When a close friend is in the hospital, everything else seems lame…

I just found out that a dear friend/family member is in serious condition in the ICU. Thinking of that made me wonder why on earth I care so much about stupid people and situations. Life is fleeting. Another friend of mine and her husband are going through the trenches too. He has leukemia for the 2nd time and just had a bone marrow transplant. 

I am worried about employment and money. I do have legitimate concerns. But in the grand scheme of things they are so minuscule. I try so hard to wake up and just be thankful for merely getting the chance at another day. Most of the time I truly am. But I get caught up in crap. Minutiae. As humans, we face tragedy and know that bad things can happen, so why do we do the Bill Murray/Groundhog Day dance and keep repeating the same damned mistakes!

Excuse both my language and my frustration, but I want to be better. I want to be one of those people that is so full of joy that sarcasm would be a distant cousin rather than an immediate family member. I wish to be the kind of person that no one would have anything negative to say about because I am that good of a being.

Are there people actually out there? People that are content with their position in life and only longing to please God? The only person that I can think of besides Jesus of course, is Mother Teresa. She gave up living in the world totally to be with the unloved. The people that many Americans and other cultures would feel were less than.

Was it divine appointment? Or is it that she “got it”. She truly knew what is expected of us in exchange for the gift of life. I do not know that I am capable of getting it that much. I am thankful everyday that I get to spend with my kid and that I have not missed out on one ounce of her childhood. I am thankful for our cute place and for my mom and good people in my life.

However, I am not enlightened enough to appreciate it as much as I should. I am not so deeply spiritual that I can ascertain the bigger picture in all of the little dramas that compile my life. Or maybe I am on the road to figuring it out? I am writing this post tonight…

Here’s to your journey. May your relish the good and the bad and know how lucky you are too.

Last day of the pool. Whatever will I do?

I tend to do this every year. On the last day of the pool-Labor Day, I become nostalgic regarding the end of summer and how I should have gone swimming more. But this summer has been the busiest and least relaxing summer that we have had so it has been a bit tough to make it there. Then factor in the unseasonably cool weather and rain and that has cut pool time by a third or more. So, today I am already dressed and I have fed my daughter breakfast and we are going to the neighborhood market for a large pizza to take the pool when it opens. We have to get there as soon as the doors are unlocked because there is a chance of rain from 1 pm to 7 pm, again limiting pool time.

I am really big on tradition and it is our tradition to be the very last people to leave the pool on Labor Day and to swim until we can’t swim anymore, literally. I usually embrace the fall with wide open arms because it is beautiful and my birthday is in the fall. I also love football season. Not because I am a major football fan. It is because it reminds me of being in junior high and high school and playing in band and being involved in different activities. Going to all of the football games and gushing over the gorgeous football players:). The dawn of a new crush that was bigger and better than the fall before. It reminds me of new notebooks, folders and pens and freshly sharpened pencils. For me fall has always been a time of renewal in the way that people think of spring. A time for new clothes, a new look, a new year (when I was in school), and a resolution to make changes that would magically transform my life (weight loss, new haircut, new friends, new style).  

Though I love the changing leaves, apple picking, pumpkin patches and the many festivals in this area all of September and October, I need more time. More time to think, plan, remedy my problems. More time to dream, contemplate, decide on what my future will be. Our future. But as I embrace every unwelcome change, I will put away my swimsuit and beach towels tonight. I will take our swim bags out of the car and put them away until next year. I will pump air in the tires on our bikes and get them geared up for fall riding which is our favorite time to ride. Not too cool, not too warm. I will fill out my calendar with my commitments during the year as leader of my kid’s troop, roles I play in church, sports lessons, drama and dance and then on to the fun stuff. Listing all of the upcoming fall festivals-every town in our area has one and some are better than others. The Marine Corps kids fun run, The Wolftrap family fun run and of course the National Bookfest which is my favorite event in DC the whole year.  See, that half-full girl is already shaking off summer and showing her pretty face.

