A Wedding, An Adventure, and A Conqueror

One of my husband’s close friends got married this past weekend to a lovely young lady who I hope to spend more time with in the future. She looked stunning, all the groomsmen (my husband included) looked so handsome, and let’s just say the people in Antarctica may have lost some ice caps because the groom’s smile was about 1000 watts.

Since my husband was a groomsman he was naturally a part of all the day before and day of events involving the bridal party. This meant that I had to drive, alone, in a place I was unfamiliar with. In short this was about as terrifying to me as being asked to bungee jump off a bridge, speak in public, watch a horror film alone in the dark, or be in a room full of snakes and spiders. In short terrifyingly scary. I may or may not have been a jerk the whole ride down to the motel we stayed in as I tend to get angry rather then admit my fear to anyone.

But I love my husband so I agreed to do this thing that scared me most because this day was not about me, but our friend who was getting married. So in the morning I drove to a hair salon to get my hair braided. This went well and I was able to shop and get breakfast all in the same shopping center. I was feeling confident and good. I drove back to the motel and started to feel better because I had now driven twice in an unfamiliar state and not gotten lost or in an accident.

My confidence was short lived. See what I didn’t mention so far is that this wedding encompassed me driving in two states (the night of the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner we were in 4 states in one day)! So when it came time to head to the church for the actual wedding I was feeling a little confident that I could do this as we had been at the church the night before and I has some sense of landmarks that would be familiar.

This is when my GPS laughed silently and evilly to itself. If it had hands it would have rubbed them together saying “MWAH HAHAH” or something equally evil sounding. It decided to take me a completely different route then the night before. So I wound up on a highway that involved a toll road that I did not have money for. So now I’m facing a $50 fine for not being able to pay the toll. And I was lost.

So naturally I do the most logical thing I could do and I call my husband (hands free) screaming slightly hysterically into his voicemail because of course he didn’t pick up the phone. I was on my own. I was scared. And I was upset because the wedding was in about 20 minutes and I had no clue how close or far I was from the church.

Then I took a few deep breaths, put on my local Christian radio station, calmed down, and focused on following the GPS very closely. I missed a few more turns and had to back track about four times but I made it to the church just as the bridesmaids were about to walk down the aisle. Literally just on time. The wedding was beautiful and the priest was one of the most lovely human beings you could meet in a church.

During the reception, a few of the groomsmen made jokes about me being lost in about 12 states. My husband told me he had no reception on the limo bus and that was why he hadn’t picked up. We danced, we laughed, and all was well.

Looking back on this weekend I am a little glad my husband did not get that call. I was forced to face one of my biggest fears head on and there was no getting out of it. I couldn’t pull over on a major highway, I couldn’t just park in the middle of the road and just cry (very tempted though LOL). I had to get through it and while it was scary, uncomfortable, and upsetting, I made it and I didn’t die from my anxiety. This made me realize I may be able to face more then I think possible.

 

 

 

My Word For The Year Is…

I know it’s been awhile but vacation, holiday parties, gatherings, traveling and eventually getting back to work all kind of got in the way of my writing. So for you happy few that read this, I am glad to be back.

For the past few years I have been attending an incredible New Year’s Day Yoga Class that helps start my year off right. Jill Blumenstock is the teacher and she is AMAZING!! We start off meditating for 30 minutes on what we want our upcoming year to be like and things we would like to accomplish. Jill helps to guide the meditation and keep us focused. Then we try to narrow down all those intentions to a single word or two.  Then we do 45 minutes of Yoga followed by 30 minutes of deep relaxation. You leave there feeling strong and refreshed and totally peaceful (at least until you get home LOL).

So I thought my word for the year was going to be brave. I really wanted to be braver this year and learn how to stop letting people walk all over me. Instead the word that came to me was Decisive.

I am probably the least decisive person you will ever meet. I struggle with ordering food out at a restaurant and usually wind up regretting what I ordered (total diner’s envy). I make major decisions on our finances with my husband which I think is just good marital compromising and good form so to speak. We’ll have been married this year for nine years so I’d say it’s working. I hate being the deciding vote or deciding voice for literally almost everything because I know somehow I will be disappointing at least some people. So to have this word pop up as my word for the year was surprising but it definitely feels right.

I am in the midst of some major life decisions that basically once I make a choice, cannot be undone. If I take one path, another will close forever to me. So I’ve pretty much wasted the last 5 years frozen in terror of making a choice. But not making a choice I guess became a choice.

