Tuesday, February 27, 2018

I AM the Storm

I have seen a lot of those MEMEs about the Devil whispering that you can't withstand the storm, and the person answers "I am the storm". I'm getting really tired of all that. What if I don't want to be "the storm'? What if I don't think the world NEEDS anymore "storms"? What if I'm the Calm inside the Storm? The world around us is exploding with aggression, and fight responses. When confronted with challenges people fight. When confronted with heartache people fight. Maybe I want to be calm. I want to take a deep breath, drop my shoulders, bow my head, and let it go. I want to resonate with such calmness that I break-up the fighting. I want to be so deeply embedded in the calm that it draws people into it. I want to watch the world settle from the Storm and join in the Calmness. I believe that it is perfectly acceptable to not be the Storm; whipping around wildly, and slashing at everything insight. It is acceptable to not fight back. It is acceptable to resign yourself to a season of less than "what you deserve" in life. It is ok to not be ok. In our whirlwind of a busy world, and all the blogs, advice books, motivational speakers, and the like telling us it's ok to not be busy; we seem to not actually understand how that works. We still feel this draw to the Storm. Well, I've resigned from the Storm. I may not practice "peaceful parenting" ( yes, I yell at my kids when I've repeated myself 12 times), but I see no need to be busy. We have more days of lazy play at home than we have of playdates, and classes, and errands, and extra. We spend more time at home playing together. We know every nook of our house. Yet I find that most people are borderline appalled when they learn that I don't do all the stuff the world expects me to. Part of me worries and stresses out about it. Sometimes I wonder if my children will be upset that we didn't take professional photo's for their first birthday. I ponder their disappointment when they get married and their spouse has a million professional baby photo's from when they were first born, and all I've got for them are pictures I took with my iPhone in the hospital of them screaming at the fact that the nurse just took them from my womb and laid them on my chest. How dare She! I don't have milestone photo shoots with fancy chalkboards, or celebratory cakes, or even stickers I printed off Pinterest. I reflect on the lack of big fancy over-the-top parties for EVERY birthday. You get a bid deal on your 1st, maybe your 8th, but I am NOT that Mom. I've contemplated how much they'll feel like I stole something from them because I didn't do very many of the "trendy" things moms do. So this is Me, signing off. I REFUSE to be the Storm. I will not partake in the crazy. I will deny myself, and by association my Family, the chaos of the Storm of trendy new things that make us "busy". This is Me, take a step back. This is Me, breathing deeply. This is me, bowing my head and closing my eyes. This is Me, letting it all go. This is Me, being the Calm in the midst of the Storm. This is Me, inviting others to join me. This is Me, giving space for those who need to escape the Storm. This is Me, stepping into my comfort zone and learning to invite others inside. This is Me, taking back control over the peace I feel. This is Me, looking the Devil straight in the face and instead of telling him I can match him at his own game, saying; That's ok. I am the Calm that brings others out of the Storm. I am the friendly face, the kind gesture, the smile, the breath of fresh air, the support. I don't need to withstand the Storm, for I do not reside in it.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Drive-ins, Swimming, and All Things Summer

I'm not an easy person to like. I say that a lot. Most people see that as fishing for a compliment. I say it with the self realized evidence of the past several years. The one thing my Husband has admitted about first meeting me? He didn't really like me. He thought I was a "know-it-all". Most of the friends I have that stuck through the awkward stage? They'll say it took some time to "warm up" to the idea of being my friend. Most people will confess to me that they weren't certain about whether or not they could deal with me when we first met. . . Let that sink in for just a moment. Imagine being told for the better part of your late 20's early 30's that you are not the ideal, personable human being people befriend. Imagine being told regularly that you're "difficult" to enjoy. Now think about how that sits on the psyche. There's a good reason I don't reach out to people. There's a reason I don't go out of my way to go places, or throw parties, or even attend parties. Several reasons actually. The big ones come from what happened to me in my early 20's. The "little" ones come from the fact that I can't even get my own family to enjoy me, let alone strangers; so I just stay home. My children