Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mike Tyson's wisdom?

Earlier this week, I posted a response to someone on FB who was slamming Oprah via a You Tube video about her "new church." (And what they were talking about was actually old news anyway but I digress...) I would never have posted a response before because I would worry about what they would think, what others would think. I have not been good at expressing a dissenting opinion or speaking up for myself especially when it involves men. Now again, this is just Oprah but the reason that it was important to me was that part of the video criticized a book that I had actually read and it was totally misrepresented in sound bites.

I have learned to think out of the box now when it comes to "religion." I believe God is much bigger than "religion" (and has to be!!) and that we can become aware of his presence in our lives in many different ways. Churches do a huge disservice to God in that they are run by men (and few women in certain denominations) and in the end, it will boil down to power and money and that is how the "rules" of the church are made. And I believe we don't all have to do it just this "certain" way, by a certain doctrine. What Oprah was arguing with a viewer on this video was that there are many paths or ways for us to end up at the same place with God. The video slammed that among other out of context moments. And my point is, I HAVE watched her show and READ the book that was mentioned and I truly believe she is trying to help people live their best life as the tag line goes. AND I don't hate her just because she is a Yet, I digress.

Leading up to my pivotal aha moment, I started doubting myself, that perhaps I shouldn't have posted and why did I choose to do this when it was about Oprah, for Pete's sake?? I don't have to be her defender. I have said before I don't agree with everything she says and does and blogged about some of them previously (1-she's not an impartial journalist (Obama support, etc) 2-certain celebrity interviews-Suzanne Somers, Whitney Houston, Tom Cruise,etc, 3-certain racial overtones that I have heard and seen via the show and XM radio).

This past week, I had a few moments of downtime and I turned on an episode. It was a follow up with Mike Tyson. He was bearing his soul and after the things he has done, going to prison for rape, biting off Evander Holyfield's ear, etc. I among others felt he didn't have a soul, he seemed more like an animal. It hit me as I was watching it, that the reason I like to watch Oprah is that she shows humanity at it's finest, and most REAL. And I LOVE that. Watching these types of shows are MY football season. I live in the midst of LSU football and I could just skip it. But I love learning about people and seeing the humanity in persons I would not expect it from and that is a lesson from Jesus! All people are children of God.

I am reminded again and again to see that all people are the same, no matter color, race or creed. This is MY TRUTH as I see it. Every person born needs love, and if you don't receive it, you try to take care of yourself however you can, in healthy ways and not healthy ways. Our human psychology is all the same, celebrity or not.

Mike Tyson did not receive love or proper parenting and he came from the streets, and his pathway to stay alive was as a fighter. Oprah asked how he is able to stay out of trouble now and his response was my pivotal moment. In essence, he said we are told not to be selfish by society, BUT we have to be otherwise we will be killed. I'm not worried about being killed within a drug life, but the line about being selfish struck me. I am learning to be selfish and to take care of myself. As a stay at home mother, I felt like I was supposed to be doing everything with and for my children. Every moment of playing, every class party, every field trip, every hour, every day, AND do it perfectly. This issue has been my wake up call lately. And by God, if I can watch Oprah and hear it from Mike Tyson of all people, it is worth watching for me.

I don't have to change the mind of the person who posted on FB, but this time I did have to express MY opinion even if it was "just" about Oprah. Watching that episode of television led me to a spiritual moment of truth about myself. It's my truth and I never truly understood, or accepted it until that moment. I do believe the Holy Spirit moves in strange and mysterious ways and I'm trying to pay attention, however it comes across.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This picture speaks volumes...

My car this morning. How many of you have cars that look like this? This car speaks volumes about what is going on in my life at the moment. I have not had a shower yet today because I have been working to put my house back together as today is the first day at home for four hours by myself in about two weeks AND I am a stay at home mom. It has been a busy couple of weeks and the crazy season is here that starts with Halloween and continues until New Year's Day.
I am verbose, I know this and I am learning to accept myself as I am but I am going to try bullets for this blog today. Especially since I need to pick up in an hour and I haven't had lunch yet or that shower.
Car contents as symbolic state of life:
Portable potty - four year old - really nothing more to say. I have been tempted to use it myself stuck in carpool.
Snack basket - Started as manna bags to give to the homeless but we kept eating the manna bags so I realized we need snacks in the car for hungry children and/or mom in a pinch. But it becomes a catch all basket.
Extra Booster Seat on Passenger side- to remind myself to leave it at Mallory's preschool for field trip which I decided to not chaperone. I don't have to attend EVERY school function, and this is a way to take care of myself which is what my therapist says to do. I agree. Of course, they cancelled the field trip and rescheduled for Thursday, now I have to say NO a SECOND time.
Riley's pink & grey backpack - self-explanatory - First Grader and daily homework
Whole Foods Recycled Shopping bag - trying to be green but never really shop at Whole Foods, instead use as cleanup bag to get the "stuff" out of car but should be teaching the children to do it themselves...with the Whole Foods bag
Dainty wooden Cross hanging from side of W.F. bag- Received at church to remind myself to be more like Jesus, a beacon or something like that and I can't remember exactly. Child took it off my bathroom counter where it was to remind me each day as I got ready. But I am going to cut myself some slack for not remembering what is was specifically for, see Booster seat.
Black Organizer hanging off passenger side - Good intentions abounded but nothing fits in it now, perhaps it was sized for toddler things.

