Perfect Weather

December 3, 2010 at 6:53 pm (Uncategorized)

We missed most of the really cold weather Tucson had last week. We were busy enjoying the cold snap in Texas with my family. And I don’t just mean the frosty relationships! I slay myself. Although Monday morning did announce itself by freezing the dogs’ water bowls solid. The rest of the week has been divine,  perfect September days and nights.

What? It’s not September? Damn.

On the plus side, my shrink has added yet another pill to the ever-growing pharmacy in my system, and I feel quite human. Surviving my family over Thanksgiving with very little drama only proves what an excellent addition this has been. Now if I could only get them to take some medication too…

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The House of Dogs

November 11, 2010 at 12:45 pm (Uncategorized)

We have unexpectedly become a house of dogs. The black shar-pei mix has spent the morning pacing, stopping occasionally to lean up against the couch and get scratched. She’s uneasy with the change of schedule today. Her right ear is also infected again; her head tilts to the side just a little bit. We’ll be headed to the vet soon. The Jack Russel has made a nest for himself out of a fleece blanket covered in pictures of dogs. My mother made that for my oldest son when he was a toddler in love with dogs, before we had any of our own. The cooler temps this week have been such a huge relief, but the terrier obviously preferred the lingering heat. Lately he has even abandoned his usual spot under my feet to wander outside and stretch out in the warm sunshine. My husband is often, and loudly, frustrated with the dog hair blanketing every available surface , as if there would be no price to pay for the devotion of dogs.This devotion is my new addiction, like the comfort of a cozy quilt and a hot cup of tea on a cold day. I thought I was a cat person.

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Anonymous and Proud

October 24, 2010 at 8:09 am (Uncategorized)

Maybe it’s the introvert in me, maybe it’s just plain insecurity, but I have so many misgivings about putting my life out here for all to see.

So often in my life I’ve struggled with trying to please others and wanting desperately to just please myself. It wasn’t always a problem. By all accounts, including my own, I was quite content to be a weird kid in grade school. Junior high started a new, different chapter. Distressingly I feel as if my life has since been a replay of the nightmare of 8th grade on a grander scale. And yes, I am quite aware of just how pathetic that is.

This is actually my third blog. The first was a private place where I shared funny stories, with a few friends, of my life with young children. I got such a great response that I pressured myself to start trying to get more readers. But then I panicked, afraid that people in my life I hadn’t invited to read that blog would stumble onto it. My wit tends to the biting sort, and I was using my new forum to vent my frustrations. Suddenly torn between wanting to be heard and keeping the peace, I quit writing.

More recently I started a craft blog. I love crafting, and after reading so many bits of advice given by other bloggers about being authentic, building your brand, being consistent, blah, blah, blah, I put my name and picture on it. I was ready to create my own little blog community. Yeah, that didn’t work out. I became paralyzed by my fear of judgement and rejection.

But I’m still desperate to be heard. Even though I know my little ant voice is lost in the chatter of billions. Even though I suspect I have nothing to say that is of any interest to anyone else. So, for now anyway, I’m going to continue to hide behind this anonymity. My hope is for my authentic voice to bubble to the surface here. Maybe then I’ll gain the confidence to finally leave the 8th grade.

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2 Pounds and 18 Inches!

October 15, 2010 at 9:19 am (Uncategorized)

Yesterday I managed to lose 2 pounds and 18 inches! In an hour! How is that even possible, you ask?

I cut my hair.

I’ve been growing it out for a few years, telling my husband (who prefers it short) that I would know when it was the right time to cut it. Then the shed project came along. One of my first thoughts at signing up was that maybe it would be the perfect time to free myself from the heavy curtain I had grow between myself and the world. Then I hesitated. Maybe it wasn’t the right time.

I made an appointment Wednesday, telling my stylist that I wanted to go short eventually but I thought we should just start with a trim. Then yesterday morning, when I sat in her chair, I just knew. This is it. This is the moment – no more excuses for hiding.

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Whining Ahead

September 29, 2010 at 8:27 pm (Uncategorized)

You have been warned.

For a few weeks there I thought I might have this little demon licked. And by me, I mean me with new pharmaceutical additives blended in. My husband went to Asia for 2 weeks, and I did admirably well not losing my mind while he was away. I didn’t lock the boys out of the house even once! He came back Saturday, but it seems I’ve been sinking ever since. I had expected to start feeling better, being less stressed, sleeping better. Not so much.

Do you know what depression feels like? My mind is a giant muddle; I can sense all the pieces of what I need are here, but I can’t seem to gather them together or put them in order. Just now I’m sitting in front of my computer thinking of all the ways my brain seems to be short-circuiting, but I can’t pull out the right words. Oh sure, there’s also the suddenly irrefutable fact that the world is populated with idiots and the way screaming or crying seems to be the answer to any problem. And let’s not forget the soul-crushing fatigue that makes me feel like I’m swimming in cement. Or the way I sometimes feel like I’ve phase-shifted or something so even though I’m surrounded by people, contact with them feels muffled.

Maybe it’s my period. Maybe it’s a rebound effect from finally having hubby home – it’s safe to crack now that I’m not the only adult in the house (even with my cranky pants on, I find it disturbingly funny that I am now a grown up). Tomorrow I’m going to Phoenix to hang out with fantastic, artistic friends for a couple of days. I’ll probably drink too much wine, stay up too late, say too many snarky things, and have too many conversations that never mention elementary school or the weather or what I’m cooking for dinner. If that doesn’t do the trick, I guess I’ll be slinking back to the shrink’s office next week.

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What the Heck is “Antness”?