My career is going nowhere. I help kids and families and I know that is my calling in life. I absolutely without any doubt know I am in the right area of work. But this job I am in is literally draining the life out of me. I have been severely depressed as of late (which also may have had something to do with not writing) and I know my job is the cause of it. I know it’s time to move on but with the economy being the way it is, the benefits I have, it’s hard to move on. We have an idiot in charge of our country who is just making it worse because he’s acting like an overgrown toddler having a tantrum. But I digress…

If I stay in my job and don’t go to school, I will not really have any other great options available to me. If I do go to school I will eventually have to quit my job to do all my internship hours. I will not be able to work. My husband is not currently working so this is a major problem not to mention that I carry the health insurance through my job.

Then we have the issue of children. I am going to be 37 this year. I have major lady issues and if I want to have a baby I have to undergo some major changes to my medication regime. Which is scary for my mental health. I am surrounded by pregnant women and I want to have a child too but I’m not sure if it’s just because I want to fit in with my friends who are all leaving me and my husband because we are not parents, or if I could genuinely handle a child right now financially or emotionally.

So my options are to not have a baby and close that chapter of my life. I can consider adoption (which is very expensive) or being a foster care parent. I am still exploring this avenue but I’m not sure.  I don’t know if I could give a child back after caring for them. I also would have to have surgery to take care of the lady problems permanently and I’m not sure I’m ready to do that either.

At this point I am still in the information gathering stage. I have appointments with doctors and specialists. I am going to talk to adoption agencies and also the foster care system to see what that looks like.

So whatever the resolutions or decisions you make this year I pray that they bring you peace and happiness. I’m hoping for the same for myself.

 

 

 

 

Merry and Bright: How To Cultivate More Social Media Friends

I have discovered the formula for having as many friends on social media as possible. If you would like to know how do this please follow these simple rules:

#1 This is the number one rule and pretty much plays into every other rule. Post lots and lots of pictures and videos of yourself merry and bright! Full makeup is a must at all times if you are a woman. Can’t show that we may actually have blemishes, wrinkles, crinkles, freckles, or anything else marring our perfect skin.

#2 The only sad or emotional things you are allowed to post are things about children dying, cancer, abused animals, or your team losing the big game. Don’t you DARE post anything about being depressed, anxious, worried, scared, lonely, frustrated, or bitter. Remember step one? We’re supposed to ALWAYS be merry and bright!

#3 Avoid politics and religion at all costs. God forbid someone has a different opinion then you! That might make you not so merry and bright and nobody wants that right?!

#4 Unless you are posting ADORABLE pictures of your child do not talk about them. Someone might parent different then you and again this may lead to you not feeling so merry and bright. And if you get sad you might ruin your perfect makeup.

#5 Make sure you post pictures of your home perfectly decorated for all the holidays. You must ensure that there are no socks or shoes laying around. The more like a perfect portrait it looks like , and not an actual home you live in, the better. After all perfection makes us all merry and bright, right?

#6 Don’t post pictures of food unless it’s a wedding cake or some other important food based celebration. Pictures of other food items such as the bagel you ate for breakfast with the perfectly spread creamed cheese and cut strawberries does not make everyone merry and bright. Think about those that are allergic to dairy or strawberries. Don’t be cruel to them.

#7 Post lots of funny gifs and memes because they make others merry and bright. Doesn’t matter how you feel. People love that stuff and besides you’re looking to build your friendships not real relationships right?

#8 You can be sad about the death of a loved one but not for too long. If you keep posting about it, then people will start to get annoyed because remember we are all supposed to be centering on MERRY AND BRIGHT!!

#9 Do not argue with anyone or stand up for what you believe in. Just accept the truth of the day and ignore your own intuition and gut feelings when something doesn’t seem right to you. After all we need to keep everyone MERRY AND BRIGHT!

#10 Completely lose all sense of self, blend into the crowd and you too can have millions of Facebook friends which hopefully make you merry and bright while you are simultaneously alone with no real friends to speak of.

Disclaimer: This is me, venting after a long day. DO NOT actually follow these steps unless you truly do NOT want any real friends. Another day I will talk about real relationships and friendships and how to build those.

I Am Lost…Can You Find Me?

I am lost…..Completely…Totally….Lost.

