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Living the “Yes” life.

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I know it’s been a while since I posted.  I’ve been pretty busy.  Yes, yes, I know that is what everyone says, but in this case, it’s true!  Aside from the usual working mother of 2, wife, and the normal day to day chaos, I have been trying very hard to live the “yes” life.  I thought perhaps it’s time to do an update on how it’s going.

I started this after lamenting about the extra weight that has cropped up on my the past 10 years or so.  After mulling it over and feeling a bit sorry for myself, a memory of a conversation I had with my mother popped in my head.  She once told me how proud she was of me for my determination and independence.  I remember her telling me how I seemed to just set my mind to things and DO them.  It seemed logical that I could apply this mentality to losing some weight.  I talked myself into it.  I COULD do it.  I just needed to set my mind to it, and to make a plan.  I realized I am not a big fan of the gym, but I like being active.  The first thing I did was start going to an Aqua Zumba class on Mondays.  You know what?  I LOVE it.  LOOOVVVVEEEE it.  It makes me feel great and I have a good time.  I actually look forward to Mondays…how is that even possible?  The AZ class led me to take a deep water fit class.  I started losing a bit of weight.  I realized, now that I was a bit more active, that much of my problem thus far was that I wasn’t doing much at all before I started the classes.  I had gotten up, dropped the kids off, and gone to work all day.  Then I would come home, get the kids fed and ready for bed, and then watched TV.  I wasn’t doing much for me.

I needed to make some changes, and it started with the mindset that I would say “yes” more.  Because I was saying yes more, I felt less guilty when I had to say no.  When my son’s soccer coach couldn’t coach this season, and nobody else volunteered.  I said yes.  I have help, and I had some learning to do, but I am doing it!  I will tell you…it’s the best damned thing ever.  I love it.  It’s not always easy, and 10 year old boys will give you a run for your money, but on the whole, it’s been fantastic.  I feel ike I have done something positive, I get some excercise, and it’s been so much fun.  My son said he was proud of me.  That was worth the price of admission right there!

I am saying yes to plans, and finding ways to do things for me, as well as the kids.  I took a trip to NYC 3 days ago to go see one of my favorite authors do a reading.  Before, I likely would have made excuses, but this time I was determined to go.  One night to myself to do something I enjoyed was a complete recharge.  I notice that since I have been saying yes more, I am finding time to not only do more things with the kids, but for myself as well.

The end result?  I am happier.  I guess what they say is true, a happy wife is a happy life, because our household seems happier.  It also seems healthier.  The kids are supportive of me going to excercise classes 2x a week (the Y has a childcare room they go to for an hour where they draw, play or hang out).  My husband is supportive as well.  We’re all eating better.  We exercise more.  My son, who never learned how to ride a bike, learned (in the rain) because he asked me to teach him, and I said yes.  I had always thought it would have to be something my husband taught him, but nope!  I set my mind to teach him and it worked!  I am trying to silence the negative inner voice in my head and replace it with a positive, happy one.  It’s a work in progress, but it’s getting better all the time.

Have I lost weight?  Yup, so far it’s 16 lbs.  I gained 3 back, then lost them again.  It’s a process.  Hopefully it will keep disappearing with a bit of work, and staying active.

Ok, so I haven’t quite gotten the hang of saying yes more to the housework.

Can’t win em all.

Live the Yes life.  You won’t be sorry.

 

 

 

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Turning it around

Well, hello there!
Sorry it’s been a while. It’s been a rough few days. Nothing catastrophic, thank goodness, but just a few days where everything seems to go the wrong way, and it starts to drain my sunshine. Actually, it’s been a rough few weeks at least. Some disappointments, sadness, family illness, and having to make some tough choices have left me feeling rather down. Frankly, I’m exhausted both emotionally and physically. I might get into more details at a later date.

