Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 30 - A letter to yourself - tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself - 30 days of truth

I can't possibly explain how much I don't want to do this. I'm distracted. The season finale of Sons of Anarchy is on. I'm going to see my best friend soon. There's laundry, cleaning, and I've had popcorn for dinner.

It's just not the day to write this letter. 

Things that I love about myself are few and far between lately. I don't say that fishing for reinforcement. I just mean - if I'm finishing the 30 Days of Truth? It ought to be truthful.

So I wait. I'll write the letter. Just not now. Let me get back to it.

In the meantime, I leave you with quite possibly the funniest thing you might read all day with apologies to my relatives who at this point should just put their fingers in their ears and start singing, "La la la la la."

I broke my nose last night. Moving from one compromising position to another. Awesome. Nothing like some wailing and a bloody nose to kill the mood. As Kevin likes to say, I am nothing if not a dainty, petite flower.

Happy NaPoBloMe month. I'm all done. If I don't post again for weeks, don't worry about me. I'm just catching up on all of the dang laundry I haven't done this month. Aw, who am I kidding? I've got Christmas trees to talk about, y'all!

This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 29 - Something you hope to change about yourself and why - 30 days of truth

Oh boy, I almost missed this one. It's 11:35, and I'm just now thinking about it. I spent all of my computer time today trying to stretch our incredibly short dollars as thin as I could to put some presents under the tree for my family. Cyber Monday wasn't actually that great this year, but I managed to find a few things for a little cheaper than in the stores.

There are a lot of things I hope to change about myself, but the main one would be my ability to focus. I think it's rather obvious why I would want to change that. 

I tend to wander, and I would get so much more done if I could concentrate on one task from beginning to end. It drives Kevin crazy, I know. Because the result is that I unload and load the dishwasher, but I forget to run it. Or I bring in the dogs' bowls, but I forget to feed them. Or I transfer money into our account, but forget to click the oh so important CONFIRM button. He really hates that one.

If I could manage to put my yoga practice back into my life, I think that would help tremendously. Or maybe if I just had a schedule of things. Some kind of order - maybe then I could remember stuff and focus.

Maybe then I could possibly
This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 28 - What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do? - 30 days of truth

Something that annoys me about myself is my need to state things in absolutes. Like a few months ago, I blogged about how Kevin and I were totally done having children. Our reasons are quite compelling, and I for one, am still pretty convinced that our decision will stick.


And don't get your hopes up, Liz.

The other day, Kevin started a sentence with the words, "If we had another one . . ." and I swear I have no idea what he said after that because the "If we had another one" was too busy ringing in my ears.

So what if I was pregnant? 

It would be alright. We love our children. Kevin is an awesome father. Mallory is an amazing big sister. I love being a mama.

So, maybe.

Besides, sleep is over rated, and Kevin loves working. Which is good because IF we had another one, neither of us would sleep ever again, and he would have to work until he was 104.

But one more might not be a bad idea . . .
This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 27 - What's the best thing you have going for you right now? - 30 days of truth

Let's be honest. I'm really not interesting enough to be doing 30 Days of Truth. I think four or five days of truth would have been sufficient. However, seeing as how we're so close to the end, I guess I'll power through.

Of course the answer to this is the same answer as my reason for living. My family. However, since we already know that, I'll give another answer.

I think the best thing I've got going for me are the new friends I've made since becoming a mama. Learning that friends come and go has been a hard thing for me. When the going doesn't coincide with the coming, it's even harder.

I've had a couple of friends go this year that were really difficult. There were no falling outs or fights, just fading. I don't like it. This time though, there were other friends that I had made who were right there. It made it so much easier to move on.

So you know who you are, I hope. The ones of you who have learned to put up with me. A couple of you live on my street, so I'm relieved that I'm not THAT neighbor. That you seem to like me alright. Then there's you who doesn't live as close, but dang if you aren't right near the coolest museum in the Triangle. And you, who want to move out of Raleigh for reasons that I completely understand, but I secretly hope that you'll not only not leave Raleigh, but move further in - as in on our street (see above mention of lovely people who would be your neighbors).

I'm thinking that new friends are what I have going for me right about now. New ones, and then old ones too. Like ones on the other end of a train ride. Ones I can't wait to see again.

This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 26 - Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why? - 30 days of truth

I can't say honestly that I have. I have considered running out on life. Abandoning my responsibilities and hitting the road, but we know now that those thoughts come hand in hand with an urgent need to adjust the dosage of my SSRI.

