Thursday, May 26, 2011

Of This, I Am Sure...

Here I go with the lists again. I can't help it, I like my thoughts organized. Most aspects of my life are a little chaotic (hey, you try being a single parent while working at an inner city hospital and see how un-chaotic you remain!!).

I post on a private message board and there's a common thread that we start every once in a while called "I Wonder." We write out our own personal list of unanswerable or rhetorical questions like, "I wonder why sweet potato fries aren't healthy" and "I wonder why I can't wear jeans to an interview."

You get the point, right?

I was thinking that perhaps it might work in a more positive way to list the things that I know for sure, not just what I wonder about. So, here it goes:

*I'm a good mother...

*I would be a better ex-wife if Ex deserved it...

*A nice cup of coffee is the BEST way to start a day...

*My family will always be weird and nutty, but they'll always love me...

*Having a lot of money and stuff is not the way to live life to the fullest...Most middle class people I know are a hell of a lot happier than the wealthier people I know...

*Having a child is not a reason to lost one's sense of humor, but it is a reason to get silly as often as you can and to rediscover the joys of your own childhood...

*Facebook and Twitter are not real life, but they can help you connect with real people...

*Staying out of the sun really makes you look better in the long run...

*Wearing clothes that fit will make you look infinitely better than wearing clothes that are too tight. Being a size 12 and wearing a size 8 just makes you look like an overstuffed sofa and you aren't fooling anyone...

*High heels will never feel like sneakers and are never comfortable...I don't care what anyone says...

*Martha Stewart is psychotic and no one should ever try to be like her. I run from people who think she's an authority on homemaking or cooking...

*Your friends will show up when it's time to celebrate...your TRUE friends will show up when you have surgery, and when a loved one dies, and will help you get home when you've had too much to drink, and they will tell the truth when you ask them if your ass looks big in a certain pair of pants...

Of what are you 100% sure?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What Would You Ask God, Given The Chance to Have A One-On-One?

I caught part of a radio interview with a writer who wrote a book answering that question. If you believe in God, it's a fascinating question.

For the record, I believe in God, but not necessarily in organized religion. I can't, for the life of me, believe that God cares how we dress, or has decided what we should/shouldn't eat, or has given the power to heal or forgive only to a chosen few. Let's face it, the most "devout" followers of any given religion are usually the most boring because they have no interest in experiencing anything outside their safety zone. I happen to think that most religious rituals bring money the house of worship they are performed in, so the leaders of those houses of worship "scare" their congregants into "faith." I don't believe any baby is born with sin and don't really believe in purgatory. I do, however, believe in hell. 

I also believe that God has given us free will and he wants us to explore that free will. He wants us to make the right decisions, but doesn't judge when we make the wrong ones. I have proof of this in my own life. I married the wrong man (but know that I loved him very much for about 25% of my life), yet, after I divorced him, I was immediately happier. If I were a religious person, I would never have considered divorce.

I think if I were given an opportunity to interview God, I'd ask how my feelings of happiness and relief could ever be conceived as sinful.

I'd ask him why the good die young.

I'd ask him why the levels of wealth in humans varies so greatly? I'd also ask why the wealthy seem to think it's ok to behave badly?

I'd ask him if my parents will live a good long time. I'd ask him if my mother will blow a gasket when the day comes that I tell her she can't drive anymore.

I'd ask him if Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle J can really hear when I talk to them. I'd ask him to hug them for me and to tell them how much I miss them.

I'd ask God if C's business will flourish. I'd ask him when M will write that book. I'd ask him when K will find her life's path. I'd ask him if I will ever make Sunday sauce as well the Other M. I'd ask if G will ever find the strength that we all know is in her. I'd ask if J knows just how good she has it. I'd ask if D will ever get a break to enjoy some solitude. I'd ask if L knows how much I long for the summer days of our youth.

I'd ask him if there really is such a thing as too many coffee mugs (so far, 19 is NOT too many). I'd ask him why jeans aren't appropriate attire for ALL situations/occasions.

I'd ask if it's ok to want to be the center of attention once in a while.

I'd ask if my child will always be this happy. I'd ask him to reveal the future, just this once, to let me know if contentment will follow her all the days of her life.

I'd ask him if I'll ever find another Great Love. I'd ask him if the red-hot-passion kind of love and Sunday-Morning-papers-in-bed kind of love and sassy-black-dresses-and-heels kind of love and doesn't-matter-if-my-makeup's-on-or-not kind of love is a thing of the past for me.

I probably wouldn't get many answers from God, but then again, it's the unknown that makes life so interesting. I don't mind reading about movie spoilers, but life spoilers...nah, now that I've thought about it, I think I'll pass. I heard a saying a while back: God made the Earth round so we wouldn't see too far ahead. Perhaps that's the truth. Perhaps the Earth, the heavens, the oceans and our imaginations are so vast just for that reason, so we don't get too many answers to our questions. The questions make me not want to stop exploring.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Self-Destruction, or Self Awareness, Depending On How You Look At It

I've been a victim of self destruction on more than one occasion. Ok, for the sake of truthfulness, more than a thousand occasions. My drug of choice was food: I ate and ate and ate until the only feeling was physical sickness, until the pain of not making the right decisions, or feeling unloved, or knowing that the number of times I can have a Do-Over were becoming more and more limited was eminent. Don't get me wrong, there have been countless occasions when I drank too much or loved the wrong guy too much. I never did hard drugs, but I can understand their allure.