Anywho, after a rough couple of days with a sprinkling of rage thrown in, I was feeling a little on edge. I saw the anti smoking commercial today with Terrie Hall (I think that’s her name), and it made me burst into tears, (those commercials with her in them positively SLAY me, and I hate if anyone is in the room with me when they come on because I will start to cry…every.single.time.). I then read an article about a woman with breast cancer, and that too made me sniffle. I decided I needed to cheer up. After all, here were women who had major illnesses, who went through hell, and I am simply having a bad week! My life isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty damned good. Sometimes, a little reminder of the good things sure does help combat feelings that life is being too harsh. I figured what I needed was some reminders of what IS going right.

The first thing I did, was have Ben and Jerry’s. Why? Because it’s friggen delish, that’s why! Well, that and the fact my husband brought it home for me after hearing my day sucked yesterday. He’s a champion that way. So after my nom nom’s, I gave the dog some cuddles, I reminded myself that he loves me, even when I feel icky or ugly or when I have cried my makeup off my face into black pools, which might look kind of jowly in the right light. Ok, enough of that, I almost depressed myself again…..sometimes it’s 2 steps forward, one back? Where was I? Oh yes, the hound. The hound was adopted sight unseen from TN, and he is one awesome pooch, Never barks, loves the kids, loves us, doesn’t chew stuff, and isn’t a high maintenance asshole dog. He’s just a great dog, and I adore him. I said “wanna go to bed?” and he got all wiggly-butted and then darted upstairs and jumped onto his bed. Within 3 minutes, he is snoring. The husband stopped home from work on a break to do me a favor, reminding me yet again of what an awesome guy he is. How on earth did iIget so lucky to marry such an incredible guy? I took a few minutes to go and sit in my son’s room. He got new bunk beds this weekend, and he and his sister asked if they could have a “sleepover” in there. He conquered his nervousness about sleeping on the top bunk so that his little sister could sleep on the bottom bunk. I was so proud of him, and so happy that there was no bickering tonight, only excitement that they could both sleep in the same room and tell stories to each other, I sat in there and watched them both sleep. I listened to my 3 year old girl snore like a man. I felt peaceful. I felt…happy.

So here I am, a girl who was sad and down earlier, and I feel a lot better. I have practiced being grateful. It works. Next time you are down, grab a sheet of paper and jot down what you are grateful for. It doesn’t matter how small or silly it may seem; if you’re grateful for it, put it on paper. You may start with “I am grateful I have enough toilet paper to get me through the night” and go into some deep philosophical stuff. Taking a moment to be grateful for what is good in one’s life forces oneself to focus on good, rather than the bad. It will make your frown less frowny. Nobody likes a crabby patty.

My life isn’t perfect. I have problems like everyone else. I have bad days. Money is tight, work is hard and sometimes insanely frustrating. People gossip about me. My back hurts a lot. But things are at least good. I can find a way to hustle to make some money. Not all days will be bad. In fact, there will be an occasional spectacular day. Work is work. At least I have work. Could be worse. I sometimes think that if people are using their time to gossip about me, they must be lacking something in their own life, and their opinions of me aren’t my problem, The back pain, well, some days it hurts, some days it doesn’t, I just need to be more mindful of the days it doesn’t hurt so much. Trying to find the good in situations takes a bit of effort, but it does change perspective. It’s helped me get my issues with depression in a better place. Sometimes, it helps make a crappy day a little less crappy. On the other hand, sometimes it’s good to say “today really sucked! The probability is that tomorrow will seem awesome in comparison! ”

Stay positive, stay grateful. Start small. Go big. Don’t take no shit. -words to live by.

Messy xx

Surviving Vegas (How I grew up and put unconditional love as my mantra)

I would like to start this post out by first thanking some of my Twitter followers (you know who you are) for the support you showed me over my last post.  All of you, strangers to me, who showed me such love and compassion…it really does bolster my faith in the human spirit!  This post will actually be dedicated to those who DM’ed me to tell me that you knew my pain on a first hand basis, or through your spouses going through the same situation.  The fact is, once you’ve lost a parent, you are the unwilling member of  the club nobody wants to belong to, but most become grateful for.  There is an understanding between all of us, and a support that you can’t find anywhere else.  To those of you who got it, this one’s for you.

