Friday, May 31, 2013

Want My Advise......


I am feeling blessed.  It is easier on a day like today.  It is bright and sunny, about 85 degrees and I am writing, enjoying the shade under a picnic bench umbrella.  There is a soft breeze swirling my hair around my shoulders.  Little One just got finished being an “explorer.” Complete with his safari hat and binoculars, lurking for wild animals in the tall grass.  He is now in the sand box, telling me how cool and comfy the sand is on his bare piggies.  

I am in my back yard.  MY back YARD!  I don’t let that sink in enough.  This is my piece of heaven.  My abode. My haven.   Not everyone can enjoy this any time they want.  And all I have to do is walk out my back door. Every so often, I stop and am in awe.  It scares the shit out of me.  I chastise myself with feelings of inadequacy and being undeserving of such a life.  I am afraid that it will all be taken away, somehow.  I worry - it’s what I do. Then I get mad at myself for being scared.  I get angry for NOT being able to take it all in and enjoy it for what it is worth. 

The pressure we put on ourselves is too much.  We are constantly being told and also feel the need to “take every moment in.”  

“Cherish this time, in your life.”  

“It goes by so quick!”  

“They grow up so fast!”  

“They won’t be little forever!”  

It is a constant stream of people telling us, “Hey, you!  Don’t you dare feel frustrated or overwhelmed! If you don’t enjoy every split second, there is something wrong with you!”   It is not what they mean to say, but it is often what we hear. 

These messages are usually being thrown at us from people who mean well and have “been there-done that.”  But what if we started to throw the messages back at them? 

“Hey, enjoy your retirement You’ll be dead before you know it!” (OK maybe that was a bit harsh, but I am PMSing)

“Enjoy, waking up when you wake naturally!”  

“Enjoy a routine that is not interrupted.”  

“Have fun spoiling your grandkids without fear of screwing up their lives.”

“Enjoy the fact that your grandchildren will unceasingly hold you in the highest and best regard, no matter what and until the end of time.”  

It is not always the grandparent generation that is giving us this advise.  Sometimes it is those that have kids who are on to the next level.  My First Born is 9 and Little One just turned 5.  So sometimes those who have teenagers, long for those cute, smaller ages again.   They will often tell horror stories of the pubescent demon that resides in their child’s room.  “So enjoy it now!  It only gets worse!”  “God, I miss them being so small!” is often heard.  Maybe we could tell them:  

“Yes, but treasure the fact that you can let them get a bath or shower without worrying about them dying.”  

“Enjoy not having to wipe anyone's ass, but your own.” 

“Have fun not having to watch NICK Jr., PBS Kids or Disney. Every. Day.”    

“Enjoy not being woken up on the weekends, by anything other than your own circadian clock.”  

“Take pleasure in being able to go out to a meal with your Hub without having to find a babysitter, leave a list of instructions, numbers, Dr.s’ information, allergies and neighbor’s names.”    

I mean - every stage of life has moments to treasure.  Every stage of life also has moments that are infuriating.  I don’t expect to hate all of it, but we can’t be expected to love every single minute of it.  If we didn’t allow ourselves to experience the difficult times (and sometimes really wallow in them) we would not know the joy and euphoria of the good times.   

So as I watch Little One who has now found the hose and is “washing the house”
I think how sweet he is and how much fun he is having.  That is followed by, realizing that all his summer clothes that I just fished out of the basement are still in the washing machine.... from yesterday.  Which means I have to wash them again.  I also have to fight with him as I turn off the hose, inevitably getting wet.  Will I enjoy that.... Maybe. but that is my business.  OK, now he just dropped trough and is peeing next to the hose..... My advise is, don’t give advise, unless it is asked for.  Specifically.  Then again who asked me?  Better yet, write a blog! 

CAVEAT:  The "retirement aged people" I speak of in my blog are NOT my parents!   I honestly have never received that "advise" from them.  See Dad, I told you!

