Friday, October 24, 2014

Why Not?

Most Quotable Friday

"You can yell at the heavens, you can pound your fists in the air, you can cry at the most insane, frustrating task you have ever taken on, but you can’t really quit." ~ Stacy's Mothering Moments

"Faced with inevitable change, the choice was mine. I could fight until my spirit was weary, or I could release all resistance and create something new in my changed world." ~ Dean Jackson

"Those who don't know how to weep with their whole heart, don't know how to laugh either." ~ Golda Meir 

"Don't sacrifice your peace trying to point out someone's true colors. Lack of character always reveals itself in the end." ~ Mandy Hale

"You'll turn out ordinary if you're not careful." ~ Ann Brashares

"I had no idea that history was being made. I was just tired of giving up." ~ Rosa Parks

"If you hang out with chickens you're going to cluck and if you hang out with eagles, you're going to fly." ~ Dr. Steve Maraboli 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thursday Blurbs

1. I wanted to start off with a positive story I heard on the news this morning. They are far and few between, but this one made it through all the negative bullshit that is a our daily news. The story was about a Bald Eagle that was rescued, rehabbed and released back into the wild yesterday by a group called the Wildlife Education Rehabilitation. The eagle was found in Morgan Hill and was originally thought to have been shot. But after further care it was determined that she had somehow impaled herself on a metal fence (ouch). But now she is recovered from her injuries and free out and about in her natural habitat.

2. I just checked the three lottery tickets I had laying around.... I didn't win.

3. I have never been prone to anxiety attacks (unless I am watching one of my teams come from behind late in a game), but since early yesterday morning I have had an anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach that won't go away. It woke me up and is actually impacting my breathing. I walked around taking deep breaths for 10 minutes last night and had a couple glasses of wine... but it is back this morning.

4. Alex passed his GED test! He has completed high school. It isn't a cure-all, but it is a win and I need a win, no matter what the size.

5. Oh! Hot flashes... I think I'm starting to get them. Last night and the night before I just started burning up and sweating out of nowhere.  They aren't so bad. Kind of funny actually. When it happened last night my husband was like "are you having another hot flash?" It was only my second one (if that is even what it was) but he made it sound like I get them all the time. I guess I appreciate how he "normalized" them for me. Probably so I wouldn't start freaking out about it. Another reason why I love him.

6. Well, I guess since I am  self proclaimed "sports geek" I guess I should admit that game 2 of the World Series did not go well for the Giants last night. They come back home today for their 3 games at home which start tomorrow. But? I don't know. I'm not going panic, but the Royals look good and they look confident. The last two teams that the Giants have played in the World Series, looked shell shocked after losing game 1. Visibly shaken after losing to an "inferior team" it just got all bad for them after that... but this team? They don't look like that at all. Maybe because the experts have just proclaimed the Royals as "slightly better" than the Giants where in years past there was no question that the Giants had no business even being on the same field with their American League counterparts.

7. See?  I told you I was a geek. That last blurb was supposed to be a one or two liner, and I look what I turned it in to... LOL!

8. The 49ers have a bye this weekend, so my brother has invited me to play golf on Sunday. We have a tee time for early afternoon, but it is supposed to rain all day Saturday. I should ask him if there is a contingency plan. Knowing him, I'm sure he has two.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What I Have Learned Wednesday

1. I have recently learned that there are a lot of die hard 49er fans in L.A. and throughout Southern California. These same fans are also fans of the Dodgers, Lakers and LA Kings. I am having trouble processing this as I don't quite know how, or what, to feel about it.

2. I have learned more than I ever thought I would need to know about knee injuries, torn ligaments, ligament repair surgery, wheelchair rentals, physical therapy, post surgery care, icing machines, motion machines and whether or not one actually "needs" a meniscus.

3. I learned that there is a name for the "dot" you put on a lower case "j" and "i." It is called a "tittle." - True story.

4. I learned that Bay Area radio stations are "banned" from playing the Lorde song "Royals" during the 2014 World Series between the SF Giants and KC Royals. I don't know how that is possible to actually do or regulate... but I'm assuming it is all in good spirit and that the artist won't suffer any collateral damage.

5. I learned that Super Man wears "Hunter Pence" underwear.

6. I have learned that people who want to share their religious views with you, almost never want you to share yours with them.

7. I learned that last night's Game 1 of the World Series was the "lowest rated game 1 in MLB history." We can't all be "Royal" or "Giant." I really don't blame anyone for not being interested. If the Giants weren't in it, I wouldn't be watching either. I don't even know who won last year. Was it the Cardinals?

8. I have learned that you will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason for why we observe Daylight Savings Time.