I'll never forget one time when I was in high school, my dad and I were fighting, as we were so quick to do, and I said, "I wish I was dead." He replied with, "I'll get you a bottle of pills."

Makes him sound like a monster, and quite frankly, some days he was. He fought with me like a peer instead of a parent, and as quick as he was to anger - we fought a lot. 

He's not a monster though. What he said wasn't appropriate, and it didn't result in the expected jolt to reality that he probably intended. It just made me feel like he wished I was dead too.

It was a terrible feeling. 

It didn't last though, and Daddy didn't stay that way. The sad part is that shortly after he mellowed and changed was when he started getting sick. It's truly not fair.

What about you? I'm curious. What would it take to make you give up? Is there anything?

I don't think there is for me. Especially not now.

This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 25 - The reason you believe you are still alive today - 30 days of truth

Also appropriate for Thanksgiving Day.

This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 24 - Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs - 30 days of truth

I so don't have time to be doing this. I've been mulling it over all month now, and I wanted to make a detailed list and then actually compile it and give it to Mallory.

That hasn't happened. It's just too busy around here.

So, what I have instead are a list of the albums featuring female artists that I want her to listen to with me at some point. And no letter. Because really? Why would I write this in letter form? I'm not feeling that.

Tori Amos: Little Earthquakes and Under the Pink
Jonatha Brooke: Plumb, 10 Cent Wings, and Steady Pull
Julie Miller: Broken Things
Amy Grant: Lead Me On
Sundays: Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic
Sixpence None the Richer: This Beautiful Mess
Liz Phair: Exile in Guyville
The Cardigans: First Band on the Moon
Indigo Girls: Indigo Girls
Emmylou Harris: Wrecking Ball and Red Dirt Girl
Joni Mitchell: Court & Spark and Blue
Bjork: Debut
Sugarcubes: Stick Around for Joy
Sarah McLachlan: Touch, Solace, and Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
The Breeders: Last Splash
Juliana Hatfield: Hey Babe
The Story: Grace In Gravity and Angel in the House
Kathleen Edwards: Back to Me

Okay. I've got a table to set and some sleep to catch. That's all I got off the top of my head. I think that's a great start though.

This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 23 - Something you wish you had done in your life - 30 days of truth

I wish I had been braver.

I wish that I had not assumed that because a couple of girls in my class were mercilessly mean to me, that everyone hated me. I wish that I had trusted my old friends. I wish that I had been more open minded. I wish that I hadn't been so stoic. I wish that I hadn't been so defensive.

There is a large chunk of my life where I was friends with people I am no longer friends with. I think in one regard, that's normal. However, so many old friends have been reintroduced into my life - I can't help but feel a little regret that I veered from those friendships in the first place. I certainly wasn't moving on to greener pastures. That's for sure.

This isn't a great prompt for me. Someone who is trying to focus on living in the now. 

The more I thought about this one, the more I wanted to just type, "I wish I sucked less," but that's a little harsh, even for me. There is a little truth to it though. I do wish that I had been more successful for a longer period of time - at anything. There are things I did well, but I don't seem to have any staying power. I burn out. Move on. 

Maybe I wish I had been more gentle on myself along the way. Cut myself a break more often.

Maybe that just what I wish for the future.

This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 22 - Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life - 30 days of truth

So I'm copping out a little here. Just because I'm so tired of talking about ME this month, I could puke. So no soul bearing wishes here. Just an honest one.

I wish I hadn't played the flute. I hated the flute. I wanted to play the French horn. Or the cello. Or even the marimba.

But I wish I hadn't played the flute.

It's not a life shattering regret, mind you, but it fits the bill.

This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 21 - (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do? - 30 days of truth

First, I pray.

Then, I go.

I've never had a hard time apologizing when I need to. I would apologize. And I would pray that she heard me and would be around to tell me what a jackhole I was the next day.

This was a weird prompt for me. I'm not really in the mood to pontificate over something fictional happening to my best friend. Call me grumpy.

This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 20 - Your views on drugs and alcohol - 30 days of truth

My stars. How I love a lovely pepper tinged cocoa laced glass of Zinfindel. Or two. Or three. Or for crying out loud, who are we kidding, I was really more of a let's not waste a bottle of good wine by letting it sit on the counter kind of a gal.

So I don't do it. Drink, that is.

The truth is - and isn't that the point of this whole meme - that I think alcohol is - well - I guess I don't know. Because I've typed out five different endings to that sentence and deleted them all.