I am 36 years old. It is almost Thanksgiving and if you believe all the radio stations and stores around here it’s also almost Christmas. My husband is working on Thanksgiving from 4:15pm to 1:15 am on Friday. So no Thanksgiving together for us. I now have to have Thanksgiving with my sister in law who I am convinced does not like me, along with her husband, my adorable and lovely niece and nephew (who make the whole ordeal worth it), and my in-laws who I adore but can sometimes be a bit much when everyone is together. Then I get to dash off to my aunt’s house with my brothers to have dessert before dashing out the door again to go shopping for everyone. I am tired just thinking about it and would like to spend the next 8 weeks hiding under a cover so I did not have to decorate, bake, wrap, shop, or even think about how the hell I’m getting through all this.

I work as a case manager for children with disabilities to find them and their families resources to help with their needs and authorizing therapy. Most of the kids are sick because it’s that time of the year. The parents are always upset, demanding, and sometimes downright cruel. I am slowly losing my love of the job and want to both cry and scream while simultaneously putting my head through a wall. My other option is to fake my death and run away forever.

I am Diabetic, have high blood pressure (100% from the job I do because when I’m off it’s totally normal), and recently have been told my cholesterol is high. Lately my heart has been hurting and so I have to find a cardiologist to go see. I want to be a mother but I don’t know if it will be physically safe enough for me to do so because I take way too many meds for my health and it may not be safe to be off them and also I have some womanly struggles that get in the way. So I will know more in January when I go back to the OB/GYN doc. I gave up school for this because I felt it was the more important goal at the moment. Now I’m doubting myself.

I have recently gone back to church and feel absolutely nothing when I am there. My pastor is awesome and a good friend of myself and my husband. The people at my church are warm and welcoming and lovely people. It really is a great place to be. But I come in, I listen, I leave and I feel nothing. No happy, no sad, no love, no hate. Just another freaking obligation. I’ve tried reading my Bible, praying, but nothing is working right now. But I’m going to keep trying because I really do love God even if I suck as a Christian most of the time.

I have completely failed at the fitness challenge I joined 8 weeks ago and am too embarrassed to go to the ending party on Wednesday because let’s face it I am the biggest loser ever and didn’t even lose like 2 pounds. So super failure right there. Total waste of time, money, and effort.

Nothing makes me happy right now. I feel like I’m just going through the motions of being alive on a daily basis. I feel empty, numb, tired all the time, constant slew of headaches, and just sick of life. I feel like I don’t even know who I am anymore. I even went back to therapy for a few sessions and it has not been helpful at all.

I really miss my family. As much as my mother wasn’t the greatest person in the world we always had good holidays together. We always had fun as a family. I miss Christmas mornings together with my brothers and my dad and having cookies for breakfast and reheated McDonald’s sandwiches we bought the day before. I miss decorating the tree with them. I miss board games Christmas night because we always got a few new ones every year. I miss Thanksgivings at my aunt’s house when I was a kid and all the cousins were over. Now everyone is too busy, too far away, has their own family, etc.

I feel like I don’t know who I am anymore. I feel adrift in a sea of feelings I can’t sort out and with work don’t have time to do so. I feel so alone even when I’m surrounded by good people. Hugs are physically painful because they make me feel like I’m going to shatter into a thousand pieces. I have been retreating from everyone who loves me because I can’t take it right now. Isn’t that awful? The one thing that could make me feel better is probably sitting down and talking to someone and yet I can’t seem to do so.

I’m sorry this is such a bummer of a post. I just needed to vent. Tomorrow is a new day and hopefully a better one.

 

depression

So Much To Say…So Little Time to Say It

I have been absent from this blog for a bit. I’ve finally realized I am never going to be a daily blogger. I would like to, but life at this point does not allow it. I have so much I want to say but so little time to say it.

I have made some decisions regarding my life and I’m still reeling from those decisions. I completed my grad school application for Social Work. All I had to do was make the payment and I would most likely have been accepted. But….I couldn’t do it. I tried, I stared, I cried, I argued with myself, but in the end I did not complete the payment. After much thought, reflection, a talk with my pastor, my husband, and a few close friends I trust my life with, I have decided that I am going to try to become a mother.

I……….AM…………TERRIFIED………….

I was miserable the day I made the decision even though I knew it was the right one. When I thought about grad school all I felt was anxiety, fear, and more fear. There was no peace about the decision, mainly due to being worried about affording it and also moving around my work schedule to accommodate all the work I would have to do. When I talked to the people closest to me and they all agreed I would completely regret not becoming a mother, I knew this was the right choice. I felt it deep in my soul. This doesn’t mean I was thrilled. Going to grad school has been a major dream for me for the last 5 years. But motherhood has been a dream basically my whole life.

