On Monday my 10 year old daughter changed my life.
As usual we started our day with an argument of some sort, there was a meltdown of misery yet again with my 7 year old. Everyday was wearing down on me, squelching my spirit. These senseless arguments. Between the three of us. I’m an only child I don’t get sibling rivalry or the talking back or the not listening. I don’t know that I will ever get it.
Today I feel lighter.
My little girl asked “how many hours are in a year?”.
Without thinking, annoyed, I told her to get a piece of paper and do the math. So she multiplied 365 days a year by 24 hours…before she was done it hit me like a ton of mathematical bricks…
665,760 hours in my life if I live till I’m 76 (speculation based on life expectancy)
221,920 hours Ill spend sleeping if I get 8 hours a night (RIGHT! Maybe if it adds up in the end)
443,840 hours is what I have been allotted to love, play, live, work, build, breakdown, complain, worry about being debt free..everything that makes up a life
239,600 hours is what I have already used up in my life (no regrets)
204,240 hours is what I have left in life if I live to see 76.
8510 days. To love. To play. To build. To live!
All of this happened within seconds…a moment that took my breath away. I looked at my child and suddenly all of those awful moments, with awful thoughts and awful words that had just passed melted away and became so incredibly unimportant. I had it all wrong before. The only thing that matters was making all of the coming moments, minutes, hours, days, months, years count as much as possible.
We are finite. Each moment is what makes us. I want my kids to know that in order to really live you have to live each moment, you have to be fully present in each moment. I want my husband to know that when he holds me I am all there..not thinking about dishes or an email I didn’t send or an appointment I forgot to confirm. At that moment ask yourself “What in this moment is lacking?” ~Rinzai When that man has his arms around me the answer is nothing is lacking…in that moment I have everything. When I’m sitting on the floor with my girls and every colored pencil ever made is everywhere and the kids are happy because we are coloring and being silly…nothing is lacking, that moment is perfect!
That is not to say that I’m not planning and I’m not worried about my debt and I’m throwing caution to the wind. No. It just means that I’m going to live in the moments for what they are happy, good, bad, sad…whatever they are. I don’t wan’t to have an answer for that question in my moments. If I do, then I’m not in that moment not really.
I told my 10 year old a long time ago that the day she was born she started teaching me so many things that I didn’t know I didn’t know..today I thanked her without question for changing my life and in turn changing all of our lives for the better. She may not remember that someday or maybe she will but she knows that moment was significant…and perfect. Not lacking.
The moments that matter make me me. I am who I am.
stu·pid (ˈst(y)o͞opəd/) adjective
1. lacking intelligence or common sense
rac·ist (ˈrāsəst/) noun
1. a person who believes that a particular race is superior to another
My head is swimming. There is so much going on around me, husband, kids, parents, work, church, school. That it sometimes feels like anything else is just too much. I have cut out people in my life that didn’t add to it’s progression, we all have those, the ones that you spend so much energy talking about that you end up spent and most visibly not sated. The ones that call you only when they need something or in my case lie to you and then try to justify it somehow. Most of these just drop off if you don’t contact them, some stop calling if you continually turn down outings, some you cut out because they offended or insulted you for the last time. I blatantly and very directly cut one of those tumors off about a year ago almost exactly and they emailed me a few days ago…SERIOUSLY! They’re email started with “I do not want to email you…” OH REALLY! They just “thought I should know” about a situation that after I checked it out wasn’t real…not a shock, since this person lives in their own warped sense of reality. This story I am not emotionally ready to share just yet but I will at some point.
I wasn’t shocked by this persons email or what he was “warning” me about, but by the fact that after knowing me for so many years professionally and personally they had the gall to say ” I don’t know if you…are a racist or not…” Great way to push my buttons…sort of. This person is completely unhinged with a seemingly OK life. Strained and struggling but for all intents appearing to be normal. The partner has no idea the depth of this persons behavioral problems, narcissistic sociopath, bipolar, thief, pathological liar…I am not equipped come up with all of the issues that I now know are bubbling right on the surface for this person. I did not respond, I will never respond to this person, as I promised them in our last communication that I would never speak to them again. I keep my promises but I’ll be dammed if somewhere in my heart and brain I held onto the word racist. So I am unloading this on you, to get it off my chest and maybe out of my system once and for all. Here is what I would say to That person were I speaking to them:
—-How dare you? You who threw your career away by calling the people who hired you and opened up so many doors for you, racists. Why? Because you were sloppy and were called out on it and you didn’t like it. You who embezzled money from people that were close to you and when you got caught you said they were liars, that they were blaming you because they were racists, you whom at every wrong, deceitful turn YOU HAVE taken you called out the race card, when caught. I have watched you for so many years dig the hole you find yourself in. Watching as the arsenal of stories of your stupid behavior grow and grow. For you to even consider the word racist in the realm of my name is mind boggling. I am a mutt, throw a dart at a globe and I probably have ancestry from there. I don’t believe that I am superior in race to anyone else. I don’t care what the tint of your skin is, your religious preference, what your sexual preference is or even what your political stance is. I don’t believe in judging people on those terms, I find that ignorant. My friends and family are there because they are good people who make me feel good about this world we live in and make me laugh despite the hardships and love me despite my own shortcomings and know that before anything else I hold my family (those related by blood or chosen over the years) most sacred. My personal motto is a Voltaire quote “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” I believe this to my bones. For you to insinuate that maybe I could be a racist shows what a pathetic excuse for a human being you are. You are the definition of ignorant. You are the definition of stupid. But what you are first and foremost is blind…the saddest part is that the true beauty that is right in front of you is lost to you because you are a meaningless soul.
Simple and content, I am who I am.
