Category: Mutterings


So, my brothers are working toward listing their houses and finding something new (maybe somewhere new; maybe not). I’m cool with where I am, which is weird considering Hubs and I purchased our house with the intention of selling in 5 or so years. It’s a “starter house,” if you will, to be upgraded to something better: bigger, of better quality, and in a more “in-demand” location.

But now my brothers (twins), who are MIND-BLOWINGLY competitive, are preparing their first owned properties for sale, and I’m absolutely GREEN with envy (I’m practically comatose compared to these two competitive-wise, but I have to admit feelings of jealousy). I LOVE shopping for houses. I want to HELP them, but it’s their, and their wives’ deal so I don’t offer or give my advice to them (much). (Life story short: I’m the oldest and was their erstwhile babysitter beginning my fourth grade year, and it took me longer than it probably should have to consider them adults). They always seem to work at one upping each other and/or doing things at the same time (freakishly often), and it is SO easy to get caught up in their excitement and feel the pull of how awesome it would be to get something new!

When we bought our house 13 years ago (just over 2000 sqft with 4 bedrooms)( we’d moved from a 1300 sqft, three bedroom apartment (the nicest place either of us had ever lived since acheiveing adulthood) to a 600 sqft apartment when the closing of the house we wanted fell through (to save money for whatever future house awaited us)), it was one of less than a dozen in the first phase of a very small “dead end” neighborhood. (You can’t go through our neighborhood to get to somewhere else.) We also only had Chi, who was not quite 2 when we bought our house. We had very little furniture or kitchen gear. We could park both cars in the garage because we didn’t even have a lawn mower, no wagons or bicycles or scooters or water guns or car washing gear or saws or tools or shelving units or other lawn care accoutrements. We had space and empty rooms and empty cabinets and a bare backyard and no grass on the side of our house and no flower beds.

But now we have Pynni and Pieces, in addition to Chi, and all the furniture, toys, and gear, both inside and out, that go with 5 people living in a single family home with a just-right-sized yard. Now, the house that was once WAY TOO BIG for the family we were is closing in on not big enough for the family we are.

615040_10202063090280398_1859506030_oHere’s the deal, though:

While our house may not be as big in some regards as we’d like, we have spent a not-inconsiderable amount of money upgrading it (the new paint color on the outside, alone, has rekindled my love for this house).While our house may not be as big in some regards as we’d like, our neighborhood is small and HUGELY populated with kids (heck, Halloween is a HUGE deal in our neighborhood). It feels safe to allow my kids to hang out outside and ride their bikes all over the neighborhood. While our house may not be as big in some regards as we’d like, I don’t want a house that’s much bigger to clean right now. The house we have could have one more bedroom and be, maybe 300-400 sqft bigger because bedrooms 2 and 3 are small, but I’ve come to believe that I would be trading the things I love for a bit of more room  THAT I HAVE TO CLEAN.

Also, no matter where you go, there are going to be things you’d change; especially if you are me. If you are me, you redesign every space you enter, so of COURSE, you’ve mentally remodeled and redesigned your house countless times. Moving to a new house would not be any different.

It’s been a not-looked-for but quite educational and much needed exercise in enjoying other peoples’ news and happiness while looking around myself and being grateful for all I have and where I am.

So, there you are.

Advertisements

That’s right, I mean YOU, Lowe’s.

I was on a quest. I needed a meter stick. You failed me on many levels, not the least of which was NOT KNOWING WHAT A METER STICK WAS. Yeah, failure should be your middle name.

I am not crazy (okay, maybe a little). I bought a meter stick from Amazon. (Thank you, Amazon!) So I did, in fact, know what I was talking about.

It’s THIS much longer.

See? A meter stick is a little longer than a yard.

This child moves a lot.

See also, that my five year old son is small. Cute, too. Oh, and the picture? It’s blurry because when standing still Pieces flashes fakey smiles.

For your information:

A meter is 100 centimeters. An inch is 2.54 centimeters. There are twelve inches in a foot and three feet in a yard.