September 27, 2010 at 9:13 am (Uncategorized)

It comes from a poem I wrote this past spring…

An ant leaves a tangle of secret pheromones

along the rim of a glass

where I have trapped it.

Years from now another ant

tracing this shadow of scent

will feel nothing

but antness.

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Finish What You Start. Or Don’t.

September 26, 2010 at 9:23 am (Uncategorized)

I’m not very good at follow-through. Or at least that’s the image of myself I’ve been living with for a very long time so it feels true. I have big ideas, giant ideas, way out into outer space ideas. Chalk it up to being an Aquarian if you’d like. And I usually have plenty of energy and excitement to get started on projects that are especially meaningful to me. The million or so other ideas I’ve collected over time are scattered all over the house in notebooks, on little scraps of paper, in one Excel spreadsheet or another, in a repurposed plastic bag full of magazine clippings. They’re all waiting to be stumbled upon at a later date when I might be excited about them. Apparently I believe all my best ideas have already been created.

And that’s a really interesting insight that will have to wait because that is not where I intended to go with this.

Back to me and my big ideas… So I have this habit of latching onto a big idea or two (ok, let’s be honest, a dozen) at a time, dividing up the tasks into little manageable pieces like a good Franklin-Covey trained girl, making lots of amazing progress, and then torturing myself about my failure to follow-through when I inevitably lose interest.

At the beginning of the year I got jazzed up about scanning in all my old photos. And I have been plugging away at it like crazy. My Facebook photo is now a picture of me at age 5 in a Wonder Woman costume. I’ve sent copies of elementary school photos to old school friends. I’ve redone the color on photos of my parents, taken before they had kids. It’s been so much fun and so rewarding. Until a few weeks ago. When suddenly it just seemed like a drag.

I split the task into years, starting with the earliest photos. The photos from the next year of the progression has been liberated from scrapbooks and now sits on my craft table sticking out its tongue at me and intimating that I never finish anything I start.

Screw it.

I’m tucking those pictures back between the pages, and putting that scrapbook away. I can finish scanning them next year. Or not.

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Titanic Dreams

September 22, 2010 at 2:12 pm (Uncategorized)

And not one of them included me being king of the world.

I did manage to become some goddess like figure who destroyed an attacking army and sent her arch-nemesis to a planet in another solar system to learn better manners. I think that might be along the same lines though. Sometimes I’m really grateful for all those years of nightmares that led me to learn at least some modicum of control in my dreams.

Unfortunately my control after that point sort of went to hell, and I kept dreaming about being on a ship that was sinking. Every time I saved an infant, even going so far as to begin nursing one of them. I didn’t try to stop the sinking so much as I kept trying to change the size of the ships. The proportions were all out of whack. It was driving me crazy.

And when I finally get on-line this afternoon, this is what pops up first on Yahoo.

OK, Universe, I promised to keep listening, but I have to admit that some sort of user’s manual might be helpful.

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Generally, Kind Of, Not OK

August 26, 2010 at 10:44 am (Uncategorized)

I need permission to be greedy. And once again, Danielle Laporte acts like some sort of internet guardian angel and swoops into my inbox to give me just that.

Being OK and powering through has been my MO for a long time. And it’s worked. Generally. Kind of.

See what I did just now? Even here, in my little private corner where I’ve supposedly given myself permission to say even the ugly, icky things, I hesitate to claim my own life. My ability to power through has not “generally, kind of” worked. It has kicked ass.

I got a chemistry degree, held down jobs, had healthy relationships, became a good parent, and generally led what is generally agreed upon as a “good life”. All while fighting off the soul sucking demon of severe depression. I so often feel I’ve “wasted my potential,” that if only I could “get my shit together,” I would be farther along that imaginary success scale I carry around in my head. It rarely occurs to me that fantasizing about all the different ways to kill myself and still getting the bills paid on time is fucking heroic.

But it’s not enough. Not anymore.

Believe me, feeling tortured – and more importantly, feeling superior for being  tortured – is a sweet, sweet drug. But I’d like something better now. I read Listening to Prozac; I didn’t want to be one of those pathetic types who needed a pharmaceutical fix to be socially acceptable. I wanted to be socially unacceptable. I wanted to be melancholy. I was deep. I didn’t realize it was more like “off the deep end.” Besides, if Prozac* remade my self, I’d like to return the original and the remake for a big, fat refund.

So now it’s your turn to listen, Prozac*. I’m done being “better”. I’m done accepting my desire to scream at everything, or hurt myself, or sleep for the next 50 years, or bury myself in cheese and cookies as OK – as long as I can get the laundry done. I’m done accepting a barrage of self loathing as a normal response to realizing the car needs to be serviced. I’m done telling myself that I don’t need more than this just because I can cope with this. I’m done trying to convince myself that swimming is the same thing as not drowning.

If it takes lining the pockets of big pharma to finally learn how to swim? Bring.It.On.

*And by “Prozac,” I actually mean any drug or drug cocktail that is failing to make more than just OK.

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Boundary Issues

August 19, 2010 at 3:05 pm (Uncategorized)

I have terrible boundaries. The whole world rushes through me, and I am forever letting all the tender parts of myself go out with the tides. It all started to go wrong in junior high. I was naïve and trusting and utterly unable to understand all the social rules that everyone else was waltzing to. I poured myself out. To anyone who pretended to listen for more than a few moments. Then I mopped up the slivers of my heart and wondered just what the heck was wrong with me. Then I did it again. And again. And again. And…well, you get the picture. Twenty-five years later and I still haven’t learned this particular lesson. Because despite all my brainy smarts, I’m a relationship idiot.

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