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Should I Stay or Should I Go


Starting a new workout routine is sort of like starting a new relationship.  You have to invest time, energy and commitment.  I have recently started a new one.  Now, I have written before about working out and have told you how I love Zumba and Yoga, Spinning is for crazy people and Pilates is for snobs.  I have yet to try out Body Combat or Body Pump, but they are on my list.  The newest thing I have recently tried is “Adventure Boot Camp.”  I was asked by my neighbor if I would like to do it with her. There was a discount so I signed up. I then roped in asked another friend and neighbor to join us.   

This exercise program is on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 5:30am to 6:30 am.  For those of you that know me, you know how much of a morning person I am.  For those of you that don’t know me, let’s just say that if there was a competition for the most dirty looks, foulest curses and angriest grunts given before 8am I would win, hands down.  The only thing that has me getting up every Monday, Wednesday and Friday is the fact that there are 2 other people either coming to pick me up or depending on me to drive.  If it was left up to me to go on my own.  I would have never went.  
I have a few problems with this “Boot Camp.”  The first problem I have is the fact that it is called “Boot Camp.”  The reason being is I know people that went through ACTUAL boot camp and that is no joke or 3 hour a week deal.  Real boot camp is hard and not fun.  

Second, I don’t really know what I was expecting, but I was instantly pissed off on the first day when I realized that we are basically doing calisthenics in a parking lot.  It is not rocket science, we run, do pushups, squats, burpees, jumping jacks, sprints, etc.  You get the picture.  

Also, it is advertised as a "Boot Camp for Women” and it is being run by a man (we can call him Boot Camp Bob).  So on the days when I forget my good sports bra and we are jogging I don’t feel as comfortable grabbing my boobs and holding them to my chest, as I would if it was ALL women.   

One other problem is, after having completed a workout by 6:30, the rest of the day I feel it is my prerogative to eat anything and everything I want, since I already worked out.  This has caused me to sort of maintain my weight since starting this program a little over 3 weeks ago.Then I hit a slump brick wall at around 2pm.  It is usually when I will stop whatever I am doing and suggest a nap for Little One.  Where I can sit and fold clothes while he sleeps.....HAHHAHAHAHAHHAAAA.  Where I can tell people I am being productive but actually take a nap with Little One!  

Boot Camp Bob is a nice enough guy.  He is pretty mild mannered and not too verbal.  He tells us what to do and we do it.  One of the women there brings a boom box and her ipod for music.  She is a success story for the program already having lost 30 lbs.  All the women who are doing the program are great. They seem very nice, all different shapes ages and sizes and all in varying degrees of physical shape.  I can’t say that I have gotten to know any of them more than casual small talk.  We all show up, at the ass crack of dawn, do our workout for an hour and go home. 

The positives about the program are, well, it’s serving it’s purpose.  I am working out 3 days a week for an hour each day.  I attribute that more to the women that I go with to the workout more than the actual workout.  As I said before, if I was not being depended  upon to show up buy someone else, I would find any excuse not to go.  The workout is also making me stronger.  I have not done this much zoned toning since I was much younger.  Also it is good to be outside breathing fresh air early in the morning, even if it is in a parking lot.  

The Hub has made it enjoyable too.  He woke me on the first day of “Boot Camp” playing ‘Reveille’ on his iPad, complete in an army shirt, army hat, drill sergeant sunglasses and his underwear.   He never ceases to make me laugh. 

Now we were given an option to sign up again for another 3 months (again, discounted).  Like any relationship, I have to make a decision if the commitment is worth it.  I have to figure out the pros and cons.  Boot Camp Bob and I have to have a talk.  Is this relationship headed in the right direction?  Possibly.  Although, I can find plenty of positives, I am going to cut my ties with Boot Camp Bob.  I can’t help thinking that if I was working out at 5:30 every morning and doing Yoga or Zumba, I would be much happier.  It’s not fair to be in a relationship thinking of someone else.  So, Boot Camp Bob, It’s not you, it’s me.  I surely hope we can still be friends.  

