When you trip as an adult with kids…

Can I just say… home ownership can sometimes be so much more complicated than renting!  And today – I had a moment where I tripped up and fell flat on my face.  I’m not proud of it.  But there it is.  I think I have it sorted…  but oddly, even if I don’t and it takes a few more days of this odd adventure of having no gas in the house … we’ll be just fine.  The kids are having a blast.  We’re sort of camping in our own home.  Why? Because mom juggles too much in her brain and sometimes fails to do the simplest thing like opening mail in a timely fashion.  It’s horrible.  I’ll flat out admit to a certain degree of “basketcase-ness”.  But in all honesty… I’m frustrated with myself, and embarrassed.  I’d expect this behavior from a 20 year old… not a 35 year old woman with 2 kids.  My own expectations of myself are the greatest punishment I could have in this instance, I suppose, because I can be pretty good at beating myself up when I mess up.

I took today to show the kids that this is what happens when you don’t budget.  I let my teenager participate a little in preparing my taxes and getting some things sorted that I’ve been putting off.  Turned it into a lesson for them, but at the same time, it’s a lesson for me too.  Need to prioritize my time a little differently.  It’s cool – I’ll get there… Eventually.  Hehe.  The kids and I have snuggled and enjoyed the day just hanging out while my son recovers from an ear infection.

In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the candle light, the soft music, a blanket fort and some camping food for a day or two. 🙂

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It’s these types of things in life that keeps us humble.  Keeps us in check.  How we handle our own silly, stupid flub ups.  How we pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps when needed, or how we just learn to accept what is going on and just own it.  It’s something that has rarely been a place where I falter.  I’m stubborn like that.  Willing to keep trying at every million angles until I get it right.  🙂

I may get out my art tablet and do some painting tonight… I’m in a mood… it’s not a bad one by any means.  I think it’s that contemplative, passionate, mood that comes to me when I need to just unleash what’s in my head with some creativity.  It’s interesting, when I start a creative project – whether it’s painting, photography or design – I lose all track of time.  I’ll even ignore alarms.  It becomes it’s own little world for me. A place where I can express myself, or show a product or the world through my eyes.

Photography was where I started.  I took every photography class they offered in High School.  My last year, my teacher had to create a new class just for me because I’d taken all they had.  He believed in me and encouraged me to explore things in different ways.  He entered a photo of mine into a contest without telling me.  I didn’t see my own talent.  I won.  It was awesome.  From there, it was design and computer/digital art.  I became an information sponge and would invest 2 hours, sometimes more, every day to learn all I could.  A friend encouraged me to take an art class at a local community college with her.  So I signed up.  I felt so out of place standing with charcoal in my hand at a large easel.  I kept thinking to myself – “What am I DOING here?! I’m not an artist!!”  But I was.  I am.  I surprised myself with an A in that class and even have a few pieces I held onto I’d still like to frame and put somewhere.

I have a massive creative streak.  My head is always in the clouds dreaming up stuff.  Did you ever see the movie Flubber?  I can relate to Robin William’s character in that movie to some degree.  I’m not NEARLY as bad as he was – but I’m not THAT far off either.  I like to say it’s just the quirky side of being so creative.  Yea – that’s it.  Quirky!  Eccentric? Crazy? LOL.  Hmm.

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An anxious moment

Man oh man, I don’t know what set me off today – but my anxiety got sky high this afternoon.  It’s taken me a good hour just to get it to a level of better control.  No fun.  I’m trying to think about what’s churning around in the ol’ head that would make me feel this way.  And what’s frustrating, there isn’t a single thing that tipped me in this direction.  I think maybe it was just a combination of a few things that did me in.  But … that’s not like me.

