Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Lessons learned from Easter Break Trip 2015

The girls and I took a last minute trip to the beach  in Orange Beach, AL for two nights.  It was originally to have been an extended family girls' trip but it fell apart.  I really had my heart set on it, so after  2 days of deliberation we decided to go on our own and out of my comfort zone.  For some reason, I have to break out and learn to do fun things that involve leaving the city that I live in.  There is an alarm that goes off if I try to leave the perimeter!  But off we went!  Yes!

Here are the things I learned:
~Weather forecasts can be wrong.  I almost didn't go because the rain forecast was 70-90 percent for the 2nd and 3rd days we would be there and it didn't rain at all.  It was overcast but I LOVED that!
~My eldest does not like the beach at all, let me repeat…she doesn't like the beach at all.
~My youngest loves the beach and the waves and boogey boarding.  She is attracted to the water immensely and can't walk to the beach without getting in immediately.
~We don't have to eat out at restaurants  and spend $$ all the time.  The girls were happy to buy Lean Cuisines and eat in at the hotel room.  Thank you Hampton Inn fridge and microwave.
~Two nights were sufficient and gloriously refreshing even for driving four hours and fifteen minutes each way by myself.  (Can't wait until Riley can drive…did I really say that??)
~The application of Jergens Natural Glow Medium to Tan Skin Tone is evidently too dark for me.  My hands, feet and elbows were orange after the second night of application.  I had never had this happen before, and I never knew any tanning ever took place.
~I forgot my makeup and it was so freeing.  Not one, "oh no."   I did have my tinted moisturizer with SPF and it's the best.
~On the beach, not really being able to read while looking up every 45 seconds to make sure Mallory is above water, I use the time to examine my moles, age spots to make sure nothing looks askew. There are a lot of moles, and light and dark age spots to keep me busy for hours.
~I could not wait to see the waves and put my feet in the sand and hear the waves.  It did not disappoint. The weather was overcast and not too hot and the breeze was fantastic.
~The lesson was learned that I can leave my house and drive outside of the perimeter, have fun and relax with the two girls by myself.  I'll call it baby steps to "How To Have Fun 101!"

Monday, April 6, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Another Way To Be

I have been transitioning to a new thought process.  It's been a big freaking fundamental change for me.  I know I've written about it before and the longer I practice it sets in more deeply and I think - Wow - this is the bomb!  (I really can't let go of the 80's…)   I keep chipping away and extinguishing the negative self-talk and thoughts bit by bit.  You know the running commentary that goes on in your head while you are awake. The thoughts I have been working towards are definitely so much brighter than those that went through my head during the first forty years of my life.  These two mantras help.

Here goes:

Everything is going to be alright.

All will be well, even if it's not.

These are simple phrases. But over the last six years, I have been leaning in to them and learning to live in that way.  It's not a simple process to do.  It requires a lot of intentionality each day, sometimes hourly and some days the work is done minute to minute.  It required digging into all my old baggage and wounds that I carried.  We all carry some.    This is where a therapist comes in handy especially depending on the level of the wounding.   I remember a 2-3 month period where I really felt unloved and just had to hold on for dear life.  But slowly the tide changed, and I began accepting things bit by bit over time, left and right about people in my life and especially about me.  I learned that some people just love poorly.

Now, when an event, feeling or energy comes that I find uncomfortable or unwanted or unliked.  I don't fight it, I sit with it and watch it go.  Being curious instead of resistant allows it to flow through.  And I learned something very, very, very important and very, very, very necessary.  Boundaries.  Don't leave home without them.  Don't be without them. Period.

It means also, that I feel my feelings all day long.  And they come and go and I am less fearful of them.  I wear my heart on my sleeve.  I cry and am joyful much more easily and I numb myself less.  (Our society numbs itself in so many ways - the list is endless)

And I live in the moment much more than I ever did.  It's a good and beautiful thing to live in the moment because not only do you experience the unpleasant but the joyful, fun ones too.  Some days, as corny as it sounds, hearing birds tweet is a beautiful thing.  It pushes me to gratitude.  And gratitude is a far more wonderful place to dwell than victimhood.

It is a work in progress and will be for the rest of my life.  Wounds still come up and they always will. But this is a much preferred way to live.


I did not realize how much anxiety I lived with on a daily basis.  And until I began to free myself, did I know there was another way to be.


Friday, March 13, 2015

My Induction Into The Tribe

My daughters are growing up.  Yes, they tend to do that.  Sometimes they seem to undergo metamorphosis overnight.

My oldest daughter is staying up later and now comes to my bedroom to say goodnight. This is the opposite of the well ingrained last twelve years of me "putting her to bed." This past week, I have watched when she turns to walk out my bedroom.  She is almost as tall as me now and her body is long and lean but with curves.   She now has a teenager's figure.

How did that happen?

She now takes much longer in the bathroom getting ready.  She has been voluntarily taking showers for months with no reminder from me.  On and on, there have been subtle little changes.

And everything beyond teenage body changes is going on too:  attitude, distancing,  independence, deafening silence, or one word answers and what in our house, we call caving. (Caving: going into a space to be alone)   I deeply understand the need to be by myself after I have been with others for periods of time.  And I can especially see that after a long day of middle school.  But for brief moments in time, I painfully miss the little girl who use to cry loud and long for me when I dropped her off at the nursery.

And sometimes, I'm happy for the reprieve.

It's a transition for sure.  Mothering is the transition from this little baby who looked at me for every single thing she  needed to now, her slowly learning how to do for herself and me backing off.  And this will continue throughout the upcoming years.   It's a wonderful, positive growth but one that I need to batten down the hatches for.  As the sales woman in a clothing store with two grown daughters gave me the sign of the cross over having a tween, it was an induction into the tribe.

The tribe of a mom with a teenage girl.  Well, almost.  I've got 7 months officially.

I've been told to give it a few years, and they will one day walk back in as they had previously been (nice temperament), like nothing ever happened.

This morning as I was working Middle School Carpool, and a daughter stomped off ignoring what her mother was asking, I walked to the mom's open car window and gave her the sign of the cross.  She said, "You have no idea."

 I told her that I did understand nodding my head, "I have a twelve year old."

Monday, March 2, 2015

Thirteen Year Old Pee Sticks

While trying to find something under the bathroom sink…found these.  I knew they were there. The memories of infertility do not go away.  They are pregnancy tests with ten and thirteen year old urine on them.  (Yes, pretty gross!)

And yet, I still can't let them go.

I did throw away three of them and kept just one from '02 and one from '05.  These sticks represent two years of trying to get pregnant.   I peed on a lot of sticks waiting for lines to appear that never did.  I waited and waited.   I even peed on ovulation sticks that would not turn positive.

These sticks were so disappointing on so many levels.

They never worked for me.

And that was the problem.  I didn't ovulate.  So I went through a lot of treatment to work to make my body ovulate.  I have indentations in the creases of my arms from all the blood draws.  It was a tumultuous time.  There was a lot of emotional upheaval.  There was a lot of grief for the loss of what wasn't occurring. And that was hard for me and for other people to understand.
I was not an easy person to live with.  Poor George would walk through the door to see what state I was in.  If I was laying on the couch, not good.  If I was upright, then it was better.

Will I ever be able to let them go?  I don't know. Still not ready yet.  I haven't gotten rid of the insurance or prescription paperwork from the same time either.

Maybe one day.