I am preparing myself for teaching my daughter school tomorrow and embracing the new schedule with narrowly parted arms, at least until I see that first leaf turn. That time between Labor Day until the real end of summer around the 20th or 21st of September is always a funky time. The transition takes longer because there are some really warm beautiful days for two weeks and everyone is in autumn mode when it feels like beach time. 

I really do love our life and I want a little more time to stay up late and not have to be somewhere on specified days and times. But, that is part of being a grown up. I have to pull up my big girl panties and take whatever job comes my way and get ready for the fun-filled months ahead, because they will be another adventure in the story of me and my child. And for that I am truly thankful and ready to go forth. If only time could freeze her age…

Have a blessed and happy Labor Day!

 One of my favorite quotes and favorite moveis-“Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.” Kathleen Kelly, You Got Mail

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Todayyyyy…

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I picked my kid up from her sleepover, did my communion gig at church, met friends for lunch and we vegged and played for 4 hours at pool. Why is it when the pool is about to close every year on Labor day, the weather up and gets hot? Then I have to stare at the pool for the 9 months until it is open again?  Anyway, fun and relaxing time at the pool. My hair is even blonder and I am very red in some places and tan in others. Kinda like the glow though because come December I will be milky white again.

Had a weird dream that I was in a building and we had to gather up as much as we could that was of value and of use to take on this huge spacecraft that would take us away from the dangers of earth. Sort of odd for me because I am not a sci-fi kind of girl. Romantic comedy, action, fantasy yeah. But space stuff not so much. There was such a sense of urgency for me to get on the ship and get my stuff done. The dream seemed to go on for hours. I think that I have been over-analyzing everything lately, even in my sleep.

I tell you what, I really need to start working out again. After eating a salad and too many tortilla chips, (counter-productive I know) I crashed for 2 hours and had to even stop writing this post. This means that I would probably not have so many crazy sleep problems if I worked out like in the past. That pool time was so good for body and soul. I think that I could lose the weight easier as well if I could go to bed and get real rest. My body and brain could regenerate during the night and have tons of energy for me for the next day. The problem is, if I ever lie down before 9 pm I wake up a few hours later.

I know that my worry about what I will be doing to support us financially is a big part of my distress. Also, too many changes over the last 6 months have not been good for the psyche, but if life feeds us lemons we can either make the lemonade or have sour dispositions. I have to be strong for my kid. I will have to agree that there really is something to the theory that there should be a mom and a dad there to raise a kid. I have all of the responsibilities on my shoulders, and people expect me to carry on as though I don’t. If I ever do really get into what is going on with me with a couple of close friends, it is like a pity thing and then there is this uncomfortable moment and I regret ever bringing up my hardships. So, I don’t.

I have thought about counseling or therapy, but then that is another time commitment for me. And another financial commitment. If I can get a decent job I think that I will fit it into my schedule because I am worth it and I could probably benefit from it big time. My brother told me that all of his Manhattan friends go to therapists and that his best friend told him that he refused to date anyone that did not have a psychologist.:) Kind of humorous, but maybe he is on to something!

I think that what I am going to do to relax tonight is take a dip in my garden tub with candles and a good book. I don’t know what it is lately with me and water, but my mind is so revved up lately that whatever it takes to chill and unwind, I am on it. Before I do that, I am going to respond to an email from a woman who is interested in me as a personal tutor for her children! I would love to teach them full-time along with my kid. One of my many mini-dreams is to open a school so that I could interject all of the good things from different teaching philosophies, Christianity and common sense all into one awesome educational setting. Maybe this is a gateway? After I give her my rates, that dream may deflate sooner that I had hoped! But that is negative thinking, so I will leave on a good note. I saw this awesome sign outside of this live music venue/coffee house today and it spoke to me since I have such a vivid dream life as of late…Good night.

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Enjoying doing nothing solo tonight, or am I?

My kid had a sleepover tonight for her best friend’s bday so we had to cancel our plans to go to a singalong for Sound of Music at Wolftrap tonight.  I didn’t make plans with anyone because most people have plans because it is a holiday weekend. I am really honestly not in the mood to see anyone. I think that I will go to my friend D’s house and help her pack a bit :(.  I am afraid to go over because seeing her home askew will make it so final.  You know? So, I sit here in Starbucks using the last of my gift card drinking my Macchiato and listening to Biggie Smalls on Pandora.:)  Sometimes I need a little old skool hip hop to keep me from being to reflective and serious.