I think it's not for me. I'll just leave it at that.

And drugs? Holy cow. Not even going there.

I can honestly say that I'm a much better person clean, sober, and only medicated as directed by a doctor. 

Ahem. SSRI. God bless 'em. Ahem.

This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 19 - What do you think of religion? Or what do you think about politics? - 30 days of truth

Many years ago, I was highly opinionated and quick to spout off my opinions whether you wanted to hear them or not. If I remember correctly, I was given the dubious honor of Best Lobbyist two years in a row at Youth Legislature. I was passionate about my causes and liked backing my almost manipulative persuasion up with hard cold facts.

It worked for awhile.

Somewhere along the way though, I got damaged. I don't know when or how exactly. There are a few events that stand out, but nothing that says, "POW. This is when your backbone broke."

Granted, I like the less abrasive, kindler, gentler me. I am far more likable now than I was 20 years ago, and I think that I'm far more reasonable as well.

So what do I think about religion? I think it's swell. I won't tell you that unless you ask. And even if you ask, I probably won't expand much.

I could easily just type out the Apostles Creed here to tell you what I believe, but I won't. I believe all of the things I learned in my church growing up except for one.

The one big thing that changed in my beliefs? The fact that I don't believe you are wrong if you believe something different from me. My vision of religion and faith is far bigger than it used to be, and most likely, it includes you, no matter what.

Politics? I think politics suck. I don't like 'em.

And that's that.

This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Between all the blogging, life still goes on

I love how Colin is giving turn signals in the cart.

While blogging my way through the 30 Days of Truth, I find myself having little time left to write about my actual life. My love life. My life loves.

Colin has teeth. Lots of teeth. He likes to bite me and laugh when I wince. It's not one of his more endearing qualities, except that when he laughs, the sky opens up and jellybeans fall down while choirs of bunnies sing scat songs. In other words, his laugh is awesome. Wicked funny, and a little bit weird. Kind of throaty. Heh heh like.

He's moving. Crawling. Trying his best to pull up, but the girth on that boy has him firmly rooted to the ground. I can't say that I'm all that sorry about that. He's already making straight shots to whatever he shouldn't have. Electrical cords. Dog bowls. Trash cans. Toilet brushes. Shoes. And all of it, everything he touches, goes right into the mouth. Nasty.

That boy loves his family. For a little bit, it was just, "that boy loves his mama." Now? He claps when Kevin walks in the door. He crawls around after Christopher like a little puppy. And Mallory is the only other person beside Mama and Daddy that Colin ever reaches out for. He started this special head bobbing thing just for her at the dinner table. She smiles at him, and then he cocks his head over to the side and "heh heh's" at her while looking so stinking adorable that you want to sell him on Etsy.

Christopher is about to grow again. Rather, is growing already. His pants are getting shorter and I'm letting the adjustable waists out weekly. He finally out grew his sneakers. We bought new ones three months ago because I was sure he was about to out grow his, but he didn't. He just plateaued right where he was for awhile. Now it's game on. Boyfriend is going to sprout, I'm afraid. Just please don't out grow your winter clothes, Bird. I can't afford to buy you new ones, and I like the ones you have already.

The main battle with Christopher right now is the dinner table. He just won't eat what I cook for dinner. I feel like I've tried everything, and what I really want to settle into is that it's not a battle. Just let go, Mama. But some nights I get so frustrated that he isn't going to eat anything again, and I know he will wake up in the morning and eat a huge breakfast, and I lose it. I mean what kid doesn't like sweet potatoes? He used to love them. He used to love lots of things. Which makes me think that it's not about taste at all. That it's either about power or it's about texture. I'm leaning more towards power. Whatever it is, I know it's a phase. Deep breath, and this too will pass.

The big news is that we got a new fence across the front of the backyard today. It's not pretty, but at least the dogs won't get out now. I swear that Setter wants a new family something awful. Our leather sofa just isn't good enough for her anymore. I can't say that I blame her really. I shave her myself now instead of letting her show coat grow out and get groomed. It is so beneath her.

There is more. A baptism has finally happened. My parents have been here. My brother even. But that is a post for another day. I'm still savoring the visit for myself.

Day 18 - Your views on gay marriage - 30 days of truth

My momma is a Presbyterian minister. She went to a seminary where they believe that women shouldn't be ministers. Can you imagine that? This day and age, there are still people who believe that women shouldn't be ministers or leaders in the church.

I find that so strange.

It is so easy for me to see that these people have misinterpreted the Bible, or their translation of it, to warp women into subservient roles in religion.

