Watch Me.

Today I was hard on myself. A project I was doing at work had some technical glitches and didn’t go as smoothly as I hoped (although I got it done. My daughter was a bit upset by an interaction with a teacher in the car line when I picked her up. I had to race out to the orthodontist and stores after work. Dinner was late and I ended up having my son help me with it. I had a bunch of jobs to do like ordering school pictures, trying to gather items for the Closet project. I’m tired. Tired physically and tired of garbage humans who are just shitty people. I looked around at the chaos in my house and felt overwhelmed. I started getting frustrated with myself that I couldn’t get it all done and do more around the house.

Then I took a deep breath. And another. I sat back and watched a mental replay of what I had done all day.

I began to realize that I was too busy giving myself a hard time and wasn’t acknowledging the successes I had today. Some were small, but they were wins as far as I was concerned.

That project? Well, I got it done, and learned a whole new software in the process. I got another big project on my dreaded to do list accomplished as well.

I worked a full day and got a lot done.

I coordinated kids getting home.

I turned my car around in the car line and went to speak to the teacher who had upset my daughter. It was a misunderstanding, and I ended up really liking her and sorting it all out where everyone was happy.

My daughter, who has shed many a tear at the orthodontists, looked at me when I told her “you’re a big girl now and you can communicate what you feel needs correcting and you can rock this” and did just that. She handled it like a boss and walked out proud without a single tear being shed.

I got the items I needed from the store.

I ordered school pictures.

I was able to coordinate getting the shelving units I need for the Closet Project with the help of a friend, for free, donated by her neighbor. This is HUGE because currently everything is in random bags, boxes and bins making it near impossible to find what you need. I also found clothing racks for cheap and purchased a couple. I’m excited to now get it set up.

I coordinated a few more donations of clothing and toiletries.

I took a moment to ponder how grateful I am for the internet and the volume of things I can accomplish by using it.

I scrubbed the tub and toilet quick.

I delegated some jobs to my son, who was a rock star and cooked dinner.

I got a load of laundry done.

I did a load of dishes.

I fed all the pets.

I saw a woman say something vile and called her out as the asshole she was.

I saw a lurker lurking, sighed, and wrote this post anyway.

I did some good deeds.

I made calls I had to make and sent emails I needed to send.

I gave out some compliments. I laid out some truths.

I took out my esthetician’s equipment and helped my son with a breakout.

I gave goodnight hugs and kisses. I sent two happy kids to bed.

In other words, I did a LOT. I did some small things, and I did some big things. I did lots of things and I handled my business. So my house is messy. I work full time, run a major project to help kids, raise two kids, and manage a household often on my own since my husband works different hours. I kicked some ass today! I’m proud of myself and my kids told me they are proud of me too. I often find myself being so hard on me, never taking the time to just stop, breath, and recognize all the things I DID accomplish during the day. Sometimes I need to step outside of myself and watch all the things I have accomplished, and all the things I did get done.

Are you watching me? Because I’m watching me, and I kicked some ass today!

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Enjoy the Silence

Last week I looked around and had to admit to myself and the people I trust the most that I’m overwhelmed. For the most part, I handle whatever life throws at me with a sense of humor and determination. I take life on and I’m willing to toot my own horn and say that while it sure isn’t always pretty, I get most things done and some extra as well. I balance as much as I can and keep the plates spinning so to speak. But with working full time, 2 kids who have very different needs, a husband who is working opposite hours, pets, my project to help kids in need, and the day to day grind, all it takes is one plate to get unbalanced and they all crash down on top of me.

The other week, I saw the plates wobbling. I knew that my mindset wasn’t quite where it should be, and I felt down and sad. My brain felt overwhelmed, with too much life noise coming at it every day. When you have so many things spinning at once, things start to get neglected. The house is a wreck. Jobs I need to do weren’t getting done. Impediments were stacking up and making things damned near impossible. Money issues felt more concerning. The yard was overgrown and an absolute disaster. Summer wasn’t feeling summery at all as the fun, lazy time I remembered as a kid. The heat was making me aggravated easily. I was antsy, but I was not sure about what. Suddenly all the little jobs I had been neglecting in order to get things done appeared insurmountable, and I froze not quite sure where to begin.

My bestie who had knee surgery was home, so I headed to her house one night for a chat. I laid out some of my worries to get her advice. That’s one of the best parts of having a blunt, brutally honest bestie who has known you your whole life…you can show up and vent your worries and they will give you their unadulterated opinion with no sugarcoating.

She gave me some ideas for resolving the money issue I had, told me I need to pick a starting place and chip away at each job one at a time, and had a very frank conversation about some of the people in my life and that I need to circle my wagons and just quietly watch their behaviors because actions don’t lie like words do. She also recommended I tell my husband I was overwhelmed. I left her house feeling determined to try some of her advice and seeing how it goes.