I was lying on my back in the pool today on a pool noodle-that is one of the coolest inventions ever!  I looked up at the clouds and started a mini-meditation, involuntarily, because that is what I do when I am around water apparently. Especially a waterfall. I swear that I saw some of the clouds break off into different sizes of hearts. Then I started thinking: Am I watching too much Ally McBeal? My imagination and thought life has really exploded as of late! Then I started to wonder if love is missing from my life, romantic love.  But everytime my mind goes to that I shut down mentally because I soooooo suck at picking or judging men and relationships. I am the kind of girl that is very intuitive and perceptive, almost witchy, but let a guy pay attention to me and I will tune all of the signals and signs completely out.

What is that about? Daddy issues? Self-esteem issues? I really want to figure it out. It would be great to feel dateable again. I feel like because I don’t have a barrage of requests from men that perhaps I am out of the game for good. Granted I only go to kid friendly events for the most part. I go to a church with all old people. My kid is the only kid there! So no chance of meeting anyone there. Then I take my kid to the tennis club and yeah there are dads there but no single ones. Same with dance and her scouting troop. Is anyone divorced or single in this whole area? It is like Brady Bunch land with minivans everywhere.

I know that I am complaining over and over and over about it, but I have to stay in the burbs of the District for now and it is not a good fit. Gtown is a much better fit or Shurlington, but it is so expensive and when one does not have a job it is not easy to relocate. You know? So I will try to grin and bear being the only single parent in this area. I know that I am exaggerating a bit, I am sure that there are some but I have not met a single parent or a single person over 30 who I have something in common with. Either they want to stay home all of the time or they are in the club. I am so over clubs. Been over clubs since I was 25!

So what to do, what to do? For now, I guess work on my body so that I feel and look better. At the same time work on obtaining a job that will support us and work on resting and being at peace. It is this vicious cycle of me not sleeping enough, over doing it with caffeine to get by and even when I am resting like watching Downton Abbey or another series on Netflix, I am rarely focused. It sounds like ADHD or something, but I think that I am afraid to be still and pray and meditate. In doing so, it is like my problems will all come pouring down and be in the forefront. No more dancing around them. That scares me. I am going to try tonight to kneel beside my bed and pray and listen. I don’t expect GOD to say hey, get it together in a booming voice. But maybe I will gain some perspective or knowledge if I can be still and wait for HIS presence. I have never felt that. I have had feelings about doing or not doing things or about people or situations, but I have never felt like God was sitting right there with me and holding my hand or listening to me. I will try it tonight and report back. 

Now don’t get me wrong I am smart enough to know that this kind of thing is not easy to come by and it make take 50 times before it will happen or it may never happen. Sometimes I think that it has never happened to me because I am not pure of heart, or I think the worst of people before I think the best. Or because of the fact that I don’t give people the benefit of the doubt a lot of the time. How or why would God give me a chance if I don’t do the same for others? But then I look at the way that I treat people and how I empty out my purse for the MDA firefighter on the corner or take the lifeguard at the pool a sandwich and think-well I am not all that bad am I? It’s kind of like I think because I am opinionated and have attitudes towards people that God is in some way punishing me. Then I get into the comparison game and think of all the people that I know that aren’t believers, or are super selfish and they seem so fortunate. How are they so blessed in so many ways? Then I remind myself again of good health, my daughter and my mom and feel so completely rewarded and and thankful. But I want some of the other things to. I wonder if it is possible for me or is it that I am not just worthy? That is the million dollar question..

 

Psalms 46:10  He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

Human frailty schmailty!

Today I was zoning off in my own personal universe as I sometimes do and of all of  the places that my mind chooses to go deep, it was a water park! After getting the innertube stuck on my chest (true story) and almost losing my top, and then having a contact pop out, (it was a wild water park!:) I started thinking about the human condition. I looked at the sea of people in the wave pool and thought wow, so many colors and shapes and hues!  People are delicate creatures and everyone has feelings (remember I was thinking still) and I should not be so quick to judge and harsh about feelings towards people and the way they act. Then I thought about morality and mortality and human frailty as I was going to sun while watching the kids.