are difficult to like as well. Mostly because we spend so little time with people outside our own home. It's difficult to have play dates when no one wants to sit and talk to you as the adult. I stopped pretending I understand people in the middle of what was going on with me before. I stopped paying attention to whether people mattered when the Major was selling me as a commodity. It makes me difficult to like. I don't understand the purpose of small talk. I don't really care about gossip. I'm not all that interested in fashion, and the latest craze ( which should be evident by my inability to dress myself.), I don't know how to not be awkward. Awkward is kind of my default setting. I am out of place in the world. I don't fit in. I do better when I keep my mouth shut, but I end up dying a little inside because no one really knows who I am. I get an uncouth exuberance when a subject I know about is brought up. I feel personally insulted when people won't let me help them; because it happens so rarely that I can be useful. I feel a great deal of pain at the fact that my children are the wierdos because I can't make enough friends with children their age for them to have playmates. My heart breaks when they desperately want to play with someone, and I have made that impossible. There is a silent amount of guilt killing me because I am difficult to like. Yet if I pretend, and become likable, I also die a little inside. So, Parenting catch 22. Do you die inside because your children are lonely and unlike, or do you die inside because you're faking it? Maybe someday I will know the answer, and my children will forgive me for failing them in this area. Maybe.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Salted Caramels, and Three Hours of Sleep

You know what one of the most patronizing things I've ever heard is? At this phase of my life it is the sentiment "you'll get through this. It's only temporary.". This sentiment, and ones along these lines, make me want to look that person straight in the face and say No $#&% Sherlock? because the thousands of millions of people throughout history aren't proof that it is possible to survive being the parent of small children. So this is me. Explaining to all of you out there trying to keep people like me motivated. Those are not things we need to hear right now. We're smart enough to know that we will survive this. Maybe we don't want to survive. Maybe we want to sleep. Maybe we want to not have a brain fog that makes us practically useless. Maybe, just maybe, we want to splurge on something and not have to sacrifice it to small children, or accept that a splurge denies them something they'll probably need. I mean I would like to have a little extra money to go to Jamba Juice often enough to actually know what flavor is my favorite. Heck! I'd like to know whats on the bloody menu! Maybe we'd like to be in a position where we can get our nails done, or have a hobby. You know like those things people do to help them feel fulfilled? yeah, those things. only they usually require money and time we don't have. Because Kids. Little kids. So take your "you'll miss this", and your "it'll go so fast" and shove it where the sun don't shine! A better way to encourage and motivate people like me would be a "Yup! this part is lame." Even a "come get a pedicure with me! my treat.". Or just talk to us about something besides Mickey Mouse, Doc McStuffins, Princesses, you know the stuff we spend all day talking about. Discuss politics with us. Discuss anything that isn't my children! Gift cards are awesome too! I can't even begin to explain the amount of time that goes by between the times I get to listen to my music, and when I'm listening to London Bridge. I'm not even sure I can remember what my favorite song is anymore. I used to be able to name any 80's hair band just by listening to a few bars of their music. Now I'm like "wait, this is who?! ". The lack of time to ones self is nauseating. I know there are Moms out there writing blogs about how wonderful this all is, and how we're doing great, and how it's all so beautiful. Good for them. Good for all the people who read those posts and think " oh I needed this!".. You know what I need?! A stiff drink, and a ridiculously large plate of bacon. The stiff drink isn't going to happen in this life time, but the bacon is still a possibility. I am not opposed to motivation. Just remember that if you patronize me I will eventually respond with sarcasm. It will be brutal. It won't feel good. At this point my wit and brutal sarcasm are the only hobbies I can afford/have time for. So if you feel like tempting fate and trying out your motivation don't be hurt if my response isn't welcoming and full of gratitude. It's not that you don't mean well; it's just that some of us are NOT enjoying this phase of life, and we never will. You trying to make us enjoy it, or see the joy in it isn't going to change a thing. We recognize that someone out there is enjoying every moment of this. We are NOT that person. It's a lot like preference for sweet, or savory. You can't change a persons preference. No matter how many motivational quotes, and blog posts, and articles you give them in favor of your preference. So just stop. Just stop trying to change us. Accept us, and our "taste" about this phase of life. And for the love of all that is holy; Stop telling us we'll love this, or miss this.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Gooey S'mores & Chili Breath

