Alone in a conversation of silence

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The sun is up, its rays starting to slip through the blinds, gently lightening the room. The smell of fresh brewed coffee fills the air, mixing with the morning conversations. She is surrounded by friends, yet she feels alone.

True, there is a history of drama prior to trips. The packing, the cleaning, the caring for the kids creates tension within her. She tries to keep it inside, but more often than not – the tension breaks out, spewing anger everywhere. Continue reading

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I’m serious about the voices.

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Dear Blogary,

I am confused. I have written three draft posts pertaining to current events during the months of April and May 2011. These drafts have turned into voices in my head, rattling around faster and louder when I catch news stories, other blog posts, Twitter feeds and Facebook commentaries.

Blogary, you know when you get really angry and write an angry letter or email, friends will advise you to sleep on it before sending, right? Friends (and family for that matter) advise you to give yourself a cooling off period. Well, I am doing my best to keep the voices in my head, giving myself  the recommended cooling off period. Alas, as I mentioned earlier, the voices increase when I stumble across other posts, news articles, editorials, etc. Continue reading

It only takes money

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Charlie and Joe

If you talk about buying something in front of Rob’s Dad, don’t be surprised if you hear him say, “It only takes money.” Apparently, Rob heard that statement numerous times as a kid and young adult. During our weekend getaway, Rob and I romanticized about buying this thing or that thing, spending another weekend here or going there, etc. Suddenly, I heard myself say, “It only takes money.” We laughed.

The two of us had a fantastic weekend, living a life that wasn’t familiar to us. We are home, now, and our life is all too familiar. Within days of getting home, I received a bill from a health care provider, letting me know what portion of the charges I would have to pay out of pocket. The amount I owed was much larger than I was anticipating, but I knew we’d manage. Then I went to pick up the boys from day care.

See the picture? Cute kids, eh? Notice the one on the right has glasses. Well, the glasses he is wearing were broken recently, and we have been putting off getting the glasses fixed. Fortunately, we keep a spare pair of glasses. Unfortunately, when I picked up the boys, Joe’s spare pair of glasses were handed to me in a plastic bag by Suzann. Apparently, Joe was seeing how much his glasses could bend. Well, his spare pair of glasses didn’t bend – they broke.

Yesterday, when I returned home from getting my boobs squished and squashed (ie Mammogram), my husband mentioned he had news for me. He suggested I sit down. Hmmm . . . this didn’t sound good to me. “Well,” he starts. “I am just about finished with our taxes. And, it looks like we owe.” We owed last year, which floored me, because we don’t make much money. I always attributed owing taxes with a tax bracket higher than ours – much higher than ours. “How much?” I asked. My eyes grew wide when he told me. It’s under $1,000, which is nice, eh? Still, I started adding these bills up in my head – glasses, taxes and health care – Oh my!

I failed to mention that I had gotten quite mad the night Joe broke his glasses. As a Mom, I hated seeing his eyes cross. And, as the payer of bills, I hated thinking of the unexpected expense. As these things kept swirling around in my mind, my anger grew and I started yelling at Rob. He was a trooper. He kept asking, “Ok. But, why are you yelling at me?” And, as he asked, I said to myself quietly, ‘I know. I shouldn’t be yelling at you. It isn’t your fault. But I am mad, and I don’t know what else to do about it.’ Honestly, I kept saying that silently in my head, while Rob continued to ask, “But, why are you yelling at me?” I knew I was in the wrong, but my external voice and my frustration were more powerful. Yelling was the easiest thing to do. I’m telling you, in my opinion, that proverbial high road is a hard road to take. Especially, when you are caught in the heat of the moment.

For the record, I did apologize to Rob for getting out of line. I made it clear, none of this was his fault. I made it clear that I goofed. And you know what? Apologizing never gets any easier. Humble pie tastes icky, though it needs to be eaten.

