Friday, October 16, 2015

Tough Week

Holding it all together (more like strangling all my emotions in a tangle of ropes) until my husband got home late last night from his week in Utah. 

Two days spent deciding the fate of another in a courtroom. These things aren't easy, and if I wasn't trying to manage my household by text it would have been easier, but it wiped me out. 

Finding out one of my newest employees got so frustrated while I was away that he quit with no notice. This one stung a bit. Things didn't have to be like that. Others were responsible for things that would have made his work more pleasant. I could have done more. Then the realization that he could have done more too - like relax a bit and be flexible. 

Two more days of double booked appointments because of jury duty going long. Hours of extra workload because of missing employee. Hours of missing sleep. 

The phone call one morning that my cat got hit by a car. The Good Samaritan who witnessed it took her to the vet hospital, where she was kindly treated and I was kindly paying the $270 to get her out of there. She's ok, and just needs snuggles. And a broken tooth removed some day soon. And a full time job. 

The visit from my daughter and my Mom, who came up to sit with me for my son's evening football game. Humor heals. So do hugs. Doesn't hurt that they put another win in the books.

Going to bat with the school administration. Again. Feeling that my child shouldn't be punished for a miscommunication between adults. Rules are for a reason, I know this. But, policy isn't always the best way when nobody broke a rule to begin with. Detest confrontation - yet my kids are worth it. 

The notification that came by text that my girl didn't get in to what she worked SO HARD to try out for. Feeling defeated for her, and wanting her to never give up her dreams, but so, so proud that she tried. 

Remembrance Day. Reading so many posts about babies who have been loved by mothers and fathers who never get to raise them because they didn't make it into the world. Two for her, one for her, four for that Momma over there, one for my own Mom... Heart just crushed under the weight of caring so much for those who hurt. Strangely feeling guilty for never experiencing that type of loss. Survivors guilt? What is this thing? 

Feeling a different kind of loss. The loss of a person who sits right next to you. The person who you feel is slipping away, and nothing you try to do is fixing it. It's consuming. Stressful. Terrifying. Sad. 

Then He was home. The phone in one hand, on speaker, and sprawled out on the bed as a guy who has driven too many miles would do. I went to him, buried head in his chest, received hug and proceeded to silently unravel the ropes holding my heart together. I inhaled him and then the welling up became tears and the tears became sobs. All of the sudden and unexpected, it was as if someone turned on a faucet. The kind that has more pressure behind it than you knew about and your whole shirt gets wet. His shirt got wet. 

The voice on the speakerphone just kept going and going. The tears kept coming. Silently, but physically obvious. The patting on my back intensified, and he said "Later dude, I have to call you back."  Bigger hugs, with both hands free, and an understanding face, a warm beating heart. He was home, and so was I. Nobody ever returned that phone call, but I did fall fast asleep for the first time all week. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Day in the Life

A day in MY life, to be exact...

This is just a flower

Sit down on my bed to work on an urgent project for this weekend
Check facebook for messages.
Read messages.
Make mental note to reply to a message.
Facebook makes ding ding sound
Click back to go to facebook wall to see what is going on
Read notifications list
There is one new notification, but it's nothing I'm interested in
Make note that the ding ding sound must be for new notifications
Notice there's a whole video of animated giraffes diving into a pool
Watch entire video

Procede to open up a new document
Type “2015” at the top
Feel thirsty
Grab water bottle and take a big swig.
Water bottle is empty, but I'm still thirsty

Go to dining room to refill water bottle from dispenser
Trip over rug
Pick up rug and lay it out flat again.
Realize that a whole lot of junk just flew out from under the rug

Go to the mud room for a broom
Notice the dustpan sitting in a box
No broom

Go outside to the carport where the broom was used last
Notice the cats have delivered three shrews
Step over new pile of chicken poop
Retrieve shovel from corner of carport
Scoop up shrews and walk to the ditch to toss them
Put shovel away in pump house
Notice cool spider webs in the pump house
Open the door wider to get better light
Spend ten minutes photographing spiders and webs from various angles with cell phone
Hear ding ding sound on my phone, and realize it's probably a Facebook notification
Check facebook
There's a new message
Try to type out a reply, but it takes too long
Pocket the cell phone

Head back to carport
Remember there's chicken poop, so divert route towards hose and faucet
Turn on faucet, and drag hose to carport
Nozzle doesn't work
Spend five minutes trying to figure out what is keeping the nozzle from working
Curse in German
Remove nozzle
Get pants wet because it would take too long to go turn the water off first
Spend ten minutes spraying out the carport with a thumb over the end of the hose

Haul hose back out of carport
Turn water off at faucet.
Turn water back on
Refill water buckets for the pets
Turn water off at the faucet again
Turn water back on
Rinse the tree pieces off of the swing set, because maybe someone will use it before it completely rusts through
Turn faucet back off
Put nozzle back on the hose, because why not?