3 ft*12 inches= 36 inches

36 inches*2.54 = 91.44 cm

100 cm-91.44cm = 8.56 cm

8.56 cm/2.54 = 3.370 inches

THAT is how much longer.

I need a meter stick. I do. I keep coming back to that and forget about it for a while until I come back around to needing one again. It’s mainly for school purposes. Sometimes I’ll be out running errands and I’ll remember and I’ll look and I’ll not find a meter stick. Then I forget again. And on it goes.

I finally put that meter stick on my LIST. I NEED it for science and we’re going all out with science this summer. So on to find a meter stick.

I looked at Target. No meter stick.

I looked at a Super Target. No meter stick.

I looked at Michaels. No meter stick.

I looked at Office Max. No meter stick.

I looked at Staples. No meter stick.

Then I have the best idea since starting this quest. Lowe’s Home Improvement! Solved!

Uh, right.

I go in the store and look in all the obvious places (by the tape measures? No.). No meter stick. So I look in all the obscure places (by the toilets? No.). So I decide to ask someone. I’ve been in the store for about twenty minutes at this point, getting the rest of what I needed and searching for the elusive meter sticks. The employee I ask, is a nice enough young man, but our conversation? Well, you can’t make this stuff up.

Me: “Excuse me. Hi. I need a meter stick. Where would I find one?”

Him: *confused* “What’s a meter stick?”

Me: “It’s like a yard stick. Only longer.”

Him: “How much longer?”

Me: “A few inches.”

Him: “Oh, you mean like a tape measure?”

Me: “No. A meter stick.”

Him: *wanders off to ask someone else*

I follow.

Him: “She’s looking for  a meter stick. Do you know where to find one?” *with a note of disbelief that such a thing exists*

Her: “What’s a meter stick?” *looks at me*

Me: “It’s like a yard stick. Only longer.”

Her: “How much longer?”

Me: “Uh, a few inches.”

Her: “OH! You mean a tape measure!” *excited that the mystery is solved!*

Me: “No. It’s a meter stick. Like a yard stick. Only it’s a meter long.”

Her: “Measured in meters?”

Me: “Centimeters. Used to, you could buy the wooden ones that were millimeters and centimeters on one side and inches on the other.”

Her: *picks up the phone*

New sales associate: “Can I help you?”

me: “I need a meter stick.”

NSA: “What’s a meter stick?”

me: “It’s like a yard stick. Only longer.” *struggling here to not be rude and either yell or laugh. Also, beginning to wonder if I know what the heck I’m talking about.*

NSA: “How much longer.”

One whole other person had this almost EXACT conversation with me before a still clueless assistant manager pointed me to the tape measures.

True Story.

I’m not sure why it mattered how much longer a meter stick is from a yard stick. I’m not sure why these people acted like they had no clue what a meter was. All I know is, Lowe’s does not have meter sticks, but the internet does!

And also? I’m glad I’m homeschooling.

 

Los Gatos

I am a cat person. Cats who generally don’t like people seem to like me. I can spot an excellent cat at thirty paces and I can pick the kittens that will make the best lap kitties every. time. This is not bragging, it’s just truth acknowledgment.

Aravis. Super Awesome. Lived to 19. Secret to longevity: look both ways before crossing the street. True Story.

***The secret with cats is to let them pick you.

There was this local pet store that took in kitty litters from the local shelter, had them checked over by a vet and given their initial rounds of shots and then sold them. They had a room about 10′ by 10′ covered with kitty climbing areas from floor to ceiling. I had been wanting a kitten for a while and went in on a whim and sat down in the middle of the floor. I wanted an orange tabby that was solid orange with eyes to match (not picky at all).

Of course, most of the kittens immediately bounded over to me. I spent some time petting and cooing and picking a kitty up here and there. I had my eye on a particular orange kitty and had held him and petted him,

Biggus Sithicus

but he kept popping away only to sneak back over and attack a nearby kitten. He let me hold him, but only in the most aggrieved sort of way.

After a while, I noticed that this little, scrawny black thing was curled up on my leg and pressing his face into my stomach. I petted him and picked him up and talked to him. I turned him onto his back and rubbed his tummy then I set him on the floor and played with other kitties. Invariably he ended up right back on me; asleep. I decided he was the keeper because he so obviously just wanted to be with me.

