Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Doing the breast stroke

For the last several years I have been treading water. Treading water in life, work, marriage, family, and taking care of myself. I exhaust myself trying to survive while going no where. Remaining in the same spot just working my ass off to keep myself afloat. I've been handed a couple of floatation devices and also been thrown some waves. I've bobbed along in the pool of my life, persevering, surviving.

Treading water is hard ass work. Working your ass off to go nowhere is frustrating and defeating. And I'm just about sick and tired of treading water.

I'm ready to swim. I'm ready to go forward, to go anywhere. This girl is doing the breast stroke. The breast stroke is my best stroke. I swim strong doing the breast stroke, I get places and I do so with strength and skill. I move forward.

So I've made the decision to move forward. To start swimming. To make the decisions and choices that align with swimming, with moving. My thoughts and my words are going to support moving forward. I am no longer just going to survive, I am going to start moving on the path that GOD has lite up for me.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Lets move our mountains

We all have our "mountains" as Joel Olsteen says. I think its Joel Olsteen? Regardless we all have mountains that have affected us. Mine happens to be fear. Other favorites are shame, anger, guilt, pride, ego etc.

A wise friend told me that her grandmother always said when something shows up in your life twice you need to pay attention. I have had the idea of "mountains' show up in my life a few times lately. I have been listening, letting that swim around in my head for awhile. I had the visual of fear sitting on my shoulders weighing me down. Preventing me from moving forward. God and I have had several talks about this concept, but still the ideas were not completely coming together. I was missing one piece.

At a seminar last week a dear friend brought me to, I got the last piece of the puzzle. The speaker talked about how we when we are stressed we need to get back to our "authentic place." BINGO- that is what I was missing, the actual word for what I had in my head but not in my mouth.

Our mountains prevent us from being in our authentic place. Our authentic self. We can become stuck, paralyzed, weighed down and smothered by our mountains. Some people can see what is happening early and quickly move their mountain to get back to their authentic self. Others can't be still long enough to take care of their soul in order to move their mountains. It amazes me how we spend so much time and money to take care of our body, but rarely do people take care of their soul. When we don't take care of our souls our mountains take over.

When the mountains take over ( fear, shame, guilt, ego, pride, anger etc) that is where our decisions come from. That is our leader. They become the captain of our lives, families, jobs, and souls. We are no longer parenting our children, our mountains are. We are no longer guiding our employees, our mountains are. The beautiful and amazing gifts GOD has blessed us with are buried and not being used. GOD blessed me with these children to raise. He blessed ME, my authentic self, not my mountains. I want to parent out of the love and wisdom GOD blessed me with. I want my funny and sarcastic side to come out, I don't want that buried under being overwhelmed and angry.

When we are living from our authentic self we are giving the world our best. We are Living. We are not only existing in this world but we are Living.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


I wasn't planning on writing tonight. My brain is super tired. I worked from home today (which is bliss) but also the day I dive into projects and just finished the last one at 9:30 tonight. I swam with 17 third graders at lunchtime, went to a school board meeting and then soccer for two hours. I got home at 7pm, made dinner, did homework, finished my work project and was just about to grab a glass of Merlot when my self discipline kicked in and I felt I needed to write.

I have lots swimming around in my head right now. GOD and I have had lots of talks lately. I just can't seem to get all these thoughts into written words so this post will be random. It will be a glimpse of life on the surface.

Soccer has taken over our nights. The girls love it and its a great sport due to the length of each game and being able to be outside on these beautiful fall afternoons.

Rylie wants to be a "scank" for Halloween. I am not even sure how to spell that!

Modern family is still the best damn show on TV.

I am loving fabric softener and great smelling laundry.

The fall days are gorgeous right now. Crisp, clear, sunny, cool amazing days. This is my favorite weather. I am loving running during these days.

I have found a new passion walking through the cemetery and reading headstones. I love to see a glimpse of the story of the lives of the people.

I have books everywhere in my living room, piles and piles of books and I would not have it any other way.

My eyes are tired, but I am getting a glass of wine, watching one more re run of Modern Family and then headed to bed.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Should I care no one listens?

Tonight was the night all the frustration over people not listening to me toppled over and I lost my cool. Someone in our house wanted a phone a few weeks ago. I received many texts begging for a phone along with emailed pins of phones that were available. My answer each time was the same, "no, no phone, your track phone is fine." My relentless daughter pressed on. My  "no" remained firm.

Then she went to my mothers. I received a text that night something to the effect of " check out the phone I got for Caitlin she promises to be good." Now I am sure my mother didn't know I had told her no. I am going with that anyway.

