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Tag Archives: silver linings

When you need an “adultier adult”

I’m a firm believer that life gives you darkness to balance out the light. Sometimes, you have to create some levity and lightness to balance out the dark. I love “silver linings” and often try hard to find the humor in tough situations. Sometimes that humor is self deprecating, sometimes it’s wildly inappropriate, but humor carries us thought the tough moments and brings us forward.

A couple of days ago, the little was scheduled for surgery, but we had to cancel because she got strep. It just seemed like it was too close and I didn’t want her having to fight of the trails of a virus and a surgery. The surgery has been pushed out. Since she was cleared to go back to school, and I still had the day off, I spent much of the day doing nice things. Yes, I dropped off goodies to the school, but I also used some gift cards to get my nails done and grab a big, calorie indulgent Starbucks. I was in full “treat yo’self” mode, but had no funds to do so. I was however, armed with gift cards, so I was making my own fun. Being a mom, getting time to relax and have little luxuries are a big treat. As I sat in the parking lot, joyously luxuriating in the car with my Starbucks drink and protein box, perusing my phone while I munched happily away, something caught my eye. It was thin, and black, and it was sticking out of the gear shift. Upon a second glance, I saw more than one of these long, thin black things sticking out.

A spider, otherwise known by it’s fancy name, “ohshititsabigbastardofaspiderinmygearshiftandifitslegsarethatbighowbigisitsbodyohsweetbabyjesusgetmeoutofthecar”. A spider with the longest, thick black fluttery legs was hiding in my gear shift! Coffee, cucumbers, and other object launched as I screamed loudly and flailed about the car.

I’m not a big fan of spiders. I mean, they are ok, I suppose, but I don’t prefer they get up close and personal.

In my mid-flail and holler, I saw the shocked but bemused face of a woman in the car next to me. She was eyeing the chaos occurring in the car next to her, and honestly I can’t fault her. It must have been h.i.l.a.r.i.o.u.s.

So there I am, flailing frantically and squealing, because the legs on this spider are HUUUUGE. Suddenly, I peer closer, and I see many more legs. Is the spider upside down with just it’s legs out? What is happening? I fearfully look over, and realize there are more than 8 legs. Is it having relations upside down with another spider? Do I have spider kink in my car? Oh GOD what if it’s making babies in my car? I look closer. Now, as I’ve gotten older, my eyesight is less that stellar. I own it. I bend down, as close as I am comfortable with, and I realize exactly what it is I am witnessing.

It’s….it’s…..a fake eyelash. I sort of remember my husband driving us home after a party one night and me, after a few drinks, thinking how HEAVY those false eyelashes felt, so I peeled them off. I then forgot them in the car. It had moved it’s way over to the gear shift and stuck itself to it.

I looked at the woman in the car next to me, mouthed “it’s ok!! It’s ok!! It’s just an eyelash!” and waved the offending lash her way. She looked bemused, and I sheepishly drove off.

Yesterday, I picked up my little from school and passed the boy child walking home with his friend from the bus stop. After a while, he still wasn’t home, so I messaged him, and he responded asking me to come outside. Apparently, a bird had flown down, almost landing on him except he ducked a bit, and the bird landed on the ground next to him. The bird sat on the road, just looking around. My son was concerned a car might come, and was trying to sort of shoo the bird to the sidewalk. I walked over and my son explained the situation. “You ARE a handsome bird, aren’t you?” I bent down and said to the bird. The bird NODDED. In my own head, for just a moment, I felt like a character in Harry Potter. “Does this bird speak English?” I pondered for a moment, before realizing I was an idiot. I stood up in surprise at the bird’s seeming agreement to my question. I shuffled a tiny bit closer, and bent down again, thinking the bird would instinctively move over towards the sidewalk. It didn’t. It eventually moved a few inches, but appeared to limp a little bit. I send my daughter to grab my phone and a box so I could call a friend who does rescue to find out what to do. My son, his friend and I admired the bird, but you could tell we were all a bit worried. Suddenly, something changed. The bird started flailing, and the only way I can effectively describe it was it appeared to have a massive seizure. It might have had a stroke. I panicked, and wasn’t sure what to do. It then sort of tipped forward, it’s beak in a bit of snow. “Is it drinking?” my son asked. His friend and I looked at each other. My daughter appeared. Clearly, the bird had just passed away in front of us. We somehow all felt a connection to this bird, and nobody wanted to leave him in the road. I was concentrating on not crying.

Now, let me say that I am not great with death. For all the studying, the research, the talking about it…it still unsettles me. It’s even worse with animals for some reason. I didn’t really grow up around death, and my parents shielded me from it. I’ve always been bad with animals dying in particular. As a kid I would get overwhelmingly upset if an animal died. I also get very anxious touching dead things. I now had to find a way to pick up the dead bird and make some decisions. I immediately looked for an adult to help. I then realized…I was the adult.

Isn’t that THE WORST? The moment when you look frantically for an adult, and realize YOU are the adult, and you now have to man/woman up and handle something you have NO desire to be in charge of? I decided to look for a taller, adultier adult, who knew would to do with a poor little bird who had chosen a little boy to land right next to, seize and then die in front of. I was out of luck, until my son’s friend took the reigns. I was never so grateful for a 6 foot tall 12 year old to save the day. “I can see you look really sad. I can help pick the bird up if you get a shovel. I’ll get him in the box, and us kids can bury him”. And that’s what happened.

The kids proudly dug a grave and buried the little bird with love and dignity. They even gave him a name.

Albirdo.

When I heard that, I had to excuse myself and go to the bathroom…to laugh my ass off. I couldn’t have picked a better name. I was proud of them for looking after the little bird, and also for giving him such a great little name.

