Ch Ch Ch Changes

I have been quiet on WordPress for awhile and for those that actually read my blog I apologize. Life has been hectic and I am in the middle of some major changes.  I am afraid to blog about these changes because if I fail and tell no one then I fail alone. But if I share my goals and fail then it feels like seemingly EVERYONE in the whole world will know and that is terrifying.

I have started to try to pray again. It has not been consistent, or beautiful for that matter but it is real. I am working towards reading my Bible again which is also inconsistent at the moment but could get better as I put more effort into it. I remember when I first became a Christian I was so excited to read about Jesus and God and all the things he had done. It was truly like being in love and wanting to know every and anything. There was some major passion and excitement. Now it’s like “Ugh. I have to read THAT again?” I am starting to think maybe I should join a Bible study because I tend to learn better in a group then alone. I feel like a jerk for feeling so blase about wanting to know more about my faith but I’m in a place where I’m not sure what else there is for me to learn.

I have also joined a challenge at my gym which starts in September. Basically whoever loses the biggest percentage of weight in 8 weeks wins $500 and whoever loses the highest percentage from ALL the gyms wins $5,000. I signed up myself and my husband but I think I made a mistake now. I signed up right after my friend Royal passed away out of fear. He was only 38 and died from weight related health problems. That is only 2 years older then me and so I freaked out and signed us up.

The reason I think it is a mistake is I am extremely competitive and I do not like to lose and when I do lose it destroys me. My husband has a healthier approach of we’re going to lose weight (hopefully) and learn some new workout skills as part of the package is 3 personal training sessions. But the trainer I’ll be working with has given me some exercises to start with before the challenge and I have been in excruciating pain after some of them. I did a whole body workout 2 days ago and my knees and legs still do not want to cooperate with me.

On top of the exercise, I am having food difficulties again. I was following this ketogenic diet where I was eating a lot less carbs and was doing well. Unfortunately I fell off the wagon and have not been able to get back on. Chocolate is literally like heroin to my body. I can’t stop once I start and then the cravings hit every day around the same time of day. I know I should make something else but it’s so darn good. It’s delicious, it’s soothing, and most importantly, it’s quick.

I can do this. But it’s going to take time. So please be patient if I do not blog daily. I am trying to add a lot to my life but this is still important. Any advice on making changes would be appreciated!

Time-for-Change

 

 

Am I A Defective Product?

Today after work I was reading a magazine article in Marie Claire magazine. I don’t subscribe to it but my father in law always gets free offers for magazines for doing surveys so I wind up with a lot of them.

This article was one page, and talked about three different women who are already executives or higher-ups in their companies. But apparently this is only the tip of the iceberg of achievement. All three women have done something else on the side that has taken off exponentially. While I admire that drive and creativity, I had a few small problems with the story.

One woman described her schedule as working all day, leaving work to get in a workout, spending time with her husband and kids before working on what I’ll call her second job. She is quoted as saying that if a client needs her at 3am she gets up and answers the phone. Super Woman personified! We should all aspire to be her, right? Eh, maybe not.

My problem is that this is not realistic for your average woman. I don’t even have kids (well my husband acts like one from time to time, but that is a blog for another time!) and I am exhausted by the time I get done work, do a workout, clean around my house, and make dinner. I need some down time to recharge my batteries, reset my brain and just give the world a rest for a few hours.

My second problem with this article builds off of the first. These women are being held up as ideals for women to strive for. It’s as if the magazine/article is saying “Look ladies you CAN have it all. They did it! Why aren’t you? What’s wrong with your lazy butt?” Isn’t it enough of an achievement that these ladies broke through the glass ceiling and became tops in their respective fields on top of being wives and mothers? But apparently not. It’s like success is not enough anymore, you have to keep piling on….and on…and on.  When is enough, enough?

Tonight I just want to say to all the mamas, papas, sisters, brothers, friends, and families out there: YOU ARE ENOUGH!! Stop trying to kill yourself for an ideal that very few reach and even if they do, they are probably so exhausted that they can’t enjoy it. If you want to strive for more, do it, but do it because YOU want to.

Much love, hugs, and kitten kisses to all of you (or puppy kisses if you prefer)!

 

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye

This week has ended on the worst note possible. This morning I found out one of my friends passed away. Same age as me, only 36. I am not really sure of the details of his death at this point as nobody is really sharing anything, as is their right.

