January 30, 2012

The Sisters' Prom Extravaganza

Gimme your ear for a minute and I'm going to explain the title of this blog.  I have no sisters, well, biological ones.  I've got better ones than that.  See, I figure if I had a real one(s), we'd fight over which one of us got Mother's jewelry or china or some other mindless crap.  Now I have the glory of sisters with none of the bickering and jealousy.  Okay, well, we do bicker, but we get over it...eventually.

I haven't got just one:  There are many and they are all such a wonderful and blessed part of my life.  Some have been with me since not long after I learned to walk; some left and came back; some held me while I mourned a marriage that was destined for failure from the start; some stood by as I married the most magnificent man ever (next to my daddy, of course);  some told me I was beautiful when I thought the exact opposite; and, some just walked in like they'd always been there and stayed. 

We've fought and stopped speaking.  We've cussed each other and thrown sharp objects and sharper words.  We've missed important parts of each others' lives.  We've sworn off each other like a crackhead swearing off the pipe. Then we realize that we are woven into each other.  It is not a footprint, but tied into the very essence of my life.

I am inspired by the strength that women find when there is not nary a drop of hope in the well.  I'm amazed by single mothers who do it all and then some.  I'm amazed by the alcoholic women who promise not to drink just one more day and find the strength to keep it.  I'm overwhelmed by those women who suffer at the hands of abusive partners and find the power to walk away.  I'm astounded by those women who battle the depression and anxiety and other mental illnesses and fight every day as if life depended on it because often it does.  Our gender is worthy.

What inspired me Sunday morning was thebloggess.com's traveling red dress. I wanted a red dress.  I wanted something, anything, to make me feel like I mattered.  Sometimes I'm not me; I'm somebody's mom or somebody's wife or somebody's teacher.  I wanted to be me.  Then I tried to think of what in the world that represented to me?  A dress?  A car?  Jewelry?  There was nothing that came to mind.  I'm fortunate enough to have clothes in the closet and my taste is pretty crappy, so most of what I like is cheap.  

What I really wanted was someone else to have that red dress, that moment of feeling beautiful.  I love that swimmy feeling in my stomach when I see other people happy.  Even better is when I can be a part of that.

I'm having a prom.  The idea dawned on me and made perfect sense.  I'm having a prom.  A good old-fashioned prom with butter mints and crepe streamers and cheesy pictures.  Some of my sisters are pitching in.  You don't have to worry about a date because this is only for the girls.  We're gonna dance and sing and pretend we aren't wounded.  Then, when our feet are swollen, our lungs weak from song, and our souls replenished, we will donate our beautiful dresses to our local church to share them for upcoming proms. Girls who otherwise might not have a dress at all will go to prom with a special dress.  One that has had life breathed into it by those of us more jaded than the new owners.

I'm afraid this will fail.  I'm afraid people will say they will come and then not.  I'm afraid people will come and hate it.  I'm afraid the music will suck or they won't have fun.  I'm afraid of so many things, but mostly I'm afraid of this not happening.  My anxiety is gnawing at my belly, but I'm going to see it through.  So help me, if I have to, I will dance in my fancy-schmancy dress all by my damn self and then I will fall breathless to the floor. I've survived a lot, and I deserve that dress and that dance and a beautiful teenage girl deserves  it, too. So I'm gonna make it happen.

Go find your dress. It's on.

January 28, 2012

My Love Affair with Marshmallow Creme....And The Aunt Who Loved Me

Marshmallow Creme (Cream?) is truly a gift from the heavens.  It is based on my favorite food group, sugar, so it really can't be wrong.  It's shiny and fluffy and makes everything better.  I think it was what God had for dessert on his day of rest.

Many years ago, I was an insecure freshman in high school desperately in love with one of the most beautiful people I thought I'd ever seen.  For some freak reason I have yet to understand, he asked me out and we continued to date for several years.  One night I was sitting on kitchen counter eating straight from the jar of marshmallow cream and talking to a girlfriend about how said boyfriend and I were so in sync and obviously were destined for marriage.  She relayed this to common friend of ours who happened to have a crush on my boyfriend.  Common friend, upon hearing of our true love destiny and my love affair with the 'mallow, said, "I hope she gets fat so he dumps her."   That kinda ruined our relationship for a while...me and the mallow, I mean.  