We came in the house, and I sent the little upstairs to go get ready for her gymnastics class and overnight with her aunties. I sat down to handle the flood of work I had to do after a day spent in meetings, when I suddenly heard a panicked scream. I raced upstairs and saw my little covered in blood. Blood on her naked torso, blood on her hands, and I almost passed out. While clearly there aren’t many things I am good with, spiders, death etc, I’m also not good with blood. After doing a quick scan to find the source, I saw it was her nose. She gets monsterous nosebleeds, so I set about starting to help her stop the bleeding and calm her down. Something about lots of blood makes my blood pressure go wonky, which often makes me get dizzy or lightheaded. I’m trying to stop the blood so I can hold myself together and do the mom thing I’m supposed to do. My daughter is upset, because it seems like it’s always her who has the maladies….teeth issues, tonsil issues, nosebleeds, strabismus, and a host of other things. I get it. I’m giving her a pep talk that I’m pretty proud of and suddenly realize she’s handing me wads of blood soaked tissues. I almost over. I finally get her nosebleed under control and pep talk her to a smile. I clean up all the blood and go lay in my room to do a silent scream of freaked outness. I also feel like this adulting business kind of sucks. Before I know it, I’m giggling at my own ridiculousness. I guess no matter how old I get, there are moments when I search for an adult, even though I myself am an adult. Maybe an adultier-adult who is in a better position to navigate things. I mentally pat myself on the back for not passing out, and not bursting into a flood of tears over the poor little bird with my kids standing in front of me. I also realize that I’m the same woman who thought my fake eyelash was a monster spider, and it’s clear, perhaps someone should assign an adultier adult to help me on the regular.

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Creating Happiness

This year I started off super antsy. After coming out of a year where the family and I took an amazing trip back to England, I came eager to travel some more. I always come back from England, where I was born, feeling nostalgic, yearning for a simpler, more country based life, and feeling a strong pull to go back. January has felt like it’s been 85 days long already, and I found myself starting the month off NEEDING change in whatever form I can get. I need some change, and I need things to look forward to. It brings me happiness.

I’ve always been a firm believer that one CHOOSES to be happy. As someone who grew up struggling with depression and anxiety, I had to make some solid life changes. It had become so bad I was in a very dark, sad place. I woke up one day and realized just how bad it had gotten, and knew something had to change. Depression is much deeper than a simple attitude shift, trust me, I know. That being said, the first step for me in learning to manage and come out the other side of depression was to find ways of changing my mindset. The first thing I needed to realize was that I can’t always change a situation, but I can change my mindset about how to deal with it. I can choose how I look at things, or research things to learn to see things a different way. Once I started choosing and really trying to look at things from different perspectives, I noticed a break in the doom and gloom. It helped me to start the process of managing things much better.

My mom once told me…”no matter how bad things get, someone is always worse off than you”, which helps to keep things in perspective sometimes. I remember my dad recounting a story of when my parents when to a huge business dinner in NYC. The dinner was a big deal, and mother, despite being in terrible pain from a degenerating disc in her spine, was determined to go. She needed a cane, and was struggling to walk. My father looked at her, struggling, and said “maybe we should just go back to the room and forget the dinner….you don’t have to put yourself through this”. My mother turned and said “I’ve been looking forward to this dinner for ages, and remember, no matter how bad things get, there is always someone who has it harder, or worse off than me. I can do this!”. Just then the elevator door opened, and inside was a man who only had one leg. My mother glanced at my father and proceeded to head to dinner. She knew that happiness is realizing what you have, that things could always be worse, and being grateful that your struggles are your own. Someone once said if everyone threw their stuggles in a bowl, most of us would all grab our own back. Frankly, we don’t know what others are dealing with, and at the end of the day, struggles are often minimal when you see what others are struggling with. I am an oft repeater of “silver linings!” Even when things are bad, one can usually find a silver lining if they look harder enough. Even if it’s a small one.

But I digress.

Winter is a tough time for many, especially those with depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder. While I don’t struggle like I used to, I do make a conscious choice to plan things to look forward to. Why? Because on a bad day, I can look at my calendar and despite the busy chaos, I can see a vacation, a trip, or a school event I am happy about. This reminds me that happy days are ahead. I am excited to go visit my dad soon. This usually also entails not only a happy time with him and my step mom, but also a dinner out with my close friends I don’t get to see very often. Always fun. I am excited about a family vacation I have planned. While it won’t be cheap, it gives me a goal, something to work towards, and something exciting to share with the husband and kids. I have a few day trips planned, one just by myself, to spend a day wandering and sight seeing. There is a school field trip I am chaperoning, which made my daughter beam ear to ear when I told her.

These trips and events keep me looking forward in a positive manner. I LOVE my job and what I do, but I have stressful days like everyone else. On those stressful days, I remind myself those extra hours or that hard work is earning me money towards a vacation. When I am cleaning the house (which admittedly I’m not great at….have you seen the title of my blog?) and I find change people have left everywhere, I am at least excited to put it in the vacation fund. When January hit and stomach bugs and flu arrived at our house, I console myself that we’re getting it out of the way now and will be healthy again hopefully for the happy events planned. Having something to look forward to brings happiness.

Not only do I plan the event, I plan little, simple things about it that bring me joy. Some of these revolve around food. That probably explains why I am working on losing some weight….10 pounds down so far! For example, the trip to NYC I have in mind. I am already planning and excited to go to Tea and Sympathy for dessert. Why? Because they have one of my favorites there. It’s a British tea shop, and their rhubarb and custard reminds me of being a kid in England. When visiting my dad I always go for fajitas at my favorite place. It was a place I used to go to with my mom. While the food is delicious, the memories it conjures up are happy ones spent with my parents and friends. Happiness is a feeling, and being as sentimental as I am, I always lean towards it.

Looks like it’s going to be an exciting (and yummy!) year!