Walk back to carport with sloppy wet pant legs making a slappy noise
Feet are wet, so dry off carefully when entering the house
Come in to kitchen – feel hungry
Cruise the refrigerator – nothing I want
Look in the freezer just in case – still nothing
Remember that drinking water before eating is a good idea
Go look for water bottle
Notice that the dishwasher is full of clean dishes
Empty the dishwasher
There's junk in the bottom
Clean the bottom of the dishwasher
Still hungry
Check fridge again – still nothing
Check countertops for snacks – gross
Get washcloth from drawer to wipe down counter tops
No washcloths. Or towels for that matter.
Get a paper towel instead.
Use last paper towel wiping off counter tops

Go downstairs for a new roll of paper towels
Notice that the dryer is done
Switch the laundry
Remember that there were no towels or washcloths in the kitchen
Spend the next ten minutes gathering enough towels and washcloths to constitute at least half a load
Peel my wet pants off, and throw into the washer with the towels
Run washing machine, while breaking my own rule of no clothes with towels
Take clothes to my room from the dryer
Trip over the rug
Put clothes on the bed, then go back to fix the rug
Notice that there is a lot of junk under the rug
Realize that I'm really thirsty and I have no idea where I left my water bottle and that I'm wearing no pants

Go to the bedroom to look for pants
Peel off wet socks and hang them over the edge of the laundry basket
Notice the bottom of the laundry basket is getting a bit dirty
Wipe out laundry basket with wet socks
Put on something that resembles pants

Go to the carport to look for water bottle
Spot the broom
Take the broom inside – and pick up the rug.
Sweep entire dining room
Spend five minutes looking in every box and every corner for a dustpan
Give up and sweep dirt pile up against the wall

Go to put broom away in the mud room
Hang up broom
Trip over a boot
Pick up the boot, and the fifteen cousins laying there with it
Line up all the boots
Notice the floor is really dirty
Get broom
Sweep entire mud room

Move empty boxes to carport
Notice dust pan in a box (deja vu?)
Bring dust pan in the house, get the broom, and pick up the dirt from the mud room floor
Throw the dirt and junk into the trash
Hang up dust pan
Hang up broom
Empty trash can, so the junk doesn't land back on the floor

Take trash out to garbage can in the carport
Trip over a cat
Pick up cat
Pet cat
Sit down because now three cats want love
Spend ten minutes petting cats

Go back inside
Need to go potty
Head towards the bathroom
Notice pile of laundry on my bed
Fold seven things
Bathroom break is urgent
Go potty
Notice the bathroom garbage is full
Wash hands
Refill soap dispenser
Notice the toothpaste is still missing

Go to the kids' bathroom to find toothpaste
Trip over a pile of towels
Think bad thoughts
Someone left a gift
Think more bad thoughts
Spray air freshener
Grab toothpaste

Return to my bathroom
Brush teeth
Put toothbrush away
Notice toothbrush holder is disgusting
Clean toothbrush holder
Soap dish is gross too
Clean soap dish
Hear ding ding noise on laptop

Sit down on bed, and check Facebook
There's three more messages to reply to
Start with the last one, because it only needs a yes or no
Remember how thirsty I am
Wonder if I have Adult ADD
Do a search on Adult ADD
Take a screening test
Read the results with much alarm
Feel super duper thirsty

Get up to find water bottle
Notice pile of dirt in the corner of the dining room
Smile, because I know where the broom AND the dustpan are

Go get broom & dustpan
Sweep up pile and take to the trash can
Set dustpan down
Replace garbage bag
Dustpan spills
Sweep entire kitchen
Empty dustpan
Phone rings
Lean broom in one corner, and put the empty dustpan next to the trash can
Answer phone
“Why haven't you replied to my messages? I can tell you were online”
Sorry, friend, I'll get right on it.

