Monday, July 17, 2017

What the ?!

I woke up late.
Everyone was back in the office today and not for good reasons.
The owner decided to call a meeting 10 minutes before I was "suppose" to leave.
Checks were still not signed, bills were due, my car is full of recycling from the office because no one else will take it and the owner says "Can you run by the bank for me?".
I didn't get out of work on time and I had soccer carpool duty which now means no time for lunch.
After speeding home (in hopes that I could at least pee) I dashed right back out to pick up the other soccer kid.  We got to his house to find out he was at our house. I had the the carpool backwards.
I drove to soccer anyway.
Then I get a call that my son hurt his ankle and he is in the trainer's office and that I should pick him up in a half and hour.
That is exactly a half an hour before my scheduled carpool time.
I drove back to soccer anyway.
Meanwhile I finally get a hold of my husband who is 7 hours ahead of us because he is overseas.
But now he wants to know what is going on with our son.
Pick up son, speed back home, Viber with dad regarding the ankle situation while son downs a Gatorade and half a chicken, then try to put a soccer sock over the taped ankle, then back in the car to pick up other soccer kid.
I arrive home to the eleven year-old who has not been out of the house yet today but has played 8 hours of Xbox ,eaten a bag of BBQ potato chips, a dozen chocolate chip cookies, two Gatorades, and taken four sales calls.  He has now switched our cable and energy providers as well as purchased lawn service for a year. He hung up on the one that called him a girl.
Off to Soccer Village to pick up his new kit for this year.
Then to the store for ice, more fruit, and more Gatorade. (for the son actually working out)
Drop off the piles of recycling in my car that make me look like a very strange type of hoarder.
Back to the store because we forgot the ice.
Back to the school to pick up the soccer boys.
And I'm just thinking....I have to do this AGAIN tomorrow.
Lord help me.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

I guess they hear more than I think....

Are you like me? If the universe needed to get a message to you - it had better call you. Directly. It's pretty funny to me that right after I write this blog about how none of us listen to each other I get this message from the big U.

The other day I had a panic attack in front of my youngest son. A full blown heart pounding, chest tightening, mind screaming irrational panic attack.  I made a phone call to get some help in pulling it together as quickly as possible but told him over and over, "I'm sorry that I'm losing it in front of you."

After I got off the phone I just sat for a minute with my head in my hands and my son come over and just sat next to me. He put his arm around me. He cried a little, He said I hate to see you this way mom.  I pulled him in for a hug and said I'm sorry again when he looked at me and said - 

"Mom, stop saying your sorry. It's ok. We all have worries, I have them, you know that. It's totally reasonable. You know that everyone is OK and I'm here for you."  When my older son came down and saw us he said immediately - "What's wrong? Are you OK mom?"

They proceeded to take care of me for the rest of the night. Making sure I had a glass of water, did I want anything to eat, they took a walk with me and chatted the entire time (well, in all honesty they would have chatted the whole time anyway) When we got back they made sure I had a blanket and got my kindle.

Like being hit in the head with a soccer ball when you are not looking, I realized that they didn't learn to take care of me out of the blue. They do listen. And watch. They are paying attention even when I am not.

I have two amazing young men, and I am a part of that as they are a part of me. One more thing to put on my Awesome list.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

You never listen to me!!

The five words I think I hear 55 times a day, I swear to you. Everyone is constantly screaming at each other - YOU NEVER LISTEN TO ME!

It made me wonder....are we listening? Have I taught my children how to listen actively? Do I model that behavior?  Am I so preoccupied with my lists and my chores and my crazy that I am not really listening....

My husband and I took a walk this morning because he is beyond frustrated with both boys but especially our oldest son. Number one son will be trying out for the HS soccer team in a month and he will have to meet certain criteria to even get to the tryout. Like running two miles in under 12 minutes, and getting a certain score on the Pacer and 300 tests. (I think, don't quote me on this because I am the sports dumbo)  He has been asking my son how he can help him get ready - remember, my husband is a personal trainer and gets paid to train other kids for these EXACT tests. My son's response has been to ignore his father completely and do as little as possible.