My views on homosexuality are the same. 

And even if it had nothing to do with religion, I have to say that the whole idea that we can tell certain members of our society that they can't get married just because they are the same gender? Baffles me.

Granted, this is not an invitation to explain it to me. I'm quite sure I've heard your arguments before. I'm just saying they sound like this to me, "Blah blah blah, different, blah, blah, blah, scared, blah, blah."

No disrespect meant. I mean that.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 17 - A book you’ve read that changed your views on something - 30 days of truth

If only I had read this one a little sooner. Christopher's birth story could have been so very different.

I had never considered midwives, birth centers, home births, or intervention free birth. I didn't know these things existed in real life. I thought in theory that they were good ideas, but I wasn't sure they really happened.

Then I read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. It totally changed my perspective, just not in time for me to make the leap for my first birth. It's inspirational, encouraging, and is a great read for any expecting mama. It changed the way I thought about birth and the possibilities of labor and delivery. 

Also, Knuffle Bunny Too. I totally thought it was pronounced "nuffle," and it rocked my world when Trixie pronounced it "KUH-nuffle." 


This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here.

More birthdays

The number of times Momma and I have bemoaned the fact that she wouldn't make it to 70 when her mother made it to 97 is now quite laughable.

I'm telling your age, Reverend Mother. Happy 70th Birthday. Thanks for sticking it out with us.

More birthdays

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 16 - Someone or something you definitely could live without - 30 days of truth

Leg hair

Torn cuticles
Picardy thirds
Pickled herring
Angelina Jolie
Plugged ducts
Anything in a size 2
Reality TV (save the Amazing Race)
Bad gas mileage
Zack Wilde
Victoria's Secret


Paying for shipping

The End.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 15 - Something or someone you couldn't live without because you've tried to live without it - 30 days of truth

I could easily site this blog as the thing I just can't quit. I've tried a few times to quit, but I always come back. I've made lots of changes and implemented my own new policies along the way, but I always come back. Blogging is a learn as you go thing. At least for me it is. Regardless, I'm not quitting anytime soon.

Really though, what I REALLY can't live without - what I know I can't live without because I've tried so many many many times to quit - is Diet Coke.

How pathetic is that?

Here you go. From the now defunct Deep South Moms Blog, from back in April 2009, is my letter to Diet Coke. I think it was my first syndicated post. Meh. Who cares? It makes me chuckle a little.


Dear Diet Coke,

I don't know what it is about you. I have quit smoking without the aid of gums or patches. I have quit drinking cold turkey when we think there might be a second line appearing on a pregnancy test. I can stick to a diet when I need to drop a few pounds. It wouldn't be unfathomable to call me a woman with self control.

But you, sweet elixir of life, I just can't quit you.

Sixteen weeks into this pregnancy and I still can't seem pass up on a giant, ice cold, frothy fountain Diet Coke. Even though I stopped buying cases of you to keep in my fridge at home, I find myself looking for excuses to get out of the house and hit the nearest drive thru.

Nothing else can take your place. Your inbred cousin, Diet Coke with Splenda, just doesn't cut it. I took him out for a tango when I was pregnant with my first child. I just wasn't satisfied. A real Coke is so full of sugar that my teeth feel like they are wearing sweaters after the third sip. A cup of coffee will curb the desire for caffeine, but it doesn't bring me that effervescent joy that you do.

I have long proclaimed that there is something more addictive about you than in any other soft drink. I knew long before I evern dreamed of being pregnant that you were my one vice. Every thing else could come and go, but you never would loosen your grip on me.

Damn you, Diet Coke. I blame you and your spurious sweetness that bubbles up, taunting me from the McDonald's down the street. You are so bad for me, and yet oh so good.

An unabashed addict

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 14 - A hero that has let you down - 30 days of truth

I almost forgot. That would have been frustrating.

But I've had this sitting in "edit" mode for days now, trying to think of someone that I considered a hero in the first place.

In order to have a hero who has let you down, you must first have had a hero. I can't think of one.

There are people I admire greatly. Momma. Susan. Liz. Gail. Kara. Cyndi. Abby. Amy. Too many many many to list. But I wouldn't hold them to the status of hero because it's not fair. They are, after all, human just like me.

Not exactly the soul searching post you might have been expecting, I know. I probably let you down. Hope I wasn't your hero.

This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire listhere.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 13 - A band or artist who has gotten you through some tough ass days - 30 days of truth

Really? Do I have to? This is going to be so very embarrassing.