Then I heard it! A syrupy, fakey, Kourtney Kardashianish voice saying: “Honey, you still didn’t answer my question. Do you still want to stay at the park or do you want to go get a snack?” The mom was reasoning with her toddler! She was one of the cookie cutter types with the demasculated husband not daring to speak a harsh word because when in Stepford land, one cannot appear to be angry or show true emotion or heaven forbid-have an opinion!  So the kid rules their roost obviously, but I don’t need to hear it! Then I thought frailty schmality! I really don’t like people very much. Maybe it is the people where I live. Maybe it is because of my own drama and insomina, but I can’t stand these wimpy people who let their children decide everything and never tell them no! Then they look at someone like me who raises my voice and puts children in their place like I am a three headed wildebeest! What has happened to people born and raised in the 70’s and 80’s? Does this generation (my generation) feel that there parents were not hands on enough? Are they afraid to anger their children? Has psychobabble and political correctness warped people so much that very few people actually take a stand on anything ever, even in meaningless scenarios such as this one regarding nap times and snacks? In the case of this whiny kid who was clearly tired, why couldn’t her mom put a halt to her sugar-coated replies and kept it real? For ex. “You can either quit your whining or we are leaving, period.” That would have been me! I won’t bore you with all that was said, the fact is that the begging nature of the conversation from mom to child went on for awhile. It took all that I had inside to not turn around and tell her to STFU! I know, I am trying on faith as my way of living and coping and being a better person. BUT, I think that my disdain for these types has pushed me over the edge with pretty much anything that they say or do. I am working on it I swear, but it is tough.

I really want to be one of those people who smiles all of the time, even when feathers are ruffled. Someone who doesn’t easily get flustered. Not Stepfordish/cookie cutterish, but I want to be a person that isn’t prepared to go “Bronx” on someone if they break in line, or do something ridiculous in traffic. Going Bronx is really hilarious to say since I am an ex-Southern Belle but it seems to work here. I digress, though I am a classy kind of girl, I can go from uptown to “street” behaviorally speaking in a matter of seconds. I can’t figure out if I just enjoy a good verbal sparring or if I am just damaged goods because of past experiences.

In all honesty, if you met me you would think that I am delightful and kind and sweet. I really am that person. People at the local market know us by name, same with Starbucks, same with neighborhood sandwich shop. But, as nice as I can be and as much as I have that “give the shirt off of my back mentality”, I don’t take crap from anyone. If I am close to someone, it is a different story, but if you a stranger steps a toe out of line, then I will rip them to shreds. Not literally! Defense mechanism? Counseling material? I am not sure, but I will say I NEVER start fights of any kind, but I am the lady you want around if something goes down.:)

Unbelievably, I have only had one physical altercation after all of these years! As I mentioned earlier, I do not start with people, but I am sure that you can fill in the blanks as to what happened. It was finished and victory was mine! Harh, harh, harh.  (My evil laugh)

In all seriousness, I really do teach my child to be kind and giving and respectful of all people. I also teach her to be tough and stand up for what is right for herself and for others when they are being wronged. I have had words with rude people in front of her, but never vulgar or bad words, they were just used to put people that acted in a bad manner into their place.

I try to live the life that Christ intended for me and I want so desperately to not let people and their rudeness and snobbery and unhappiness to get to me. I know that it is not personal, but I internalize and immediately go into protection mode. Any suggestions as to what I can do to not be sick of folks? Perhaps a pill or prayer or new philosophy is the answer?