I can’t even begin to describe what a sweet, kind, caring soul this man was. He had a heart of gold and was always trying to make people laugh because his true passions laid in comedy and singing. He loved Boyz To Men and sang their songs like an angel. We were never super close but I knew him well enough to know the world is a little less bright now without him. He came to my New Year’s Eve party two years ago. We had not seen each other in awhile so I was super happy when he decided to come at the last minute. He had moved to Wisconsin recently to be with his family but I always assumed that he would be back when he got some things straightened out.

Lately I have been feeling a lot of anxiety about my mortality. I lost a friend a month ago who was just a little bit younger then me and now my other friend. A third friend has cancer and I don’t understand what is going on. I am 36 and my husband 39. We should not be losing friends at this age. That should be reserved for our 90’s.

Please hug your family and friends close tonight. Let them know how much you care and how precious they are to you, for tomorrow is not promised. RIP my sweet friend. I am glad you are no longer in any pain and can share your voice with the heavenly choir.

The picture of my friend below was created by Angela Capel. I take no credit for it because I can barely draw stick figures.

Royal Scott

TGIF Indeed!

This has been a rough week at work for me and my team. Every single one of us left the office frustrated, tired, and overwhelmed, including my supervisor who is usually our beacon of hope and encouragement.

One of our teammates recently was diagnosed with cancer. We were all devastated because we love her so much. Today we did a group video chat with her and let her know we loved her. And she let us know her cancer is considered rare and aggressive. I forget the exact name of it. But we sent her words of encouragement and love and told her not to even think about her children at work.

I don’t have much to say except I hate cancer with every fiber of my being. I am a helper and a do-er and in this case I can’t make it better for someone I care about. So instead of just sitting and being mad I am committing to try to send at least 5 encouraging messages to my friend each week to help keep her spirits up as she has done so often for me. I call her Sunshine as a nickname because to be around her is to be filled with warmth and laughter. Her sarcasm is unbeatable LOL.

So I ask you my faithful readers if you could just pray for my friend, light a candle, send positive vibes, etc. She means so much to all of us and she has a daughter she adores. Thanks for reading!

Josh Groban Made Me Cry Today

This whole week at work has been (excuse my language) a shit show. Crisis after crisis with a side of crisis and crisis for dessert. My patience is at its limit right now and I literally had to take an extended lunch today just so I did not tell a certain parent what I really thought of her. I talked to my supervisor who reassured me that I was fine and I would make it through, which was enormously helpful. She agreed to call psycho mom with me tomorrow so we can (hopefully) set her straight.

I was on my way home today and was listening to a random CD of music I had made several years ago. Some songs were fast and made me dance, others were just funny, and some I wondered what I was thinking when I downloaded the song to a CD.

Then Josh Groban happened.

Silent Night filled my car sung by the angel voice of Mr. Joshua Groban. The song is one of my favorites and always has been, but this version is probably my favorite of the song. The way it just builds and crescendos is glorious. I highly advise checking it out. But for some reason it struck a chord today. I don’t know why. Maybe it was the stress, the awful things said about me and to me this week. But all of it washed away as I drove home and let the true love of God seep into my soul and remind me of how loved I am in His sight. I remembered that I am a beloved daughter of the Creator of the Universe and that what everyone else thought, at least in that moment, did not matter. It was such a beautiful moment that I find it hard to describe in mere words.

I know this may sound corny to some but I really needed that and I feel like God knew it so he spoke to me through music (as is the case sometimes). I hope this is an encouragement to whoever reads this. No matter where you are, what you have done, how horrible the world around you gets, God is there for you and loves you so much. He knows you inside out and upside down and the number of hairs on your head. Your name is carved in the palm of His hand. So take heart and don’t give up.

Sorry if this came across as a little preachy. This was just too perfect not to share today.

Overcome

Who Is That Girl?

Today my husband and I had a million and one errands to run and obviously to get to the gym as well. One of our errands was to the mall a few towns over. I told him to wait in the car as I was only running in to get a bag of goodies I had accidentally left there last weekend at one of the shops and was too busy (and scared) to go back and get alone. For most people, no big deal, run in grab the bag, and leave right?!

Not for me…

Ever since the multiple assaults I have been through in my past I have an intense fear of going to large places (such as a mall or Wal-Mart) by myself. My palms sweat and my whole body is on high alert for danger because of course there is always a bad person luring around every corner to get me. Some may find this funny but trust me, if you were in my body, you would not be laughing at all.

So I made it inside the doors, alone. I decided to focus on the task at hand which was to get to the store, get my stuff, and leave. But then I saw some cute pajamas, and then I saw shirts I thought my husband would like. Then I stopped by Victoria Secret because they were having a sale and while I definitely am not Victoria Secret Angel material, I do love some of their perfumes. So then I managed to get signed up for their credit card because they promised $25 off a purchase at their store, Pink, or Bath and Body Works (my most favorite store in the whole mall!!!!).