Dear Tori,

If there hadn't been 50 other people standing behind Her Magesty's Theatre, and if it hadn't been just the first of dozens of shows you would do for Under the Pink, and if I could have garnered enough strength to say anything other than a shallow, high-pitched, "thank you," you might remember me as the girl with the star paper letter that I pressed into your hand across the rope, behind the theater in London.

Or maybe you wouldn't. It doesn't matter really.

What matters is that even though it was a life time ago, I still think of you when I think of an artist who changed my life and got me through some tough ass days.

I listened to your songs over and over and over. Your words felt like they had burst from my own heart. Your piano taught me new ways to play. New ways to write. New ways to listen.

A couple of years after that, I worked a show you played in Mississippi. Your chef had me running all over the place looking for Ben and Jerry's ice cream, which Mississippi didn't have yet. I know. Hard to believe. You came in and ate a plate of food by yourself. I didn't want to bother you, so I just sat across the room from you sending you subliminal messages of, "I love you." Because I was a little crazy then. And now, but that's no matter.

I admit, I haven't followed you the way I thought I would. I drifted from you somewhere around Strange Little Girls. That doesn't mean that you don't still mean the world to me.

And in the mist
There she rides
And castles are burning in my heart
And as I twist I hold tight
And I ride to work every morning
Wondering why
"Sit in the chair and be good now" 
And become all that they told you
The white coats enter her room
And I'm callin' my baby 
Callin' my baby
Callin' my baby
Callin' everybody else's girl
Maybe one day she'll be her own.

I'm closer to 40 than 30 and certainly far away from 20 now. But I'm pleased to tell you that I'm finally my own.


This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 12 - Something you never get compliments on - 30 days of truth

My small, perky breasts.

Heh. Actually, I'm assuming it's supposed to be something that is true about me that no one ever compliments.

No one ever compliments me on my ability to sing a quarter tone off with any tune. Wait, that's not true. Uncle Dave does.

No one ever compliments me on my smile.

It's crooked, and I have the proverbial gap between my front two teeth. Lusty, if you believe Canterbury Tales. My teeth are discolored from years of Diet Coke abuse, and if I smile too widely, you will see the splatters of silver fillings that dot several of my molars.

I'm afraid though, that it's not the physical appearance of my smile that prevents people from complimenting me on it. I'm afraid that it's because they don't see it often enough.

As I watch Christopher in a crowd or when someone approaches him to chat - I see myself. He becomes stoic. His lips close, his eyes open wide, and he begins assessing the situation by withdrawing from it to become an observer. He isn't unhappy, but he definitely isn't smiling.

I know I model that for him. It's probably part nature, part nurture, but I would like to model more smiling. I would like for him to hear me get compliments on my smile. I would like to teach him that a smile can truly light up a room. Especially his smile. It is beautiful, and I would like for us both to use our smiles more often.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 11 - Something people compliment you the most on - 30 days of truth

Praise is a huge motivator for me. I consider that one of my flaws. I wish that I could do things just to do them and not worry that someone will later praise me for it. So far, no success there. I still want to hear that I rock. And staying at home? You don't hear that much.

A wise woman and blogger who I respect a ton told me that she had found that volunteering at her son's school had given back some of the affirmation and appreciation that she used to get from the workplace. I need to do something like this - get plugged back in. 

Here and there I get compliments on my biscuits, my pound cake (both straight from my momma's kitchen), and my red velvet cake (thank you, Aunt May). I used to get complimented on my hair and my legs. Not the hair on my legs, mind you. And every once in awhile, I'll get a compliment on my writing. Those are nice.

I guess what I consistently get complimented the most on though is my voice. Which is kind of funny because I spent 18 years of my life in piano lessons, but just open my mouth and sing. Au natural, heh.

My favorite vocal compliment? Came from a review. Called the backing vocals I added to a CD "angelic." Also worth noting, it's the only time anyone has dared referred to me as such.

If I really dig deep, what I would like to be able to claim I'm most complimented on, it would be that I'm a good mama. I want to be known for my patience and guidance. I want people to notice that I'm in tune with my boys and teach them through example. I want for someone to be able to pay me the compliment of, "Your boys are such kind people."

That's my goal.

This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 10 - Someone you need to let go or wish you didn't know - 30 days of truth

If I've said it once, I've said it a million times on this blog.

I'm an excellent bridge burner. I tend to cut and run.

