Parenting

Thanks for Listening: A Rant from Me xo

I want to start this by saying: I just can’t anymore! I have been running around like a maniac, probably accruing the much-desired 10,000 steps in the last hour, because I can’t get a break! Long weekends are a lot…a lot…for a parent with young children at home, especially if you’re a single parent, and it’s a pandemic, and they can’t play with others. Not to mention, my car overheated and basically was on fire on Friday, and my grill caught fire and no longer works. Oh, and the loaner car I got from Subaru for my on-fire car? I returned it, and I left the case for my air pods in it, so there’s that. And I can’t find my Chrome book, just the plug.

Guys! I am losing my mind!!!

See? I have all the good intentions of having a calm day, and then this crap happens.

So here’s my day:

  1. Get woken up early by Tigger (a.k.a., my daughter), even though it’s a holiday, and I wanted to get some quality rack.
  2. Play Old Maid with both kids and discuss our “ideal” agendas for the day, so we can come to a compromise: my son wants to sit around and play video games, and then have me drive him to Chic-Fil-A, even though it’s 40 minutes away, and I’m in a loaner car from Subaru, so we can’t *really* eat in it. My daughter wants me to play Barbies, walk the dogs, and then play more. Me? I suggested raking the leaves, cleaning the house, and walking the dogs. Seriously? That’s my “ideal” day? It was. Come get me. Someone.
  3. We go to the skate park, which was fun. Kids skateboarded, and I walked dogs. Then, we hit up McDonald’s in lieu of Chick-fil-A. Oh, and she needed a Coolata, so we had to hit up Dunkin Donuts also. Gross? Yes. But, whatevs. Then, I find out it’s going to cost more to repair my car from a decade ago than to get rid of it. So there’s that.
  4. I come home, make some steak in the broiler, because the grill is broken, and no one but the dogs enjoy it. Then, I cut my children’s hair, as if I’m licensed at Pro Cuts, they yell at me, and then I lose everything known to me. I flat iron her hair so it looks longer.
  5. I’m still cleaning.
  6. I decide I have to pour wine and exclaim, “Mommy needs a time out,” even though I had every intention not to drink on a Monday.

So this was my day “off” from work.

I don’t know. Just complaining to y’all. We all have it hard, and Covid blows, and no one’s life is easy, and I have NO business complaining. Yet, I just wanted to vent. So, thank you for reading and listening. Feel free to vent to me in the comments!

#relationships, Self-Help, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Too Many Friends = Too Much Drama

Have you ever noticed that the smaller your world becomes, the easier it is to manage emotionally? I feel that way these days, as I go to work and home, home and work, with very little in between. I see my children, my boyfriend, maybe a couple of friends here or there, and that’s it. I keep it tight. I have, as my sister used to say, “Circled the wagons.”

She told me that circling the wagons was the the best methodology to avoid drama. The more people you interact with, and have in your direct sphere, the more chances there are for drama. While I thought that seemed sort of grim and isolating at the time, I now realize she had a point. It’s a self-preservation thing.

I think back, for example, to when I was the most social I’ve ever been as a parent (we can’t go all the way back…even though, obvi, I wish I could and stay there #ihearthighschool). So it was when I had my first child, and he was 2. I was so busy out and about with girlfriends, meeting at the playground with moms, going to “Mommy and Me” at the library, and chatting for hours on the phone. I remember I even had to get a new data plan on my cell phone, because I was on it too much. Now, I sort of hate talking on the phone, unless it’s Facetime over wine. 🙂

Anyway, at that time, there were all these fights and paranoia and, “Don’t say anything but…,” or, “No offense, but…,” and “Oh, you weren’t invited?” etc.

It drove me INSANE.

Like, I was 40-years-old and legit cried to my partner about a girl fight! I was 40–and in eighth grade! I was so crazed, in fact, about this one fight, that I literally lost my geographical bearings and drove straight over the Bourne Bridge off of Cape Cod, where I live, headed towards Boston. I was, in short, deranged.

Um…now, circling back to my point of circling the wagons (double circle here), I never feel that anxiety anymore with my friends. I never feel that, “Oh my God, is she mad at me,” or that “Wait, what did I not get invited to” feeling. Ya’ know why? ‘Cause I do nothing! Yeah, that’s right. Naturally, the pandemic has something to do with it. But, even before that, I have found that keeping my social interactions to a minimum has made me feel more at peace. This seems counterintuitive, as I am super social and gregarious and I’m not good at being alone. But, keeping it tight and small, that’s the way to go…for me.

That’s the one issue I have with social media. It’s like the tight circle is inevitably larger, because you are seeing what everyone else is doing, which you are not a part of. Suddenly, your small circle is now 800-people wide (well, except the algorithms make is so I see the same 10 people). Sometimes, I’ll see two people I know socializing, and I’ll feel this sense of FOMO, like I’m missing out.

But, then, I get over it.

And I feel okay and am grateful for the peace.

It’s kind of too bad it is that way, but, I mean, for me it was. How about you?

Uncategorized

Becoming Your Ideal Self to Avoid “Hell”

I just heard this quote about the definition of hell: “On your last day on earth, the person you could have become will meet the person you became.

I saw this on the HBO docuseries, The Vow, and that creepy cult leader, Keith Raniere, told one of his followers that. It did resonate (as I imagine all of his teachings may have resonated with me, since I’m a perfect cult victim). And it is seriously one of my biggest fears: to not become what I could be. I have FOMO on my ideal self.