Anyway, so Rob had just shared the news about the taxes, and I felt the rage growing again inside of me. I remained in control this time, though. I stood up and I told him I needed time to process all of this information. I went upstairs, and I started craving food instantly. UGH. I swear, if I was a smoker, I would have lit up a cigarette. And, if I was a heavy drinker, I would have had at least three beers. Instead of smokes or booze, I feel the tug of food. Ice cream is usually the first thing that pops into my head. And, once ice cream is in my head and on my mind, it is hard for me to quiet the urge without submitting. Do I sound like I am exaggerating? I assure you, I am not.

I went to my computers – work and personal. I tried to busy myself with work, and I tried to busy myself with surfing. I was still frustrated. Then, after one of several Facebook refreshes, I saw a note from Angela. She is my Facebook friend who is active with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Team in Training. You can click on their website to find out more about the awesome organization. Briefly, Team in Training raises awareness of blood cancer by running marathons, half marathons, etc. And, my friend Angela is one of many runners running with a purpose. If you want to learn more, you can check out my post about Angela’s efforts and how you can help by clicking here.

Angela sent me a note, letting me know her web page had been activated. And, as I clicked on her website, my outlook on my financial frustrations seemed to subside. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like dollars just manifested into our bank account and our financial problems were gone with the wind. That would be silly. Quite cool, for certain; but, it would be silly. And, let me be clear, I was still frustrated. However, my perspective changed. Rob and I will figure out a way to pay what needs to be paid. It’s not as if we don’t have money. And, I know there are many people who are in boats similar to ours, as well as people in bigger boats and people in smaller boats.  And, there are people that have no boats. So, I get it could be worse. And, being reminded of people who face life-threatening battles each day, really keeps things in perspective.

I blogged once about how Corey Haim’s death didn’t have a direct impact on my life. Tragic? Yes. Impacting my life? No. Yet, sometimes it is nice to be reminded that even when you are battling your own challenges, others are battling, too. I don’t wish large battles on folks, but I certainly gain a greater perspective on the size of my battles, when I am reminded of the bigger struggles. The fact that Angela let me know her website was up and running, reminded me that things could be so much worse.

Rob and I are fine. Some months are more costly than other months. But, we always find a way to have ‘enough’. And, I am thankful for the fact that we have ‘enough’. In fact, I took the time to donate to Team in Training, because I want to do what I can to make sure others have ‘enough’, too. I also want to work on my temper and self-control. Apparently, it takes more than money to do some things.

P.S. I did not submit to my ice cream craving, while in the midst of my frustration. That was a battle I won. Yeah me!

They have a pill for that

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First, I am sitting at my local coffee joint, where they offer free WiFi and coffee served at a drinkable temperature. I absolutely love the fact that I can order a cup of coffee here and take a sip immediately, without scalding my mouth. Clearly, I am not sitting at a Starbucks. And, you will not find any ‘caution: contains hot liquid’ in this joint. Scalding is not the passion of this coffee house; instead, this place has a passion for providing wonderful coffee at the perfect temperature.

Ok. There is no second, so I should not have said ‘first’. Oh well.

I am certain there is a pill available to cure what ails me. This weekend I am battling all the symptoms that come with PMS. The worst symptoms of PMS for me are an increased lack of patience and anger/rage. Earlier today, I yelled at my husband for no good reason. Sure, I had several reasons at the time of my unleashing, but the sane side of me (which still exists amidst the crazy) knew my husband had done nothing wrong. In fact, the monologue of rage was completed, when I closed my eyes and came back to reality, calming stating what was real.

When not in the throws of PMS, I have come to accept my husband completely. This acceptance did not come easy, and it has only come recently. I no longer have major expectations of my husband. I accept the fact that he and I are different in many ways, and I see the value in our differences. (God knows, I could not handle him if he were crazy like me.) Perhaps more importantly, I accept my role in life. I accept how I respond to things, how I see things and how I have the ability to change my responses and perceptions.

I know my role in this life is to be the [main] disciplinarian in the house, to be the book and house keeper, to be the decision and appointment maker/keeper, etc. And, I know my controlling tendencies makes me a perfect candidate for the aforementioned roles. Also, I know that if any of these roles were to disappear, I would be lost. Yes, I would eventually find myself again, but I would miss the role I had played. I think I am good at my role. No. Scratch that, I think I am damn good at  my role. The best? Perhaps not the best; then again, for my life, I am the best.