Gotta go. This is it. I tell myself I need to blog once a week for my sanity.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I can see clearly now the rain is gone...

It's 1:30 in the morning and I'm never up at this hour. NEVER! But I guess things are on my mind. I came to a pivotal moment in understanding my life's journey last week. I have been seeing a therapist for about a year and working on my food issues. Well, anyone who knows anything about weight issues, it's not about the food... And for some reason, well not for some reason but actually all of the work I have done to come to grips on a myriad of my issues, I can see clearly now. And this song just popped in my head.

I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me down
It's gonna be a bright bright bright bright sun shiny day
It's gonna be a bright bright bright bright sun shiny day

Oh yes I can make it now the pain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is that rainbow I've been praying for
It's gonna be a bright bright bright bright sun shiny day

Look all around there's nothing but blue skies
Look straight ahead there's nothing but blue skies

I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Here is that rainbow I've been praying for
It's gonna be a bright bright bright bright sun shiny day
It's gonna be a bright bright bright bright sun shiny day

I LOVE music. You can find the right song for just the right feeling. It feels as though the writer of this song many years ago, knows me intimately at this moment. It fits so perfectly. I know that it will not all be sun shiny days or blue skies, but at this moment, I can SEE now. I am standing in amazement that I do see the obstacles that have been there for a long time and even though I received no new information, I am seeing things in a new way. And it has taken me a year to do so, because therapy is slow and not easy but for me and most people who undertake it, it is so freeing. When you get to the place of accepting, peace is not far off. It's all of the long and painful work that got me to the point of knowing what I need to do to repair. I got to the point of being able to process the information I already knew. I am a "why" person, I keep asking questions until I understood why. This time, I was searching for an answer to a different problem and an answer that I had read years before made complete and utter sense to me NOW.

AND the weather has played right along with me, as it was bright and beautiful this past weekend after a week (really month) of a very rainy October. I have felt lighter in spirit, not as hungry, literally. I feel like I have had a HUGE AHA moment after many small aha moments over the last year and in previous years. I spent time alone with my girls as I always do (George was on call this weekend after being gone all week to a conference) and it wasn't draining as it can be at times, it was lighter, easier, more enjoyable, I had more patience.
The bad feelings have not disappeared, but they are dissipating.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

This is why I don't care anymore...

No one wants to talk about this...I DO want to embrace it. I watched (who else?!) an Oprah show a couple years back and the focus of the show, Menopause and embracing The Change. And that was back in my giddy thirties, when I bought Dr. Northrup's Wisdom of Menopause and read a little bit in preparation, yet smugly thought, "it's not time for me." Well, here I am at 41 and a few nights ago, I had a night sweat, yes, my first night sweat*. Woo Hoo, lets celebrate!

I have also had low grade nausea it seems all week, especially in the morning. And then I had a weird headache in the back of my head and that was the night I woke up covered with sweat. So I google nausea and perimenopause...and did you know there are 35 possible symptoms of menopause!!! Once you read the list, that whole notion of trying to embrace this seems a little more daunting. None of it sounds good.

And you can have symptoms of what could be pregnancy: nausea, breast tenderness, moodiness, and then you get scared to death that somehow the husband's snip snip didn't take. And here is the kicker, it could be the opposite of pregnancy, you are entering the state of no return, the state of... perimenopause. And this state can last 5-10 years. Woo Hoo!! Celebrate good times, come on...

I really am trying to embrace forty. I do LOVE the loss of one huge time waster (and it is also detrimental to one's well being), and that is worrying about what other people think. I now know the reason that as you grow older you stop worrying about what other people think... you don't have the time!! There are so many other thoughts and activities that come with age: I have to remember to look for chin hairs, remember to do lower back stretches first thing when I wake up in the morning, remember not to pick up heavy items or at least do so with my knees bent. Finding grey hairs that just look ripe for plucking if it has been too long between coloring. Shopping for shoes takes longer because style has taken a back burner to comfort. Heels are just painful.