What I do though, is dwell. I sometimes wonder what the person on the other side of the cliffs is up to - where their life has gone since we parted ways.

With the internet, it can be easy to search for them. Recently I wrote about blocking a list of people on Facebook. That was my way of letting go. Blocking those people was my way of letting them go.

I have a few more to block.

A former work colleague with whom I share mutual friends. She isn't an honest person, and I find myself getting worked up when I come across more of her nonsense online.

That high school teacher.

The boyfriend who dumped me via my brother.

You get the point.

I think a lot of these posts are going to intersect. Because the person I should let go of the most is the one I'm not ready to forgive. And until I can forgive her, I won't be able to let her go.

This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Day 9 - Someone you didn't want to let go but just drifted - 30 days of truth

My momma is a wise woman. She taught me that sometime friendships are just for a season. They come and then they go, and that's alright. I've seen that happen, and I've been learning how to let it happen gracefully if I need to.

I miss an old friend. She doesn't live far from me. We've been bridesmaids for each other. I've been with her while she was in labor. We've been through a lot together. I'm not sure where life is taking us, but I don't hear from her anymore. It makes me sad.

Other old friends who drifted have come back into my life through Facebook. It's cool really. I've found my best college roommates, one of my few junior high friends, and even a friend from elementary school who lives in Chapel Hill now.

Relationships are hard work. Duh, right? As I get older, I feel like I'm less willing to put in all of that work if it's going to be one sided. The more I adopt Kevin's philosophy of fewer, better friends, the more fulfilling the work put into the relationship is.

I have a feeling there will be more drifting to come. I hope I'm ready for it.

This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Day 8 - Someone who has made your life hell, or treated you like shit - 30 days of truth

Oh boy. I could open up a can of worms here if I wanted to, but that's probably not for the best. Besides, even if I were to talk about the stalking, name calling, and eventual restraining order, in the end, I can't claim that she's made my life hell, because in order for that to be true, she has to matter to me, and that just isn't true.

I could also talk about Day 4 again, but I think I made my point then.

It's sad when you have so many options to choose from here.

Really though, I'm having a hard time choosing because I'm at a point in my life that when I think about these people, I'm just sort of, well, meh. It doesn't matter anymore.

However, I'll tell some just for the sake of telling.

There was a woman on a mom's board who liked to play the "I've had more miscarriages than you" game. She was looney and inconsequential, but when you're bleeding out what you hoped was going to be your second child, it sucks to be treated like that.

There were a couple of girls in my seventh grade carpool who were so mean to me that they shaped the rest of my junior high career. They helped me develop my caustic wit and thick armor, keeping out any prospects of friends, save a few brave souls.

There was the boyfriend who went off to college and told my brother to let me know he was breaking up with me. Harsh.

There was the boss who fired me 30 minutes before I had to go to the funeral of one of my students.

There was the high school teacher who - well, let's just not go into that one. It's just yuck.

The bottom line I guess, is that I finally have a strong partner and a circle of friends who support me and help me feel safe. I have friends who take me to dinner when I need to talk. I have friends who bring their families to celebrate a baptism with me. I have friends who I trust to take care of my children.

I have a partner who will back me up, defend me, and love me.

Once, a former bandmate wrote my ex-husband a letter. We had been in North Carolina a few months, and this douche wrote a letter to my husband telling him that he was sorry they couldn't be friends anymore since he had married me, and went on to pontificate about what a horrible person I was. Or something like that. It doesn't matter what he said. What matters is that I felt like my ex should have stood up for me. I felt like he should have defended me, and he didn't.

I had never felt more alone than I did that day. Less because of the letter and more because I wasn't worth defending.

Things have changed. So go ahead, treat me like shit. I've got people now. People who have my back.

This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Day 7 - Someone who has made your life worth living - 30 days of truth


This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Day 6 - Something you hope you never have to do - 30 days of truth

I spent a great deal of time trying to think of something else to write about for this one. Something that doesn't send me into a panic attack just thinking about it, but I can't.

The single thing I hope I never have to do is bury one of my children. Just typing those words makes my heart race.

There are mamas whose blogs I read who have lost their babies, and I can't fathom the depth of their pain or the strength that they must have to put one foot in front of the other daily. They amaze me and terrify me all at the same time - because it could happen to any of us.

Several years ago, my youngest piano student at the time was killed in a car accident. Her father was driving. He didn't see a stop sign, ran it, and a pick up truck hit them. The little girl died at the scene.

She was six.