I'm lost. Somewhere between the size 4 jeans, and the stretchy pants are the only thing that fit; I lost myself. Somewhere between newly married, and the confused sleep deprivation of a mother of multiples I lost myself. Somewhere between "I can totally run that 5k!", and "you want me to do something besides nap?!" I lost myself. Somewhere between the punk/ska, and the child friendly language of a kid's sing-a-long CD I lost myself. Somewhere between the red lipstick, and barely having the energy for a shower I lost myself. Now this isn't a pity party, but it is a realization that My identity is no longer the same. Though I long to be the person who had the energy to dance in the kitchen while I was cleaning, I also realize a lot of that is choice. I CHOSE not to dance in the kitchen with the mop while listening to music with language and messages too mature for my children. I CHOSE to spend time on the floor with them reading books while the housework piles up. I'm beginning to recognize that may not always be the best choice. For now it's a delicate balancing act of my OCD for a clean home battling my desire to give my children quality time. People will tell me that cleaning my home IS showing my children love. Well, have you met my children? They cling to me the way we all wish syran-wrap would stick to the dishes we attempt to cover. Their love language is both quality time, and quality touch. I do what I can with the time I've got, but when I'm up several times a night with teething children, and not drinking caffeine during the day? come on! when they take a nap; I take a nap. I feel the desire to bust out some of the old me. The part of me that could care less. The person who wore bright red lipstick because it was Tuesday. I don't think she's dead just yet. And as my youngest gets a little older I find time to do things like put on jeans instead of stretchy pants. Somedays I even remember the deodorant. I love my children, and I spent years believing that life had passed by the point in which I would get to hold them in my arms. I also love the person I was before. The passion that was my life, the fearless resolve with which I stated my opinions and beliefs. I spend a lot more time pleasing others now. Giving snuggles, giving loves, giving spoonfuls of food, giving the blue cup because the red cup is no longer desired. I even bite my tongue to keep civil relations with people I could honestly care less if they liked me, but I need to play nice with because my Husband needs that relationship. I just think that at some point I'm going to find myself, and everyone is going to have their minds blown when I start acting like myself. I may even become much more organized. Who knows! I can barely put together complete thoughts anymore, but don't you worry! I will get back into a pair of stilettos and red lipstick, and probably some clothes too. I suppose that it's part of being a parent to lose a piece of yourself. I wonder whether I'm doing it wrong. Whether my decision to stop being so much full color version of myself, and more of a muted pastel is worth it. Whether the desire for a more child friendly/age appropriate home has been a wise choice. If I've lost enough of myself that my children will think that the woman who wore whatever she darn well felt like, and had the courage to kick someone's arse with a simple tongue lashing ever really was me. I wonder if I've given up a part of who I was that made my husband fall in love with me. I question whether I let myself go so far that I got lost along the way? Perhaps it's time to reclaim some of that person. Perhaps, much as I discovered when trying to be a bank manager, I just don't fit into these shoes. Perhaps I really just need to stand in the shower for 20 minutes, and sing my heart out, and let the kids play in the toilet water while I actually put lotion on myself. Maybe I need to spend a little more time shaving my legs, and a little less time crawling around on the floor. While I justify letting myself get lost because I'm attempting to make sure I don't raise children who are self entitled jerks. . . I may be missing the point, and my mind. Maybe it's all just a crap shoot, and it won't make a difference in the end that I bothered.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Dark Chocolate Covered Mangoes