The fact is, the trip went better than I thought.  Let me correct that, I was better than I thought I would be.  I don’t know where I drew the strength to hold it all together, but I did.  Why?  Because I realized that it’s not my dad’s fault my mom died.  It’s not his girlfriend’s fault either.  I can’t penalize my father and demand he remain alone for the rest of his life because none of this was his doing or desire.  I think if he had his choice, my mom would be alive and things would be as they were.  We just can’t always get what we want.  At the end of the day, I want me dad to be happy, because I love him.  I love my dad enough to wish him happiness even if it makes me uncomfortable, sad, or even angry at times.  That’s what love is.  I love him so much, I wanted to make his day happy, even if the situation highlighted to the utmost degree for me that my mom is gone.  The best way to do that, in my mind, was to just hold it together, put on a smile whenever I could, and maybe do something a little extra.

I knew going into this trip that the only way I could keep it together was to differentiate between my sadness of my mom (and how my dad marrying someone else put a big ol’ fat emotional spotlight over the fact she’s no longer here) and my love for my dad.  The two didn’t HAVE to go together on this trip. I also had support from my husband and 2 other family members that knew EXACTLY how hard it was going to be.

The ceremony was really nice.  I made sure not to drink too much, and I wrote and performed a speech for the bride and groom.  I forgot my glasses, and couldn’t read it in the moment, so I just winged it.  About half the guests made a point to come up to me to say how fabulous the speech was, and how impressed they were.  My dad grinned ear to ear.  I think he was proud of me.  The only really tough time where I struggled were on the few occasions when people came to talk to me about my mom.  I feel guilty now for not saying more, but if I had I know I would have cried.  Then came socially awkward woman…..

The day after the wedding, most of the guests got together for drinks.  One woman came up to me as I was preparing to leave and wanted to congratulate me on my speech. Then she went off track and mentioned she had heard much about my mother.  My husband sensed me tensing up.  The next thing I knew, the woman started saying “You know, my mother died too.  My dad got a new girlfriend, and I didn’t like her, no not one bit.  I had good reason, mind you!  She was a BITCH!  You know, if my dad got sick she would have run in the opposite direction!” There was more, but I think my brain turned a bit jellified and much of it after is a blur.  All I knew is that I was suddenly acutely aware that my dad’s new wife was standing right behind Social Awkward One.   I hope she didn’t hear and think *I* had started that conversation or had said anything about her.  I DO wonder what has been said about me to socially awkward one, however.  Has it been said I was slow to warm up to my dad dating in general, or dating the new wife?  Yuck.

I am home now.  There have been some tears as I think of my mom.  I guess I always felt like Marriage was forever, at least I want it to be for me, and also for my parents.  I suppose I forgot about the “until death do us part” section of the vows.  I miss her, and I am angry that she was taken so young.  I am angry that she is not living the life she should be.  I am sad that some of her possessions are now in another woman’s house.  I do take solace, however, that she has me to tell her story to her grandchildren.  I shall not forget her, and I shall bring her alive through pictures, stories, and the love I give to them.  I think she loved my dad enough to want his happiness now, and THAT is why I put my big girl pants on and acted like an adult.  I won’t pretend it was easy…there were times this weekend that were tough!  Like the moment when someone referred to my dad’s wife as my mom by mistake!   That was a dagger.  She is not my mom, she never will be.  Hopefully, she can be my friend, and a grandparent figure to my kids.  Hopefully, things will improve, if I make more effort towards that.

Oh yes, one other benefit of this trip was an amazing boost to my own marriage.  Mr Messy went above and beyond this trip to make anything he could less stressful.  I was so mindful of this, and so grateful for the love I share in my own relationship.  I guess that with work and kids, life’s stresses had taken us over.  I made every effort to let go of that, even under the circumstances of why we went.  It made a huge difference to be just him and I for a couple of days.  I think we will make the effort to get away, even if just for an overnight, once in a while.  My husband is my perfect match…I had just forgotten to tell him and show him that.