He was livid this morning and venting about it using words like "lazy" and sayings things like "that's just who he is" and "It pisses me off!!"  That is where our conversation went downhill.
When he got all done I asked him, "Do you have a right to be pissed off?"
I didn't say it was a good question...but my point to him was who's Ego is taking over when you have asked if he wants help, he ignores you and you ask again, and again, and again?
This is when he blew up, "What right?! I am his father - it is my job! I know what he needs to do"

I should have stopped - but I tried to persist just a little. "But what if it's not what he wants? Or what if he needs to fail in order to learn this lesson all on his own?"

I think his head exploded slightly.
Very long and loud story short....he didn't hear a word I said. He railed on the boys and their bad decisions and crappy behavior and laziness and my tolerating all of it.

So I am not even sure what my point was in writing this and there is no going back because I have literally been interrupted 25 times.  If my husband is not screaming the kids are if the kids are not screaming then I am - everyone is being a total A-Hole and no one is listening but the neighbors

UGH!!!!


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Happiness is in your genes...not your pocket

Being a life-long Anxietyoholic I have wondered for a long time if I was just not hard wired for happiness.  To be honest being happy just seemed so much harder for me than most people that I swore that it was ONE MORE thing that is genetically wrong with me.

And it turns out I might be right! Not that I really want to be a mutant on the wrong side of the Justice League.  I watched enough Saturday morning TV in the 70's and 80's thank you! I liked Wonder Woman but the Wonder Twins - ACTIVATE! Form of Iceberg - Shape of Eagle. How the hell that eagle ever carried the iceberg never dawned on me but I digress.

Happiness is in your genes. This year at the Hay House Summit there were amazing speakers bring the science of happiness to life. It was all the validation I needed to understand that like my Anxiety disorder, my happiness disorder may present a challenge, but it does not mean that I am doomed to a life of depression. I just have to work harder than most people to reprogram the pre-installed hardware.

This only ever really disturbs me when I see my children suffering. Watching them struggle with anxiety, social situations, speaking up for themselves, motivation, success.....BUT it's all good! I may  be anxious but it's not necessarily because I am defective.  I have a different set of genes and a different set of super powers.  The science is fascinating and this will be my first cross over blog between my two blogs - whatnow-ted and Anxietyoholic.  The first of many.
Enjoy.     Anxietyoholic - Wordpress

The Happiness Project - Robert Holden

Inspiring Science - David Hamilton

Friday, April 7, 2017

Grace.....

I drove by a church this morning and the sign read "God and our congregation gave 3000 cans ad 518 weekend packs to hungry children this week."

This made me wonder if God helped them give meals - did he also help those children into poverty?

When one of the parents at our school was dealing with terminal cancer I remember the Principal at the time remarking that her son was diagnosed with Brain Cancer at age 10. She said it was awful and horrifying and even though people were supportive she would get angry every time someone said "There but for the Grace of God" (attributed to Jon Bradford, English Preacher 1510-1555)

At first I was taken back because I have heard that phrase quite often. I thought it was like  "Bless your heart" and "God love ya'".  I was curious, where was she going with this? She continued, "So you have God's grace and I don't?"

Talk about hitting you in the gut. I never thought of the phrase like that. From the other person's perspective.  If your child never gets cancer are you blessed with grace and the other's are not? If you have enough to eat is it because God loves you more than he does the people without food?

Her words have made me think and question the idea of grace more than once and I guess driving by that church this morning with it's big billboard announcing how many people they graced with their bounty it just begged the question - if God helped, would she really need the recognition?


Saturday, April 1, 2017

What will push you over the edge?

It's sometimes funny what will send you over the edge.  During those times of great stress you can almost feel so Zen in the midst of it, you think Buddha himself would look to you for wisdom.  You pat yourself on the back and pray that everyone in your life can feel like this.