Well, that was 12 and a half years ago, and he is no longer little or scrawny. Although, he is still definitely black. In fact, he’s huge. He’s bound to be, at least partly, Maine Coon. His name is Sith, although it has morphed into Biggus Sithicus because Sith isn’t very fitting for him anymore…unless Hutt’s were known to be Sith, too?

***Best. Cat. Ever.

Sebo. 19 years old.

It was spring and I was sixteen. My friend, Raye Donnovan, had a farm cat (that’s a cat that works for a living and isn’t a pet) that had kittens. The litters of cats on this farm always had one kitten that looked siamese, and this litter was no different. There was one, and I fell in love with his little face with the sealed shut eyes, who looked siamese. Seal point. I named him Sebastian (after the lead singer of Skid Row, not the composer (WHAT?!? I was 16!)).

A few weeks later I was spending the night at Raye’s house and it was raining. There was Sebastian, plastered to the back glass door wanting in with the peoples so, so badly. Raye assured me her dad would have kittens if I let Sebastian inside the house. I assured Raye that I would keep hold of him. Raye wasn’t so convinced that Sebastian would stay where I wanted him once inside, but he just curled up in my lap and purred loudly.

The next morning I called my dad and asked if I could have another cat. He consented and Sebastian moved to my house where my dad promptly renamed him Bingo. Only my dad and occasionally my brothers called him Bingo, but eventually he would earn the nickname Sebo as kind of a  hybrid of Sebastian and Bingo.

Sebastian: wow, cameras DO add 10 lbs.

Sebastian is super cuddly and will let you hold him any ole’ which way you want (er, well, he did until he got OLD and arthritis ridden). He talks. A lot. (Well, not so much anymore due to the deafness). But he used to have conversations with me. I could just talk and he would respond. He was the awesome uncle kitty who never had kids of his own, but loved to hang out with yours. That rule applies to human kids, kittens, puppies…not so much with the snakes or rodent pets. He tried to eat those.

Hubs and I rescued a dog right after we were married. He was a cute terrier-ish type mutt of a puppy and only as big as Sebastian. Sebo let Grendel (that’s the dog) carry him around in his mouth. He let Grendel roll him around on the floor and Sebastian didn’t do that whole cat thing of attacking you when he’s done playing. He regretted letting Grendel man-handle him as Grendel got bigger, though. Grendel made a habit of just laying on Sebastian. That, Sebastian didn’t care for.

***Cats will always pick the lap of the one person in the room who wants to have absolutely nothing to do with them.

My maternal grandparents were visiting. Grandad is notoriously NOT an animal person, and it’s only notorious because one of my mom’s older sisters WAS so very DEVOUTLY an animal person. Anyway.

Grandad was sitting in my living room and Sith, of course, decided Grandad needed to pay him some attention. So Sith jumped up into Grandad’s lap. Grandad began petting Sith as I made sputtering noises about how Grandad should just push Sith down. Grandad smiled, continuing to pet Sith from tail to ears over and over, and said, “It’s okay, if he doesn’t like it, he’ll get down.” I just shook my head.

Sith? He didn’t appreciate being petted in the wrong direction so he stood up in Grandad’s lap turned to face the opposite direction and laid back down again. Thus, making Grandad’s repeated tail to head stroke, a head to tail one.

***Oh, right. ALL cats DON’T like me. Especially ones inhabited by demons.

I have a friend, Shanny, who had a cat that was part bobcat. True Story. She was beautiful. She was bigger than average. She was MEAN. And SCARY. She stalked the front door and would attack any who weren’t her people whenever they walked in the door. (Heck, she may have attacked them, too.) She hid under things and randomly growled that wild bobcat thing she could do and she would lash out for no discernible reason.

Never have I been so scared of a cat. And I slept in that house. On the living room floor.

I woke up in the middle of the night with that mean ass cat standing on my chest, growling into my face. I don’t remember what happened next, but I walked away unscathed so my petrified imitation of a rock must’ve fooled her.