Years later, during my freshman year of college, my beloved aunt turned 50.  Now, my aunt never had any children of her own, so I was her surrogate child.  Every kid should have one of these...She brought me clothes and anything my heart desired; she intervened when my parents obviously did not know how to be appropriate parents (read:  they told me no); above all, she loved me unconditionally.  I knew that parents were supposed to do that, but it was pretty cool that she did, too.  

For the 50th anniversary of her birth, her husband had a party for her.  Here is what I remember:  there was a really, really cute boy there whom I later dated (My love destiny turned out to not be so destined. He got a job at a pizza joint my senior year and fell in love with a co-worker.);  there was a very hairy stripper with long curly hair, ala Patrick Hernandez (go google it now); and there was the best damn fruit dip ever there.  It was creamy and orangey AND had marshmallow cream in it.  SCORE!

My aunt made it for me a couple of times when I went to visit after that, but then that ended.  She passed away unexpectedly not long after.  I never thought she would be gone, at least not until she was very ancient and had helped me raise my own kids who were yet to be born.  This woman oozed life and I couldn't imagine it being any other way until it was.  I never thought to ask her for a recipe because she was always supposed to be there.

It has been almost 20 years since I had that dip...until today.  I helped my sister (not really, but only because God separated us at birth) host a baby shower for our other sister (again, not my sister, but it really is her sister!).  While looking for a dip recipe online for the fruit, I came across one that sounded like it just might be similar.  I thought, what the hell?  We had really good petit fours, so I could always hide the dip if it sucked.

It wasn't just similar; It was THE dip.  For that brief second, I was 18 and still innocent about how much it hurt to lose people you love.  I ate it without fruit until I had made sure it really was the same.  Then I had it with fruit to make sure it was still the same. I probably had a few too many bites, but I'm sure it's okay.  I know it's okay.

Today I saw one of my oldest and dearest friends happy and full of life (literally) and I thought about how fleeting it sometimes is.  I sometimes wonder how the hell I got to kissing 40 ~ Where did the time go?  Why didn't I do more with it?  I should've appreciated more.  I should've gone to the gym sooner.  Really, I should've eaten more marshmallow cream. 

Now, go make this dip and say a little thanks to my aunt who I know is still looking down on me everyday of my life.  I think I will christen this Wanda's Stripper Dip!

7 oz whipped cream cheese
7 oz marshmallow creme
1-2 tablespoons Tang (depends on how strong you prefer)

Mix together in a bowl with a fork or knife and use as dip.  Most awesome with white seedless grapes!

P.S.  I'm totally aware there are no cookbook companies knocking on my door.  

January 25, 2012

What if the Hokey Pokey is Really What It's All About?

First, I must admit I totally stole that title from a sign in my soul sistah's house.  I've always loved it, because, well, what if the hokey pokey is what life's all about?  Not money, status, religion, or whatever...just a silly little dance while we're here on Earth?

A friend posted on facebook the other day, "Do you ever feel like you're just going through the motions?"  Um, hello, were you sitting inside my brain reading my thoughts?  Yes, Yes, YES!!!  Every stinkin' moment of my (seemingly) unfulfilled life! 

I blame this all upon the media, really.  Oh, and Hollywood.  Bastards.  There are glorious commercials  showing soccer moms with their long, shiny hair getting the monogrammed cooler out of the back of the equally shiny SUV.  The kids are perfectly dressed with monogrammed ribbons in their hair.  Nobody's fighting, everyone is on time, and the bloody sun is shining.  Not reality, peeps.