I admitted to my family how I was feeling. I spent my weekend tackling jobs that had been rather neglected with all my busyness, starting with the back yard. I mowed, I weeded, I pulled out gigantic patches of pricker bushes that had become overgrown and taken over a memorial stone I had received when my mom passed. Our back patio, which had been taken over by vines that were creeping up the house, was cleared and the vines all taken down. I dug, I sweated. Oh how I sweated. I think every fiber of my being was drenched in sweat and smeared with dirt by the time I was done. I felt utterly disgusting when I finished.

But I felt….happier.

My husband tackled a couple of jobs inside. The kids tackled cleaning up their rooms and my son laid down the new rug in my daughter’s room. To be honest, all the work we did is a drop in a bucket to all the jobs we want and need to do around the house, but I still felt like we had been productive. I felt a bit less overwhelmed. I felt inspired to keep going.

While I was weeding, pruning and clearing, I let my mind wander, and it brought me to some conclusions. I talk a lot. I listen sometimes to engage, rather than just listen. I need to work on that. Not only because I could do with being a better listener, but I could also stand to be a better observer. The more I mulled over the words of my best friend, the more I realized that while I had been listening and trusting words, I hadn’t been paying close enough attention to people’s actions. My willingness to always seek the best in everyone was clouding my judgement and causing me to not pay enough attention to actions vs words. People will show you their true selves before they will tell you about their true selves. As I worked, finally not distracted, I started realizing a few things, and I know now I need to make some adjustments. On one level it’s upsetting, but on another, it allows me some freedom without guilt, and I’m feeling it’s a good thing. Silence also allowed me to work determinedly, calmly, and to allow me to see the end goals more clearly. My brain needed the quiet to thrive.

I feel like there is light at then end of my tunnel, so to speak. It’s merely a case of putting one foot in front of the other, quieting my mind, and doing one task at a time. Not everything needs to be done at once. After so long of having attention on everyone else and everything else, I need to focus on me and mine, and make good choices going forward. I need to feel and work in the quiet so I can hear and see what is important. Will my house be spotless and everything be perfect? No, I don’t see that being the case. But I can see me getting through some tasks to creating a place I feel calmer in. I don’t need perfection. I need peace.

Wish me luck as I tackle the mountains that currently feel so insurmountable. One step at a time, I’m determined to scale them.

Oh yes, and I shall reward myself in a few weeks with a lazy, fun filled vacation with some of my beloved tribe. I can’t wait.

New look, same old me.

Well, as you can see, I’ve updated things a little around here. It’s a learning process so it will be a bit messy for a while. Then again, I’m sure that judging by the name of my blog and the posts, you expect nothing less. I know I do. It was about time to switch things up, and I suppose I’ll continue to until I get things the way I want them. I’ll also be updating my “about me” page, although to be honest, I’m not too much different after all these years (although my television habits have changed quite a bit since I first started this blog). While I’ll update it a bit, I figured there’s no time like the present to lay out a bit about me for the newbies, and even for those who have been reading a while.

First, yes. My house is usually on the messy side. It’s true, and not a schtick. Is it a hoarder house? NO. Would I love it to be magazine perfect in every way? Well, no, not exactly. I’ll never be that girl. My mom was, and I admire her every day for it. But I work full time, have two kids, with multiple interests and things to do. I have a dog, a cat, and two guinea pigs. I have too much stuff. I am always in chaos, always running here and there. I’m the mom who will get it done, maybe not in a pretty way, but it will get done. I am more the mom that screeches into the parking lot at the last minute, and with a wild look in her eye because I’ve had to argue about what my 8 year old will wear, but I’m there. With my husband working opposite hours, even I am impressed by what I DO get done. I can’t get it all done, and unfortunately I’m a little domestically challenged. Balance, my friends. It’s all about balance.

I’m a little bit of an asshole. Just a bit. (Aren’t we all?) Not a full on asshole.I’m bluntly honest (although I’m trying to work on the whole filter thing) and I try to surround myself with people like me. While having VERY blunt friends is often hard, it’s often the best. There is something completely freeing about surrounding yourself with honest, no bullshit, no drama people. If there’s one thing I have no use for, it’s a liar. Why? Because while occasionally my memory fails me on the every day things, if someone lies to me, I don’t forget it. As I’ve gotten older, I’m clearing those types of people right on out of my life and it’s very freeing. I like people that I always know where I stand with them, and vice versa. Anywho, back to me being a bit of an asshole. I have a sarcastic, sometimes dark sense of humor. I don’t stand for nonsense, and I have the mouth of a sailor. I swear a LOT, although I do try hard here not to. Sometimes, like on this post, I relax and they tumble right on out.