Thanks again for your support, loveys.  The kindness of strangers, yet it all means so much.  To all those who were or are in my shoes…know that you have my support and my ear.  If I can get through it, so can you.

Messy xx

Life Lessons from the Real Housewives?!?

The Mr. doesn’t understand my love of Real Housewives.  He lightly scoffs at my desire to watch multiple seasons, simultaneously.  I’ve tried on occasion to explain why I enjoy the shows but I’ve never really been able to articulate why.  Tonight I gave it some thought, and I realized that even during the madness of some episodes, I have learned some great life lessons from some of the housewives, and one in particular that I will get to later.  Love them or loathe them (or at least who they are on TV)  there is much to be learned.

From Gretchen and Tamra, I learned that sometimes, misjudgements on someone can cause a series of problems that can be difficult to get past.  Yet they CAN be overcome.  Sometimes friends can come from the most unlikeliest of places, from the most unlikely of histories.  A bit of humble pie and a willingness to admit mistakes can turn a relationship completely around.

From Kyle Richards, watching a loved one battle addiction is a constant battle of two opposites….the fight to help them and to hide the embarrassment they cause themselves, and the knowledge that sometimes you have to let go enough for them to hit bottom so they can get help.  That’s one of the hardest parts of loving an addict.  When you most want to hold them tight, to help them you must often let go.

From Jacqueline: She kept trying to have a baby, and held the hope no matter what happened.  When it did happen for her, it wasn’t necessarily what she envisioned.  She jumped into the mode of finding out whatever she could to help her son.  Nick is a beautiful little boy, and I have no doubt her efforts will help him to succeed in the long run.  This reminded me that sometimes, life takes you down a different path than you might have expected, but it’s just a different way that may make you take a bit more notice of the world around you, and will be just as amazing.

From Ramona: While people say they like a straight shooter, who tells it like it is, they kind don’t.  Sure, we all say we want the truth, but sometimes the truth needs a touch of padding and love behind it.  Blasting out what’s YOUR truth doesn’t mean it’s everyone’s truth.  Sometimes saying something hurtful even though it may have some truth to it doesn’t make you a hero…it just makes you kind of an asshole.

From Kim Z: Married men are never good for single gals.  A man that will cheat on his wife has a flaw in his morals and lacks courage.  Is that someone you want to be with?  The fact is, if you’re spending all your time with Mr wrong or someone you know is Mr. Right Now, a REAL Mr. Right isn’t going to want to get involved with you.  This goes for anyone in a relationship.  Don’t waste your time because you don’t want to be alone.  Someone who is right for you and has a strong moral character isn’t going to be around you if you’ve got one foot in a relationship with someone else.

From Cat:  If you say Bollocks, you will score points.  Immediately.  But only if you do it in a British Accent.

From Teresa: oh T, where do we begin?  Families have fights.  But loving people means that sometimes you have to recognize that relationships change.  Nobody can destroy you.  Only you can destroy you.  Never tolerate a spouse who talks down to you, treats you badly, or possibly cheats.  Why?  because while he’s treating you like garbage there’s a better guy who will treat you like a treasure!  Lastly, if everyone around you is saying you’re messing up, sometimes, you gotta look inward and figure out what they are seeing that you’re not trying to project.

Lastly, my favorite of all….comes from Lisa Vanderpump.  One night, after the Laid Back Kid had done me wrong, disobeyed his momma, and made me really angry, we talked it out.  At the end, I told him “always remember one thing…mommy loves you.”  I make sure to tell them that often.  I hope that becomes a catch phrase that when I start it, they finish it.  When I am gone, and they have strife…I want my kids to hear my voice in their head saying “always remember one thing…mommy loves you”

Thanks Lisa!

Night Loveys! xx