My oldest daughter will be 2 in April. There has been a very well meaning woman who has tried to help me "ween" her from her pacifier. My frustration has come in the form of not wanting to offend this woman, but at the same time not wanting her help. Mostly because I actually don't want my daughter to stop using it. We lost our dog about 4 days before I gave birth to our youngest. We had an emergency delivery so My mother had not had a chance to come down and insert herself into the routine before the birth. My 17 month old daughter was thrust into the arms of her Uncle and taken to their house for a "slumber party" with their girls while she waited for her Grandmother to get into town. After which everyone spent the following week at Aunt Amy's and Uncle Scot's while waiting for Mom and Baby to be cleared to go home. With Dad in the hospital trying to help get the discharge to happen sooner than later. Then once home she was left alone with her Grandmother, whom she loves dearly, while Mom and baby recovered from everything for another 2 weeks. After Grandma went home the loss of the dog was suddenly very real. There was no longer a loving playmate, and friend to entertain her while Mom cleaned up the kitchen, or did the laundry. There was no longer a fuzzy warm body to snuggle up next to when a cuddle was needed, but Mom had to finish making dinner. There was no longer someone to chase in the backyard with, or simply lay in the grass and relax. Adding to this is a new person in the home who has medical issues that require a lot more attention from Mom than just feeding, and changing diapers. Suddenly this little toddler was alone. Not that no one was in the house, but in the sense that no one had undivided attention to give her. She NEEDS something to help her sort through the feelings, and calm her to a point where she can assess how she feels and how to present those feelings to her parents. My daughter is working through some complicated emotions, and some complex concepts. Death, unconditional love of parents, friendship, siblings,anger, loss, jealousy. Though people who are not dog people will never understand the significance of the loss of our Makaio; I don't ask that they do. I DO ask that you accept that for my family it was like losing a person IN the family. We function as a pack, and Makaio was a member of the pack. A significant member of the pack. I have decided that instead of having major melt-downs, security blankets, separation anxiety, or other things that my daughter will have a pacifier. It will function as its name implies. To pacify the lonely abandonment that is loss, and the addition of a sibling. I'm not asking you to understand. I'm asking you to back off, let me help my daughter deal with the loss of a pack member in our way, and trust that when I'm certain she's worked through it we'll get rid of the pacifier. Please, don't steal the one healthy coping mechanism my daughter has. What you're telling her is that her healthy ways of coping are not acceptable, and that she needs to scream and cry to get what she wants. That unhealthy ways of coping are better than healthy ones. Thank you for attempting to alleviate the pressures of being a mother of multiple children, but ; with all do respect, Back the %$#@ off. I know my pack, and I know what they need. I'm the Alpha Female in my pack, which means that I determine what is acceptable in our home. I have determined that getting the bottle to go away at bed time, and the crying out for her dog in her sleep are to be dealt with first. I will deal with THAT issue once we've kicked the unhealthy coping mechanisms, and dealt with our loss.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Petunia's, and Peanut Butter

Sometimes people don’t take me seriously. It’s a touch frustrating that I spent a lot of time wasting time in college and didn’t figure it out in time. I should’ve gone to medical school. I majored in Dance because I loved the way the human body moved through space. I loved watching it curve, and bend, and snap into lines and shapes that are mind blowing. It was never just dance for me. I wasn’t as good as some, but I loved every minute of it, and I desperately attempted to conquer fears to make my body do what I saw all the really good dancers doing. I should’ve done a pre-med program instead. Typically I wouldn’t be typing this, I’d be reading a medical journal online. Yes, I read them for fun. Lately I’ve been focused on gene therapy, and genetic mutations. I'd bother you with the details, but there's a reason I'm up reading them and you've chosen not to. That's ok. What frustrates me is when I have people around me who disregard what I do, and what I know. I understand that they're not doing it on purpose. For some it's because they can't get past the eccentric artsy punk who took ballet and had flames painted into her hair. For others it's that they don't know that Massage Therapy covers a very wide range of modalities (styles) and can treat a rather large variety of