Sunday, June 26, 2011

10 Things I have learned while Mom is away...

1. I want a dishwasher. Staying at Mom's where we have a dishwasher to use has convinced me of this. It saves me crazy amounts of time. The dishes actually get done after every meal even when life is rushed.

2. Having my family living in two separate homes is annoying. Going back and forth almost daily is wearing. Having kids making a mess in two separate places is more than I care to deal with. It will be nice to have us all under the same roof. That being said, having siblings who tend to rival frequently in two separate homes has been a nice break for them and for us.

3. I call my mom a lot. I thought we spoke often but it turns out it's about 2-3 times a day. I miss her. I miss her a lot more than I thought I would.

4. Keeping up a uncluttered home is a lot easier than trying to keep up my own disaster pile. Must work on that when we are back home! It feels like I am always decluttering, I guess I need to kick it into high gear. Heard a quote on The Big Bang Theory that sums up my house: "This isn't anyone's 'home'. This is a swirling vortex of entropy." Mom's house is decluttered but not stark. Not quite minimalist but way closer than mine is.

5. House-sitting is much more pleasant than dog-sitting. I always dreaded Mom going away because I thought house-sitting was terrible. Turns out it was just the dog that makes it terrible.

6. Did I mention I miss my mom? I really do.

7. I often feel spoiled because we have 1.5 baths at home. Here with two full baths it's heavenly.

8. Having the playground a five minute walk away means we are outside a lot more. The Littles sleep a lot better when we hit the playground to burn off the last of their energy after supper.

9. Central air is a gift to me directly from God. I truly believe this. Other than having two full bathrooms I will miss central air the most.

10. The Littles do not need nearly the amount of clothes that they own. I packed each of them five outfits and two pairs of pjs for the two weeks. They wear the same three outfits over and over. The only thing I would change would be to have a third pair of pjs in case of a bedtime snack spill or pee accident when the first pair is in the wash.

Mom is home at the end of the week and brings my sister & nieces with her. I can't wait!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Great Summer Plans of 2011

Whenever life knocks me down I tend to retreat, give up, hide from those who care about me. I shut down.
I am done with that. No one on this planet is worth me losing more months of my life than I already have. To that end...

The Great Summer Plans of 2011:

The YMCA and I are going to become best friends again. I'm going to drag my kids with me unless they are at work. My ultimate goal: 5 mornings a week. This time around I need to lose my fear of the weight room. Maybe I'll save up and get a session or two with a personal trainer. I felt really good - both mentally & physically when I was doing my 5k a day last year. I want to get back there.

Start our homeschooling year the first week of August. I still haven't decided yet whether I am going to homeschool this fall or not. I figure starting a month before public school starts will give me an indication of how things will go - and plenty of time to enroll J if that is the better decision.

Sign up for a distance ed course from Ryerson University. This is scary and exciting all at once!

Get my G1 *BEFORE* August 24th. There's no way my oldest daughter can learn to drive before me! Not sure what to do about the actual learning to drive part now but I'm sure I can figure it out.

Spend more time with the girls. I hardly see them all school year. I really want to connect with them this summer.

Read. I have a very long list of books I want to work through.

Spend time with friends. Quit hiding at home and enjoy people again. I need to kick my anxiety in the butt and get out into the world.

Life is not going to flatten me again. Onward and upward!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Nixing the Negative Nelly

Negative people suck the life out of me. You know the type? Always complaining, always commenting - almost always something negative? I fear I am becoming one of those people. I am going to change that.
Trying to figure out my plan to change it. I want to reframe experiences and thoughts and phrase them in ways that are accurate but not negative.

Perhaps I'll start by committing to the "say three positives before saying a negative" my mom always insisted on when we were children. That helps for what I say... but I'm not sure how to turn off the negativity that is in my head. I tend to go to sad and dark places when I'm alone with my thoughts. How do I break that cycle?

Tonight I am really struggling with staying positive (or at least not negative.) I am home alone. No kids, no boyfriend, no friends. There is no one here but me. I feel sad and suffocated by the "alone" but I am trying to reframe it. It.is.hard. I'm not sure how to accomplish this. I guess for now I will grab a snack and turn on a movie and wait for another day to come up with a plan for these difficult nights.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Learning to fly by the seat of my pants

I like plans. I like knowing what is going to happen every step of the way, planned out in advance. I want to know what the outcome will be or should be. I want the plan as clearly defined as soon as possible. Apparently the universe has been desperately trying to cure me of that fault. It seems every time I turn around, every time things feel settled and I can take another step in my plan another curveball comes my way. Some of the curvealls have been great. I've had curveballs that were amazing life changing surprises which have enriched my life and for those I am grateful. Other curveballs have been soul-crushingly painful. Maybe one day I can be one of those people who say they look back and are grateful for their trials. I certainly am not at that place yet.

Between the universe and my own screw-ups and others' screw-ups that impact my world, my life is not what I thought it would be. My plan for the "perfect life" went off track. My life is not nearly what I had planned but I need to learn that just because it is different that doesn't mean it's wrong, or bad or anything other than what.is. Those voices in my head, the ones that overwhelm me at the end of an exhausting and challenging day tell me that if only... if only... if only... my life would be so different and so much better. All blame rests solely upon me if I believe those voices. I need to learn to tune them out. I need to learn to silence them and realize I cannot change what has happened. I can re-frame, I can adjust my attitude and I can move on.

I just need to do better. Every day make better choices and accept where those choices take me, whether or not they fit into my plan.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Father's Day

Sunday marks the beginning of a very difficult time for me.

It begins with Father's Day. I tend to hide myself away for Father's Day. I avoid church, the barbecues, the parties, the celebration and lock myself in my house - usually in my room. I have that option because my children always go to their dads' that weekend.

I miss my dad. I miss him every day. The ache of missing him turns into gut splitting agony on the day everyone shows their dad how much they love and appreciate him. I would do anything for just one more Father's Day. One more minute even. I love my dad. I miss him.

A short four days after Father's Day comes Daddy's birthday. This year he would have been 66 years old. Would have been...

We'll have a cake. Probably lemon since Dad loved lemon. I probably get my love of lemon cake from him.

Two days after that my mom has her birthday. I am thankful every day that Mom is still around - even the days we disagree and she frustrates me to no end. But even Mom's birthday makes me sad now. You can see in her eyes, in her voice, in her expressions that her life is incomplete without Dad at her side.

July 4th was my parents' anniversary. They married July 4, 1969 and this year they would have been married 42 years.

The hardest of all the days come a month later. On August 6th, 2006 I received the phone call that would change my life. It was Mom telling me Dad was on the way to the hospital via amubulance, that they had restarted his heart but he was unconcious.

Less than 24 agonzing hours later Dad died on August 7, 2006.

I don't know how I will spend that day. Maybe I'll make a trip to his grave site. I've only been there twice: the day we buried him and at Thanksgiving that same year. I just can't bring myself to go. It makes it feel too real.

I guess often I live in a fantasy world. I will think "conversations" with my dad, asking his advice, imagining what he'd say. It's been a long time since I picked up the phone ready to call him then remembering he isn't there to answer the phone.

The place in the world I felt safest was sitting on the couch beside Dad. Because of his heart condition you could almost always find him there. He'd lift his arm up and say "come here Anna-babes" and I'd sit beside him, as close as I could get and we'd just sit and watch tv and talk. I'd drive him crazy watching movies, trying to figure out what other shows and movies the characters were in. I guess he'd really appreciate my discovery of imdb.com eh?

I miss my Dad.