First phone never arrives. Order got cancelled. Second phone comes and we spent hours with At&t trying to set it up. Tonight was hour number three and I lost my shit. Phone still isn't set up. And this is EXACTLY the reason why I said NO to begin with. I knew this would be a huge, lengthy process and I did not have the time or patience to spend my time on this for a kid who doesn't need a phone.

So after one cancelled order and three hours on the phone with AT&T we still have no phone. We are yet again waiting for additional parts.

Now that I am cooled off I can see this was the icing on the I am never listened to cake. I can't figure out if I am just not saying things loud enough or clear enough, or if people just dismiss me as someone who doesn't have anything valuable to say. I can say no to something and people just ignore me. I can ask people to do things and they don't hear me until I am screaming. I can beg for help for people to just look the other way. I put up boundaries and people cross them. I find myself wanting to isolate myself from people so I won't be disappointed when they won't listen to me.

I am not sure what the answer is. Should I stop talking so much? Should I become quieter? Should I even care? Do I need to get mean about it?

I think maybe I need to observe a person that people listen to. Take some pointers. Mimic the delivery of their message.

I need to figure something out because I am well on my way to being pissed off all the time about it or becoming a hermit.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Rylie Funny

I was upstairs the other day cleaning the girls bathroom. This was LONG overdue. I can remember living in very small, but lovable double wide when the girls were real small and saying I can't wait until I have a two story house because I won't worry what the upstairs looks like. Which is still true to this day.

So anyhoo... the bathroom needed a good scrubbing. I was hard at work cleaning the toilet when Rylie comes in and sits and watches me. She sees me scrubbing the layer of pink mold in the toilet and says " oh thank goodness you are cleaning that toilet, someone had puberty in there."

I about died laughing right there. I was trying to explain to her one that isn't what puberty is exactly. And two no this toilet is just really dirty with pinkish mold. She wasn't following. In her mind there was puberty right there in that toilet!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Press the Stop Button and Re Record.

I saw online today about police finding the missing Oregon mom dead- she committed suicide.

How tragic.

I am sure most people reading that are surprised and even angry, how could this mom with two young kids at home take her own life. I am neither- I am worried. I am worried for this generation of women who are increasingly taking their own lives, or becoming alcoholics, becoming addicted to prescription meds, and simply checking out of their lives. They are desperate to find ways to numb themselves and turn off the voices shouting at them.

I run. I crank my tunes and run the voices right out of my head. I run and cry the whole time. I run and listen to nature. Running is my stop button to the voices, the demands, the never ending needs.

Fifty years ago women were excepted to keep their house clean. Most women refereed to themselves as a "housewife" when asked what they did with their lives. We have evolved now to stay at home moms and working moms. We are still excepted to be the "housewife" our ancestors once were, but now put more priority on our children and maybe take a bit less time on the house, eliminate things such as ironing our curtains and starching our slacks.

The core exception is still there though. We need to keep our house clean, parent our children as well as be friends with them at the appropriate times, exercise ourselves back into the body we had at 18, put our marriage first because after all that's what is best for our kids, buy only organic food, that is when we aren't growing our own, and hold down a job. Full time, part time, volunteer, take your pick. If we are lucky enough to have plenty of income that we dont' need to work for money we are excepted to be classroom volunteers and soccer coaches. If we do need income, and therefore have a job that pays, and we are excepted by society to be a rock star at it, while never taking a sick day, bringing our Paleo lunch to work and giving 100 percent of our attention and focus.

And while we are busy trying to meet all these expectations and working our ass off to do so, all the people we are trying to please are telling us its not enough and things are unraveling as fast as you can do them.  The boss isn't happy with your attendance and is constantly telling you that you aren't doing enough. " I except more out of you." The husband think you don't pay enough attention to him and don't understand why you need a night out. The kids complain you don't play with them enough and "aren't fun anymore." The laundry backs up as fast as you can fold it. The kitchen floor gets sticky again after just being mopped. The dog throws up all over the freshly vacuumed carpet and your grandparents complain they never see you anymore. Thank you cards sit on the counter not mailed and future scrapbook pages clutter your junk drawer. The paycheck you work so hard for is spent before it arrives and the bills are still late.

And women are losing their minds with good reason. The demands are too much. And while I can look at all those things above, the pissed off people and dirty house and put in into perspective, its still the unrelenting noise it causes in your head that drives us to want to numb ourselves. We can't find quiet to process and filter the noise because whenever we get a break from the demands we are so exhausted we crash into a restless sleep. We go to bed with these things still swimming in our heads and when our minds are suppose to be resting, they are busy trying to quiet themselves.