Here is how our soccer practice/games usually go.  We can't find the gear, whether it's shin guards, the ball, or cleats.  When everything is ready, I have to drive like Mario Andretti on meth because we're almost late and being late means running extra.  I forgot to buy water and we can't find the damn water bottle.  Brother is mad because he can or can't go.  Whatever I need him to do, he wants to do the opposite.  And if Baby Girl has to go, she screams like a wounded bat because there is no way I'm letting her out of her restraints, aka car seat.  We tried that once, and she ran out on the field repeatedly.  I was that parent.

In addition to my long, shiny hair and shiny SUV, I should also be doing yoga upon waking, preparing organic meals grown in my own garden, and composting to save the Earth.  Speaking of saving, I should also be socking away money for three college educations while still paying for my own and also be able to leave my kids an inheritance large enough they can travel the world for summer vacations long after I'm dead and gone.  Oh, I should make my bed every morning while the birds chirp outside my window and the rays of the sun pour through my window and dance across the bed.  And I should be dressed in a very expensive nightie while doing this.

I should also belong to a book club and my kids need to belong to several extra-curricular academic clubs in addition to their competitive athletic activities.  They will also need to play an instrument, preferably an obscure one.  The more obscure, the better. Like the Glockenspiel.  (Okay, I totally googled obscure musical instruments to find that, but it was featured on Jimi Hendrix's Little Wing.)  Oh, and they need to speak another language.  Actually more than two.  Two is just for losers.

Somewhere along the way, I'm supposed to love and care for them and actually let them know I'm their mom and what it means to be a part of our family.

So, yes, I do feel like I'm going through the motions.  The motions of laundry and scrubbing toilets and cleaning dishes and wiping noses and butts.  I sleep and then get up to do it all over again. Some days, I *gasp* go out into public without washing my hair.  I have been known to go to the grocery store in sweats...not fancy yoga pants, but real, honest-to-God sweat pants.  

The motions are what makes our life our life.  If we suddenly showed up spit-shined and polished, people would worry.  My kids haven't seen a foreign country, but they've memorized every dip and divot of their grandparent's backyard.  I don't read them stories every night, but my oldest and I play "I love you more than..." before bed.  "I love you more than ice cream."  "Well, I love you more than a snow day!"  And so it goes...

The hokey pokey is a repetitive dance where one hand goes in, then out.  Next hand, then a foot, then the other foot.  If you're wild and crazy, you throw your head in there.  And repeat until you fall over.  That is life.  The same craziness over and over, dancing a little ditty along the way, and repeating till you can't anymore.  So, maybe the hokey pokey is what it's all about, not shiny, fake hair or blinged-out cars or competitions about who has the best/smartest/prettiest kid.  I think I rather like the idea of the hokey pokey being the meaning to life.  Rather much, indeed.

January 23, 2012

And Three Makes...

Two kids among two parents is good.  There is a balance and harmony.  The parents are not outnumbered.  There is a kid for each parent.  We tossed around the idea of another child, but couldn't really decide until it was decided for us.  For the record, if your doctor puts you on Metformin, it's also used to treat infertility.  Just so you know.

Let me introduce you to the Baby Girl.  She was as cute as the dickens when we brought her home...all long shiny black hair with bright blue eyes.  Peaceful, she was.  Slept through the night early on...WIN!  And then she turned two.

Our big kids, as we call them, never went through the terrible twos.  Matter of fact, I thought other parents were a bunch of wusses.  Looking back, I had been given a gift.   It's like God looked at me and said, "You unappreciative jackass! How dare you challenge me!"  They were very agreeable children.  Oh, the memories.

Here was how our evening began...

Baby Girl wants into Brother's room, but (because she destroys everything in her path like an F5 tornado) he doesn't want her to come in...rightfully so.  He gives her a little push out the door and then locks it.  Now, at this point, most children would cry.  They might come crying to mommy.  What does my child do?  She begins a gnashing and wailing fit for a murder scene.

Now before you think she has deep-seated issues and should start therapy immediately, it's what follows that puts the icing on the cake....She cries deep, sobbing cries...She runs down the stairs screaming my name....and then she tells me..."Brother bit me!"  I look at her sweet, chubby little hand and it is red and there are indeed teeth marks.  How dare he!

