The Ugly Head of Guilt Needs a Makeover

I am not good with extremes or black and white.  In my opinion, the entire problem with the world we live in today is that too many people take a rigid view of right and wrong and seldom leave any room for the gray areas.  I could write a whole book of examples on why staying in the middle and keeping an open mind would improve all areas of life but I am too lazy.  Instead, I am just going to impart some wisdom and vent a little bit.

Selfishness is a sin.  Society teaches us this from childbirth on into adulthood.  I, respectfully of course, disagree.  Yes, the total selfishness that causes harm to others makes you a douche canoe, but once again that’s an extreme and I don’t deal in those.  I think that to become a balanced, contributing member of society you have to have at least of measure of the “sins” like ego, selfishness, laziness etc.  The only members of society that can claim to be without these things are insane cult leaders and boy does the world need more of them.

In a cruel twist of irony, both of my children were born with a need for others to be happy and are sometimes very sensitive to the problems of the world.  Although, this may not sound like a problem let me assure you it is exhausting and heartbreaking to have to explain to your child over and over that life is not fair and we can only do the best we can with the tools we have.  Because of this, I have learned that selfishness is a necessity at times and have tried to pass this onto my children.  I have had to teach my daughter especially, that there are times where you have to cut the cord and step back from a situation.  We have had many discussions on how you can only try so many times before you get dragged so far down into something, it’s almost impossible to climb back up.  There is a difference between fixing a broken world and letting the world break you.  If that is selfish, so be it.

Personally, I usually don’t mind saying no or being selfish but lately guilt has reared its ugly head and decided to screw with my brain.  At what is probably the second busiest time I have ever experienced in my life (early stages of motherhood being first), my conscience has kicked in and made me second guess myself about 153 times a day.  Intellectually, I know that right now I really have to make sure I keep my life on track and not spread myself so taut that I snap, but emotionally I feel like I am letting key people in my life down.  I want to put up an Out of Order or an Under Construction sign on my front door and social media pages just so everyone will know it’s not personal but that I am doing some much needed maintenance in my own life.  If the guilt will just simmer down a bit then I hope to emerge shiny, fresh and full of energy, ready to tackle the world’s dramas head on or at least be able to visit my mother more often.

I am not the only person who has ever gone through this particular life problem and the world is full of far more important issues that I could be writing about but this is my blog and I already warned you that I am selfish.

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Saved by the “Selfie” Generation?

If you follow the “grown up” media i.e. Fox, CNN, Time etc. then you know the world is going to hell in a hand basket quick, fast and in a hurry.  Every new generation is said to be worse than the previous one, but I think that the upcoming young adults may yet turn it around.

Many, many times over my children’s lives I have uttered the phrase “Lord, help us all” when thinking about their generation being in charge one day but now that they are sort of grown, I find myself reevaluating.  My generation was raised to suck it up, be strong and to stay in your lane.  People rarely talked about mushy gushy stuff and you really did not air your dirty laundry to anyone and everyone.  We were taught there was one way to have a successful life.  You were supposed to go to school hopefully through college, get a good paying job, marry a nice man/woman, have a few kids, retire at 65 and then travel until you die. Guess what?  College degrees are worth crap, jobs of any type are scarce, divorce rates are astronomical and retirement is a myth, so we obviously missed something along the way.

Today’s young people are more sensitive, they have no filters and have never met a stranger, but who’s to say that is a bad thing?  The newest generations care about their planet, they care about the individual rights and equality of all people, and they care about being healthy and fit.  What I think is really great is that not only do they care about all these things, but they actually go out and do something about it.  The world has shrunk down to the size of your palm for this new generation and they take full advantage of this fact.  They ban together on the million and one social media sites and by sheer numbers alone effect change.  Don’t believe me?  Google “world change through social media” for endless examples.  Facebook alone is such a threat that many countries impose bans including China, Iraq and N. Korea.  They must be doing something right, because I guarantee you it’s not the 40+ year old demographic that is getting any social media banned.

I know they are not perfect.  They have no common sense, they really don’t speak any form of written language and the selfies alone make you want to slap the shit out of them but they are bold and adventurous.  They have no time limits, no travel limits and boundless imagination.  They do not understand the word can’t and have very few inhibitions.  I am pretty sure the young adults of today are fearless while living in a very scary world.

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Don’t Poop Where You Eat!

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I just returned home yesterday from a 5 day trip to St. Louis where I was moving my daughter into her new apartment for college.  As I am sure you are all aware, St. Louis is a hotbed of controversy to say the least right now.