Something needs to change. I don't even know where that change should start. Should it start with me? Should I start being kinder to myself? Should I say good enough and move on? Should I hold on tight to my friends who bring out my strength and are the only ones not looking at me with disappointment?

I should be encouraging other moms.  I should encourage the mom I see at the ice cream place. The one juggling three ice creams, none her own, while wiping faces and listening to the kids bicker one got a bigger one than another. I should say to her, YOU are doing a great job. YOU are doing enough and that is the most important thing. Maybe the change needs to start with us moms encouraging each other, holding onto the friendships that are the first thing we let go of when we are overwhelmed. Lets NOT let go of those friendships. Go visit your friends. Have girls nights. The husband will get over being mad, the kids will stop complaining or move onto complaining about something else and the floor will just stay dirty another night. The work your brought home will wait and the kids will eat McDonald's for one night. All those things will be worth the few hours of mental and emotional rest you will get. Treat yourself to friends.

As for society, I have no idea how to change the bosses, parents, grandparents, kids and husbands who are just never pleased. Time with friends and running will all give rest, but the change that needs to happen is we need to stop listening. We need to record a different song and play that in our minds. I fear that the world is going to miss the wonderful gifts women have to offer. The compassion and kindness that beat out of a woman's heart, the solutions and praise that come from a woman's mind. These things are going to be buried under Merlot and pills. When women become numb these wonderful qualities get lost and the world is missing the unfiltered love and intelligence of women. That is something this world cannot afford to lose.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Carrying the Load

They say that it isn't the size of the load but rather how you carry it. I have thought a lot about this phrase the last few weeks. My load feels very heavy to me, and I need to find a better way to carry it.

This phrase must have originated from people actually carrying a load. A load of lumber, a load of grain, a load of gravel. Physically people had very large loads to carry, and when it was too heavy they needed to figure out how to get the job done.

Today there are tools and equipment to help with the physical work of carrying a large load. Time and experience have made this job easier and offered more alternatives to help. Today people have a much harder time carrying their mental load, their emotional load.

If I had a large load of lumber to carry how would I do it? First I would try to carry it myself using my own strength. If that didn't work I would ask for help. If no help was available I would try to figure out a way to be stronger, lift from the legs, push not pull, pile the load on a different way. If all that failed I would need to become physically stronger and work at that until it happened, perhaps carrying a bit of the lumber each day.

How can I relate this to carrying the load of life that is becoming so heavy? Really its doing the same things. Its trying to do it yourself, its asking for help, its doing it with your strength, and its working at it getting stronger. I need to carry my load from my strength, not my weakness. You use your muscles to carry your physical load, your strongest body parts. I need to use my mental muscles to carry my emotional load, use my strongest parts. I need to use my confidence, not comparison. I need to use my faith and not my fear and I need to use my love and not my anger. I need to recognize those things that build up my strength and take the time to do them. It might seem quicker to carry the load before building up my strength, before building my muscles. But I won't be able to carry it as long as I would have with strength. For me building up my strength means spending time with GOD every day. Its running every day. Its taking the extra 10 minutes to pick up my house and make my bed and make sure my laundry is at least not taking over the bathroom. Taking the time to write and read and watch great movies makes me stronger. Spending time with hubby and making myself go to girls night makes me stronger. These things that I always seem to sacrifice or put on the bottom of the priority list are actually the things that will help lift and carry this load and this life. It is time well vested into the bigger picture. So many people, especially women are trying to carry their loads from their fear, their anger and their comparison with other women. Looking at that its no wonder why more women are putting up walls, crumbling emotionally and spending so much time depleted, hurt and angry. We need to help each other build up our strength. Carry life with strength, and if we don't have strength we need guidance on where to find it and how to build it up.
My intention in writing this blog was so my girls would be able to read about my life as a mom and a woman right in the moment, in the heat, with the hopes it would be helpful to them when they get to become women. So I would say to my girls, life is hard and life is amazing. It is both. You will need a lot of strength to be able to carry you through life so start building it and banking it. Find what makes you feel alive and do it. Find what makes you feel confident and do it. And find what fuels your love and make that a priority. Fear and anger will always compete for your time and energy. It you don't build up your strength they will take over and your life will be carried by them. Work hard to not let that happen. Carrying life with love, confidence and faith are worth the time it takes to build that. Take the time and build those things and it won't matter the size of the load but how you are carrying it.