ADDENDUM:  I mean no offense to those that this program works for. And it works for many. It is really just me and my mental state! The instructor is degreed, obviously knows what he is doing and provides a balanced exercise program. I know that the friends that I go with are signing back up.  AND Pilates is not strictly for snobs but in my experience in the year 2000, they were snobs.

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Momma's Head Revisited



~Autobiography in Five Short Chapters~

Chapter 1
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost ... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.


Chapter 2
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.


Chapter 3
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in ... it's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.


Chapter 4
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.


Chapter 5
I walk down another street.


~ Portia Nelson ~ 

(There's a Hole in My Sidewalk)


BAM..... It was a beautiful day, much like the one 7 years ago.  This time I was in the passenger seat.  I started to sweat, and feel nauseous. My intestines started to spasm. I frantically started to analyze what was going on inside of me.  What was the last thing I ate? Did I forget to do something important? Are the kids in the car with us? Is anyone else hot? Why does everyone else look so calm,? Don’t let The Hub notice. The Hub just noticed.  

“Hey hon, ya ‘aight?”  

I don’t want to answer, but I say, “Um, I am not feeling good.” 

He is so well versed in my crazy that he pinpoints immediately, “You panickin’?”  which I was. 

I realized it at that moment too.  I looked down and started to breathe and concentrate on the breathing.  I told The Hub that I couldn’t figure out why.  

He grabbed my hand and squeezed and said, “Your accident happened right over there.”  

Oh.  Oh that.  That again?!  I still have no memory of the accident, or where it happened.  The brain is funny like that.  It doesn’t give you all the information that you want, but doles out little bits of information here and there as you can handle it.

Fuck, I did not have time for this.  I am over it, I don’t need to think about it again.  But I instantly start searching my brain for that day.  Where the hell was I going?  Where the hell was I?  Goddamn-it why can’t I remember?  Did I do what she said, and make a u-turn in front of her?   

I saw my Nana that afternoon, right before I regained consciousness, she gave me a hug.  The pain was blinding, the panic of reaching for the back seat for First Born and screaming his name, the pain, blacking out, hearing people come to help.  I cried for my son again.  They asked me where he was.  I couldn’t remember.  I was scared so very, very scared.  

That’s right,  my mom. He was with my mom. A wave of relief washed over me.  I kept repeating my husbands cell #.  Please call him.  I needed him, more than anyone in the world. They told me they were going to protect me with a blanket.  They covered my head when the machines were cutting open the car.  Then they said they were going to move me.  

White hot pain, searing through my back into my hip and down my leg.  I was out again.  It was so much better being in the blackness.  It was calmer, quieter and less desperate.   I knew I needed to go back into the pain so I did.  When I opened my eyes I saw blades whizzing around.  I felt wind on my face.  The helicopter ascended. I felt better.  The men in the helicopter were telling me that they were taking me to the hospital.  They kept telling me how many minutes it would be until we got there.  Every couple of minutes the numbers got smaller.  I felt safe.  I let go - back into the darkness.  

I awoke on a table.  I wasn’t pregnant any longer.  I already miscarried a week before. The Dr. could not take my word for it and before they could do any tests, or administer any pain medication, he had to call my fertility Dr. to make sure.  Fuckers.  Fuck you.  I am lying here right in front of you, in pain. Do whatever tests necessary and get me better you cocksucker! 

Call my husband.  A nurse handed me the phone.  I heard his voice and he was trying hard not to sound panicked.  I told him to please, please be careful driving the over 70 miles it would take for him to get to me. I told him that they were taking good care of me.  Very, very good care.  I needed him more than anyone in the world.  He was on his way.  