Just like you, I have no factual information on the Ferguson shooting nor am I going to express any opinions on the actual shooting itself.  I will say the whole of St. Louis is in chaos and leaving my daughter so close to this pandemonium was not exactly the easiest thing I have ever done.

What I will talk about and will never understand is WHY would you riot and loot your own city?  I understand protests, marches, sit-ins, petitions, etc.  I understand being upset, confused and frustrated.  I do not understand destroying the town you live in especially when you are not financially able to leave said town once it is destroyed.  The rioters are shooting each other, burning the only shops they have to shop in and destroying the property of their neighbors.  I would like to know how protesting a shooting by going out and shooting someone else makes sense to anyone.  And the violence just continues to escalate.  How do they not realize that if this continues, they will no longer have a place to call home?

I really grieve for the elderly and the children living in that neighborhood.  They have very little hope for escape and no way to defend themselves.  They are having to hunker down in the dark and pray that they not only wake up with their property intact but their actual lives.  The children are not able to go to school or even outside to play.  The emergency services are so overworked and spread thin that 911 is not even able to respond full time with ambulances or fire trucks to the actual life threatening emergencies that deserve their attention.

Quite simply, life is on pause while the neighborhood rioters wage a mini war on each other all in the name of stopping unnecessary violence.  The irony breaks my heart.

Unconventional Inspiration

I have never watched American Ninja Warrior mainly because if it’s not on Netflix or YouTube, I wouldn’t have any idea it exists but I have seen the video of #mightykacy Kacy Catanzaro and let me tell you I was blown away.  I sat through seven minutes of breath holding, tummy tingling suspense and by the time it was over felt like jumping up and doing a dance around my living room.

Kacy is my ultimate definition of “girl power” and a great role model.  This woman is 5’ tall, 100 pounds and made it through obstacles that many men couldn’t make it halfway through on their best day.  She is a powerhouse.  Of course, many will say that she has been training for this her whole life because she is a champion gymnast but that only proves my point.  This girl has been working on improving herself her pretty much since birth.  She didn’t stop after her gymnastics career was over and if you watch her face during the video, I promise you it never once crossed her mind that she couldn’t finish it.  I would kill for confidence and ability like that.  Just watch her in action.

I think this video impacted me more then it normally would have because yesterday I received the results of my recent blood work from the doctor telling me that I have high cholesterol.  I couldn’t even process this when I first opened it.  I know most of you are probably thinking that it’s no big deal, millions of people have it but to me it really was.  In my mind, I am still young and healthy even at 38 years old.  Of course the first thing I did was Google cholesterol and ways to lower it.  I really, really did not like what it was telling me.  It wants me to change my eating habits, start exercising and stop smoking. Yes I smoke.  It is my shameful vice that I can’t seem to shake.  I was a little overwhelmed because that is pretty much changing everything about me except for my vibrant, winning personality.  (Google probably thinks I should change that too but baby steps people.)

I have not always had such an unhealthy lifestyle.  I was quite an active child or tomboy as some say.  I played sports all through school and had a vague dislike of all things pink.  When my children were born, I was still quite energetic.  We played outside, went on trips to parks, hiked the mountains etc. but at some point around my first child hitting high school my activity level took a drastic decline.  I am not quite a couch potato but am closing in on it every day.  Any time I feel a little pudgy or vegetative, I will take up an activity like Pilates and get back in shape.  The moment I start to look and feel good however, I stop.  I am my own worst enemy.  It’s like my mind decides that if I can fit in my size 4 jeans again there is no point in working out and I can go back to couch grazing.  Of course with this attitude, I don’t stay in them very long and the cycle begins again.

Kacy’s run through that course was inspirational and motivating.  I watched her face and heard the crowd going crazy and started to think that if she can push herself to complete this monumental task then just maybe I can get through my own small one as well.  I know that it’s only a silly game show and I would normally dismiss it, but I will take inspiration wherever I can.  Mostly because Google says I have a lot of work to do.

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Superheroes

I am an honest to God superhero.  If you are a mom or dad whether biological, adoptive or guardian, than congratulations because you too are a superhero.  I will be sending you your cape in the mail.  Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Thor and Wolverine have nothing on being a parent.  (Too bad I still can’t fly)

I came to this conclusion yesterday while babysitting a precious 6 month old baby boy for 13 hours.  He really was a great baby.  He only cried once, took several naps, played by himself for periods of time and didn’t even poop, but I was still exhausted mentally and physically by the end of the day.  It made me wonder how in the world my children even survived to toddlerhood.  I am amazed at myself that I was able to raise 2 children to be at least semi normal and healthy with no hospital trips for exhaustion or mental breakdown for any of us.  I totally rock.