9. I have learned that once someone believes that they are a jinx, you can never convince them that they are not. *sigh*

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dear Internet

Dear Internet -

It has been 1 year, 2 months and 3 days since my last post. I wish I had an excuse for neglecting you, but I don't. It has been both an amazing year as well as a painful one. My oldest son got married in July! The wedding was on Maui and the trip was amazing! It was the first family vacation we have had in years and I think a part of me knows it will most likely be our last.That is why I did everything I could to make it happen. No regrets and the memories from those 10 days on the islands will last a lifetime. I took Juan and the boys to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific and showed them where my grandparents' ashes are kept. We also went to Pearl Harbor and explored the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. We were all deeply impressed. I especially, since they have made it into a great experience and history lesson since I had visited last as a child. Earlier in the year Jacob and I went to a Stanley Cup Playoff Game 7, which we have never done before. Of course, we lost, which sucks balls, but we can now say we went to a Game 7! The four of us went to a Giants game earlier in the season, which was the first time any of us had been to a game at AT&T park and the Giants even won! I went to the inaugural 49ers game at Levi's Stadium, which again was quite an experience even though we lost that game too.

However, all the while...

For years my son Alex has been headed down a bad path. It started when he was about 13 or 14 when he started shoplifting. Since that time he has made choices for himself that did nothing but set himself up for failure. He used alcohol and marijuana regularly, began stealing to pay for these choices and never looked back. He didn't graduate from high school, he spent time in drug counseling, juvenile hall, court ordered drug rehab and now most recently in jail. Real jail. He has been there since August 16th. We have a lawyer who is building the best case for him in order to enter a plea deal, but it is a long process and he has been in a county correctional facility this whole time. He is facing two strikes as he had another charge earlier in the summer that was never filed by the D.A., but because of the second incident (both burglary charges), the D.A. has decided to file charges from the first arrest and pile it on top of this one. He is only 19 years old.

Compounded by this is my youngest son who went through a devastating injury to his left knee while skateboarding about 6 weeks ago. His passion is skateboarding. It is who he is and it is how he defines himself. Unlike his older brother, he chose a positive, life affirming path with unlimited potential. Until now. That day he was at a spot that he and his friends frequent often and he attempted a huge jump off a large set of stairs. His body landed one way and his knee went the other. He tore nearly all his ligaments (ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL) and his meniscus. His orthopedist (who works with professional athletes including professional skaters) said it was the worst skating injury he has ever seen and that he was lucky he didn't lose his leg because of it. He just had his second surgery last week and is recovering nicely, but he will never be the same again. He will be able to walk and have a normal life, but he will never be able to skate (absorb the type of impact) at the level he was able to before the injury.

So, as this is all going on.... you can imagine the bills are piling up and I feel like I am spinning deeper and deeper into debt. I am overwhelmed. I am exhausted. I can't find a happy place in my mind to go to when I have a moment's peace. I am haunted. I am hurt. I am broken.

A part of me has just checked out. That part that doesn't want to deal with the pain but only wants to deny it, ease it, suffocate it. Dealing with the pain means accepting things for what they are, and let's be honest, I've never been great at that. I will do anything to waive off pain, waive off reality until it subsides on its own but is never truly gone.

Writing has always been very cathartic for me, so maybe just getting this all out will give me some peace or at least help me reconcile some of the broken pieces. As usual internet, you have been great. Thank you for this forum and for the opportunity to come back and write again.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

So Easy

It would be so easy to open up that bottle of wine hidden out of sight in the cupboard. It would be so easy. My son left a bag of  Lays potato chips sitting on the couch. It would be so easy to sit down, start eating them and pass the night away oblivious to my troubles. 
It would be so easy to quit. It is so hard to find the strength every day to make the right choice. Every night there is a critical moment where it could go either way. Every day there is a reason to go back into the darkness. Every day there is a trigger, a trap set up by my subconscious.  But I know the dark feelings will pass if I just hold on long enough. 
Some days go by and I feel on top of the world. I feel strong, confident and proud. But I know these positive feelings won't last forever either, so I do my best to ride them out without getting to high on myself. 
It would be so easy  to surrender. I know because I've done it. I've gone to that place where I don't have to feel or care what is going on around me. It's just a step away.  It would be so easy. 
Just not today. No, not today. Today I will live the hard way. I will see what is front of me and I will face it the way it was meant to be faced. It would be so easy to give up and give in... but today I choose to take another step forward. And that? Is never easy. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mean Words - Writer's Workshop

This is a Writer's Workshop topic from a while back:

Share something mean someone said to you once, why has it stuck with you after all these years?

There was a lot of good topics to choose from for this week's Writer's Workshop but this one stuck out at me. I immediately knew what that something was and thought it would be good to finally analyze why it has stuck with me all these years. Let's do some self-analysis!