I scream bloody hell for Brother to come downstairs right now.  It must be said that he can't tell a lie if his life depended on it.  His face gives it all away.  When I confronted him with that cherubic face and sweet little hand, I could see the truth all over his face...he didn't do it.  Not a snowball's chance in Hades did he do this.

My gaze drifts back to the little angel I had lovingly carried in my womb and given birth to, and she is grinning from ear to ear.  She says so earnestly, "No, brother do it."  And she is lying through her cute little chiclet teeth. I take a more investigative look at that sweet cherub hand and do a quick gauge of the size of the imprint.  So help me, she bit herself to get Brother in trouble.  For real

At this point, we either have a criminal mastermind or a creative genius on our hands.  Bless our hearts.

January 19, 2012

Shhh...I've got a secret.

Okay, you have to promise you won't tell. No, really, this is just between us. Promise?  Cross your heart, hope to die, stick a needle in your eye?  Okay....here goes.  



Alright.  Here it goes.

I go to *gasp* therapy....like with a real doctor. (At least I think so...he has a lot of fancy papers on his wall that have big letters after his name.)

I'm not sure why this is talked about in whispers and hushed conversations.  "Yeah, you know, she goes to a, well, shrink."  "Have you heard?  She has to go talk to somebody."  It's not a crime, I swear.

When my anxiety started affecting my life (like, can't go to the grocery store) I decided it was time to be proactive rather than someone find me dead in my basement 12 years after I kicked it.  I found a rather lovely lady who I chatted with every other week or so for about a year.  She gave me a rock and told me I was ready.  And, I was.  I had learned enough to fight the good fight against anxiety.  So that was that.

To keep my anxiety in check I make regular pit-stops with my new guy.  Really, I could sit in a room and talk to myself or, better yet, go eat dinner in a quiet place with my favorite book and no kids.  It's more fun to have an audience.  We chat about why elevators make me jumpy.  We discuss why I still have to be disagreeable sometimes.  He tries to convince me my kids are normal while I try to explain to him they are most certainly not.

This is a difference between a therapist and having a glass of wine with your best friend.  They don't judge you.  They give you advice or helpful hints.  If you follow it, great.  If not, well, that's okay, too.  A friend will give you advice and helpful hints, as well.  If you don't follow it, you will be called out.  There are times when this is okay.  Sometimes it's great.  But, it's not always effective.  Sometimes you need someone who's not invested in your happiness.

So, there's my dirty, little secret.  I haven't grown two heads...I don't hold human sacrifices in my garage...I don't wear white after Labor Day.  I'm a perfectly normal (whatever that is) girl who happens to have conversations with someone trained in matters of the mind.  

Now, remember, you promised not to tell anyone, right?  RIGHT?!?!?!

January 16, 2012

Still A Dream

I love old people.  I love that they pretty much say whatever is on their minds.  I love that they sometimes dress like it was the middle of the night and they didn't turn the light on.  I love that they tell random kids what to do.  I love the stories they tell.  I love the gentleman on the treadmill in front of me who picks the underwear out of his crack without a care that I'm behind him.  They are a glorious part of our social fabric, and we don't celebrate them enough.

Sometimes, though, their words are an ugly reminder that we have miles to travel as a country.

Overheard:  "I guess they'll be marchin' today."  "That young man over there is who should be marching." (Referring to young man with military tattoos.) "Yeah, guess there won't be any mail today."  "Or banks open."  "Hmph."

Sometimes old people aren't so awesome.

I look to a day when people will not be judged by their color of their skin but by the content of their character. — MLK

If you change sides of the street when you see members of another race, we are not there.  If you cringe when you learn of the success of another race, we are not there.  If you donate money to help poor children of another race, but do not invite them to your home, we are not there. If you would not allow your child to date/love/marry someone of another race, we are not there.