And although I don't need glasses yet for reading, the print on the A/C control is extremely small, so I have to go find some reading glasses. I also pet the cats for longer than 30 seconds, because I realize it's just as good for me as it is for them because there have been studies about this... I have started playing games that involve the mind, to hold on to mental acuity as long as possible. Oh and lastly, taking care of the young kids...that I had later in life.

These are just some of the activities that keep me involved as I am aging and I have had to let worrying about what others think go. So I'm ready for the next hot flash...the girls will have to pile on the blankets because I will turn the A/C down. Now let me go find those reading glasses just in case...

*I do vaguely remember having night sweats while using fertility drugs. So this night sweat was not pharmaceutically induced.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Driving, driving, driving...

It is a sad state of affairs, when you are a tiny bit excited that your child is sick and have to keep her home from school only because it means that you only have to drive to one school instead of two for the day!! I have gotten the taste of what my 2009-2010 driving schedule will be like during the last two weeks as both girls are now finally full time at their respective schools and it is bleak. And at the end of last week, I felt overwhelmed. Are you ready? It's time to whine...

Okay, hold on, I'm completely switching gears now, I started this blog and I posted a completed version of my life in my van, driving endlessly, week after week bringing children to and from their schools and to and from extracurricular activities, but something happened and I had to rethink it. I got in my car to drive!!! and turned on the Oprah XM channel and listened to yesterday's show about a set of parents who have a seven year old girl with schizophrenia. It humbled me immediately. I know I have a life to be grateful for, but I have to be reminded every so often when some of the monotony gets to me. I have been turned off by Oprah lately, especially when she interviews celebrities (too easy on Whitney, too hard on Mackenzie) In general, Oprah shines brightest when she interviews everyday people who overcome overwhelming situations.

It is hard to fathom what these parents go through on a daily basis, dady after day, week after week. I had heard of children with major mental illness but didn't realize a child as young as seven could be diagnosed with schizoprenia. These parents have decided to have two households as they have a 20 month old son and were scared for his safety around the sister when she began acting violently at age five. They rent two apartments and one is for the daughter and one is for the son and they take turns sleeping with each of the kids. The daughter has had up to 200 different friends which are the voices (hallucinations) and some of these tell her to do bad things. She is on heavy duty medications to keep the voices at a minimum and where she is sometimes able to engage in the parent's world versus only being in her world. She has to go to school with a one on one teacher and has no classmates. She is friends with one other child who she met during one of her many inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations and they are able to have playdates.

And I was complaining about driving my van...To cut myself some slack, it is human nature to get caught up in our own lives. That is one of the major reasons as a stay at home mom that I have to get out and mingle with other adults. At the point I am still in, it can still be isolating and I need to hear what others are going through, even sometimes if it is just Oprah. Her show can still serve me as a wake up call to know that I can be thankful for my own situation, even when I feel overwhelmed.

The little girl's name is Jani. You can go to to read or watch more about her.

Friday, October 2, 2009

And the Kicker is...

The new TV show season is here. No more repeats. Every now and then while watching some of the shows that I have taped, I find a jewel of written dialogue that just resonates to my core. (There was a certain episode of 30 Rock with Alec Baldwin's character talking about Dora The Explorer panties clearly made for an obese child, which is an all time favorite.) These jewels are hard to find especially with the current lineup of reality television dominating the schedule. Desperate Housewives was in the queue since Sunday and I thought maybe it's time to let that show go but I turn it on for George and I. (He does allow me control of the DVR and is one of the many reasons I love him so) I don't even remember what happened at the end of last season but thankfully they have a wrap up of that and off we go.
Please watch the video so that you will know what I'm talking about, it's so much easier for me and less typing AND I finally figured out how to upload video

This was a priceless few minutes of video and what gets me is that somewhere out in California I guess, there is a writer or team of writers who totally understands what I have felt about motherhood. And they put it in this incredibly funny dialogue between Lynette and this first time Mom To Be. You may think that the part I like is when Lynette dogs our her husband, because I did feel that way being the only bar in town. Or that women are liars telling how wonderful it is, to perpetuate more babies being born. No, the kicker for me and for Lynette's character was when she said and I quote, "that for the rest of your life, there will be so many moments when you will feel lonely but you will never be alone." OMG. Someone out there gets it!! At times, I have felt so lonely in this journey, but yet I am generally never alone and I savor those moments of quiet. I need my quiet.

I'm so glad I didn't take it out the queue.