All I can do is keep trying to be the best version of myself and push the negative vibes coming from people out of my thought processes. Maybe I should start a nonprofit to save animals and spend all of my time saving and working with said animals? One thing about animals that makes them so cool is their unconditional love and their lack of revenge mentality. Man, maybe I have found my true calling other than motherhood! Awesome! This blogging thing is really very cathartic. Thanks for reading my eclectic thoughts…

Sometimes I feel like breaking down and crumpling on the floor…

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I can’t begin to tell you how my year has been, or maybe I can…I moved, I lost a job, I found a job, I lost a job, I got my Master’s degree. I had a temporary job, I lost my cat of two decades while having guests over for a month. I started two part time jobs that recently ended because they were for a specified time. I got extremely disappointed in a friend who I have bent over backwards to support and had another friend flee because I did not meet her demands. 

Fast forward to today. I took my car in and the brakes were badddd…It was going to cost 950 dollars. Either God was standing on that guys conscience, or he saw how panic stricken I looked, or more likely something divine happened because he reduced it to 731-which is still bad when you are broke. Then he called the credit company associated with them and I was approved for 700 dollars!  My credit is just mediocre after years of being married to an irresponsible person who did not do the right thing money wise or marriage wise-that is another story.

So, I was literally crying tears of joy and had to take a moment like John Cage on Ally McBeal.  I was so overwhelmed with God’s grace and this man’s kindness that I had to step away to deal.  My beautiful daughter said: “mommy, are you alright?”  I said, “yes, I am just so thankful that God allowed this to happen.” (or something like that)

Now I know that it is en vogue to “hate God” or all that is deemed “religious”.  Well if that is how you feel, then I truly feel sorry for you. I by no means have life or God all figured out, but I know that there is a God. I can feel it in my bones and during times like this. The thing is, I don’t read the Bible hardly every anymore and I have been to church only twice this summer.  But during the year we go every week because we are very involved in the church. I have a few roles that are important in the church and my child is involved in the children’s ministry with the other church that shares our building that are a different nationality, but it works!~

The point is, you do not have to be perfect and no every Bible scripture to have faith or be a Christian. In my humble opinion, you just have to believe that things will improve or that there is someone on your side. You have to treat people well and give of yourself to others and step away from a life of selfishness.  I have never had a problem with being selfish, but it is so hard for me to treat people that are not good to me in a kind manner.  I want to make them feel bad or to unfriend them, or sometimes use their head as a punching bag-only kidding;).  

I am separated, have little money, no job, honest to God little hope and yet I am still moving and grooving through life with a smile on my face. Of course I don’t want to talk much to people now and of course I have been a little more annoyed with people lately, but it is because I am stressed the heck out! Anyone would be.

A big problem is that people in this affluent bubble that I live in don’t get it and don’t care too. I am beginning to think that I don’t really have any friends here. My good friend is moving soon and one friend who I considered my best one here is just so cookie cutter/Stepfordesque that I can’t hardly stand to be around her anymore.  I just can’t. Maybe it is my issue, but she has never suffered. She has always had financial security without earning it herself. She hangs around other little perfect versions of herself.

I am the eclectic one. The stand on her own though it may be hell on earth kind of gal. I am very opinionated, which is not very WASP of me. I married someone outside of my race. I finished college later than most and the same with my 2nd degree. I am beautiful but have no banging body-about 45 pounds away from that! I am smart and creative and lovely and different and lonely and bitter all in one package. I exude confidence but I am my worst enemy. I want to have my fair chance. My good stretch of things. My kid and the fact that I am alive and well is all that I can hold on to. Literally. And, that is where my faith comes into play.

If I did not have it, I could not put two feet in front of the other and teach my child and nurture her and expose her to culture and love and the beauty around us. I talk to her like a person. I tell her things that I wasn’t told on her level of course. My mom says that I tell her too much and maybe I do. But I wasn’t told that my father was not a good person and it wasn’t my fault. I wasn’t talked to about the women we caught him with. I wasn’t able to open up to my mother and I really became screwed up as a result.

Truth and faith are what is keeping me going other than the miracle that God brought into my life when he gave me a child.  If that is all that I have to go on, then I will take it. Faith will guide me to my destiny and I am going to be a half-full type of girl and say that it is going to be a heluva fabulous and wonderous journey.

I surrender to the gift that faith is…So that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men (human philosophy), but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2: 5

P.S. I am human, so I may not say things in a pretty way all of the time but I want to be completely authentic with my feelings.