This isn't just a day the banks are closed and schools are out; It's a day we should all reflect on how we live our own lives.  That means looking deep in our souls and seeing ourselves for what we truly are...not what our charitable donations portray us to be.  What are you prejudices?  Do you hide behind these with soothing words?  Are your donations meant to make you feel better about yourself or to truly help?  

In church, I hear these words, "And let all of God's children say, Amen."  That doesn't mean just his white ones, or black ones, or brown ones, or any one particular group...It means ALL OF GOD's CHILDREN.  We are all born; We all have joys; We all suffer; We all die.  We are all God's children, and to judge one another based upon the color of our skin is, simply, wrong.  Judge actions. Judge deeds.  Judge words.  Judge character.  

There was a day in my life that changed me and shaped who I've become...(read it here: http://breathechick.blogspot.com/2011/03/what-doesnt-kill-youonly-gives-you.html)  That boy who came back?  He was the boy I shouldn't have been talking to, according to some people, because he wasn't "my color" but those other two boys were.  Judge actions. Judge words.  Judge character.

The dream is still there...it would be a shame to let it be snuffed out before its light could penetrate every single dark corner of our world.  And let all of God's children say, Amen.

January 14, 2012

Pins and Needles

My guilty pleasure, other than this blog, is trash, I mean, reality television.  It really doesn't matter what the show is.  Current fave is TI & Tiny, but Jersey Shore is always near and dear to my heart.  It's that train wreck you have to watch.  I know I'm so far out of their demographic I might as well have a bone in my lip and rings around my neck...wait, some of their target audience does look like that!

Last night my husband was feeling sorry for me because I was going to have the kids by myself at dinner time/bath time/hell for the next couple of nights, so he turned on Jersey Shore on the "big tv" in the den, which means I wasn't banished to our bedroom to watch it on the crappy one.  You think Snooki looks orange on a regular tv, you should see her on this one! Yikes! (I got love for Snooki, though.)

Vinny was just not himself, and it came out during the show that he battles chronic anxiety.  I was a little dumbfounded, because I would never have guessed. With all he has done on the show, you would never know.  I never noticed, which maybe was his goal.

Take a little journey with me....

I have battled anxiety as long as I can remember.  Even as a kid, it was there.  Recurring nightmares were so much a part of my life, I remember climbing in bed with my mom in high school and college just to get some rest.  My stomach has always been a bundle of knots, even in the best of times.  As I have tried to explain to Better Half, I don't know what it feels like to feel normal.  I'm almost always on the roller coaster.

There is a difference, for me, between a panic attack and an anxiety attack.  Hmmm...a panic attack is like a binge drinker and anxiety is like a drink-a-day social drinker.  The anxiety is always bubbling under the surface, and most days I manage to keep it there.  The panic is a wave that comes with all its might no matter how much I try to keep it at bay.

My first panic attack happened after the perfect storm of all my greatest fears happened within a 24 hour period of time.  The thought running through my mind was, "I've got to get out of this body."  If I could unzip myself and step out, I could get away from my racing mind.  Of course, that is impossible, so I was in for the ride, one that ended at the ER.

I'm sure everyone's physical symptoms vary, but mine generally follow this pattern.  My stomach is in knots, then a hot flash radiates from my head to my toes, my heart starts racing, my breathing becomes uncontrollable, my legs shake, and my teeth chatter.  My legs shake so much that I have moved the bed across the floor. Generally, it lasts for a few hours.  By the end, my body is so exhausted I sleep for hours.  This is the only time my mind is quiet.

A second panic attack came a month after the first when I was out of town.  They both have happened when I am away from home, which has impacted my traveling (or lack thereof).  If I can get home and to my Better Half and kids, I am okay.  That represents stability, safety, and care for me.  The ER in this town was absolutely horrific (thanks, NC!).  I feel certain they thought I was on drugs, but whatever.  They tried to give me Mylanta with a numbing medication because they thought my acid reflux was causing it.  Guess what?  When you feel like you can't breathe, you cherish every physical indicator of breathing.  The feel of air moving against the back of my throat is completely necessary to my getting through this.  Numbing WON'T help.  When the nurse looked at my with hate and disdain because I refused the medicine, I decided it was just best to go.  She was obviously no help.