Head back to bedroom
Notice water bottle sitting by the dispenser
Refill water bottle
Drink a LOT of water
Realize I need to take my afternoon meds
Take afternoon meds
Read labels on meds
Take with food

Go to the cupboard in the kitchen for a protein bar
Toss wrapper in the trash
Notice dustpan in the corner
Grab dustpan, and while I'm at it, the broom & put them away

Walk back through kitchen and notice that the dishwasher is empty, but there are dirty dishes in the sink
Load dishwasher
Sinks are gross
Scrub sinks
Look for towel to dry my hands
Remember the towels in the kids' bathroom

Pick up towels that are acting as scarves for the toilet
Take to laundry room
Laundry is done (wow, that was fast!)
Switch laundry
Run the other half load of towels

Take clothes from dryer to my bedroom to fold
Realize I only folded 7 things
Finish folding first load, then start on second
Put laundry away

Need to go to the bathroom again
Notice that the trash still needs taken out
Do my business
Empty bathroom trash

Take to garbage can in the carport
Come back inside, and notice the dog needs to go out

Go back outside with the dog
Go check the mail
Pet a cat for five minutes

Take dog back in the house
Feed dog
Wonder why on earth it's after lunch time already

Sit down on bed
Open laptop
Underneath 2015, type a title
Begin to write my story
All I can come up with is “In the beginning...”
I look at it, and it feels dumb
Backspace, backspace, backspace...
Switch over to Facebook for inspiration
Remember about replying to messages
Reply to three messages
Reply to another message that I'll follow up with someone else
Compose new message to someone else
She writes back immediately.
Chat ensues

Switch back to my story while friend is chatting online
Type, “This is a story about me. It's boring. The end”

Switch back to chat, and realize friend said Goodbye and I missed it.
I type “Sorry, I was busy, have a good afternoon”

Go back to messages
One new message, reply quickly
Wonder if friends think I'm rude for being so hasty in my replies
Think about my friends
Wonder what my friends are doing right now
Smile, and laugh because they're probably doing the same exact thing

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2014 Good Riddance

I hated 2014. I'm not sure if I hated it more or less than 2013, but I was pretty much happy to see the door slam it on the backside on its way out. 2014 was a year of getting "Unstuck". We discussed it at church, we discussed it in small groups, and I had been having my heart molded to be able to accept this way of thinking for two years prior to implementing it. However, I'm going to just say right now that getting something unstuck isn't usually pain free. Have you ever had a band-aid stuck to any part of your body? The only time I can remember pulling a band-aid off and it not feeling somewhat uncomfortable, was when it was on a finger and the thing was sloppy wet from washing my hands, so pretty much it was falling off anyway. No pain there. No effort either.

In 2014, the year of getting Unstuck, I found that all sorts of things were painful. Getting out of the sticky goo of my unhealthy attitude stung a bit. Taking my mind and body through a better eating plan sure wasn't easy, and was often downright uncomfortable. Telling people "No" sometimes hurt, and on the flip side, telling people "Yes" sometimes hurt too. All of these things were necessary.

Another painful experience was taking one more step in our marriage relationship to bring things to a place where I was me, and he was he -- instead of us being mush. I learned to choke down the meaning of the word "Codependency", and to begin to set firmer boundaries, and to love people the right way. I also decided to let God love me the way He wanted to, instead of pushing Him away and only allowing Him to love me when I felt I deserved it. That's the nice thing about love... it isn't for those who deserve it. It's for all of us who don't.

Early in the year 2014, I assisted in directing a Women's Retreat where the theme was "Get Out of the Boat". Now this theme wasn't just coincidental, believe me! My 2014 goal of getting unstuck, had begun an entire year before, when we were in the planning and developing stages of this retreat. One of the important things we discussed at that retreat was how to stop falling prey to fear. A BIG part of getting out of the boat, and to start really living, is to stop letting fear rule over our minds. Fear is basically telling God that we simply believe He can't, or He won't, fulfill His promises. We're telling everyone that our way is much better, and that His way is a lie. How selfish of me to believe that I can do things better than the one who created me??

Thankfully, the retreat went well, but unfortunately I was left to practice what I preached. (Good thing I'm not a preacher, right?) As with anyone else, getting out of the boat meant I was going to get wet more than once. Every time I looked away from the Lord, I sank. I have spent many, many hours floundering to keep my head just barely above water, trying to do things my way, trying to muscle my way through life even when I had no more energy left to move. There are times I've felt as if I'd literally leapt over the side of the boat, only to land in a sticky tar pit. Getting out of the boat and getting unstuck go together very well, but there's a fine line. You really have to watch intently where you're going, and stop looking back so much at where you've just been.