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I hate to think of anxiety like a weakness – but sometimes, it is.  I’m simply saying what is… at least for me.  I won’t judge others – but I will judge the heck out of me.  And I’m being a little judgemental on myself right now in saying that this “new” weakness of mine is just plain ol’ annoying!  And I suppose what is even more annoying, is that I don’t know if my anxiety is new, or if I’ve simply learned to recognize it for what it is.  It’s been 3-4 years now, as recognizing it was something I learned through therapy.  And I’ve learned various methods to work through it and manage.  I’d like to say to control it – but I don’t think anyone ever REALLY has control over it.  Who knows, maybe I’m wrong.  What I hate is that for the most part – and I mean 85-90% of the time – I have a great sense of awareness about my emotional wellbeing, and can use the tools that therapy and schooling and experience has taught me to ensure that I maintain that inner calm… but it’s that 10-15% of the time that I struggle.  Today, being one of them. So – perhaps by writing, I’ll get out whatever is pushing me to that point.

Communication in relationships.  All relationships – not just romantic ones.  For the most part, I think I’m a good communicator.  I am very good at empathizing and understanding someone else’s perspective without judgement or getting offended.  I am also very good at reading people… so often, when someone shows they are a certain emotion, I pick up on it, even when they don’t think they’ve shown anything. I respect people to know that what they speak is their perspective.  But as good as a communicator that I am, I also recognize that others are not.  I think somehow, in my quest to become better at communication – I may have lost sight of the very real fact that not everyone is striving for the same thing as I am.  Not everyone will be comfortable sharing their perspectives and truths with me. At least not right away – and sometimes not ever.  Not everyone is striving to be an emotionally healthy communicator.  And because of that – not everyone is ready for it when I present it to them. I think where I get stuck on that tho – is then what? When someone I’m communicating with isn’t on the same page or emotional level as I am, it creates the opportunity for a few outcomes.  1.  The person hears me, I hear them, and one or both of us grow because of it.  2. The person doesn’t hear me, or I don’t hear them, and then they shut down and healthy communication cannot continue until things get back on track.  This is often when unkind words can get spoken or someone can get unintentionally hurt.  And personally – I’m not a fan of any of that, for anyone.  So what’s interesting to me, is now, knowing this – helps me see full circle, why I became a horrible communicator to begin with.  It was because I wanted to avoid that second option.  Interesting double edged sword there!

Upcoming Vacations! So my vacation time is getting closer and closer!  16 work days to be exact.  WOW!  Putting it that way – holy cow!  I’m excited.  Some real time off.  I’m also a little bit nervous.  For a few reasons.

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It’ll be my new car’s first big trip.  Kind of exciting, I’m excited to see how it does! This will be my first longer stay with M. And I am actually not worried about that bit of it – but meeting his friends and family will be interesting and has me nervous – although I don’t know why.  I’m good at meeting others, and I have yet to meet someone’s parents and have them not like me.  BUT… i’m still nervous all the same. I think it’s because I’ve never quite measured up to my own family’s expectations – so it always makes me hesitate to put myself out there to try and meet the expectations of someone else’s family! Ha. Sad I know.

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Grilled Cheese. I can’t believe I’m adding this in here – but it just came up.  M knows how to make a proper grilled cheese.  Can I just say how happy that makes me?!  He butters both sides and gets a golden brown – just the way it SHOULD be, and has the perfect bread to cheese ratio.  I’ve never understood those people who only butter one side.  They say it’s less greasy – um.. hello?!  It’s GRILLED CHEESE!!!  What on earth do you expect?!  If you want less grease – go eat a salad for goodness sake!  Mmm.  I will say, eating a grilled cheese sammich in bed is the perfect antidote to a stressful moment.  🙂  Even if it isn’t diet-friendly.  It’s ok tho – I did quite a bit of exercise today – so I highly doubt this indulgent is going to set me back.