Then it happens. The proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back. And looking back after it's all over you can laugh at how literally it was a straw - not a piano or a vault like in the Roadrunner. When I was in the midst of coordinating my mastectomy and just a few little things like Christmas for two boys who still believe in Santa, wrapping up a day of Activities at the school for all 720 students along with 40 Group Activity leaders and 100 volunteers, and starting a new project with a week of games, activities, and prizes all related to reading, it wasn't all the Doctor's appointments that sent me over the edge. It was my Yahoo account getting hacked.

I totally lost it. Completely lost my cookies. I sat at the computer screaming and crying and pounding on the keyboard until I found a number and somehow got a hold of a live person at Yahoo who I proceeded to crytalk at for 45 minutes.  That poor boy not only had to answer for the "I'm stuck in Thailand" email but also my DCIS, stupid committee members, volunteers backing out at the eleventh hour, and the fact that I didn't want a freaking' Gerbil but I had to give my son the freaking' Gerbil because otherwise not only would I have crappy breasts but also a crappy Christmas!

My friend called Friday morning and just needed to vent.  After holding it together, quite remarkably, these last 7 months for a woman who was actually dead for many minutes - Samsung sent her over the edge.

She just wanted her dishwasher fixed. That's all. There was no end to the calls and scheduling and late repair men at her house until 8 pm and still no dishwasher. So the last message she left was very clear.  The dishwasher must be fixed on Friday in the morning because that is the only time that she is available. Guess what. They didn't even call back until Friday morning, at 9:30 a.m. and said they could come out Monday evening. At that point she lost her cookies.

The man on the phone had to answer for the dishwasher as well as hard it is come back from the dead when you can't drive, or remember numbers and your son's trying to buy his first house so that's kind of important because otherwise how will she ever find his new house or get there now that she has to take the bus because if she is always screwing up numbers she could end up on the wrong bus at the wrong house! He apologized sincerely, rearranged his whole day to get to her by 11 am and said to her, "Mame, I got your back. I got you - I promise."

She called me to say, "What the hell just happened?" Because she knew I would understand, and make her laugh. I've been there.  You would think waking up and finding out not only that you were dead but that you've been out for four days would send someone over the edge. But nope, it's the little things. Like trying to get a dishwasher fixed.

It made us both giggle though at the number of repairmen and customer service agents that get more than their share of an earful day in and day out.  We are sure they are not paid enough.  I explained that after my episode with the Yahoo Customer Service agent I wasn't sure if he was putting me on his prayer list for the breast cancer or for best dancer? or repressed answers? The crytalk leaves a lot of gaps for them to fill in.

She said she wasn't sure how much he understood and she was hoping he at least heard "Heart Condition" and not rare fart condition. We are not sure of the schooling level of a dishwasher repairmen but we hope he knows that even if you had a rare fart condition they wouldn't use an MRI to detect it. Probably a colonoscopy.  Anyway, thank goodness for good people and prayer lists even if it is for rare fart conditions.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Never underestimate the power of a Woman

I have said it over and over again in the last ten 20 years.....look at MADD (Mother's Against Drunk Drivers) That is the power of one woman - she changed a culture and rewrote laws in this country.

International Women's Day


I have the beginning of this quote at the bottom of all my emails, it is from Al Capone...

“Don't mistake my kindness for weakness. I am kind to everyone, 

but when someone is unkind to me, 

weak is not what you are going to remember about me.”


Right now this is what I want the world to hear about me - about Women.

Do not mistake our kindness, nurturing, hard work, dedication, loyalty, talent, ingenuity, tenacity, intelligence, versatility, and passion for weakness. For we are what brought you into the world.

I will not tear you down sister women - I will not step on you...
but I will lift you up to rise with me because together we are stronger.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

I'm not ready for High School....again!