One of  my biggest challenges right now is the affects of PMS. This is something that will occur every 28 days (or so) for the next 5 – 10 years. What’s worse, I hear the affects of menopause could be equally as challenging as PMS. And, as I said earlier, I am sure there is a pill I could take to ease the affects of PMS, but I’d prefer to find a pill-free way to cope. I’d like to find a medication-free way to deal with the crazy and keep my family from seeing the crazy.

I’ve had one friend suggest an IUD to help balance the moodiness. I’ve also had a friend recommend Yaz. I appreciate their advice. But, I am already living with the side effects of taking sertraline (Zoloft), which includes weight gain, restless leg syndrome, insomnia, etc. I’d rather not put more meds in my body and start battling more side effects. Plus, I do believe changing the natural chemistry of the body increases the chances of things like cancer, diabetes, etc.

I’m no Natural Nancy. Not that there is anything wrong with being a Natural Nancy (or Natural Nate, for that matter). Still, I prefer to keep my chemistry and hormone levels at its natural state. If I find I a become stricken with Cancer, rest assured I will sign up for whatever treatment is available to me. Until then, the human body is a miracle in and of itself. It throws all of us curves every now and again. When left to its own devices, though, the body heals itself.

So. Where does that leave me today? While I am overcome with a lack of patience and crazy frustrated with the slightest glitch in the day, what can I do to muster through it, keeping my relationships in tact? Suggestions? I’d love to hear what you suggest. I can tell you, coming to this local coffee joint is doing me good. The music in the background, the coffee and veggie and hummus sandwich are all good. I am guessing getting out by myself is a great way to control the crazy. I asked my husband yesterday, if he wanted me out of the house. Though I believe part of my husband wanted me gone, he told me he wanted me to stay. And, we made it through the day. We even took the boys to a park and spent some great time outdoors. Sure, even while enjoying the beautiful outdoors, I had moments of crazy crankiness, but we all lived, happily even.

Tomorrow is Monday. My husband and I will go off to work, and our boys will go to their day care provider. We’ll find time to ourselves, as we take part in the routine of the work week. I find solace in the routine of our work week. Perhaps by the end of the work week, this month’s PMS battle will be completed, with little to no casualties. In the meantime, please excuse me. I just received a refill of freshly made decaf coffee, and I’d like to sip, surf and enjoy. Good day.

Unorganized Thoughts

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NOTE: The following post may offend. Please read with caution.

It is morning here. I’ve enjoyed two cups of coffee, and yes, I believe I will have a third. Before I get up to get that third cup of coffee, I am going to tell you about my dream last night. I had a dream about the movie Shutter Island. I am not sure why I had a dream about Shutter Island, because I have not seen the movie. And, I didn’t dream that I was watching the movie, my dream was that I was on the Island living out the movie. Odd. I assume the dream was short because I haven’t seen the movie. I suspect seeing the movie is in my future, though. I’m curious to see if I got any of it right.

The main purpose of my post today is to release some of the frustration I am having due to hormones. My word of the day today is restraint. I hope to show restraint today and over the next 5 – 7 days. My patience is limited, which makes showing restraint even harder. But, I am aware that my moodiness is due to hormones, and I am hoping if I keep in tune with that awareness, I won’t do too much damage. I have a big challenge ahead of me, that is for certain.

Now, while I try to show restraint and release my frustrations via posting, you have to realize that my mind is in overdrive. I swear there is a game of pinball going on in my head, and the flippers are doing a great job of keeping the ball active and hitting many bumpers. I am certain I will reach a new ‘High Score’.

While posting, I am listening to the Neal Boortz show. He is an AM talk radio show host. Great entertainment. You can access his website, and I encourage you to listen to him. He’s a Libertarian, and he is not a fan of President Obama. Consider yourself warned. I hope that doesn’t prevent you from checking him out, though. Again, he is great entertainment.