I met with my therapist and we talked about it. I admitted that I was afraid I was going to lose my identity and just become so and so’s mother. Not even a name anymore, just “that kid’s mom.” I told her I was afraid I would never have time to do anything I love again and that I would never get back to school. I’m afraid I will turn out like my mother and be an abusive, miserable, life-ruining mother. I’m afraid we will become homeless because we won’t be able to afford a kid and all that comes with one. My cousin in pregnant with twins. What if that happens to me? How will we manage in this house?

Work has become hell on earth and I have multiple families that are so rude, so entitled, and so abusive to me I have taken days off of work to recover. We are now required to do something called “The Magic Seven” which I refer to as Seven Levels of Hell. Basically you have to visit with each child twice a month and call their parents every week you don’t see them, then call at least three other providers working with the child. So with my current careload of 16 children that is 32 visits, 32 calls to parents, and 42 calls to various other people connected to each child. Also every child must be seen by the 15th of the month at least once. While that may not seem too bad, keep in mind we are not supposed to work weekends (although with the time limits we get I always do), all notes must be in within 48 hours, treatment plan meetings take about 2-3 hours each then putting plans in takes another 2-3 hours. Parents like to cancel, not pick up the phone, or monopolize you for about an hour as they relay all the struggles their little darling is putting them through. You have to squeeze in supervision, team meetings, and one day a month a staff meeting during which you are not to do any work. Do you see my issue?!

I love kids, I love social work, but some days it’s too much. There are never enough resources for the kids I work with. The parents are NEVER satisfied. Success is infrequent and small at best. And yet I want to bring a kid into this whole messy, rude, crazy world. What am I thinking?!

Oh and as for the challenge at the gym. I have given up trying to win. I have achieved my own personal goals. I lowered my blood sugar levels and my A1C. I can now wear one of my bras without an extender! My jeans are fitting a little better. I am actually starting to love myself through this. So yeah I’m not going to win but I feel like a winner anyway!

 

~I Actually Did It~

After MONTHS of agonizing, scheming, planning, praying, and generally feeling as if I have an elephant on my chest, I finally did it tonight. I finished my grad school essay and I submitted my application for the MSW to Rutgers University. If accepted I will start school in January. If not accepted, well I don’t know from there.

This past week I had all but given up on my application. I was tired, I was stressed, and my boss was driving me crazy. My families I work with were driving me crazy. I was ready to quit my job and turn into a hermit who lives in the woods. During my supervision on Friday I had it out with my boss and told her all my frustrations and how I felt betrayed by her. She stayed calm and told me that there are always exceptions to every rule and that is just how the world works. When I told her I was no longer applying for school she got mad at me and asked why. I said I couldn’t do my job, go to school, and get everything done. She looked away and said “whatever.” Naturally this made me furious. I don’t like being dismissed.

So tonight I had some time to think while my husband was out. I am literally worn out physically, mentally, and emotionally. If I don’t get this degree I can’t move up in the field and I will be stuck at my current job forever. If I go to school it’s going to cost a lot of money and time and possibly all of the little sanity I have left. But the time has come to move on because I can’t do anything else unless I get this degree.

So here goes nothing. Or something. We shall see!!

 

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

 

 

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

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

It Takes Falling To Appreciate Momentum

I have been sidelined from my life for almost 2 weeks now. As mentioned in previous posts I have been really sick with what was determined to be an Upper Respiratory infection coupled with a clogged ear. I am happy to report that steroids, nasal spray, and antibiotics have all congregated inside my body and had a talk with my immune system and I am on the mend. Not quite 100% yet but definitely not stuck on the couch any longer.

As also mentioned before I don’t do well with being sidelined and forced to make friends with my couch. I do love watching TV and getting caught up on shows or watching a few horror movies, but that gets old after awhile. And then the voices start in my head reminding me of the hundred things that need to get done around the house and how I am falling behind and a failure at being a wife and home owner.

I hate those voices. They paralyze me and prevent me from doing anything which of course causes more depression and hopelessness so I do sit around doing nothing because really, why bother do anything if you’re just going to have to do it over and over and nothing is ever really clean or fixed.

But being forced to be still has shown me just how much progress I had been making. I actually *gasp* miss the gym which has never happened in my entire life! I was actually cooking most night and doing well with it. I do not miss processed food as much as I thought I did.

So yes, slowing down does indeed suck as does being sick. However, if we never had to slow down for a minute we could never really appreciate how far we’ve come.

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