Forget Doing Your Best, Just Show Up

Today was yet another lesson to be learned by way of mistake.

This morning Sean was helping me make my bed.  In fact, I asked him to do it while I went out to try to get the munchkins to send back our gazebo which was spiraling dangerously close to the precipice of Oz.  I came back in and while the bed was made, it was done messily so – definitely not up to Mom standards, so we redid it again together.  He was a little frustrated with me since in his mind he had done a beautiful and wonderful thing and I basically pooped all over it.

I hopped in the shower and my mind started to wander in the general direction of our changed healthcare plan and how I’d have to find a new doctor, how that doctor would be like every other doctor I’ve ever had and would tell me all the things that are wrong with me.  It also got me thinking about my own personal feelings of being berated as a child and how that affected me as an adult.  There are people who love themselves, see most criticism as constructive, and don’t mind being told that they’re a bit on the chunky side and have to eat boiled chicken for the next 6 months.  I rarely go to the doctor for myself, even if there’s something wrong, because all I can hear is the disappointment (perceived, as they’re doctors and they see better and worse than me every day) about how I did this wrong and that wrong and am too fat for the regular blood pressure cuff.  No one likes being told that they’re doing everything poorly, much less to pay a co-pay for it.

Here’s the thing though. I KNOW in my head that they’re there to help me usually, but I just can’t get over that feeling that I’d rather subject myself to paper cuts and Bactine than feel like I’ve let down everyone including a doctor I see once a year (if they’re lucky).  I spend a lot of time feeling like I’m too ______  to do this or that (fill in the blank with the guilty adjective of your choice, I probably feel it) and I’m paralyzed sometimes.

But I don’t want my kids to grow up that way.  In cases like this, in instances like this, I don’t want them to feel the way I do, I want them to not miss out on life, health, and happiness because they didn’t feel like they had done something perfectly.  I want them to know that all they have to bring with them is an open mind and a positive attitude and the want to learn, love, laugh..TRY.

So I called Sean back in and told him that I really appreciated him for his help and he cheered right up.

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My Fingers Rode a Bicycle

I eased myself back into it with a simple single crochet scarf-necklace, but I hopped back on that metaphorical bike and got back to my crocheting.  I’ve always been grateful to my mom for teaching me how to crochet when I was very young and just as equally grateful that my mother-in-law took me (and funnily enough, my mom) under her wing and retaught us the basics a few years ago.  I never understood how to read a pattern and she showed us how to do that, helped us understand where to put that stitch at the end of the row, and basically had an infinite amount of patience with the both of us as we had many questions.

I took particular pride when my mother-in-law told me that she was “so mad at me” because it was such a compliment. She loved the tension and neat, even stitches I was able to make in my projects and I felt unstoppable (although a few patterns did prove just the thing to knock me down a notch or two to unstoppable save for a stop sign here and there). When I created my first hat, I was absolutely amazed at how easily it came together because prior to that all I had ever made were scarves and afghans (small ones – lapghans maybe?).

My mother-in-law does amazing things with yarn and a crochet hook and I’ve taken this Thanksgiving break (yay, I really frickin’ needed this break) to get back to it.  My hope is that as soon as I get familiar with all of this yet again, that I can try my hand at an amigurumi, which in Japanese means ‘stuffed doll’ according to the very official Google search I did just now.  I have been told that it is very easy, but man, it looks super difficult, so I’ll have to get over this mental block and just tackle it.  I had the same feeling when I made that first hat, so I know I can do it, it’s just a matter of having the confidence to tackle it head on.

It was kind of like riding a bicycle again, though, for which I am grateful.  I would hate to have lost all that knowledge!

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My less than enthused model. I got this gorgeous sequin-y yarn a year ago on sale and didn’t have enough to do the pattern I wanted. This pattern was perfect!

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Big Hero 6 Could Be Our New Frozen

When we like something we LIKE something.  It’s kind of an obsessive thing on my part and I’m okay with that. I’ve seen Wicked more times than I can remember (if I sat down and really thought about it, I could absolutely remember each time I’ve seen it, who I was with and which theater I was at – plus I have all my tickets and playbills). When Zach was three we went to see Finding Nemo about 8 times (hey it was GOOD!) and I still have all of the ticket stubs from that taped into a scrapbook.  In the Winter of 1997, I went to the theater about 15 times with my best friend, but we only saw 2 movies: Titanic and Anastasia.  This record was broken by my Frozen run – a record eleven times.