But one of the most valuable lessons I've ever learned is that one can't help anyone find their "rock-bottom."

Rock-bottom is a term used in addiction that means that the addict can't get any lower and can't be any more broken. I've seen several people reach their rock-bottoms and let me tell ya, it ain't pretty. There are several people I know who need to reach the rock-bottoms a little more quickly so they can try to salvage a life for themselves.

Life is not about having the most/best stuff or making a spectacle of oneself on a regular basis (Lord knows I've done this a bit too much in my time) or the like.

It's about making quality human connections. It's about spending time with those you not only love, but genuinely respect. It's about learning everything you can about topics that interest you, even if they don't interest anyone else. It's about not settling for second best. It's about making your own way through life, and about leaving your own unique signature. It's about taking responsibility for your own actions, even if it means taking a long unpleasant look at yourself.

That last one is a doozy, huh? I do this periodically and sometimes I'm proud of the way I've handled myself in any given situation and  at other times, not so much. I admit my mistakes, apologize if necessary and move on. I analyze situations over and over for a while and then I set them aside.

You can't change the past, only how you handle things in the future.

Monday, May 16, 2011

It's Been Ages Since I've Written A Thing...

...'cept checks and work related emails....

I hate that I go through looooong periods of not having anything to write. I've had some wonderful experiences over the last few months, but not the time to properly put into words how I feel about them.

I had some girlfriends come to stay with me during spring break and it was AMAZING!! I had a friend from Montana, 3 from Atlanta, 3 from Manchester (the one in ENGLAND, not Vermont), a couple we're friends with came up from Charlottesville, Virginia and my cousin came for a day too. This is the group of women that I met at that online book club and we all connected immediately. I showed them all over my city and we made spectacles out of ourselves at several different venues. But, hey, that's just the way we roll!!

I've had some issues with the Ex worked out, of course, with the court's help. He can't simply talk to me, he's got to get the courts involved, but that's part of his disease. He's an alcoholic and well, all addicts are notorious attention whores, unless, they're using their drug of choice. The Kid wants no part of him, but of course, that's my fault. He says I'm turning her against him. He has no understanding of his own child if he thinks for one hot NY minute that anyone could make The Kid do/think/feel something she doesn't want to. It's pathetic. But I know that in the end, I'm her favorite. I have been since the nights of her infancy when he was too chit-faced to care that she was in a wet diaper. I took care of everything from Day 1 and she knows it. I'm her greatest champion, and she knows that too.

Things are work are crazy busy, but I'm thankful for it. With the economy as unstable it is, I'm thankful for my civil servant job, complete with benefits and security. Sure, I'd make a fuck-load more money doing what I do at a private hospital, but I could be out of a job *snap* like that if the powers that be decided that was best. So, I trudge along, day in and day out, not letting my job/career choice define me.

The Kid is going to have a fabulous summer. I registered her for a new day camp, with sports, crafts, 2 swims a day...and she's going with her best friend. Man, I wanna go to camp again. I'm still in touch with my summer sister; we went to camp together for 8 years. I hope hope hope The Kid makes a friend like that one day.

I joined the gym again. I let my membership lapse about 18 months ago and just re-joined on Saturday. I'm not looking to be a size 4 or to fit into a bikini. I just want to feel good again; I just want to feel stronger. I want some strength, some stamina, and perhaps a little more self esteem. Don't get me wrong, I'm quite comfortable in my own skin. I like my body, even if it isn't Victoria's Secret catalog worthy. I've survived surgery, childbirth, the feelings of worthlessness and want to feel the triumph again,

We had our year end party for my Brownie troop on Friday. Man, I'm gonna miss those girls. We had 11 in our troop and most of them have known one another since their day care days. It was a nice mix and since we only met 2x a month, it wasn't too much of a burden. There's one girl who just won my heart. She's Asian by birth, and was adopted by American parents as a toddler and brought to the US. She's American through and through, but has an Italian name to go with her Asian face. She's also a very old soul. She has probably seen things in the orphanage that you and I can't imagine. Her adoptive mother is also an old soul and these two are so tightly bound. I'm thankful I've witnessed their love. Anyway, I split the driving/drop-offs with the other leader and this sweet girl told me that she wants to come in my car whenever we drive anywhere because she likes to be near me. Can you hear my heart soar?!?

I have to say that The Kid has made such a great group of friends and I'm lucky to have become friends with a few of the moms. It's one of the reasons I love where we live. It's not a small-town, but it's definitely a community.

I hope to find more time to write...I want to blog, I want to journal, and I want to write more children's stories. Writing is an outlet that soothes me and helps me grow. It invites people into my life in controlled doses.

Welcome back...