Her name was Isis. Moral of the story? Never name your pets after deities. Or maybe, bobcats, even diluted ones, make scary pets.

Toothfairy Schmoothfairy

Chi came flying downstairs last night screaming, “MOM! MOM!” I was in the kitchen making dinner when he slid around the corner. There was blood dripping down his arm and off his chin, welling between fingers that were clamped over his mouth (okay, maybe that last part is the result of an inflamed imagination and a severe aversion to blood, especially that which is actively dripping off my kid). I’m sure my eyes were wide and my face pale.

Chi held out his fist and nestled in his palm was a little bloody tooth. I thought I was going to throw up. “I lost a molar.” He’s all bloody and matter of fact and trying to get closer to me, but I keep backing away. Chi starts looking a little freaked out and I realize that I have to change my reaction or Chi is going to lose it.

***NOTE: Teeth are their Daddy’s territory. I don’t do teeth. /shudder

So I hold it together and hand Chi a paper towel with which to clean himself and then I get him a cup of salt water and instruct him to swish and spit until there is no more blood. In between mouthfuls Chi reiterates, “I lost a molar.”

“Yeah, I see that.” –That’s me. Also, me, “Did you pull it or did it fall out?”

Chi says, “I pulled it. It was loose, but when I looked there was an adult tooth and so I took the baby one out. That’s the baby molar. I have an adult molar now.”

Yes. Chi does his own dental work.

Depression is dark and insidious and it has long, grasping fingers that refuse to let go. I thought I was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel when I made my last post. I just didn’t realize how long that tunnel was.

So here I am, blinking into the sunlight wondering where to start. With a story, I think. Let’s get to it, shall we?

*********************************************************************************************************************************

~My nephew, Kip, used to wake up and in his cute little 18 month old lisp and language make audible lists. “Cay-yub, Day-ya, Poppa, Gray-ya, Mom-ma, Sissy, Pootner, Chi-ya.” My brother, Kip’s father, used to call it his “systems check.” Like Kip was making sure he could, in fact, remember all the important words in his vocabulary. Kip sort of chanted this list to himself over and over as his brain booted up and started working properly.~

~Hubs told Pieces it was bed time. Pieces hid. Hubs, pretending his inability to locate Pieces sat down on the ottoman and put his feet on Pieces as if on the floor. Pieces giggled and giggled. Hubs, feigning surprise, at the little boy under his feet said, “Are you the boy I’m looking for?” Pieces, in a remarkably low voice, said, “No, I’m not a boy. I’m 16 years old.”~

~Chi, who is shoulder high to me now, sidles up to me and gives me a hug with his arms around my waist nuzzling into my armpit (which is a questionable place to put one’s nose). I hug him back and place my hand on the top of his head causing him to peer up at me. I smile and he says, “I know. I’m getting so big.”~

~On a recent trip to Louisville, my mom took the kids and I to see Seussical the Musical performed in spectacular fashion by a local high school. Pynni fell in love (she is my daughter after all) and really got into the standing, clapping and cheering that happened throughout the show and during the ovation. So my dad thought it would be a great idea to take her with Mom and I when we went to see the Broadway touring Mary Poppins. It turned out to be a really great idea and Pynni was already old hat. She stood and cheered, cupping her hands around her mouth to “WOOOOO!” punctuated by very mature sounding clapping after each number. Cracked me up every time.~

~My niece, Abshie, recently discovered texting via her iPod Touch. Since I have the appropriate equipment she can text me. She sends me strings of pictures, little comments about mundane things, thanks me for piano lessons, and says good-night. Too sweet.~

~At a stoplight at a busy intersection. Heard coming from the back seat, “Uh-oh, someone got copped.” Sure enough there was a cop with his lights on with someone either pulled over or broken down in front of him. It was gloaming and hard to tell. I was struggling not to laugh when I asked, “Copped?” Pynni said, “Yeah, people rob or kill and get copped.” Chi, highly exasperated, said…well yelled really, “NO PYNNI! Police sometimes just cop people because they can! They don’t just cop bad people!” So my kids think police nab the bad guys AND abuse their power. Nice. Oh! And I love the verb “cop”. Something only police do.~

So, as Chris Cornell has been known to say, “I’m gonna break my rusty cage, and run.” That may mean something completely different to him than me, but to me it describes what coming back to my blog has been like. Breaking out of the cage that seemed to stagnate my imagination and unshackle my ability to see the fabulous things that go on around me daily. ❤ you readers. It’s good to be out and free again.