If I really like a movie, I’ll probably see it more than once, or at the very least I’ll download the soundtrack, like it on Facebook, and Google behind-the-scenes information on it while hopping up and down waiting for it to be released on DVD.

Guardians of the Galaxy was a big one like that for us.  I just recently downloaded a free copy of the soundtrack (through Google play) and walk around declaring that “I am Groot” to my kids when I don’t want to say “uh-huh” anymore.

Now the kids have grabbed on to a new favorite – Big Hero 6.  This movie was SO much cuter than I thought it was going to be. I’ve never read the original comic that it’s based on, but I knew enough to stay through the credits to see the end scene. A lot of people left and I just wanted to stand up and say “Really, people? Don’t you know better by now than to leave?”  The first time we saw it was on Veteran’s Day and to say that it was crowded was an understatement. We didn’t even get to go to our regular theater because it was all sold out. The second viewing was much more enjoyable for all of us (in that way we are totally spoiled homeschoolers) and we noticed little things we didn’t see the first time.

There are too many movies coming out soon that we want to see (or that I’ll drag my children to whether they like it or not – Into the Woods, Annie, I’m looking at you), so I don’t know if Big Hero 6 will actually get up to Frozen stats, but it won’t be for lack of my kids begging for it to be so.

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Stalling Bedtime? Let Me Count the Ways.

Tonight has been somewhat of a challenge for Sean to go to bed. Why I don’t know, but much the way that Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck sit marooned in a boat and each turns into a mirage of a mouth watering meal, I looked at Sean and he started to look like a mirage of himself as a wee little baby.  I remembered going into his room when he was a little guy in a crib, rocking him back and forth, getting 25 minutes of sleep and having to do it all over again.  Except this time it was in increments of 15 minutes and he’s not an infant he’s a 9 year old.

My sweet mothering instincts were the first to arrive on the scene.  This mom tucked him back in, gave him his bear, gave him hugs and kisses, smoothed his hair and closed the door gently.  This mom listened patiently as the door creaked open and the 9 year old padded down the hallway and asked if he could read for 15 minutes.  This mom was a sucker for kids who want to read, so she said yes.  Then that mom heard the little boy stop off in his brother’s room and chit-chatting ensued.

So a slightly less patient mom, went down the hallway and told Sean it was now time for bed, reading time was forfeited because he chose to use his reading time to talk to his brother. This mom tucked the boy back in, handed him his bear, gave him a kiss and a hug, smoothed his hair, shut the door and sighed.

A stop off in the kitchen for water and then in the bathroom for a pee were the next two stalls. Understanding, but even less patient mom pointed at the door and said “go to bed.”

An understanding, but slightly frazzled mom had to listen to why the dog helps him sleep when he had just told Zach that she keeps him awake. She pointed at the door and said “go to bed, the dog is sleeping in your brother’s room tonight.”

A frazzled mom, handed him a Kleenex when he cried about not having the dog in his room.

A frazzled, but inventive mom said, “Zach come here and calm your brother down, I have to pee.”

A mom who was now looking around for leftover Halloween chocolate to stress eat (who was also considering taking the pint of ice cream out of the freezer and grabbing a spoon) sat down on the edge of Sean’s bed and said, “Look, if we’re going to do another night like this one, we need to start at about 5 p.m. so you can stall up until your actual bedtime.  You really don’t want to have to be in bed by 5 p.m. do you?”

And all this time, each time I kept coming back to bed, I looked at Matt and just said “Lucky bastard” because he got to sleep through all of this.

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Selfie

I started watching the show Selfie because it looked so cute and wouldn’t you know it, of course they have cancelled it. I mean I think I read that it did so poorly that instead of letting the last few episodes even air, they have decided to just put on reruns of other shows for the rest of the season. THAT is saying something about it. I kind of hope they’ll change their mind and I get to see the next 5 episodes that would have aired.

The story was like a My Fair Lady (with the lead character being called Eliza Dooley and the guy, played by one of my favorite actors John Cho, was Henry Higgs).  She is a ditzy, self-involved social-media whore who just likes the limelight and doesn’t care about having real connections.  Of course she wakes up and smells – well she smells her own vomit actually in the first episode – and she asks Henry Higgs for some help.