To compensate for being a bit of an asshole, I try and do kind things. Not because I think I’ll get into Heaven for it, or because I want accolades, but really because it makes me happy to be able to help people. It makes me happy to see someone’s day be just a little bit brighter because of me or something I did. Imagine if we were all just a little nicer. Wouldn’t things be better all around? Of course. I also try to do kind deeds because I have two kids, and my goal is to raise them up to not be assholes. How can you teach a child to be kind if you don’t model the behavior itself? How can you teach a child that they can make a difference, no matter how old?You show them. So I take on “projects” as we jokingly call them. Sometimes they go amazingly well, and sometimes they blow up in my face. I write about both, and laugh when they fail miserably. Gotta be able to laugh at yourself.

I’ve learned that the only people who are afraid of the truth are those living a lie. Some folks will go to all kinds of extremes to try and prevent you from telling the truth and exposing their bullshit. I’ve learned that I don’t care, I’m going to speak the truth anyway. There is no law against telling the truth. Folks get real nervous when they know they are caught in lies. Sometimes I enjoy watching the show, other times, I prefer to expose it for what it is. I’m a grown woman and I don’t back down to bullies and threats. More on this to come.

I’m a British country girl, living in the suburbs. I used to think I wanted to live on the beach, because I love the water. I’m happiest by the water, to be honest. Oceans, lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, a hot jacuzzi….I love it. That being said, after watching some of the destruction after a hurricane, I now wonder if I’m not best suited to rural, more country life. I’d love to live where the life is cheaper, houses are more spread out, and there’s lots of land. The Northeast is expensive and I need a little more space, but not too cold of weather.

If you came here and read I follow Real Housewives, well, I used to. I watched most of the franchises for several years before finally stopping. I liked NJ and BH the best and hung in the longest with NJ, but I missed the last season. I’m not interested in the manufactured drama. If I wanted that, I could have it IRL here. No thanks. I don’t really identify with women who have packed their faces with fillers, have fake friendships, and live in mansions with endless money to blow. That’s their choice, but I struggle to remain interested these days. These days I’m surprisingly into dramas like This Is Us and a Million Little Things. My favorite? RuPaul’s Drag Race. Yes, y’all, I love drag queens. I find it all fascinating. I love the artistry of drag, I love the designs and makeup and wigs. I love all the illusion. I’ve been a fan since season 1, back when it was real basic, and I’ve watched every episode since. I go to Drag Con, I’ve made it to a couple of shows, and am booked in to go to a show in the fall. Don’t be surprised if you start seeing some Drag Race posts here in the future!

So that’s it for now. Thanks for stopping by!

Catch up time

Hi Y’all.

It’s been a while.  I’ve actually logged in and started writing, but never finished a post, or just never clicked the publish button.  I miss writing though, and it felt like the time to catch up.

So from my past posts you saw I was trying out the whole “living the yes life”.  I tried saying yes rather than no to new opportunities and events.  It was fun, I learned a lot, I enjoyed myself, and I even lost some weight.  Things were trucking along.  Then my favorite excercise class got cancelled.  Summer showed up with birthdays most weekends.  Work geared up with new challenges.  Life got busy with too much yes.  So now I am learning how to gracefully say no to some things.  It’s a learning process, because no so often comes with that thing called guilt, and I am no so good at handling the guilt aspect of it.

One of my biggest “yes” moment this year was allowing my son to sign up for football. I love football, and buy tickets for us to go to NFL games as our “romantic trip” each year. That being said, I learned that it’s a different feeling altogether sending my son out on the field.  The time commitment is huge…5 nights a week, plus games on weekends.  He asked me to do it.  He wanted to do something new this year, and had been showing a lot of interest in football.  Each of the kids choose one sport/activity per season.  I’ve offered them to do more than one, but they generally prefer to stick to one thing.  This one is the work of 7 activities.

When I learned of the schedule, my brain wanted to bleed out onto the floor.  As it is I work full time, have another child who does gymnastics that I have to coordinate for, 2 pets, a husband and a house that is the messiest it has ever been.  I am in chaos. A LOT of chaos.  Now there are many of you out there who handle all of these with no problem.  You are skilled, and oraganized, neat freakish and super moms.

I am not any of those things.

I am a domestic fail, tired (hot DAMN I am so tired), I am figuring out this mom thing as I go, and I do it mostly by myself since my husband works opposite hours.  It’s not pretty, it’s not graceful, but I get a lot of it done.  Not ALL mind you, hence the messy house.  I am that mom screeching into the parking lot at the last minute with kids still putting cleats on, or me jumping out to quickly braid hair before gymnastics. That movie Bad Moms?  Yep.  That would be me.