issues. There are also people who have no idea that I read pathology books for fun, run through symptoms with my favorite med student, and love solving puzzles. The rest of them; I couldn't honestly say why they don't talk me about what's going on. They probably want to keep their medical issues private, and are embarrassed about them. I get that. Which is why I rarely quote clients by name, and if I do it has more to do with a funny story about something completely unrelated to medical anything (except my pregnancy. there were a lot of good quotes that came out of that.). I get a little confused when people hold back on medical issues. I get that we don't want to air our dirty laundry. I appreciate that I don't see a million complaints about health in my Facebook news feed. I would LOVE if when it DOES come up in conversation you give me more than "Oh I had this medical thing I had to take care of."…. which was. . . don't leave me hanging! If you'd rather talk to me privately let me know. Just don't hand me a tantalizing sneak peek like that and not finish the story! There is very little I feel more frustrated about than a medical teaser. Probably as close to a man's frustration with a female tease as I will ever experience. I spend the next YEARS of my life trying to sort through behaviors, chronic holding patters, personality fluctuations, buzzwords you've dropped, and anything else I can to figure out what you could possibly be dealing with. Just tell me! The people brave enough to divulge the symptoms, or condition to me know that I almost instantly start running through every piece of medical reference material I can get my hands on legally. I will lose sleep over the whole thing while I try to sort through the situation. They can also attest to the fact that I didn't tell anyone. Frankly I was too busy being nose deep in a book, or dealing with my children to have anyone to tell. I haven't been out of the house for anything social in 6 months. Just groceries, and essentials, and church, and the occasional family event (which usually consists of me doing exactly what I do at home. tending my children). I probably seem rather intense to people when they meet me in public. Like the over eager middle aged single woman who's desperate to get married, and on her first date in 4 years. So really, who am I going to tell?! My husband? Pretty sure I have a long list of house hold matters I need to discuss with Him first. I won't get to your issues this year, and by next year I'll have forgotten to tell Him. But no really, the family budget, the children, and the insane electrical system in my house are first in line before YOUR medical issues. Which He'd find so boring that He wouldn't be listening so He'd be totally confused and wouldn't know if you had the flu, or a genetic mutation giving you super powers. The point is that because I find all this so interesting, and I have things I can usually do to help you treat the situation I get frustrated with the lack of information, or consultations. Believe me, if I can't help you I will refer you to someone I think has better information. There are people who can vouch for that too. I've been a disappointing answer to a few people's questions when I refer them out to someone who's had a similar situation, or just another person with an actual degree in medicine. It doesn't mean I didn't know, but I DIDN'T go to medical school. I got a degree in dance. I can't diagnose. I can just guess, ask you to confirm with your doctor, and then wish I'd bet someone $100 on whether I was right. Like I said. I should've gone for pre-med. Occupational Therapy would't have been a bad choice either. I also know that sometimes Doctors lose themselves in the work. They get in a rut, and get lost in the routine of sick people. Then they happen upon something interesting and they can't quite figure it out. While they're running tests and trying to track down the culprit other symptoms pop up because YOU'RE despondent about the situation. Yeah I know, crazy right? You actually confuse the doctor because you create symptoms in your body unrelated to the illness because of YOUR emotional state. I'm telling you the body is amazing! It's also crazy effected by itself. Everything is connected. I say that a lot to my clients in regards to tissue. It applies to the systems as well. Your muscles effect your posture, which effects your nervous system, which effects your endocrine system, which effects your gastrointestinal system, which effects your posture. . . it's kind of a cycle. Your mental state effects your Physical state. We can believe in a placebo effect, but we can't grasp that our emotions are adding symptoms to our situation that are making it harder for the doctor to figure out what's going on. This is where I come in. I get to help you remove some of the stuff that is getting in the way. I pull the posture back into alignment, release hormones that encourage the good