The words themselves are not that mean. They are more along the lines of common sense, but before I get to that, here is some background:

I was 13 or 14 at the time. The dark ages, if you will. Puberty had hit with all the angst and feelings of resentment that life had to offer. I had a substantial weight gain just as I was outgrowing the whole "tomboy" thing, and life could not possibly get any worse. As I began to feel more feminine and acknowledged my growing attraction to boys my body did a complete mutiny. I, apparently, was not destined to be skinny and popular. I felt gross and disgusting. Looking back... I wasn't even that big, but at 14 every flaw is magnified and way out of its correct proportion. Soon my mother got involved. Back at that time she was getting into fitness and had joined a gym. She would always be telling me to come work out with her and that I was gaining to much weight. I remember shopping for clothes with her one time and she refused to buy a pair of pants for me in a certain size because it was a larger size than she wore and she didn't think that I should be bigger then her. The problem, however, was that I was bigger then her. I was 4 inches taller, 2 shoe sizes bigger and probably 25-35 pounds heavier. The more my mother would nag or hint around the subject that I needed to lose weight, the more I wanted to stuff my face with fattening foods and sweets. It was an eating disorder playground.

My dad was tall and skinny which I attribute to good DNA and lots of discipline. My younger brother took after my dad and then there was me. My mom would actually give me smaller portions of food at the dinner table. We would sit down to eat and my mom and I would have one size portion and my dad and brother would have a much larger, different size portion. It didn't really matter though. When I would do the dishes I would just eat whatever was left over or any snack foods that were in the cupboards. At one of my low points I remember opening cake mix and eating the powder with a spoon.

One day, my mom made an appointment and took me to see my pediatrician about my weight. I don't remember to much about the visit or even if it was a complete physical. But I do remember the words he said to me that day. I didn't know what he was going to say, but I thought it would be medically sound and maybe even somewhat profound. I thought it would be from a place that the rest of us ,who didn't go to medical school, would be able to chew on and pontificate a bit about the wonders of the medical profession and how advanced the knowledge was compared to my own limited exposure.  In other words, I had higher expectations. These were his exact words: "Why don't you try eating less?"

OMG. And that was it. What? Really? Eating less? That is all I have to do? So simple! So easy! Why hadn't I thought of that while I was stress eating my way up to 160 pounds?

Now. Why has this stuck with me all of these years? I believe as I have dealt with my food issues, weight gains and weight losses through the years, I come back to those words to realize how far I have come since that time. There was such an ignorance about proper nutrition, food addiction, triggers, body image, etc. Just the whole emotional turmoil of adolescence swirling around food issues. It was not a good combination for me. My mother was caught up in it and in turn brought me into the fold. But for whatever reason, "try eating less" was the best "professional" advice at the time.

Thanks Doc. I'll get right on that. Just as soon as my mom goes out so I can raid the kitchen in private and eat my feelings.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What Do I Want?

Me? What do I want?

No one ever asks me this question unless I yell for one of my kids or am ordering food. But, it is a good topic of discussion amongst the active voices in my head. So, have at it. Only those answers that serious and well thought out will be considered by management. *imaginary groan*

Most of us (the voices) want the same things. I want to be physically and emotionally healthy. I want to be able to come home from work and get things done around the house instead of sitting on the couch, eating unhealthy food and drinking the night away. I want to enjoy planning and cooking meals. I want to have healthy meals prepared my husband to take for lunch to help him with his diet and help him kindle his healthy lifestyle. I want to get up early and go to the gym before work. I want to come to work with a healthy attitude and be productive. I want to find a better job that pays more. I want to be able to go on vacation. I want to be able to save money instead of living paycheck to paycheck.

I want to be a positive role model for my kids. I want them to know and feel the unwavering love that I have for them.

I want to go on amazing bike rides and hikes on the weekends. I want to go on day-trips on Sundays with my husband. I want to go wine tasting and learn as much about wine as possible. I want to be joyful. I want to be positive. I want to be helpful. I want to be patient. I want to be kind always.

I want to read amazing books and watch brilliant movies. I want to travel around the world and photograph everything. Every last thing. I want to write witty and colorful commentary. I want to learn how to play the guitar. I want to learn to play the piano as well. I want season tickets to the Earthquakes, Sharks and 49ers. I want to go to every single game possible and give tickets away to deserving people at every opportunity.

I want to endure and stand tall through strife. I want to appreciate with a humble heart when things are going well. I want to overcome weakness and to never give up. I want to have the courage to imitate strength and resolve in my dark moments when I am convinced that all is lost.

I want to be the person that my adorable puppies think that I am. I want the chance to talk to my grandmother again. I want to not want for anything.