Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Once Upon a Time...

Good morning! Sorry I missed you yesterday. Hubs has been cray-zay busy at work which means I have been playing single mom lately. There are women out there who ARE single moms. There are also women out there who are married but whose husbands travel a ton and they live like single moms most of the time. There are also a few men who roll as single fathers. To all those folks I say a resounding – You. Astound. Me. I truly have no idea how y'all do it. I'm nutter just doing a few extra things and when I do just a few extra things, the rest of the few things that I do do fall all to hell. So, yesterday, I was pooped and didn't really have the ability to sit down and do my thing at the computer. The thing about kids is that you have to all the time get stuff for them. And talk to them. And feed them. It's really never ending.

Today, I'm tired. Hubs didn't come home until 6:15 this morning. I told you – cray-zay busy at work. I don't sleep well when he isn't there. It's a whole bed in balance type of thing. Also, I have to remember, while I'm sleeping not to get all twisty so that my back can recover and be all normal. Remembering things while you are sleeping is hard. And it puts a damper on giving into being fully asleep. Also, I'm pretty sure I'm an actual princess. When there are disturbances in my bed – a found lost sock because it used to be that I couldn't sleep with socks on and now I can't sleep without them but somehow I sleep through one coming fully off and the other staying on and undermining my sleep feng-shui, or some random product stuck between the fitted sheet and the mattress, or finding some sort of weirdo wet thing that my stupid sock eating dog coughed up into my bed (I know! Gross! Too gross to mention? It's not my fault it ended up there – I can't go around being embarrassed about my gross dog. I will not censor!) – I am acutely aware of those situations. Also, if something is laying across me that is contrary to being a pre-authorized covering, somehow when I am sleeping, that something takes on a weight of 2 tons and squishes me. If you were to put a dried pea (I'm assuming that it was never a raw pea. That's gross. They rot. Fresh food rots. I've got all kinds of evidence in my fridge.) under my mattress, I think I would detect it all royal style. Plus, I act like a princess what with all my entitlement and waiting for non-existent servants to do all my work for me. Today's biggest goal is to not go back to bed. It's tough to get things done from the bed. Believe me, I've tried.

So. I'm super pissed. Sorry Mom and Dad. Pardon my potty mouth. I am a perfectionist. I know. It's so contrary to everything that I have already talked about. And some day, perhaps, a doctor that shrinky dinks brains so that people can walk around all thinking “normally” in society can explain how I can be a procrastinating, self-indulged, selfish, lazy perfectionist. For now, I'm left to wonder. On top of that, I'm obsessive. Not in a compulsive way where I have to clean my house to the degree that the very thought of a germ withers away from the stench of cleanliness emanating from my home. I don't mean to make light of OCD. It's just one of those examples of how I wish I could do some sort of transfusion where I take on some of their care a lot about spic-n-span and balance them out with a good hardy dose of don't give a damn. Anywho, I re-read my posts about a dozen times – prior to publishing. And after. Each. Some might say that I'm narcissistic. But I'm not. I'm NOT! I'm overly interested, mayhaps concerned, about how the average Joe or Josephina might read what I'm writing. This is how I get my blog on: I have been burned by typing directly into blogger before. I'll be in the middle of typing, minding my own business when all of a sudden, out of nowhere it chops out some of my post. And there were many instances where I was caught unawares by re-reading my post only to find that a sentence started with something fragmented, disjointed and NOT capitalized. As a result, I came up with a brilliant plan to write off line, copy and paste into blogger and undermine it's editing Nazi style. I proof-read, check spelling and add and subtract various brilliant thoughts all while in a officey type program. Then I paste it into blogger and proceed to re-proof-read, re-check spelling and add and subtract various brilliant thoughts because they come so fast and furious and often and I believe you deserve all my brilliance, all the time. You can see now why it takes about 4 hours to do an entry. Yes. I'm aware that I still have mistakes in the final product. May I continue? Sheesh. So, I'm re-reading my post yesterday after it's all published and discover that a big hunk is missing. It wasn't a hugely important hunk of point, but it still bothered the crud out of me. On top of that, I had already announced my entry as ready and plenty of people had read it. I've fixed it since then but it was tough not to re-announce the fixed version. Super. Pissed. Now I know that I have to not trust blogger at all with my precious. I have to perfect my post all in the document phase. Yes. I'm aware that I will still have mistakes in my final product. May I continue? Give a girl a break, already!