From Parenthood the movie...
Helen: It sounds like a boy Garry's age needs a man around the house.
Tod: Well, it depends on the man. I had a man around. He used to wake me up every morning by flicking lit cigarettes at my head. He'd say, "Hey, asshole, get up and make me breakfast." You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, or drive a car. Hell, you need a license to catch a fish! But they'll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father.

Just because almost all of us had parent's doesn't mean we learned how to be a parent. And just because I was a Middle School kid once - doesn't mean I understand what my middle school kid is going through now.

This became very clear in the past two years.  I finally asked a professional last week what to do about my 13 year-old son. I said I feel like I'm struggling to get through to him, to motivate him. I feel like he is in such a negative place and I want to help him see it won't last forever. This wonderful woman asked me to give her an example. Which I gladly did. To which she replied. "UGH."

Yes. Ugh. Then silence. I know I'm screwing up, that's why I was asking a professional. I may not know beans about the brain of thirteen year-old boys but I do know when to ask for help. Thank goodness she did not hold back. This is a woman who spent 20 years working with youth in the Juvenile court system. She said bluntly, "You need to stop talking and start listening. Really listening. That's all he wants."

I wasn't hurt or mad and to be honest I wasn't surprised. I get tired of hearing my own voice. Active listening is not a new concept to me, it's just so darn hard! It takes a lot of effort, work, and patience. It also requires a lot of letting go. (Something I am not known for) In order to be a really good listener you have to let go of your own agenda and more important your ego. (ouch) That's the tough one. That's also one of the keys of a good parent, knowing when to let go of what you want and do what's best for your child.

My almost fourteen year-old son and I are heading down the road to High School.  To be perfectly honest I have been just as terrified of high school as I was of middle school, but I know it's because I hated both. I know in my heart that I need to separate myself and my experiences from my son. it's just hard.

I feel fortunate to be in a great school district right now.  Last weekend was Jazzfest and I met the High School Band Director who already knows my son (how cool is that!) and had wonderful things to say about him,  He promised me that my son could play sports and be in the band. He said he makes sure if it because he believes so strongly that this should be the best time of their lives.

Maybe I can breathe. Maybe I can let go a little bit. Maybe there is a universe out there where kids actually have a great time in High School and he knows where that worm hole is.....maybe.
Maybe I can breathe. Maybe I can let go a little bit. Maybe there is a universe out there where Mom's actually do a few right things raising their teenagers and I've stumbled on the worm hole....maybe?
(I'll let you know)

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Women's March Saturday January 21, 2017

Yesterday Trump made history, and today women will. With numbers that may top the Suffrage movement and Roe vs. Wade women will gather around the world to stand together for a cause.

I almost went to DC. I am still ready to jump in my mini-van and head downtown. Something is still holding me back.

I'm not interested in protesting. 
Let's stop fighting - and start fixing. Let's stop hurting  - and start healing. Let's stop dividing each other into groups and stand together because
 Sisters - I've got your back!

I've been online looking at information as well as listening and reading interviews. The one thing that is stopping me is that word - Protest. 

I'm new to this idea of speaking up. When people get vehement about Right to Life instead of saying what I believe I get quiet, hope they shut up quickly and change the subject.  When people start talking about how they don't want "those" people in their bathrooms I smile politely and walk away.

I don't want to fight with you! I would love to have a respectful discussion regarding your beliefs as well as my own.  I would love to learn from you if you are willing to learn from me - because I believe we all have something unique to share.

I'm just finding my voice. I'm still very easily overpowered by the yellers, the demanders, and the haters.  The people that you know are not listening to you because you can not get a word in edgewise, or they let you start a sentence and then start talking over you, or they just keep repeating a insult over and over while you talk. That is why a March - a Rally - a Stand is very appealing to me.

I don't need to yell or scream to be heard. I don't need to break things or people to be felt. I don't need to paint signs or my face to be seen.

No - I didn't get to DC - No I won't make it downtown today. But Yes - Sister Women. I stand with you today in the cause that Michelle Obama has stated over and over so eloquently - stick together. There is power in numbers but there is bigger power in women in numbers.  We have the power and it is time to use it.