Looking back, I probably hit a period of depression after this one.  I thought there was something medically wrong with me, like cancer or heart problems. I talked to doctors and no one seemed to be very concerned.  I was "probably a little high strung" and should calm down.  This only made it worse, because I couldn't calm down.  I couldn't stop my mind from racing every second of the day.  There was no calm, just the constant swirling of thoughts.

Finally, I found someone who told me I was not crazy and I was not dying.  I would be fine and I could learn to live with this.  There are medications to battle anxiety, but one of my phobias deals with taking medications so that hasn't really been an option for me. It's funny, in an ironic way, because I have anxiety about taking any sort of medications (even aspirin) so I cause myself to have an anxiety attack by taking the medications to stop the anxiety.  Nice, huh?  Sometimes you just ride it out and know that it will eventually be over.

I've learned to talk my way through some of it, and I avoid situations that make me anxious.  Elevators are a big no-no for me, as are closed-in spaces, airplanes, and excessive noise.  Mostly there is always this undercurrent of not being connected to the world around you.  Even at a social function when you are having a conversation with someone you've known all your life, it almost feels like an out-of-body experience. Sometimes it feel like I have an electric current running through my body.  Most days, it's exhausting.

We have ribbons for just about everything and marathons and telethons and all sorts of awareness.  I know that this is in no way close to having cancer or a terminal illness.  I know that it does not seem like that big of a deal.   When you are the one trying to function, though, it is a big deal.  I have a career with responsibilities, three children to raise, and a husband I love dearly.  I can't just check out because the anxiety wells up and spills out into my life.  If you know someone who deals with this, take the time to talk to them and see what it's like to walk in their shoes.  Check in from time to time to see how they're doing.  Know what their triggers are so you don't unintentionally flip the switch.  Most importantly, don't tell them to calm down.  It's not that easy.

My ego loves when you share my blog, but please do share this one.  Two great things came out of my guilty pleasure last night:  My Better Half and I had a discussion about what it was like for me, and I think (I like to, anyway) he had a new perspective because he heard someone else verbalize how it felt; secondly, I didn't feel so alone.  Vinny and I have nothing in common (except our abs...his are real, but mine are more a goal right now...still) and live totally different lives, but we both live in this world dictated to us by our anxieties.  I would rather us just have met and had coffee.

So, be kind, talk, and go share.  

January 12, 2012

And Parents of The Year Goes To....Not Us!

Promises of epic proportions were made to my unborn child and the Universe as I sat leafing through dreamy Parenting mags when I was pregnant with my first child.  I would do better.  I would read to her nightly; I would make sure she ate plenty of fruits and veggies so she would love them as she grew up.  Oh, and no Barney.  That was important.

Needless to say, I have now realized (with three kids) that I suck.  All those things went out the window, except Barney...which, now that I think about it, might have been the most important.

Last night was one of those rare moments.  The stars aligned, the moon was right, and we actually had a family-ish dinner.  That is to say, 3 of the 5 family members ate the same meal.  One was at church and opted to eat there (he chose church after he looked at the meal...hmmm....), and Baby Girl just grazes cause she thinks she's Queen of the Universe.  (She's wrong, by the way.)  We had homemade (let me stress that:  HOMEMADE) risotto with sausage, peas, and onions.  And I didn't screw it up.

We got homework done, read stories, AND practiced piano.  There was laughter involved, bedtime was kinda on time, and I might have heard angels singing at one point.  We were those parents others dream of...seriously.

Tonight,well, tonight we might even scare the Super Nanny.  

There was going to be dinner, but that was sidelined by a necessary trip to the store.  Tween daughter, aka "gonna kill me yet", is going on a weekend trip with her BFF and decided it was a good time to take off her current fake nails (purchased by grandparents who are punishing me for my evil deeds as their child) and then paint over the remaining glue with equally tacky purple nail polish which, of course, needed some silver crackle over that.  