You know what else happened when I was re-reading my brilliant post? I realized that all these ideas and thoughts that I had to put into my whole thing about growing up were forgotten. I was going to say all these enlightened things about how Big Stuff is such a little boy that he beats my laziness to the tenth degree. He drops stuff and leaves it there. He decides not to go the bathroom when the urge hits and he is busy. He does not want to clean or just in general do stuff. Except play. And how can I teach him to grow up, if I refuse to? And then I was going to say all this stuff about how growing up is the natural cycle of all living things and seeds are planted (conception) to end up as fertilizer for the next batch of life. And then I was going to put together this video montage of various stages of plant life beginning and ending with the sounds of Elton John singing “Circle of Life” in the background. It was going to be epic. I'm real sorry I short-changed you on all that.

The cool thing about being obsessive is that I check my stats occasionally Okay, obsessive doesn't really “do” occasionally Because I check my stats, I know that I have readers in Germany, Russia, UK and right here in the USofA. I actually know who is reading me in Germany and UK (Hi Girls!) but that doesn't make it less thrilling to feel like I'm internationally known. Also, I seem to be a little popular in Alaska. I don't know how that works but I'm pretty sure that's just some illegal pinging while people are all re-routing internet access from USofA to Russia. No. I have no idea what I'm talking about. It sounds good though, doesn't it? I know that Russia is very close to Alaska because Sarah Palin told me that she can see Russia from her house. Oh. Did she tell you too? She told everyone? Ok. So I guess being internationally known does not make me famous and grant me access to headline making folks.

Without any segue, I'm going to get into the meat of the matter. Here, for your reading pleasure, is Resolution 8.

8. Tell My Story. You may think that I accomplish this daily by just sitting here typing away and hitting a button to publish. And to some degree, that is correct. I tell you plenty about who I am and the stuff I think and do. But that's not what I mean.

Years ago, I was driving and stopped at a red light. Because that's the law. And the car in front of me had a typed out note taped to her back windshield. It was in a font big enough to be read by the person behind her. The note said that she was a beginner at driving a manual and asked that you please be patient and not honk at her because she needs a little more time to get it right. Words to that effect. And I was so moved by that sign. I admired her for being vulnerable and asking for human kindness. I was sad that she had to make up a sign to hopefully get it. I almost wish we all wore signs around asking for what we need. It would break down this idea that we all have to wander around acting like we have this thing called life figured out. It would give us a chance to come together as a community and give people what they need and not what we decide they should or can have. It would create affiliations that go beyond the boundaries of race, religion, gender and just all around judgment. I believe we would be astonished by how much we all have in common. Also, it would clue Hubs into secret answer C about what to get me for Christmas because it wasn't answer a) that thing I bought for myself that wasn't budgeted and he called a gift nor was it answer b)nothing. But I digress...

I'm a Christian. But I hesitate in leading with that. I feel that it gives the person or persons I'm dealing with the sense that I'm judging them and deciding they will go to Hell. I don't want them to wait for me to justify any and all their preconceived notions of what those dang Jesus lovers are all about. I'm just Jenny. I love God and I fully love what He did for me. I want that for you. My own personal way of sharing my faith is just in my day to day dealings with people and life. I give credit where credit is due – to God. Because what He has done in my life is a miracle and I think you should know that. I think you should have hope that He can do that for you. There are people who are gifted going out into the world and teaching people about Christ. That's not the way God put me together. The way I am called to reach out to people and share a love like no other is to use the gifts He gave me. My job is to go where He leads me, answer the prompts He gives me and be a good steward of my experiences. I should get fired about every other day because I fail at my job regularly. I am a flawed person. I am a mess. I don't always look like a person who follows the great I Am. But that is the essence of the whole experience of having this relationship. God is Love. The end. He has called me to do exactly four things. Believe in Him – including His word about how to accept Him, get dunked as a public declaration of my faith and renewal, follow His word and share Him with pretty much everyone. I can show kindness to a stranger and share Him. I can take the time to answer questions about what my church is about or God to share Him. I'm not doing it wrong when I'm doing it – it doesn't have to look like how anyone else does it. I'm wrong when I don't do it at all. And I could stand to do it a lot more often and be righter.