Later they rattled off my injuries.  Fractured left clavicle, Fractured pelvic bone, Fractured pubic bone, Fractured L5, S1, Concussion.  I was laying in the hospital bed and my left leg kept sliding outward.  I could not pull it in.  I had a pain on my shoulder blade in the back.  My hand reached for the pain, it was sticky and wet.  When I looked at my hand there was blood.  When the nurse came in, I asked him to look at it.  Apparently with all my injuries they missed the small flesh wound on my shoulder.  Nothing a little gauze and steri-strips won’t fix.  

A few days later, the weekend shift and I needed the bedpan.  A nurse came in to roll me onto it.  She was miserable.  She did not know my injuries.  As she started to roll me onto my broken side, I screamed in pain and grabbed her arm as hard as I could.  She got in my face and said. “GET YOUR HAND OFF OF ME! DON’T GRAB MY ARM! I KNOW WHAT I AM DOING!”  I was shocked, and in so much pain.  I rattled off my injuries as quickly and as loudly as I could.  Another nurse quickly came in and relieved the nurse from hell.  I looked at the new nurse as I wet myself.  The anger washed over me like a scolding hot bath.  She looked at me and all I could say was “she rolled me the wrong way.”  She replied, “I am so sorry she did that to you.  She should have never spoken to you that way either.”  The kindness in her eyes and the level of her voice allowed me to let the tears come.  I hate crying in front of anyone but I was overwhelmed.  

People came to see me.  I asked friends to put my hair in a pony tail because I could not use both of my hands to reach up.  My husband was there and went with me to my first physical therapy.  I was excited because as soon as I could manage the walker they would let me go.  They handed me the walker and stood me up.  I felt the sweat forming on my lip and heard the hissing sound in my ears which brought me back down as I was passing out.  I tried again.  This time I got up.  I stood still and they explained how I was to walk.  I was not able.  My left leg felt as though it weighed 100 lbs.  I tried and tried, I moved a little bit.  I pretended it did not hurt. But my blacking out betrayed me again.  They sent me back to my room and told me that we would try again the next day.   I was beyond discouraged.  My husband was a rock.  Telling me that I would be back to normal soon.  I told him to go and be with our son, who was with my parents.  

Two days later, I did do better.  I muscled through and got my walking papers, so to speak.  Other than the nurse from hell, the nurses were amazing and helped and encouraged me immensely.  But, I wanted out of there.  I missed my son.  First Born was never without me.  He was only 2.5 years old.  I still counted him in months; 32 months old.  I rocked him to sleep every night for those 976 nights.  I left him with my mother to go get my hair cut and run a couple of errands and did not return to him until 8 days later.  I missed him more than words could express.  My heart ached for him.  

But when I saw him he was scared.  He asked me about my “Big Boo-Boos”  and what that thing was that I was using to walk.  I just remember wanting him to be ok and not be scared.  The fact that this was all affecting him so much, made me so angry.  It changed my little man.  I still see it.  It makes me so sad.   I struggled back to normalcy and eventually got there. 

I am not sure why this all came bubbling up again.  It was 7 years ago.  I have been to therapy for the anxiety it caused.  I even recently took my son to therapy for anxiety he was having that may have had something to do with this accident.   Anxiety sucks.  

I am healthy, healed and happy.  All the things I wanted after this accident almost took me away from those I love.  Those that I love more than words can express.  Maybe my brain released this panic so that I would realize that I am vulnerable and human and life is sweet.  I must learn to savor it.  Stop worrying.  Worry does nothing for anyone.  When things happen, it is not necessary to place blame, or reward.  I don’t have to pat myself on the back when things are going well, just as much as I don’t have to burden myself with guilt when things are not going well.  Just let it be.   Just be.  Be.  

I am here, I am continuing to grow, I am continuing to learn.  The feelings happen for a reason.  I can not ignore them. So I will write them out and talk about them and get them out, so they don’t have to come up again. I don’t think I have ever expressed the events and my feelings of that day in this much detail.  I have always been reluctant to talk more on it.  I don’t like to cry in front of others.  It feels good that it is out there.  I will continue to take a different path so I don’t fall in the holes in the sidewalk.  
A completely different path.... no holes.