Now I have spent 11 years protecting my son.  Keeping him safe. When a kid shoved him a playground I close talked that kid and told him not to lay one single finger on my kid again (I love a good close talk when you need to get a message across). Now, by his choice, I am sending him out on a field to be shoved and pushed and knocked down. Coaches are gruff.  He’s going to get banged up and bruised.  I have to stand or sit there and hold it together and not want to run out and snap legs when someone hurts him.  I have to remain tough and straight faced.  It is just so HARD.  The only reason I do it is because he seems to kind of love it.  Even on the hard days.  Yesterday was hard.  He went down and didn’t get right back up.  He was hurt.  He was frustrated. He questioned his ability to do it all.  He came home, and I fussed over him a little.  He let me.  In the car this morning I reminded him that not everything will come easily to him.  He’s always been that kid that’s learned things quickly. I reminded him of his frustration when he tried a Rubik’s cube.  He had gotten so angry at his inability to solve it.  I had explained to him at the time that most people couldn’t solve them, but that I knew someone who could, and there were certain tricks to solve them.  He sat down and damn if he didn’t teach himself how.  Before long, he was testing himself on speed of solving it.  He reached in his bag this morning and low and behold, was his Rubik’s cube.  Before long he was quickly working on solving it.  mI asked him “do you still want to continue with football? do you still kind of love it?”  He said yes. So today we go again. I will proudly watch him succeed, and I will proudly watch him fail sometimes too, because the kid is giving it his all.

The little one, who I have always referred to as Tiny Diva in this blog, has lost a lot of her Diva-ness.  She had been a tough cookie from 2-4, but she has now settled in to herself. I’ll call her LM, for Little Mama.  Gymnastics has been a huge saving grace.  My sister in law noticed how flexible LM was and mentioned she might be good at gymnastics.  I signed her up, and the benefits have been enormous.  My daughter, who was struggling in school with some self confidence issues, started picking up steam and having more faith in herself.  She has better self esteem, more confidence, and has a good body image.  We talk a lot about being strong and healthy, and that happy girls are pretty girls.  My favorite shirt of hers has the words “princess” and “diva” crossed out, and it says “SMART, TALENTED GIRL”.  The girl who used to pretend like she didn’t know things is coming out of her shell.  She is learning the fine line between being a leader, and being bossy.  Sometimes, it’s a difficult conversation to have.  Women are often told that if they are leaders, they are bitches, bossy, a nag, etc.  Growing up, I remember being told not to voice my opinions so much, to be quite, to fade into the background more.  I’m working on finding a good way to explain how to be a leader, without being bossy and making other kids feel like she’s ordering them around.

Our beloved cat passed away a few months ago.  I had to make the decision to put her down.  She had cancer.  It was heartbreaking.  We all felt the loss, even the dog.  He seemed down and I often wondered if he knew she had died.  He didn’t quite seem himself.  Our family seemed incomplete to me after a while, and I started looking at Petfinder to see if any cats “called” to me. I scrolled through endless pictures over a few weeks until I found a cat that caught my eye.  He was an orange tabby, about 6 months to a year old.  He looked stoned.  He reminded me of the comedian Jim Breuer.  Someone had put him in a box, duct taped it, and left him outside of a store on March 11th.  I was in a wedding that day, and I remember it being bone chillingly cold when the wind blew. I felt awful for this poor cat.  I emailed about him.  I told my husband who seemed less than inclined to get another cat.  “I want you to come with me to see him” I said.  He didn’t sound thrilled.  I said “he kind of looks like Jim Breuer”.  “What time are we going?” he replied.  When I commented I was surprised in his change of heart, he responded “You just told me the cat looks like Jim Breuer, how could I not go meet him?”.  We drove all the way up to the rescue, only to find out the cat had gone to the vet for not eating.  After a few days, the rescue called and asked if I wanted to foster him.  They thought the cat might be depressed in the shelter environment and wanted to see if he would improve in a home environment.  Well, let me tell you, the cat eats more than the dog.  He’s now a member of the family.  He’s a nutjob, full of energy, and wants love the most when anyone is in the bathroom.  He will knock on the bathroom door to come in, and even try to turn the handle to get in.  Every night he and the dog go to each kid’s room to say goodnight.  He fits right in.

So there you have it.  Life right now is about preparing for school starting, football, work, gymnastics, football, pet hair creating tumbleweeds in my house, football and trying to get things done.  It’s a happy time, if not chaotic.  Just like my son is learning something new, I am learning a new schedule, new ways to make it work.  Anything that brings more chaos is just not something I have time for.  I’m keeping things as bare bones as possible, and I’ll work up from there. In just 3 weeks my whole schedule changes again.  So that mom cheering wildly on the sidelines, or from the balcony at gymnastics? The one holding a vat of coffee?  That will be me. I may be in chaos for a while, but it’s a happy chaos.