He observes that she always has her nose in her phone, is taking her selfies, doesn’t ask anyone else about their day and is selfish and self-centered and he takes on the task of trying to help her change her ways.  At first it seemed like it was going to be a stupid show and well you know obviously a lot of people thought that or it would still be on the air, but I actually grew to like it a bit.  It took these two extremes – one person who was vapid and one person who was holding up garlic and crosses against social media – threw them together and they brought out the better in the other. (not the best, but they were getting there).

I only found out about it being cancelled after I had made a small investment in it. It wasn’t a show that I was hooked on and will die without, but I’m disappointed not being able to see where this show could have gone.

I actually found out because I was Googling the main actress Karen Gillan and I found out that she actually played Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy. That made her infinitely more interesting in my book.

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Draw a Chalk Outline Around It

I’ve been writing for another site for awhile and it has been good to me. Earning money for my writing has been a wonderful confidence booster, but being at the mercy of the kinds of changes they’ve made has kind of sucked and honestly it started being more about the money than the writing.  I’m not saying I won’t still write there and keep up some of the friendships I’ve made, but it’s been pretty sad scrapings lately.

The great thing about that site is that it was said to be a social site as well. It filled this niche nicely where I could write and also socialize and my, oh, my what do you know I also got a few pennies for my troubles too.

The bad thing is that it is dependent on others viewing it, liking it, and commenting on it in order to make the money.  In a way it could easily turn into a popularity contest with a wink, wink, nudge, nudge mentality about it and I’m just not the most popular girl on the playground. Oh I had my moments that were wonderful, it’s still a great site, but there is no real consistency to it lately.  They’ve made so many changes and while I want to hang in there, they have lost a lot of their loyal followers and less followers means less chances to get the writing exposed to a large audience.  As a writer that’s just sad.

Also, it started off as a site for writers, but then it turned more to the social media side of things and no one wanted to read any thing that was more than two paragraphs long so that killed the mood for all of the writers on the site somehow.  It’s like a ghost town now and there are a few saloons still open, but for the most part there’s mostly tumbleweeds and sadness.

 

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Into The Woods

The more and more I think about this movie the more excited I’m getting.  My friend Cherise and I were in LOVE with the soundtrack and I remember we would perch in her room and sing most, if not all, of the songs.  Come to think of it we did that quite a bit with several musical soundtracks, including but not limited to Phantom of the Opera and Les Mis if memory serves.

One of my favorite songs in Les Mis was Little Fall of Rain and I remember once we cried at the end, but I am not sure if it’s because we were so moved (as teenage girls were apt to do in the midst of hormone laden years) or because we would sing the last note and then fall over and pretend to have passed as poor Eponine did and laugh so hard we were brought to tears.  Either way it was one of those times I would go back to in my life if someone asked me to choose a handful of moments to revisit.  Perhaps something along the lines of A Christmas Carol without all the scary ghosts, the impending thought of death, and that crabby Scrooge guy (unless he is at the nice point in the story).

One of our favorite songs from Into the Woods was “Agony” where the two princes sing of their hearts captured by women who are just out of their grasp.  My absolute favorite favorite song though is one that they reprised on Glee called “No One is Alone.” It’s so hauntingly beautiful. Sigh.

I want to see it Christmas Day, but I’m not sure my family is going to go for that, I think I’m already pushing my luck wanting to see Annie (but for some reason my kids actually want to see that).  I may have to finagle my way into getting to see that movie as part of my Christmas gift from the kids.

I did read today that in true Disney form, they’re going to go ahead and Disneyfy the movie, so all the parts that were a little bit shocking to us when we saw it  back in the 90s won’t be there, but I have a feeling that the updated beauty of the film will make me forget about it and will make it no less satisfying (although I do have the hankering to put on my DVD and let Bernadette Peters win me over again).

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Stop Pushing My Buttons

I want to make it clear that I see the levels and depths and complexity of your wretched selfishness. You think my eyes are blinded, that I notice not how you toss me aside when you don’t need me, carelessly letting me slip away like a losing lottery ticket, a wasted gamble at the racetrack, the last dollar chip between your fingers when just five minutes ago you were up and that chip was nestled among big brothers with two zeroes attached behind their ones.  I am the haunting reminder that you have nothing, maybe even less than nothing, a problem you don’t want and cannot solve.