I browsed the store, then went to Pink figuring I would buy my sister in law a present for Christmas to stash away. It felt awkward shopping in these stores as they definitely don’t carry anything close to my size and there were a lot of skinny, beautiful women shopping because, regardless of your size, a deal is a deal right?! So I found out that they did not carry her size either (apparently an XL is considered obese in Pink land because they only carry a few items in that size and only online).

So off I trot to Bath and Body Works and for once they had nothing I wanted. Granted last weekend I stocked up during an awesome sale so I was kind of jaded after scoring so much booty for so little moolah. At this point I get a call from my husband (who is still in the car) asking what I’m doing because I have been inside for an hour. I froze. I couldn’t believe it but lo and behold when I looked at my phone an hour had passed! I promised him I would be out soon. I quickly trotted back to the store I was supposed to have been going to and grabbed my stuff. Then I headed back to Victoria Secret and scored a free tote bag along with my purchase of a very nice perfume that I would never have been able to afford without $25 off.

At this point you are probably wondering, what the heck is the point you are trying to make here? The point was I was able, for the first time ever, to go shopping alone in a very large, very overwhelming place, without having a panic attack, without feeling completely overwhelmed, and without feeling like everyone was going to notice what a freaking lunatic I was. I was just another woman, enjoying a good bargain, and wandering around the mall like anyone else.

Who is this girl? This woman who even had the confidence to go into these stores and think she had a right to be there when she is not a size zero and her ribs are in a warm snuggly bed of flesh hidden from the world? Who is this girl who thought she had the right to wear makeup and be noticed by buying a sensual fragrance she knows her husband will enjoy? I feel like a caterpillar just emerging from her cocoon about to burst forth as a beautiful butterfly.

But I am terrified of this as much as I want it. My cocoon kept me safe from the world. Nobody could come inside (except my husband because he just barrels through every barrier I put up as if he is a human wrecking ball full of love). But now I am this person that people are noticing and expecting to be in leadership roles. And I never ever would have pictured me in ANY kind of leadership place. I am the behind the scenes girl. The supporter of leaders. And yet I keep getting nudged into these positions where I must take a leadership role. Only time will tell what lies ahead…

The Best Part Of The Job

I complain about my job a lot. I know I do. Long hours, not enough pay, definitely not enough appreciation from anyone.

BUT…

There are days like today that make it all worth it. This week was brutal with parents screaming, canceling visits (after I had already confirmed with them the day before), and generally telling me I suck in every way possible. But it all melted away today.

Today I met with 3 of my little guys who have been quite challenging for their mother in regards to their behaviors. When we first started, mom could not even talk to anyone without getting beat up by all 3 boys. Punching, scratching, kicking, hitting, pulling hair, etc. Today it has been about 6 months since we started services. The kids were able to tolerate the treatment team talking to mom for over an hour without having any major meltdown. The one little boy, when he wanted to play a game on mom’s cell phone said “Tap, tap, tap” as he tapped her arm, then he politely requested the phone. This child normally would have snatched the phone and slammed it on the ground or run around with it. Instead he took the phone, sat on the couch, and played games on it.

I was absolutely FLOORED!!

I know most people would say “big deal” but to me and the people working with him it was a HUGE deal. I wanted to pick the kid up and swing him around and tell him how proud I was of him (but I didn’t because I think I would have scared everyone and the kiddo). I LOVE THESE MOMENTS!! The small progress, the small successes are so treasured and so appreciated in my heart. I love seeing mom feel hopeful again.

Maybe you aren’t meeting all of your goals (I sure am not) but that’s okay. Please take a moment to celebrate those small successes. They mean so much!!

small victories

Some Poetry from 2013

They smile and pretend
That all is well
But there are many secrets
A family never tells

A husband betrays
The wife he lies beside
All for a silly woman
Who comes and strokes his pride

A wife overwhelmed
Ignores a child’s cry
All because she feels
Her life has passed her by

The children curse and fight
Longing to be heard
But though they scream and yell
Never are they heard

We all agree
Something must be done
To bring together mother, father,
Daughters and sons

But how do you combat
Darkness so ensnaring
How do you not argue
But really show you’re caring

You pray for peace
You pray for love
You pray for wisdom
From Heaven above

And sometimes what is broken
Can not be mended again
But made into something different
And more beautiful in the end.

~Jenny Hansen 2013