December 6, 2010

A Year of Grateful (or "Hey, Depression, kiss my ass!")

I have begun a new project: A year of being grateful. I always thank God for my children and the other obvious things, but somehow that wasn't enough. I read an article recently about a man who declared he could not receive anything in his life until he expressed his gratitude for the "stuff" he already had. It sparked something in me, because I was always wishing for the next thing. Not necessarily material things, but just the next step. I didn't enjoy the place I was in because I was already moving on to the next.

Then depression sat me on my ass.

And brought a deathly fear of medication.

It is possible to take medication to help with depression, except when you have a true phobia about pills. Yeah. What the hell do I take to make it okay to take the pill? See the problem? So, I've had to find other ways to keep myself off the ledge and out of the knife drawer. My answer after reading this article, was to begin a year of finding out what I am grateful for. To keep things interesting, I am also finding ways to pay it forward, so to speak.

My first task was to write a thank-you note to my principal for all the generous things she does for me. Cheap, fast, and heartfelt. Next I decided to buy breakfast for the person behind me at McDonalds. She yelled "Thank you! Have a good day!" And I did. My third endeavor was a little closer to home. Many, many years ago, there was a split in my family that caused me to lose contact with a family member. This person is going through a terrible time, so I sent him a note to tell him I was thinking of him and maybe we could have coffee sometime.

So far, so good. I enjoy being kind, because part of my happiness depends on believing in the goodness of humanity. I have to believe that not every person is looking to rape, kill, or rob me. I have to believe that every person who doesn't look like me doesn't want to hate me. It is important to me that people know they are loved by someone, somewhere.

Depression is hanging out less and less in the corners of my mind. That's a good thing. In the process, I'm hopefully making someone else smile....while flipping the bird to depression!

July 29, 2010

I'm not SuperMom

When I was pregnant with my first child, I envisioned baking cookies in matching aprons while butterflies danced outside our kitchen window. There would never be television, and every moment would be special. Then she was born.

I love all three of my children with every ounce of my body, but we've baked cookies once. Today we're making cupcakes because the house is clean, it's raining, and we're bored. I have yet to see a damn butterfly outside my window. Hornets, yes.

It's all relative, though. When the kids are fighting and I'm ready to dive headfirst into a bottle of Scotch, I think of how sucky the silence is when they're gone. When I hear the oldest reading a story to her brother after he's shoved her around all day, it's worth it. When the baby toddles up like a little drunken sailor with crusted cheerios in her hair and smiles, I can forget the previous 6 hours of screaming because I won't let her play with kitchen knives. And, yes, when we clamber up on the couch to watch the "banned" television and I have some part of each of their three bodies strewn across me, I'm grateful.

Every moment can't be a "moment." I can't helicopter around waiting to see some interest I can foster into creative genius. There friggin laundry to do! I'm sometimes jealous of those moms who never have roots, always wear make-up, and who can do it all with their matching tennis bags and monogrammed outfits. It ain't me, but that's cool. My kids think I totally rock.

July 18, 2010

Really? Is this my gene pool? Dammit!

In my head I am a friggin' genius, but my DNA might say otherwise. Although my parents are quite adept at buying technology, installing it is quite another story. This is why I was over at their house for two hours helping with various "things" on the computer.

As a gift, my father bought my mom a printer that is so beyond what they need. She prints pictures of decorating ideas. He never prints shit. What does he buy? A wireless printer/copier/fax machine that is something akin to a DeLorean. As I'm hooking it up, my mom comes into the room and looks at it very carefully. Very, very carefully. She says nothing for a moment. Then (wait for it.....) she says,

"If it's wireless, why do you have to plug it into the wall?"

Um, because it's wireless, not solar.

That is why I can't be the genius I was meant to be: My genetics won't allow it.