For Becca. ❤

Slow As

Things have been slow and kind of sepia toned around here. Everyone was sick, about three week worth of, and I’ve been depressed. I’m not through it yet, but I seem to be on the ever so pokey upswing. There is no sickness. Everyone is better, except me. I am trying. I swear.

For me, I kind of shuffle along wondering what the hell is wrong with me for a while (usually for a day or two, but this time for more than a week) feeling ill, but not really being sick; lethargic; sad; hypersensitive; easily irritated; TIRED; and negative. Then I open my eyes one day and see that I’ve fallen into the bottom of a well that seems so deep there is no view of sunlight at the mouth. It’s like I’ve fallen swift and silent to the deeps of depression. Gently landing at the silt lined bottom so that I don’t even know I’m there until I finally gaze around myself and see the truth.

The climb out is slow and laborious. It feels like swimming through molasses: draining and sucking, cloudy and opaque. The first step out for me seems to be the moment I recognize my mental surroundings and pinpoint the hallmarks of what’s happening to me. Then as I process that I find that I can talk about it a little. Let my people know what’s up. Cry at them some and begin the painful process of beating myself up over my failings. It’s a backwards way to function for sure, but that is where I am right now.

I’m doing more. Participating in life more, but it’s like this quicksand that is sucking at my brain and body and refusing to let me go. I feel bogged down and the effort to function, even minimally, is so, so, so hard. I have kids, though, people, and I homeschool them. Somehow that saves me. I have a purpose. One I cannot shirk. So I do not, at least so far as my kids are concerned. Me on the other hand? Eh.

The evenings seem to be the worst.

When I come to the end of my rope with my kids. When I look around and see how much I didn’t accomplish. When I stare into the fridge and just wanna go get hamburgers. When I look in the mirror and hate what I see. When I recount what crap I’ve put into my body when I wasn’t even hungry. When I go to bed feeling like I’ve failed again for one more day. Egads. That’s freaking depressing.

I get up even though I don’t want to. Mostly I don’t shower, but I did this morning. I haven’t been doing what my PT said to and my back has started acting up again. So I stretched this morning like I’m supposed to. First time in a long time. I put on clothes. Sometimes they are clean and sometimes not depending on whether I’ve been able to wrangle up enough energy and care to get some laundry done. I get out the clothes for the kids and order all types of brushings to occur. I brush my own teeth. Brushing my teeth is a must no matter what. I fix the kids’ breakfast and get my first cup of coffee and make Pieces’ lunch for preschool (four days a week) and I do morning e-checks: email, facebook, google+, news feed, blogs I follow. Then I set up Chi’s workbook work and go over it with him before taking Pieces to school. Then I come home and school begins. This can take anywhere from an hour per kid to four hours total depending on their attitudes and how much challenge they are up for. A snack time for the kids occurs about halfway through school and after school comes lunch. What we have varies on my energy level.

For Depression. I haz it.

Then we pick up Pieces and run errands if there are any to be had. At this point, I should come home and work with Pieces on reading and maybe do a load of laundry and clean something. But what’s been happening since the holidays expired is a whole lotta nothin’. I am mostly completely done. All I want to do is crawl under the covers and sleep until the next day starts. I’m having a hard time even having kids over to play with my kids because I don’t want to be around anybody. I don’t want to talk. I don’t want to socialize. I avoid the phone like the plague and I don’t write or do anything else creative. I’m in the middle of crocheting a gift for my cousin who had a baby right after Christmas, and I struggle to work on it (Sorry, Bec!). I’ll get it done, but at this rate, Little Jack might be heading into Kindergarten.

I’m mostly saying all of this as an explanation for my lack of posting. I have almost nothing positive to say and I’d rather stay positive here, especially since this depression feels so effing self-centered. So I’ll stop now before I get even more sick of myself, but I’d like to say one last thing.