things to get back to being good, and remove the emotions ( albeit sometimes only temporarily) that were getting in the way of the REAL diagnosis. Sometimes I get lucky and I get to fix the situation entirely. Other times it just becomes easier to deal with all the poking and scanning, and stabbing they do at the doctors office. Either way, I'm a good ear to listen to. I've got a fairly logical head on my shoulders and I'm not too shabby and understanding actual medical jargon. I even like it. I know people write me off as a luxury type thing. A "day at the spa" profession. I'm not that therapist. I do MEDICAL massage. emphasis on MEDICAL. Meaning that what I do is medicine for the body. AND IT WORKS!!! Like, really works. Scientific studies works. Medically endorsed works. I don't smear lotion on people. I assist in their wellness. Wellness as in not sick anymore. It's foreign concept I know. I spent time in Europe where Massage Therapists are taken seriously. It's a form of medicine. It works. Most people where I currently live wouldn't get it. I do. I bothered to learn, and I get real tired of reminding people that I'm a resource. I will help you if I can. If it's outside my scope of practice I will honestly, and happily refer you to someone I think is better qualified. Just please stop thinking that I smear lotion on people. Please stop thinking that I don't know how to help. Please, for the love of the human body, and all that is magnificent about it . . . Just ask me!!!! end rant.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Smell of Skunk, and Pine-sol

I'm not a particularly open human being. I guard some secrets with my life. I've opened up about some of my least favorite life experiences, but I tend to keep the day to day stuff inside the closet. Yeah, I'll very openly talk about a seriously abusive relationship that left me physically, and mentally changed forever. I'll gladly tell you about the bad choices I've made and the fact that I hope no one ever makes my mistakes. Ask me how I feel about being called weird? . . . My silence will suffice. And if you still need an answer I'll write you a story about a little girl who was called weird most of her life. I was very deeply affected by certain things growing up. I keep them to myself. Even my husband doesn't know how I really feel until he reads through a journal entry, or blog post. I don't know how to look someone in the eye and say "I'm not ok. I need help, and I need you to throw me a big party that celebrates everything good about me. Because I don't know what's good about me.". I literally don't know how to deal with the small stuff. Throw me a traumatic event, I got that. Give me the smallest disappointment, I'm completely lost. How do you deal with the fact that you had more friends than you could keep up with, and suddenly everyone will "like" your post on Facebook, but won't come to dinner at your house? How do you reconcile a wedding photo with people who you thought of as family with the fact that you can't even get them to answer a text message. I've been "ghosted" by everyone I called a friend and I'm not really sure what to do with that. I find the whole thing very unsettling. Either way I think the hardest part has been trying to come to grips with the fact that this has happened is that I'm sitting here trying to figure out how to fix it. How do you reach out to people who don't know you? How do you ask for the help your friends should be giving you when you don't have any friends? How do you find anyone that won't think you're looking for attention, or just being negative? Add to this the mental instability of pregnancy hormones you're left wondering if you're actually unstable, or if you're just lonely. You know you're supposed to be nesting, but you're also trying desperately to keep things in a budget because kids aren't cheap. You can't buy things, and there's no one to help you out. Then you try to nest by cleaning the house; only there's a toddler running around dumping dirt, and oatmeal, and rice all over the house. You begin to wonder why you're trying at all. You scrub hard water off a bathroom only to discover that there's another layer under that one. At the point at which you start crying you pick up your phone to call a friend to share your feelings with and have them validate you. Only that's right; you've been ghosted by everyone you could share with. Then you think it's because you're an introvert naturally. Maybe it is. Maybe you should get a hobby. Maybe you should get out and do something. Oh, that's right. You work insane hours, and have a toddler, and you can't afford a sitter. Bottom line, sometimes postpartum doesn't manifest as you wanting to kill yourself, or your children. Sometimes its an inability to figure out how to be the friend you want to be, or how to keep up with your friends who don't have children. And sometimes it costs you every one of the friends you thought you had.