The pain of being useless to you multiplies tenfold, a hundredfold, you want to do everything the hard way, but sometimes it’s not my fault, I am merely the instrument and you are the clumsy musician.  My music in another’s hands would be melodic and soothing, cheery and lively, not a wrong note to be hit, but in your grasp it’s off-key, it’s ugly, it’s tense and chaotic, not at all beautiful.

My memory is long. Sixteen thousand circus elephants, under the big top with little hats on their heads, standing side by side in a circle, round and round, the memory lasts, repeats over and over.  I have never forgotten a single moment of you making me feel like I was so much less than your equal.  I once stood before you, statuesque, confident, unashamed of who I was, someone who felt complete and whole with you, now just a mere fraction of who I used to be.

You seem to derive greatest pleasures when you are pushing my buttons, one after another after another.  How many more to go, how much more can I stand?  There are only so many places I can go!

Go ahead trade me in or stuff me into the junk drawer and forget all about me.  Replace me with the newer model, shiny, sleek, fancy, all things I’ll never be, things I never claimed to be, things you said were never important to you.

Oh, how you lied. You absolute zero.

**Just a little free writing inspired by the old calculator on my desk.  Yeah, you’ll probably want to go back and read it again now that you know ;)**

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What If I Were Perfect?

Make no mistake I don’t actually want to be perfect, believe it or not even though I’m not feeling incredibly happy, I am at least happy about who I am.  There are of course flaws, imperfections, little quirks about myself I sometimes think I’d love to trade in, or shed for a day. I wouldn’t mind trying on the tiara, I wouldn’t mind it fitting. I don’t mean that I want to be a Miss America or a prom queen, not a literal tiara, but one that was more outgoing and happy all the time.

People who really know me know that even if I’m happy on the outside I’m, well, I wouldn’t say exactly that I’m faking it, but they know that I have 2 modes, manic and depressive.  That means that oft times when I’m feeling incredibly low, I fight against drowning by trying to be extra cheery on the outside and if I’m feeling a sense of heightened chaotic excitement on the inside, usually I’m trying to tone it down.  This gives the impression that I’m just about normal all the time, but that’s not true, though I wish it were.

I love the people who really know me, but I feel bad for them too, having someone like me in their midst sometimes.  I feel bad that I’m such a mess that I feel like I’ve got to hide away from the world because I can’t process one more thing, I think it makes me a terrible friend. I used to be such a good friend too, so it’s sad and that’s why I try to reach out during my higher happy points because once the cave dwelling mode takes over, who knows how long it will be before I come out again.

Recently I shared some personal things with a couple of new online friends, just about the nature of what I was going through, how low I was feeling, how disconnected, and they said they would never have guessed. I sort of think that’s the best news I could have heard because if I hadn’t openly admitted it, they wouldn’t have ever known.

I feel like I’m supposed to be having a bigger reaction to life, that something spectacular should be coming, I’m not quite there yet.

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National Candy Day

Someone just told me that today is National Candy Day. To that I say ‘pshaw’ because every single day in this house is national candy day!

Halloween may be behind us, but candy is always welcome here.  When we sorted out the candy from Sean’s stash, of course us grown-ups took our candy tax, anything that remotely had peanut butter or peanuts in it, just for the safety of the children you know, can’t be too safe with that peanut allergy so really we were doing a service.

A delicious, delicious service.

*drool*

I finally got to try one of those Butterfinger Peanut Butter bar things and I’ll tell you what, it wasn’t that great. I had wanted to try them awhile ago because someone had recommended them to me, but I just would have preferred a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup on its own or a Butterfinger on it’s own.  On my tongue the two did not marry well and form a perfect union at all.  It was almost awkward trying to decide on the crunch of the one or the creaminess of the other.  Sorry if you like them, but the good news is, I won’t be stealing them from you if you do.

I think my new favorite is Snickers.  It’s so common, I’m surprised at myself too.  I haven’t ever really loved Snickers before, it was almost too packed with peanuts if there is such a thing. I used to put them in the freezer to eat that way, but my teeth aren’t what they used to be and I see no reason to give my dentist any more of my money than I have to.

However, my favorite candy is one that you don’t often find in Halloween bags and baskets, my favorite is by Lindt, their truffle balls are to die for and they have some brand new flavors (my new favorite is Sea Salt Caramel, the bag is even in my color of turquoise!)

To be honest though I probably shouldn’t be eating any candy at all, but being that it’s National candy Day, perhaps I’ll make an exception.

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