Pieces read a book. He was ever so proud of himself. It was the first book of Level One of the BoB books. It had about 5 different words, but he really got what we were doing with those letter sounds he’s been working so hard to learn. It felt really good right when I really needed it to when his face lit up and he announced to his dad that he “read a book about Mat and Sam. They sat. On each other and by each other.”

I’m not real big into the whole “New Year’s” thing. I don’t, on the whole, look back at my year with grateful fondness, or wistful nostalgia, or even apathy. It was a time period. It passed. What’s coming up this afternoon? Tomorrow? Next weekend?

In the same vein, I do not look forward with gleeful hopes of major lifestyle changes. I don’t plan lists of resolutions that will get dumped and/or forgotten in the first few days of the year. Sure, I have things I’d like to change about myself: lose weight, eat better, get more exercise, be more patient, smile more, laugh more, etc. But this dreamer is a realist and I know that making a giant list of “THIS IS WHAT I’M GOING TO DO, DAMMIT” is just setting myself up to fail which injures a self-esteem that wobbles from assured and confident to shattered and bewildered and back again.

Those things I’ve listed? I like to think I work on them always. I’m far from perfect and I’m a professional rebel. I question all authority, even that which I have over myself. “Self,” I say, “Self, sodas are bad for you. They rot your teeth and they are addictive and they make you fat(ter).” Self gives me the finger and has soda. So I have to play mind games with Self and trick it (me). (I AM NOT CRAZY!)

So, anyway. What I thought I wanted to say, was that with all the above mentioned things in mind (that’s YOU keeping those things in mind since I already know them), I was thinking about this year passed. It was a year like any other, I guess. It had bad, dark moments, months even, but then the light always broke through and things got better.

There were things like:

My back. It was awful at the beginning of the year. I was heading into month four and I was still almost completely stuck lying flat, no sitting or standing. Very little vertical allowed or even possible. The pain was awful. I saw my chiropractor two times a week until March or so and then I saw him every week until August when I was finally able to start physical therapy. Now I go once a month and physical therapy is over. And you know what? I’m better. I’m still at risk for surgery, but I have tools to help myself, now. Yoga for one and Tai Chi for another. Pain is minimal and sometimes gone altogether which is a revelation!

Chi. His third grade year was so much better than his second grade year thanks almost entirely to Miz Eff, his third grade teacher. We fretted and worried and planned and prepared and still I just knew that Chi was going to bomb that End of Grade test, but when we got his scores, he was among the top 5% in his grade. And all with no drama. He just let that test roll right off him as if it was nothing. I’m still not sure if it was nothing because we prepared so much, or because Chi was just inexplicably unaffected. Then we started homeschool in the fall and that has exceeded my wildest imaginings for what it would do for him. He is wholly himself. He hops around on his exercise ball and answers questions. He will even write a few sentences with no complaints. He loves school. He is more calm and collected than ever and seems so at ease in his own skin. A first.

Pynni. The start of 2011 began the odyssey that pushed me over the edge and made the decision to homeschool. It has been a hard row to hoe with her, but we seem to have hit our stride. I can only guess that most of our issues stem from how her Kindergarten experience damaged her self-esteem. It took four long months but she is reading. The light returned to her eyes when she was reading a short book to me and as she struggled through and sounded out all the words without any help from me, I touched her cheek to get her attention and said, “Pynni. You’re reading. Do you realize that? You. Are. Reading.” A grin that became a full on smile that lit the room (I swear) dawned across her face. Every so often, now, she’ll be reading quietly to herself and turn suddenly and say to me, “I really love to read!” All of that has made school with her easier, quicker and more enjoyable for the both of us.

Pieces. My fabulous, jolly little man is in preschool again and again it is all business. He loves it, but he is very serious about school. And it turns out, he may be my smartest child. He knows all of everything he is supposed to know for Kindergarten already. I’m going to start teaching him to read.