I had never really contemplated parenthood before yesterday.  Sure, I had bitched and complained about how hard it is at times but I had never thought of all the work it actually entails.  You have to be aware of this child at all times 24/7.  You have to make sure they eat, sleep, poop, play, learn and are active every single day.  You have to clean up the messes they make, hug and kiss them, and keep them medically healthy.  All this and more, while at the same time making sure you survive with at least a halfway normal life and a modicum of sanity.  That’s not to mention giving your partner the quality time your relationship needs to survive the next 40-50 years. It’s sounds impossible.

Holy schnikes Batman, that’s automatic Sainthood right there.

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Excuse me, I don’t know you.

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You know what’s wrong with today’s society?  No one understands personal space anymore.  I cannot leave the house without either being bumped, crowded in line or within kissing distance of a total stranger at some point during the day.

I understand that I am a small person but come on people there is no need to run me over.  Just today I was leaving the sporting goods store and a woman tried to “brush” past me and nearly spun me around.  I’m sorry were you really in such a hurry to buy camping supplies that you needed to mow me over?  And of course, I was raised correctly so I am the one that apologized which made me even madder.  I wish they made a force field you could turn on when you left the house and when anyone came within 2 feet of you they suffered a tiny shock.  (I don’t want to kill anyone just startle them a little bit)

Then there are the neck breathers.  Oh dear baby Jesus in heaven help me not punch the neck breathers.  I am standing in the exact same line you are in.  I have to wait the same amount of time that you do and breathing your hot, stinky breath down on me is not going to make the line move any faster.  If I can feel your body heat on my back, YOU ARE TOO CLOSE.  I am just going carry one of those fart machines around in my pocket and when someone starts crowding behind me I will just let one rip.  Too bad those machines don’t make the smell as well.

As I mentioned earlier, I was raised correctly so I am a helpful person.  If you look lost, confused or need help with something I automatically hop to it but please, please stop trying to explain your problem to me lip to lip.  I am short but my ears work just fine I promise.  Our breath does not have to co-mingle for you to get your point across.  If you are under the age of 5 or above the age of 70 I’m going to go ahead and give you a pass but anyone else I am just going to start licking.  It’s not like I haven’t just been breathing your germs for the last five minutes anyway, I don’t see how a little lick is going to make it worse.

Let’s all make a pact right now that the next time we leave the house we will pay attention to our surroundings and keep at least 12 inches between ourselves and the other people at all times.  My last nerve thanks you.

 

It’s not my fault. I have a condition.

todolist picLists, lists, and more lists.  I am so tired of lists!  They are never ending.  I have lists for shopping, chores in the house, bills I have to pay, posts I want to write, crap my kids need, appointments for the next month, books I want to read, ugh.

I have micromanaged my life into a series of lists and guess what?  I still don’t get anything done.  Experts tell you to manage your time well by setting a goal, making a list and marking it off as it’s completed.  They say not only will you complete more; you will get a feeling of accomplishment by just marking through each task.  I call shenanigans.  You know what I feel – pressure, anxiety and the need for a nap.  I have actually found that if I complete task that is not on the list, I will go back and add it just so I can mark something off and feel better.

It really has gotten to the point where I need a list for all my lists just to make sure I am looking at each one every single one day.  I also never seem to finish one because I just have to keep adding to them.  I know by now you are sitting there thinking “Well stop your bitching and just stop making lists.”  I CAN’T.  I not only get 0 things done without a list, I cause even more work for myself because I will either miss something and have to go back or I will do the same three things over and over but the dogs will starve to death.  Plus my daughter texts, emails, Facebooks and calls me weekly with lists of her own.  (She’s like a Drill Sergeant)

I came to terms with my scatterbrain and its need for lists many years ago and have mostly been fine with it but I will tell you it is starting to get out of control.  I think that the doctor should just go ahead and give me an official diagnosis so that the next time I forget a major event or run out of clean socks I can just blame it on my “condition”.  At this rate, I could claim it as a disability by age 40 and get a prescribed personal assistant just for my well-being.

STOP LEAVING BABIES IN THE CAR!

I’m going to go ahead and apologize for this post/rant in advance.