At the visitation, I was close to the end of the line to speak to the parents. It took about three hours to make it to them. I watched and studied how people addressed them, how the parents reacted. Could I cry with them? Should I be strong and not cry? Do I hug them? Do I say that I'm sorry?

I was terrified.

The week before, this little girl had played in her very first piano recital. She was so excited and so proud of herself. Her father plays, and both of her older sisters had played, but this was her turn. It was finally her turn to be up there and perform. She wore a navy blue dress and ankle socks. Her hair was pulled back in a headband.

She performed perfectly.

The next week she was gone.

When I approached her parents, her father collapsed onto me. I held him up while he sobbed for what seemed like hours. I didn't know them especially well, but I think that the importance of music in their family coupled with the recent recital made my presence rip the very tentative bandage off of the wound.

I just stood there and held him. I thanked them both for letting me have the chance to teach their daughter and told them that I would miss her very much. I told them about how she told me she was named for a pop singer (she was not, but they shared the name). I told them that getting to spend just 45 minutes a week with her had been a blessing, and that I was so sorry for their loss.

This was years before I had children. I didn't have any reference point to the pain they felt.

Then, last week, Christopher ran across the street without me. He didn't look; he didn't pause. He was fine. But the thought of losing him in an accident - so violent and sudden - so physically painful - I couldn't stomach it. I cried when I caught up to him. I grabbed his arms a little too hard when I pulled him to me. I held him longer than usual when we hugged our "I'm sorry's".

So that is it. I hope I never have to live a day without my children in my world. I don't know how I would cope.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Do you Tumblr?

While the ole blog has the 30 Days of Truth going on for the month of November, I've been enjoying using my Tumblr page more.

There are pictures of the kids, my favorite Etsy finds, conversations, and short thoughts that I might normally blog over here. Feel free to join me there for less than blogging, more than Twitter.

Because you NEED another social media site to worry about.

What about you? Do you Tumblr? Can you leave me a link so I can follow you?

Have a great weekend. Smooches.

Day 5 - Something you hope to do in your life - 30 days of truth

There are two little boys sitting with me right now, enjoying Jack's Big Music Show. They are what I hoped most to do in my life.

Short of that, I would like to find my place in the world as a mama.

When they go to school, what will I do with my days? Will I be able to re-enter the work force? Will I want to? Will I be able to find a job that I enjoy?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I must got do the cookoo dance with Jack and my oldest son. It is definitely something I've always wanted to do in my life.

This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here. Also, you can check out my Life List for more things I hope to do in my life. If you're bored and all.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Day 4 - Something you have to forgive someone for - 30 days of truth

I was a departure from your lifestyle.

A friend who didn't look like your other friends
Who didn't act like your other friends
Who didn't worship like your other friends
Who didn't judge like your other friends
Who didn't expect perfection of you like your other friends

Our parents lived around the corner from each other, yet we had to travel to London to get to know each other.

Maybe if we had stayed across the ocean, we would have stayed friends.

You got married.
I got married.
You got divorced.
You got remarried.
I got divorced.
I got remarried.

See? We are the same I might think, but we are totally not.

I stood fiercely by you during your divorce
Standing up for you in grocery stores
Standing up for you at church
Standing up for you to newspaper reporters
Standing up for you to anyone who would listen

You were so blatantly wronged
Hurt and humiliated
The pity people felt for you was more judgment for your lack thereof.

But me? The wrong against me was more subtle.
I was married to such a nice guy.
I was married to the guy who helped everyone out.

Everyone but me.

He didn't leave me for a priest
He didn't leave me for someone twice his age
He didn't emotionally abuse me

But he didn't love me
He didn't support me
He didn't listen to me
He didn't respect me
He didn't honor or protect me

Like my momma said, he left our marriage way before I kicked him out.

You couldn't see any of that though
You didn't want to see any of that
You refused to listen openly to my heart and my hurt.

I had disrupted your life
I had made it uncomfortable for you
I had created a division in your circle of friends
I had neglected to think about how my divorce would affect you.

Silly me.

What really got me though was when I moved on too quickly for your liking
You judged me
You condemned me
A year later, you dismissed me, telling me,
           "You aren't sad enough."

Then I knew. I knew why we had been friends in the first place.

One of my gifts is the ability to make others feel good about themselves. 
It fits into the peace-keeping, people-pleasing side of me.

I had always made you feel better about yourself,
but not for the reasons I thought.

I made you feel better because you thought you were better.
You were thinner.
You made more money.
You read more.
You knitted.
You painted.
You were better than me 

and worse than me at the same time.