I'm an alcoholic in remission. Semantics. I treated my disease by unplugging it. But I don't pursue specific maintenance strategies which I feel are implied with the words recovering. For me, this works. For others, they need to do rehab or AA or counseling and those are all excellent avenues to beat down demons of all varieties. I say that I am in remission because there is always a chance that my disease will come back.

I'm a mother who has lost a child. She didn't die of SIDS. I didn't miscarry her. She wasn't still-born. She didn't have a terminal or rare disease. She was born perfectly healthy. Angel was beautiful and curious and sweet. She was snuggly and fun. But when she was days shy of turning 13 months old, her brother Scooby got a virus that took it's toll on him and left him no worse for the wear. It passed on to Angel and went horribly wrong. She went into the hospital on Sunday night and deteriorated until we let her go very early Wednesday morning. That's a part I don't share as much. I know how inflamed a topic that can be – life support and quality of life and such. But we made an insanely tough call in heart-breaking circumstances. And we stand by that call. It is sheerly through the fact that I accepted Christ that I made it through that. I honestly don't know how one does not have hope in God makes it through losing a child. I would be much worse than an alcoholic if God had not held me together. I may not even have made it at all.

I have absolutely with depression through various points of my life. I have even attempted suicide. About 2 or so years ago, I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar depression. There are a few things that keep me from fully owning that diagnosis. But I can't escape the fact that the two mood stabilizers and one anti-depressant that I'm on have made a huge difference in my outlook and overall functionality. Also, I can't escape the fact that I went 4 or more days without one of my medications and went full on bat-shit crazy. Sorry Mom and Dad. But it's true. What I took away from that night is that I really don't need to let my meds lapse because just under the surface is the anti-Jenny and she is whack. What Hubs took away from that is that $150 to cover meds when we don't have insurance cards to cover the cost might be a sound investment.

I am forty years old and I have started menopause. And many of the women I talk to tell me I'm too young. To which I say, why yes, yes I am. But I'm not. I've got the symptoms to prove it. And not just the hot flashes. And hot flashes are never considerate. Like today, it's in the forties and I could stand to have some hot-flashes because I'm cold. But I don't have any right now. But my hormones are all akimbo and make me additionally, uhm, unstable. My shrinky dink doc and I have increased a few of the stabilizer doses. I'm feeling much better now. But the menopause isn't going to go away and it makes me a little sad that I'm so blatantly exiting a particular stage of my life. Even if I had decided that stage of my life was way over.

I am a parent that constantly struggles about the right way to raise my kids. I take them out in public and correct their behavior and try to teach them that there are 7 billion other people on the planet and they aren't the only person in the store and watch where they are going! And then a random person will defend my kids and tell me that they are fine like I'm being unreasonably critical. But in the same visit, I will have people looking at me and my kids and the randomness that is our gaggle and shoot me the stink eye like I let my kids run around like hooligans. Which is the right strategy? I am anal about teaching my kids please and thank you. Isn't that a general requirement of civilized society? Are we heading so far off course of a civilized society that please and thank you are passe? I don't have the energy to figure out an award winning successful discipline plan. Or institute a much less perfect one. Or uphold a consistent measure of one that sucks. I struggle with many of the same things my kids struggle with. I, like Scooby, have a finite amount of attention that I can pay to any one thing at any given time. Do I have attention deficit disorder? I dunno. Maybe. I don't want to clean up just like Big Stuff doesn't want to. I throw temper tantrums like Peanut. An unkind word can undo me just like it can Princess. And yet, it doesn't keep from making me crazy when I have to put up with those behaviors with my kids. I don't know what the heck I'm doing. And then my 10 year old comes in last night and says “Mom? You know what I love best about you? Your always finding new ways to care for us”. I know. Despite myself, I tell ya.

I have seven tattoos. I would love to have 8 or 9 or 10 or whatever. I have big ones and small ones. And I don't think I look one bit like a tramp or white trash. On his show, Ami James once looked down on people who get a little single tattoo. He called them souvenirs. Yeah. This is my trip. This is my journey. That's what souvenirs ARE – they are visual reminders of where you have been. Places where your path took you. Lessons you learned along the way. Don't be a tool Ami. We don't all have to be head to toe in ink to be authentic in our love of tattoos.