STOP LEAVING BABIES IN THE CAR!

What in the world is wrong with these parents that keep leaving their children in the car alone? I don’t care if it’s hot, cold, windy, rainy, snowy or beautiful outside don’t leave them in the car. They are babies. They are helpless. Your number one job in the whole world is to keep them safe period. Do your damn job!!

At least once a week, I read a story of some moron leaving their baby in the car and I get livid. I guess it is the mama bear in me but just thinking about these poor babies makes me want to bring back public hanging. These “parents” should be put in tiny glass boxes and left out in the sun. Let’s see how they like it. And don’t even tell me that they forgot. Unless you have had a full lobotomy, I don’t want to hear that crock of crap. Babies are a lot of things but forgettable is not one of them.

Why are these imbecils even having children? Do we need to implement testing in order to conceive? I mean you have to take a test before you can drive and I am pretty sure bringing another person into the world is just as important. You know what really kills me? None of the stories I have read so far have been about teenage parents or drug addicts. They have been fully grown, normal appearing adults. You have got to be shitting me.

I understand that parenting is hard, I really do. It is the hardest job on planet earth but it is not mandatory. In this day and age especially, if you do not want children, do not have them. It really is that simple. I understand unplanned events as well since I was a teenage parent but there are thousands of couples who would kill for the chance to adopt any baby anywhere. Being a parent is a privilege that comes with responsibility, joy, heartache, love, and terror that should be cherished not “forgotten” and left to die.

PSA – Please be aware of your surroundings and anytime you see a baby alone anywhere contact the local authorities immediately.

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Daughter = Terror

My daughter’s favorite pastime is to torture me and she has become a master.  Her latest device of terror happens to be calling me in the middle of the night while she is walking by herself back to her dorm because she is bored.

Let me explain a few things so that you will fully comprehend my horror.  Kaitlyn is a 20 year old, 5’ tall, beautiful girl and in college 350 miles away.  She also thinks she is indestructible. (Picture a Chihuahua growling at a Pit Bull)  The only thing in the world that scares her are geese.  Don’t even ask.

At least once a week, my phone will ring after midnight and my stomach will drop.  Immediately awake, I will answer and listen to at least 5 minutes of yakking before I can even speak.  After the initial breakdown of how her night went and why she felt the need to be out after dark by herself, I will calmlyish explain to her, again, why this is so dangerous and list all of the other options available to her i.e. her car, a cab, a group of friends.  She will then either pretend not to hear or give me some inane answer like last night’s scientific tidbit of “It’s Sunday.  Sunday’s are always safer.”   How do you argue with that type of genius really?

One of my major goals as a parent is to make sure my children know they have the love and support of their family no matter what, but also that there is also a great big world out there to explore and experience.  I want to give them as many options as possible and never hold them back.  I strive and struggle not to smother their creativity and freedom even though my heart wants to put them in a bubble at least until they are 40.  The problem with this is on the inside I am a nervous wreck.  Internally, I am a whirlwind of panic, anxiety and stress every time one of them describes their latest adventure or starts planning a new one. I’m telling you, it is torture.

To be fair to my son, I have to admit my daughter is the worst one when it comes to terror and I must take full responsibility, unfortunately.  As the girl of the family, I wanted to make sure she was strong, independent and curious.  I did not want the fact that she was female to stop her from doing anything, ever.  I realized I may have overdone it a little on the day she asked me what crack looked like because she didn’t want to ever accidentally try it.  She was 8 years old.

I wouldn’t change either one of them for the world.  Even if I would probably sleep a lot better.

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Pain is NOT a great motivator.

Your life pauses whenever you experience pain for an extended period of time.  The problem with this is that the world around you doesn’t and eventually you come out of your fog and realize just how far behind you have gotten.

I had oral surgery several days ago and for a couple weeks leading up to the surgery I was in mouth agony.  In my lifetime I have birthed 2 children, had a broken nose, broken ribs and chronic migraines (not all at the same time thank you Baby Jesus) and none of that touches what my mouth just put me through.  After three dental visits, oral surgery and eleven stitches, I woke up this morning feeling semi normal for the first time in weeks.  I immediately wanted to go back to sleep.

The house is a wreck, the cupboards are bare, my children no longer recognize me, the animals desperately need a bath, my blog is a ghost town and my friends have already planned my memorial.  My to-do list astounds me.

I wanted to give a great big hug and thank you to all my family and friends that have helped me through this and apologize for anything that might have happened during my pain med haze.

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