You were miserable, but I was always worse off
Your life was hard, but I was always in more debt
You deserved pity, but I was always there to be in a hole a little bit deeper than yours.

Next to me, you felt like a raging success
And then I had to go and get happy
Through a trial that would have broken most people
I come through it blissfully happy.

You were a terrible friend.
I hold you up as the standard now when I evaluate friendships.
I think about the time I spent with you and how I felt afterwards
In order to avoid those feelings
In order to avoid those people

In order to remain blissfully happy.

I should forgive you
I must forgive you
I will forgive you

Just not yet.

This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Day 3 - Something you have to forgive yourself for - 30 days of truth

In order to write about something I have to forgive myself for, I have to first admit what it was that I did wrong. That isn't easy for me, because I want you all to think that I'm perfect. Isn't that the goal? To have people think as highly of you as possible? 

I could cop out and say that I needed to forgive myself for forgetting to take a snack to share at the neighborhood Halloween parade yesterday. Oh the horrors! I forgot to take a snack! I am such a horrible mother and wife!

Let's get real though. There are skeletons. There are things that I have no need to unearth and share publicly. Things that I have already forgiven myself for, so I don't need to display them here. But there is something that I can begin to let go of right now. Something for the truth.

I need to forgive myself for my first marriage. I need to let go of that guilt. 

I never should have gotten married. It wasn't the right choice, and I knew it. At the time, I couldn't see far enough into the future to think there was another choice though. We had been dating for several years, and the night he said to me that he either wanted to get married or move on - I should have said, "Bye."

Divorce was never something I wanted in my history. I was ashamed to tell my parents. Waited three weeks after my ex had moved out before I even called them to tell them. 

More than that though, I cheated myself out of some very real dreams. I wanted to go to law school. More specifically, I wanted to go to UNC Chapel Hill for law school. That was never going to happen once I got married, and deep down, I knew that. I knew that I would be too busy trying to work and pay bills to go back to school.

I also need to forgive myself for hurting my ex. It wasn't his idea to get divorced, and I know it hurt him. If I dig down even further though, I need to forgive myself for ever marrying him in the first place. I wasted eight years of his life when he could have been chasing some dreams I know he had too. Because there was no way in hell I was ever going to move to California.

So that's it. I'm going to keep trying to let go of that huge mistake in my life. Try to forgive myself. Because one day, my boys are going to find those wedding pictures and start asking questions. And I want to be ready to answer them from a healthy and whole perspective.

This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Day 2 - Something I love about myself - 30 days of truth

My momma says that I'm "loyal to a fault." It's true.

If you are my friend, I've got your back. I will go to the mat for you. I will leave snarky comments on blogs or Facebook posts when you need them even though I would never do it for myself. I will bake, cook, sew, watch your children, or do your laundry. If someone wrongs you and you are deeply hurt by them, I will likely cut them out of my life too, just so you won't have to question where I stand.

Granted, I get the "to a fault" part. I know that I've burned some bridges that might not needed to have been burned. I've left some comments that were completely not nice. I've even called a newspaper reporter once and let them have it for doing a lifestyle piece on how fabulous someone was with no regard to some very public pain they had caused my friend.

Um, a little overboard, I know.

But it is something that I love about myself. I'm not wishy washy when it comes to my friends. If I love you, you know it. In fact, I've had to work really hard at just having acquaintances. It doesn't come easily for me, but it's a skill that I think is important in life. It certainly would have made high school easier for me.

Of course, loyalty is something I love most in a friend too - and with my ridiculously high standards for it, it's hard to find. Luckily, I have found it in more than a few people in my lifetime. For that, I'm extremely grateful. You know who you are.

This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Day 1 - Something I hate about myself - 30 Days of Truth

The challenge here is to keep "something" singular. I could go on a rampage with things I hate about myself lately. Some of the issues I would have chosen as top billing here are things that I have really been working on lately though, so I'm not going with them. As in, my ability to take EVERYTHING personally. Whoa. That's a great one to let go, let me tell you.

What I hate about myself right now, something that I can't seem to stop doing, is living in the worry of the future. I don't seem to know how to live in the now. Right now. Not tomorrow. Not the next day. Not next month. Not next year. Not when Christopher starts kindergarten. Not when the house will finally be finished. Not when the chemo stops working.

I hate that I waste so much of today by worrying about tomorrow.

I want to learn to live in the now.

This is part of the 30 Days of Truth series. You can find the entire list here.