Trust.  Sigh.  Let’s just say that there are plenty in my life who’ve pushed me to my limits when it comes to trust.  Some are still active participants in my life – others, not so much. Even I have to draw the line somewhere. I’m terrible – I often give way more chances and opportunities than are deserved.  Sometimes, my friends give me shit for this – and sometimes, it’s why they love me.  I spoke to a friend today who has recently broken my trust.  I don’t know if I want to remain friends in the future or not.  I really don’t.  But at the same time, I care about this person and want happiness for them in their future.  So I suppose from an outsider’s perspective, this is me giving them another chance – but it’s not.  In my head – as the trust erodes away – even in small baby chunks, it opens up room for doubt.  And doubt, my friends, is the silent ninja killer.  It really is.  The moment you introduce doubt into a relationship – it’s doomed.  I suppose I could say that perhaps it’s possible to earn back the trust – because it is.  But I’d also wager that it would take twice as long to remove the doubt.

Well – I think that’s it for now… writing in here, plus the grilled cheese… I’m a lot better than when I started.  Going to go hop in the shower and get back to being me again!

Much love Neverland!  Talk to you again soon!

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A unique perspective on parenting a teenager

I was talking with an old friend today and it dawned on me that I haven’t written much about my new perspective on raising a teenage girl.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve shared much about that experience at all.  Maybe a few hints here and there in some of my updates.  So here it goes.  I suppose I should say – trigger warning – this will be a rough story involving some very touchy subjects.  I won’t go into great detail – but they are kind of necessary to understand the catalysts behind things.

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It’s been almost 3 years since my daughter attempted suicide.  My girl… my baby… I’ll never forget the phone call from my ex husband.  It was late.  I was to meet them at the ER.  She was ok, physically, but she was not ok.  I was shocked.  I didn’t know it was coming – not by a long shot.  I climbed into that hospital bed and didn’t leave her side.  Quit my job.  Spent a year off just to get her to a healthy place again.  We got therapy for her.. and me.  We talked.  And talked.  And talked some more.  I learned more than I wanted to learn – but wouldn’t change it for anything.  She had her reasons – and while I won’t share any more of her end of that story – suffice it to say that these reasons were valid and justified and horrifying and nearly ripped my heart from my chest when I finally heard them.

Since then… we’ve built a new type of relationship.

We share absolutely everything.  I am transparent with her about absolutely everything.  So long as she asks.  There is no topic off limits, and no topic where I won’t give her a very straight up, very real answer to.  Even when it’s uncomfortable for me. I swear, the first time she asked me about masturbation and sex toys I damn near fell over!  But, over time, it’s become easier and quite frankly it feels more natural.  Sometimes I’ll preface things I say to her with “I’m telling you this because I’m being transparent, but I want so badly to shield you from it…” kind of statement.  Or I’ll say “I’m going to put my foot in my mouth about this…” and then share.

So many who meet us – think I’m nuts.  That i’m too open about things.  Too real.  But she’s going to be a full fledged legal adult in 2.5 years.  And she’s already been exposed to a lot of very grown up situations, as much as I would have wished otherwise.  At this point, the only thing to do, is to be real with her.  To break down and dissect the world around her, and make sure that home is safe, and that the people I let into my world are safe for her too.

And can I say – this whole experiment…because that’s essentially what it is – I am in unknown territory and am just trying to find my way through experimentation… has been eye opening.  I’m glad I went about it.  And I don’t believe it works for EVERY kid.  But I will say, it’s working for her.  She’s blooming.  She feels safe.  She’s making healthier emotional choices and seems to have healthier relationships now because of it.  She’s looking bigger picture and not getting so wrapped up in petty high school drama.  It’s inspiring to watch. The people in our world, who know her, and what she’s been through, have all commented that they see a change in her.  That she seems happy now.  She’s thriving and I’m so proud of the woman she’s become and is still becoming.  When she was born – I remember whispering to her that she was “the greatest thing I ever did”.  And even now – she’s one of 3 of “the greatest things I ever did.”

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The Jealousy Monster

I was just on the phone with my brother.  🙂  The topic of jealousy came up.  Funny, it’s the second time in a couple of days that I’ve had the chance to witness someone struggling with it.