Baby Girl has a tummy ache and a snotty nose, oh, and no nap today.  She's a real joy. She's so damn happy she's yelled everything she's said to me today. "Sweetie, does your tummy hurt?"  "ARRRGGGHH.  YES!!!"  "Do you want to go lay down?"  "DON'T TALK TO ME!!!!"  Did I mention she's two?  Good times, good times.  Son is just brooding about because somehow he thinks going to piano lessons means he doesn't have to do homework.  Whhhuuutt?

So dinner ended up being this:  Tween made her own noodle "thing"; Son ate two PB&Js; and Baby Girl grazed her way through a cheese stick, some goldfish, a popsicle, a pop-tart, and a yoo-hoo. Better Half might have eaten, but I'm not real sure.  I vaguely remember seeing him in the kitchen, but that might have been yesterday and I am remembering it wrong.  I have had a most healthy meal of buttered bread, a ginger ale, and a bag of Skinny Cow treats I snuck when I had to go buy the damn fingernail polish remover for Tween's ugly nails.  Bet First Lady Obama doesn't invite me to speak on healthy family meals anytime soon! 

Sometimes we get it right, and sometimes we get it so, so wrong.  It's bedtime and this is what is happening now.  Son is in the tub with no homework done and a tornado might have touched down in his room.  Tween is still being Betty Crocker in the kitchen and hasn't packed a damn thing for her trip tomorrow.  Baby Girl is fumbling around with a plate of noodles that may or may not have been made today.  I'm sitting here typing this hot mess and Better Half is reading yesterday's blog.  I know...you're jealous.  Don't hate the playa; hate the game, baby.

There's always tomorrow, Scarlett.

January 11, 2012

A Life Resolution...Or Get Off My Planet

I get bugged by things in an almost OCD kinda way...Obsessive, sometimes.  It's sorta like people who watch CSI and NCIS and follow the clues in 60 minutes or less for the solution, except I can't watch those shows because it makes my anxiety crazy.  Seriously, sometimes I have to leave the room over Law & Order because I can't stand the anticipation.  Issues?  Yes.

There's a blog I read regularly...another one of those things I believe to be not random.  How do you find this one blog out of the quadzillion on  the web that speaks to you in so many ways?  See, it just can't be chance.  The universe is too damn ginormous to be random.  (You should read it, too!  edenriley.com)  I envy her truth and her ballsy approach to life...I am jealous that she walks about this Earth with skin so thick others' words don't sting the way they do me.  I wish I had that backbone.  Sometimes I think we can't be honest because it hurts too much.

Being honest with one's self and others is simply being who you are, except it's not always so simple.  It's wearing the funky clothes you want to wear, not what your friends are wearing.  It's getting that tattoo you always wanted even though your grandmother would turn in her grave.  It's leaving the secure job that makes sense to take the leap into one that is your passion.  It's living your truth for you.

I try not to make resolutions because I generally fail.  Sometimes I think I just sabotage myself because it's easier to get the failure over with early on.  Little threads of annoyance have crept into my mind of late, though, and I have made one this year.  But, this is to be a forever resolution~not just for the year.  What I want to is be more me, and I want others to do the same (except they need to be more them...not more me.) I want to be able to say, "No, I can't help with that," and not feel guilty.   I want to be able to admit I really just don't like to travel that far from home and not be looked at like I have two heads.  I want to sing and dance and not worry about what others think or say.  Dirt off your shoulder, yes?

When I go to the gym, I'm not gonna care if some lithe, young girl who has no knowledge of what three kids will do to her body looks at me funny when I'm jamming out to Eminem or Jay-Z while I trudge on the treadmill.  (I bought some fancy running shoes, but I don't want to wear them out too quickly.  I'm pacing myself for the sake of the shoes.)  I will carve out time for me so I can be a better mom and wife.  I'm gonna go on a friggin' search-and-rescue mission for that carefree, fun girl I used to be.  She's out there somewhere.  Go be you.