Psychologists say that this disparity between your actual vs. your ideal self creates something called cognitive dissonance, which is at the root of depression and anxiety. Hm. No WONDER I am anxious! Good thing I just figured out all of my issues…

Um, no. BUT, I guess it’s good to reflect on this idea of the actual vs. ideal self maybe, like, once a month? Too much? Okay, let’s be a little easier on ourselves (it is 2021, after all), and let’s observe ourselves like every six months. We can ask: Where are we now? Where do we want to be? What do we have to do to get there?

We can make Inspiration Boards (I have tried that), and we can write down our goals. However, the real work comes with action and commitment: committing to those goals and that ideal self.

We CAN get there. But, it takes a lot of work and sacrifice–sacrificing the moment and immediate gratification.

I remember in college I went through a serious bout of depression. I had just broken up with my first real love, and I was a shell of a human. I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, and I had irrational fears, like I may launch myself into the subway tracks (even though I would never want to do that). I know that’s crazy. Don’t judge! I’m being vulnerable here! I got over it, but a lot of my depression then was that I had lost myself and was not the person I wanted to be. The ideal me was very far from the actual me.

Now, I feel good about myself, but I’m a work in progress and not my ideal. We all are, I think. I do believe if I were to meet my ideal self, I might be a little jelly and want to be her. I have to figure out how to get there, but it’s going to take some work.

I hope I have it in me.

Going to write down what I want to achieve to me the ideal me…so I can avoid that definition of hell!

Uncategorized

Forgiveness: Why and What’s Forgivable? I Want to Know.

Everyone is talking about forgiveness and self-love today as we enter a new year. I hate when people say, “I heard this on NPR,” but I did, in fact, hear it on NPR– a conversation about forgiveness this morning. Essentially, two of the guests agreed that we have to forgive, even is no apology is made or elicited, to stop the stress cycle and allow us to heal and progress. There was a reference to looking forward and living with “forwardness.” I did always like that quote about if you live in the rearview mirror, you’ll soon be going that way. Don’t ask me who said it, because it was actually a fortune cookie message I received and have since pasted to my refrigerator to remind myself to live in the present.

I often have to remind myself of this. In fact, I wear this ring. See the inscription? “Live in the Here and Now.” My niece got it for me. I am terrible at doing this.

So back to forgiveness… By forgiving, you’re embracing peace, love and joy. You are helping your body to de-stress and stop producing cortisol (this was the scientific reasoning for forgiveness). And, you’re giving your mind a break, a chance to rest.

I do think I’m forgiving, but like what is not forgivable, I wonder? I mean, I think murder would be one. I couldn’t get over that. I could probs forgive cheating and lying, if it came with some level of contrition. What else? Um…I’d forgive stealing and hurting my feelings occasionally (not all the time). I’d be super bummed if you lit my house on fire.

I can’t really think of other things right now. Currently, I have forgiven most everyone I know for any wrongs I perceived or experienced. It feels good. Sometimes, I look backwards and feel those pangs of hurt and resentment, because, well, I’m human. And I get angry. And then swallow that anger, and it just manifests itself in heinous ways, like anxiety. YAY!

Forgiveness gives you your power back. Don’t be a victim. Try to empathize with the offender. When someone is mean to my children, I tell them, “Well, maybe feel sorry for him/her, because they are obviously hurting and sad inside to treat you this way.”

“Hurt people hurt people.”
That’s a good quote.

How do you know if someone is hurt when you meet them though? How many chances do you give them?

That’s a whole other question. What do you think?

Uncategorized

Wishing On an M&M and Other Strange Rituals

I am very superstitious, a fine line away from obsessive compulsive, attributing meaning and immense value to objects and actions. I have always been this way. I would pull off the metal tabs on soda cans growing up, and if the tiny circle came off with the tab, it was “good luck,” and I saved it in a white ceramic box on my dresser. I had about 1,000 tabs in my lucky collection, verging on hoarders, but I was sure lucky!

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I also wished on green M&M’s, gave someone a punch in the arm if I saw a Volkswagon bug, and wore the same lucky red bandana to field hockey games, folded in a precise way, to make sure our team won, and I scored. I also lined the shoes up in the back porch–left to right–and checked under my bed and in my closet for scary creatures before I went to sleep. 

Most of these rituals were innocuous, and many other people have them too–I think…? Other rituals, however, seemed, well, downright cray and were quite invasive. For example, the most irrational and illogical superstition I had as a child was that I could not be in the bathroom when the toilet flushed, or I’d have bad luck. Now, this is not exactly convenient. So, I developed a system in which I would quickly flush with the handle while simultaneously hopping out of the bathroom, like I jack rabbit. I seriously, like, jumped a hurdle each time I flushed.

I thought of these things today for two reasons. One, I have been wearing this same ring on my finger for months, and I thought, “I am tired of this ring; maybe I will take it off and put on a different one.” But, then, something inside me said, “Wait, but maybe you should always keep it on, since you have for so long, or you will have bad luck!” I know this is insane, and yes, it seems OCD. However, it’s not something that interferes with my life, so…? On or off? I don’t know.

I also think of these superstitions now when I see others, or children, doing these sorts of rituals, like touching a wall twice before leaving a room, or opening and shutting a gate an extra time. Sometimes, to their chagrin, I will say, “Did you just do that because you think you’ll have bad luck?” And they will often reply affirmatively with a level of shame as if they’d been caught. There is no shame in these things. We all just manage how we can for a variety of reasons.

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I do wonder, though, if I had grown up in today’s world if I would have been medicated. Like, I was always so anxious about stuff. I grew out of most of it, sans therapy or medication, but I think in today’s psychological climate and with our increased awareness of anxiety, they would have signed me up.

Anyone else do anything weird they want to share? Well, within reason… Ha!