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My daughter was struggling to contain her jealousy monster in regards to her boyfriend.  Some girl at her school was hugging on her boyfriend and it bothered her.  I sat and talked about it with her for a while.  Told her to really think about things.  Had her boyfriend ever given her a reason to not trust him?  No.  Then perhaps she will be better served by trusting him, and giving him the benefit of the doubt.  It was interesting to watch her go through the various stages as she processed what I’d said.

Jealousy is a strange emotion.  One that can be dangerous to the health of a relationship if not handled appropriately.  If you break it down – it’s a signal from your brain.  A warning signal.  Saying that a valued relationship is possibly in danger and steps need to be taken to make sure things stay on track.  What it DOESN’T need to do is make people crazy monsters.  That’s just counterproductive and ruins any forward progress you may make.  It requires trust tho.  This is why I feel the way I do about liars in general.  I struggle with them because if you can lie to me, then I cannot fully trust you.

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I don’t know, I’ve never been someone who has struggled much with jealousy.  In fact, I can say that I’ve only felt it a few times in my life – and it wasn’t over people or relationships – but over the success someone had achieved.  I wanted that for me.  🙂  So not quite the same thing I suppose.

The way I see it – if you’re feeling jealous…then there’s something off about YOU.. not the other person.  It means you’re likely struggling with an insecurity, fear of abandonment or something else that is pushing you too feel and act out in that way.  And if you’re upset that someone is looking at another person, or even lightly flirting with another person… then that’s an issue with you.   You’re in a relationship – you’re not dead.  It would seem unnatural and confining to expect a partner to walk through the world uncaring or unaware of others in that way.  Why shouldn’t they be allowed to admire a beautiful figure?  I certainly do! To expect a partner to do otherwise would mean missing one of the joys of life.

If you have trust… then you should likely know that your significant other would never disrespect the relationship, you or themself in that way.  So why get your panties twisted in a knot about it?

Look – I deal with anxiety on a regular basis – but the way I see it – why on earth would I purposefully allow an emotion to control me and make me MORE anxious if I don’t have to?  Jealousy just doesn’t have a place in my world.  Never has.

Just some thoughts for the day…

Much Love!

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When they start to become your everything.

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I shouldn’t be able to say this.  I shouldn’t feel what I do after such a short period of time, but there it is.  I’m absolutely head over heels for a man that I never expected to meet and adore this much.  With every second, I love “M” more.  I think about him all the time, even when I am trying to be good and get work done – there he is – popping into my thoughts with his adorable smile and steady calm.  I’ve never felt quite like this before.  I’m thrilled.  I wasn’t looking for this.  I really wasn’t.  It snuck up on me and now … I don’t think I could imagine my life without him.  Woah right?!  🙂

I can’t wait for the coming weekend.  We’re going to go for a drive and see where the car takes us.  I can’t wait – as I find that I absolutely adore going on adventures with this man.  Then at the beginning of March – we are going on a real vacation for 10 days.  I’m excited to see how it goes – although I can honestly say – I don’t think it’s going to go wonky.  They say that going on a vacation with someone can make or break a relationship.  Guess we’ll find out.

I feel like the coming year, will be one full of change.  Not just in my love life and home life – but in business too.  Some for the better – and some… well – we’ll just see I guess.  I find that I’m seeing things differently lately – I’m reading people a bit more clearly.  And although I don’t always like what I see – I’m grateful for the ability to read between the lines and prepare myself for when things don’t go as I planned.  I’m also working on having clear plan B’s in place (when it comes to business especially).

I’m grateful to have “M” around – he keeps me feeling brave.  And calm.  Strange – I feel like I could take on anything, so long as he’s holding my hand.  Wow – talk about being a totally smitten kitten.  LOL.  It’s ok tho right?  I’m allowed! LOL.  I think it’s just becoming more and more clear to me, that this man is someone I hope to have around for a VERY long time.