So, Neal is on a rant about an 8th grade girl who sent her boyfriend a picture via her cell phone. Allegedly, the 8th grader was partially nude. After her boyfriend received the picture, he forwarded it to his guy friends. All this took place in a private school. I believe both parties were taken out of school in some form or another. Authorities are considering jail time, too. Explain to me, again, why kids have cell phones? Oh yeah. It is because they NEED them in case of an emergency. Right. And how many times have they used it for an actual EMERGENCY vs just convenience or habit? Thought so.

And then there is Oprah. She is promoting a “Don’t Text and Drive” campaign. Yet, what did her audience receive during a recent show? Yep. A free cell phone with 60 days free service! Woo hoo! And, how many of those folks will use their phones while driving?! Seems a bit contradictory to me, but I am PMSing; what the heck do I know, right?

But wait, I have more to share. Oprah had Jessica Simpson on her show. Jessica was airing her frustration with the media and paparazzi, as they hound her and focus on her weight an personal life. She was stressing the need for folks to focus on the goodness inside and the pressure the media puts on looks, appearance, etc. Oprah was nodding in agreement with Jessica, and Oprah also shared that she’s had to deal with her fair share of crap from the media. OK. Cut to the second half of the show: Lisa Ling talks about the focus on fashion and beauty in China and around the world. What?! The first half of the show is about how too much focus is on fashion, looks, etc. And, the second half of the show is all about looking a certain way, interviewing the Vanity Fair rep in China.

I admit, my rant may be taking things out of context a bit. And, showing how women will do just about anything to be ‘beautiful’ doesn’t necessarily encourage the behavior; however, Oprah has many shows on how to look better. I am just frustrated with the double-talk. “Don’t text and drive.” “Here! Have a new cell phone.” “Focus on what is inside your heart, not how you look.” “This week we will talk about the best way to color your hair and look years younger.” Yes, I am cranky. But am I way off base? Really?

Oh. Oh. AND – Oprah has had several shows with Peter Walsh, from Clean Sweep. She is amazed and horrified at how hoarders collect stuff and are unable to get rid of things. Then, she announces that she has cleaned out her closet and is auctioning off items on Ebay to raise money for her school. While going through many of the clothing items, Oprah is expressing the fact that she is getting anxious about letting go of the things. She talks about the fact that her heart is racing and she is having a hard time not changing her mind on certain items.

Again, my frustration is hormone induced. And, I don’t fault Oprah for the anxiety she has with letting go of some of her ‘stuff’. But, what about her love for Eckhart Tolle and his book ‘A New Earth’? What about her belief that it is not about the stuff? She has tons of stuff! And, it is hard for her to let go of her stuff, so it should not surprise her that others have a hard time of letting go of their stuff, too.

I like Oprah. I am not trying to discredit her or make her out to be someone evil. I just wish folks would practice what they preach, and I wish they would call themselves out when they don’t practice what they preach. Which reminds me …

For the most part, I am an open book. I know I am moody. I know I am impatient. I know I yell way too much. I know this. I also know there are many people like me. However, they don’t admit to being like me. They don’t admit to sharing many of my qualities. They will, however, throw me under the bus without batting an eye. Because I am so open about my issues and imperfections, I feel as though I walk around with a big target on my front and back. And, rather than acknowledging they share many of my characteristics, folks will tell me how ridiculous I can be at times.

I realize my openness is my choice, though why I continue to choose being an open book is beyond me. Seriously, why in the world do I feel the need to share every single emotion I feel? Why on earth do I feel the need to express just about every thought I have? It is sick, though I know many find it entertaining. And, truth be told, I love me. I love the fact that I am an open book. I just wish I wasn’t so insecure about it all. It seems contradictory to be so forthcoming with information, yet cringe internally as I worry I am being judged. And, as is often the case, when I run into folks like me, who also share everything, I become annoyed. Yeah. Our own qualities tend to annoy us when we find the same qualities in others. Funny how that works.

I had better cut this post short. [Too late] I need to pace myself, as the next several days have the potential to be challenging. Today, I reminded my husband that I love him. I will remind my husband I love him several times over the next 5 to 7 days, in between my barking and biting. Hormones are wonderful.