Doodle. He lived with us for most of 2011. Things got strained at the end. Things that are too personal, and still yet, painful to put down here. He moved out and then promptly got a new job and moved away. I will not be seeing him much anymore, although we talk on the phone. We have a very special relationship, my brother and me, and distance has never interfered, but I miss his presence. With his move comes the reality that his kids won’t be here much anymore, but we will get them here for a week or so every summer. I can be happy with that. Content? No, but happy and grateful for any amount of time for sure.

Grandad. My maternal grandfather was hospitalized after Thanksgiving. He’s had bypass surgery before and due to his age and heart issues, he is no longer a candidate for bypass surgery. Things were very sketchy for him there for a bit. He is very at peace with where he is in life and what his life has represented. He is a Godly man who has spent much of his adult life ministering to those in need, and I don’t mean preaching. His life is such a great example of what being Christian means. I can look at his example and be less jaded. Still, I am not ready to say good-bye and I am very grateful that he pulled through and is at home recovering.

Yeah, 2011 was mostly good. I’m sure I could month by month it and list all the things, good and bad. But I won’t. 2011 ended and I’m moving onward, but resolutions? Nah. I’m constantly working on bettering myself. One thing, though. I’m making my cousin a scarf or something, even though she hasn’t blogged SINCE JUNE!

I’m trying to be thankful. I’ve been living in Thwarted Land and unable to help my daughter in anyway. I feel like I’m throwing money at an issue that isn’t any closer to being diagnosed, or recognized, much less resolved. Doctors look at me after a round of tests shows that my daughter has “Perfect Vision!” and “Excellent Muscle Control!” and “Absolutely Nothing Wrong!” and they smile and beem and generally act as though I should be grateful. One part of me is, surely, but it seems to be very deeply buried. No, I don’t want there to be anything wrong with her. I don’t want her issues to be something awful. BUT SOMETHING IS WRONG and when that doc tells me there’s nothing, THEY AREN’T HELPING. They are closing off an open avenue. I try to see that they are narrowing the options of what is going on with her, but all I can see is that they seem to think that answers all the questions. IT MOST ASSUREDLY DOES NOT!

So in my efforts to try and view the world through less fogged glasses (HA! GLASSES!!) (In other news, I may be losing it.) and try to find the silver lining (it’s faint and hard to see these days), a list of what I should be thankful for (I’m sure I’m thankful, somewhere in my heavy, frustrated, broken, depressed and completely at a loss heart/brain).

I’m thankful for:

  1. My kids. They are well behaved and respectful. They are healthy and loving. They are illegally cute and make my heart expand painfully in my chest (no, it’s not heart problems, I had it checked).
  2. My husband. He didn’t fight me on getting Chi tested for his various pervasive developmental issues even when he wasn’t in complete agreement. He let Momma’s instinct lead the way. He has supported me in my writing efforts and my crazy homeschool notions. He tells me he loves me every day and holds me when I don’t feel strong enough to press onward (like during this time right now). He has worked his ass off so I could stay home with our kids and will work extra contracts if we need extra money for, oh say, a replacement car.
  3. My husband not being dead. Two weeks ago he was in a major car accident that totaled his Civic. A guy going 70 mph tried to merge with stopping traffic during rush hour and crushed the back, drivers’ side quarter panel of the Civic sending it into a spin that then hit the oncoming car and flipped it up over the hood of the Civic. In the end, the only part of the Civic not crunched was the front and rear bumpers, the driver’s side door, and the top of the car. Hubs walked away with a bump on the head and a lot of sore muscles and a severe case of shock. But he walked away. Yeah, I’m really thankful for that.
  4. My parents. They are ever supportive of me and my family. They are there if I have need of love, support, crying shoulder, advice, an ear, whatever. They don’t always agree with me, but they love me unconditionally and that. is. awesome.
  5. My brothers. I’m crazy thankful for them even if they are driving me crazy. T-bow has stepped up and been there for us without our second car in the form of Hubs’ ride to work. He also potentially risked his life to see if we were okay when our house alarm sent a silent signal to the alarm company that our house was being broken into at 2am last Friday. When no one could get a hold of us, he got dressed and came to check on us. Being a man of brains and no gun, he watched the house until the cops showed up. In the end it was a security system malfunction, but I am thankful that he cared that much. Doodle moved away, but I’m thankful for him all the same.
  6. My sister-in-law. I’ve been friends with her since 3rd grade. Having her here, in the city we live in, has been a blessing. We hang out and support one another. We trade off childcare whenever we need it. She has helped me a BUNCH during all of my many health crises. There really aren’t words enough to express my gratitude and thankfulness for her.
  7. My closest of close friends. They don’t live nearby, but I love them like sisters all the same. I miss them with a fierceness and I long for their presence. We can’t see each other often enough, and that’s a fact.