I'm an only child who was an Army brat. I have lived in Japan and Belgium. Most of my time lived in the states was in Georgia and Texas. I don't have a southern accent but y'all is very much a part of my fiber. I am adaptable and get wander lust. I am a shy extrovert. Or an outgoing introvert. I feel like a doofus when I am forced to make small talk. I hate black and white films and really, any movie made before about 1975. I like music that has a fantastic can't help myself but dance beat but has no artistic value other than to be fun. I am relationally driven but would also love to live completely alone unencumbered by the messiness of dealing with other people who don't do things like me or think like I think. But I would also be creeped out by living all alone and afraid of animals and mountain people barging in. Also, of ticks getting on me, specifically my head. That may sound like an irrational fear but I have had an inordinate amount of ticks discovered upon my noggin. I wear jeans in the winter and dresses and skirts in the summer. I would love to re-purpose and upcycle all kinds of found objects into cool things for my house. But I would also love to have a minimalist contemporary house that looks completely clean, uncluttered and manageable. I claim no political affiliation and find voting to be very frustrating and tedious. Mostly because I hate politics and have no idea who stands for what other than to say that it doesn't matter because ALL politicians lie at some point and make trades in their stances on issues so that someone WILL get screwed but only in the general interest of the public at large. I'm an ex-smoker who cannot afford to pick up a cigarette any more than I can to pick up a beer. I like intellectual humor and dry humor and tongue in cheek. I don't like toilet humor. I don't get it. Why is that so funny? Poop. See? Not funny! There are days that I don't feel like eating. Nothing sounds good. Except something sweet. I'm sitting here planning out my healthy juice that I will drink today. But I'm also planning out if I should make Christmas crack or not. Some days I put on make-up and sometimes I don't – but I always feel naked without it. I think going out wearing shoes or pants that came out of the lounge or lingerie section of a store is tacky. I hate when people call me crazy or stupid. Or imply either. Even if I'm being both. I'm allergic to whining. It chaps me to no end when people complain about things that they have the power to change. Probably I do the same. You pretty much know exactly where you stand with me. And I appreciate the same in kind.  I love my kids and while I may yell at them and fuss at them for their behavior a lot, you best not treat them with anything other than kindness and care. A village does not raise MY kids. I do. Except I need a village when I need a sitter. It's a divide and conquer strategy. Incessant noises make me nuts. So does teeth-grinding. And useless noise. Which is noise that is similar to incessant but not repetitive. Come to the house sometime. There is an example of the differences between incessant and useless noise every. Single. Day. I like documentaries and action films and films from the '80s. I could watch The Closer, Burn Notice, VeronicaMars and Sons of Anarchy over and over and over. I don't believe in letting my husband think that I find anyone else attractive. And I certainly appreciate the fact that he does the same with me. I would LOVE to go to New Zealand some day. I have NO desire to ever visit China, Russia or India. I will eat pounds and pounds of king crab legs in drawn butter. No really. I've done it before and I will do it again. I don't drink enough water. I drink way too much coffee. I found out recently that I am actually an optimist and can't really stand when people have to make negative comments about anything much less everything. ROMPers (Rain On My Parade -ers) are my biggest pet peeve. So is saying “I could care less” instead of “I couldn't care less”.  

So. That's who I am – but still only a snap-shot. These are my headline stories. Every day I strive to be a bit more transparent. I share more of the section D or backstage stuff – the classifieds and certainly the editorials. There are no sports stories... I truly believe that it helps me become free. I stop expecting judgment. I let you see more and more of my ugly bits so that I can accept that you really do like me – and not the me that I play in any one given avenue. Because all this – it means I only have one Jenny to keep up with. And she is a handful. I start hearing more and more from people that they are having the same struggles and thought they are alone. And one of my truths in this world is that the force that opposes good (aka God) is bad (aka Satan). Bad is darkness and isolation. When you are isolated, you feel ashamed and alone. You think no one else could know who you really are, could love you because you did this thing, or thought that thing. Fear wins that game. Fear of being rejected. Fear of abandonment and disappointment. Fear of hopelessness. So, I'm revealing a lot more of me to y'all in case any of you identify and feel even one iota of feeling like someone relates to you or your experiences. I want to be at least one person, to the degree I can from way over here, that you don't think you need to wear a sign around. I won't honk. I'll just be patient. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.   


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