I promise to use my voice Sister Women. I promise to use my voice when they put provisions on the ballot to change bathroom rules. I promise to use my voice when they want to elect someone who believes we should overturn Roe vs. Wade. I promise to use my voice when I choose what news to watch, what channel to listen to, or what products to buy. and I promise Sisters, I promise to use my voice every time another sister says that women's rights don't matter by calling a rapist the real victim, a hater just a christian who's morally right, and a chooser a murderer.

That is my promise - but I want to know that I am not alone. I want to know that you have my back. I don't want to protest sister  - I want to fight fear with love. I want to fight hate with hope. I want to fight division with deserving.  I want to stand together with you in shear numbers and let the world know - The Women Are Here!!!

Friday, January 20, 2017

A Little Chicken of the 80's

If you know me and all three of you who read my blog do, you know that I have never been much of a news person. Having a panic disorder was probably a huge part of it. I can't watch the news without reacting much like Chicken Little.


Excellent movie by the way. TOTALLY me. I have trouble getting through a good day without fear of the sky falling let alone listening to the news.

But is it really News anymore? My problem is that my first two years of college when I worked at the University Newspaper and took some journalism courses the mantra was report the facts unbiased, fairly, and from all angles. I don't feel like that is what the news is all about anymore.

It's all about sides. It's all about Us against Them. It's all about the popular kids starting a fight and then sitting back and laughing their asses off while us nerds tear each other apart.
WHAT IS UP WITH THAT? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE! Didn't you learn anything from the 80's?? John Hughes is soooo disappointed.

For my children's sake, for my sake, for humanity's goodness sake I am begging us all. 
Just Say No. Stop the Madness. Turn it off you'll ruin your ears.

We created this mess. We partied all night, wanted our MTV, and girls just wanted to have fun. But Frankie says Relax. Take a chill pill.  It's OK to grow up and change your mind just remember Goonies never say die.

Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop to look around one in a while, you could miss it. So turn off the news! Get out of the corner, Baby. Say, Hasta La Vista to the news and say Good Morning Vietnam or Cleveland or wherever you are. Don't turn the news back on until they can Make Your Day! literally

Don't let real life pass you by while you are glued to the Boob Tube. Get outside and do something Rad. Tubular. Rock'in. So instead of watching the news today bust out that old Boombox, fill that sucker with D batteries, put in that Perter Gabriel cassette on full volume, and hold it up high! It's time to take our lives back and tell the news media




Friday, January 6, 2017

It's January

There are certain things I can count on in January: gray days, too many people at the gym, unsolicited health advice everywhere, and hope.

Have you ever noticed that no matter what is going on in your life there is usually a glimmer of hope in January. It's like the year is a blank notebook lying in front of you with all the potential in the universe. Amazing drawings, perfect poems, clever menus, and clear calendars. It's all there.

What happens? Suddenly it's April and you think, OK no biggie. It's only on 4 I still have plenty of time. But before you know it summer is here and then gone and then it just feels like - Hold the notebook above the rising water and get to the other side....I can try again next year.

I was watching the Ellen DeGeneres Show I think January 2 when we were all still off reality. She asked her audience about resolutions and not many people responded. Probably not good for her next bit but she choose a women in the front and asked what her resolution was - it was lose weight. Ellen said "Why did you wait till January? Shouldn't you have made that resolution in November before you ate all that crap?"

She's right! Why do we feel like January is the only hopeful month of the year? Because it's number 1? Considering I'm more of a C average student I'm thinking July is just about when I'm hitting my stride. Why not make resolutions then?

Last year we started daily resolutions and our goal was 365 - and we got to July. Funny Huh, if you follow my logic I got an A on that assignment because I didn't wait until July to start I got up to July! Woohoo,

It's January - and it will be gray for the next two months, the gym will be overcrowded until all those people finally give up, and I will continue to get healthy advice from my financial advisor to my mechanic. But I also have hope.

Here's to July!