I guess I could list all the little mundane things I’m thankful for, but I’ll leave it here. Being thankful can be a process, and this process has made me feel thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving. In that non-supporting-the-genocide-of-an-entire-peoples kind of way.

I want to be this comfortable in my own skin.

I must confess. I have NEVER liked my body. Not even in high school when I was anything but fat. I have hated the skin I’m in for as long as I can remember caring about it. I never had an eating disorder, although if one could wish oneself into anorexia, I would have as a teenager. I would say things to myself like, “If you really were worth anything, you’d be able to stop eating altogether.”

I never cut myself to gain some measure of control or to block out the pain. I was far from miserable. I tended toward the morose in my late teens, but who doesn’t? Estrogen poisoning is pretty powerful stuff. But the truth of the matter is, high school did not suck for me. I had good friends, both in school and out of it. I had a boyfriend who was good to me. I was confident in myself on the inside and I’ve never really cared what people think about me. I knew who I was and I knew where I was going. So you’d think I wouldn’t have body-image issues, but I always have.

I never liked the way clothes looked on my body. I didn’t like looking at my body in any way. I wanted desperately to be a hippy but the early nineties were heavy into the flannel layers and torn jeans with long-johns underneath. I rode that wave all the way to the end, and it suited my mental state about my body perfectly.

Pregnancy gave me the excuse to gain more weight than is strictly healthy. But it never ‘bounced back’. My body post baby was almost more than I could bear. I know that part of my issue was clinical. It was depression, but that is an awful spirally illness that seems to have no beginning but everything conspires to pull you down further. All of which causes you to check out and not care. Which, then causes you to do things to your body that you wouldn’t do normally which puts you further into depression. See? Spirally.

I got help for that and I’m not unhappy. I have a great husband. We have a great relationship. I have great kids and I get to be home with them every day. I have great friends (I wish they didn’t live so far away and that we spoke more often, alas). I have a great relationship with my parents and brothers. Life isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty stellar.

One thing. I hate my body. I hate it. It makes my life bloody miserable. It is weak and fat and prone to depression and pain. I have no issues with my brain, it’s where the creativity resides. It’s what picks up all that useless trivia and stores it for that Jeopardy win I’ll never have because I have zero desire to be on TV. But my body has betrayed me in so many ways. And because of that, I’d mostly stopped taking care of it.

I can hear the people out there who maybe don’t struggle with this saying, “Well, just take care of it. Change your habits. Start walking.” Yeah, words are easy. Easy FREAKING Peasy.

What I want? I want to love my body as I never have. I want to accept what it is and love it for itself. I want to love not just the inside but the outside. And I don’t care what people think. This isn’t for “people,” those ephemeral everyone else’s that have opinions and judgements. No. Not for them, it’s never been about them. I want this for me. I want to love all of me. I want to love me enough to make the changes.

Today one of my top five favorite authors wrote a blog that had me in tears. Her name is Joshilyn Jackson. Her blog is Faster Than Kudzu and I think she is brill.

Are they beautiful because they see themselves that way?

What she wrote today though? It’s like she put my neurosis in black and white, ones and zeros, and said it all in a way I hadn’t thought to. She articulated my wishes for myself, probably the wishes of many women who aren’t thin; who are, in fact, fat.For me? And I hope for them? It isn’t about the everyones. It isn’t about society. It isn’t about Hollywood. It’s about our own view of our own selves and our own love of our own vessels.

My body is me. Why can’t I love it?

I want to be that girl. The one who loves her whole self.