would be GREAT!)

* Complete a 3 day fast. I've accomplished 1 and 1/2 days, but I need to do 3. If I have to knock myself out, I will.

* Get in better shape. I will get back on the elliptical starting Monday (at LEAST 3 days a week). I'm signing up for Sunday yoga in February. I will look good by May to float down the Guadalupe and I will have the energy to walk the last mile (as I've done many times in the past when the river was low).

* Develop a healthier lifestyle. I'd really like to be alive and in great shape when Iz starts college. In order to do so I have to kick smoking and pay better attention to our diet. I vow to eat fast food no more than twice a month.

* Reuse/Recycle - Twice a month I'd like to thrift shop. No more buying new if I can buy used. Once a quarter I will go through Izzy's toys and clothes and donate things. I already have a box for this purpose alone.

* Get crafty - I have fabulous ideas of things I'd like to make. Quilts, hats, yard art, faux stained glass - this is the year I get started.

As I come across more ideas, I'll add them to the list. In addition, I will update and cross things off the list as they are accomplished. Because this is the year I'm going to make it happen for ME.

02 January 2010

A perfect summary of 2010 so far:

we should of got a pic of your kid running through the house with a flaming marshmellow

if only but we don't need physical evidence of that sort of thing.

nancy grace