It’s March! Where does time go? It dissipates into the atmosphere and robs us of our lives. I was never one of those kids who thought that time went by too slowly, I was an anomaly. I blinked and a year passed, I went to bed and woke up three years older before I knew it I was driving, then I was in college. Now I am married to an amazing man, living a life I did not expect to have and I have two ridiculously great kids.
Now I’m here. This is really the start. I’ve had some very scary holy s–t! moments in the last year. So I am going to accredit my delusion to that, no worries I know I am deferring blame to offset the fact that I have not completed what I set out to do almost 3 years ago. I hope that you read my past blogs and get to know me a bit and follow this journey.
Here are my goals for the next 24 months:
1. To become debt free
2. To learn to communicate to my husband about money
3. To simplify my life
4. To organize my schedule
These are really attainable goals for anyone but if you knew the mess I have created for myself financially perhaps this will be more of an action adventure journey than a button the hatches and just take care of business.
Tonight I have to sit with my husband and go over all of our finances…something I have kept him out of for years. I didn’t want him to stress about it and selfishly I didn’t want things to feel oppressive for me. I have done a horrible job of managing the little bit that we had…It was just too much for me to handle on my own without including him. I have pulled money out of places that I shouldn’t have pulled money from to make up each month. Drowning each month, feeling a little more faded and a lot more lost each time I didn’t discuss the issues with my husband. The reality and result of that is that I have damaged my relationship with my soul mate and best friend. Now I have to work backwards to rebuild that and my heartbreak comes in that no matter how open I become and how healthy we get our finances, there will always be a drop of doubt in his heart that I may be leaving something out. I hope I am wrong because like I said he is amazing, not perfect, but a truly good guy.
I know I am not alone but I am now putting it all out there because the alternative is not an option anymore.
Good or bad, I am who I am.
I know it sounds worse than it actually is or is it? I just realized that it’s been almost a year since I last wrote. Anything. I started this blog in order to let out some creative steam and talk about things in my life that I truly thought could help other Moms’ out there who feel a bit painted into a corner. Then I wrote ‘Everything to Everyone’ and quickly realized that the blog was something that I could allow to fall through the cracks. Sorry to my four followers, I value your readership. I have started at least 10 articles in my head and one actually began to have a life on paper but didn’t get very far.
After rambling on about setting realistic timelines, I fell right off the wagon. I was adding lines to my calendar as quickly as I had taken them off. UGH! Then I had a ‘come to Jesus’ moment last summer as I was screwing up an incredibly fantastic job because I had too much on my plate. Being that I’m an independent contractor each job I take is crucial to building my business and my reputation. It was that moment I realized that I was still not following my own advice about taking things off the list that were not truly important. What a gigantic let down for myself! Here I was preaching to people about the beans falling off the plate and I had a broken plate all over the floor. Sadly, I don’t think the people that had hired me before have much faith in me and it’s not looking like I’m getting a second chance, which depresses me to no ends. I am also having to do some mending at home because I let my family down and am desperately hoping that I haven’t damaged my kids with my lack of interest and my absence in their lives.
I found myself taking inventory of all the things I was involved in and hadn’t gotten done. The list went from getting my roots done to sex. With work, friends and family all in between. It’s been difficult and I am not sure how much progress I’m making but I can say that every word I write brings me closer to my goal. I do want to continue to write my blog because I know that I am not alone in my struggles and I hope to pieces that as I hop over my hurdles, someone is better at taking my advice than I am.
I am now making some apologies but I am still who I am.
I often say that if you want to get something done you have to ask a busy person, but I wonder if that is really and truly true. Does it fall under the heading you can’t be everything to everyone? Probably. But that has never stopped me.
We, the brethren of the why do when you can overdo order, know what I’m talking about. Why go out and buy ready made Valentine’s Day cards when you can make them and decorate them yourself from scratch…oooh it wil be a fun project with your kid. How about this one, why get a cake from the store when you can stay up until 2am making your own cupcakes with homemade candy fairy wings on them, they’ll be so much more special. Or, don’t worry I’ll pick up the dogs’ pills after I drop the kids off at school before I go to work on my way to Target to get toilet paper and mouthwash and don’t worry about dinner I’m making homemade pot stickers. I can’t be alone, male and female we all do it, maybe its a disease like OCD or bulimia.
I fall into my predicament with good reason, at least that is what my conscious brain keeps blathering to me. I’m not a people pleaser, I don’t act because I get high of off someone elses happiness or because I can’t stand to upset them. I don’t take praise particularly well and I listen carefully to critical advice. I have become the everything to everyone person out of necessity. I do because I have to. If I don’t do it no one else will.
I’m not complaining. No one is holding a gun to my head and making me take on another project. I figured it out though, I need to be needed, everyone does. Some of us just have an unrealistic way of trying to make that happen. Like me, I make myself needed by doing so much people naturally assume I’ll take care of it or them and then I have to because it is expected and they won’t do it. Of course I’m writing this as my fantastic husband is tackling a build up of laundry and feeding the dog. I just wish the help would happen a little more often, but as I said before, I did it to myself. Again, Im not complaining.
If I’m being honest I’m falling short. I’m exhausted. So does it take a bigger person than me to say I can’t do that? The simple answer is I don’t know, but I’m starting to feel like a cliche. I’m spreading myself to thin, got too many balls in the air, my plate is full, my cup is running over……At this point I don’t think I can come up with another real reason as to why I haven’t finished something on time or forgotten to pay a bill. So suffice it to say that I think I am in good company, many women I know feel like they aren’t doing enough well enough. Guess what? You’re right.
So what is the trick to not becoming me. Say no and set flexible realistic time lines for what you are taking on. Get a calendar and write everything down, so you don’t miss deadlines and get a grip for what you are doing on a daily basis.
I began revising my calendar and giving myself real time lines. I’m no good with walking away from commitments I’ve already made, so, am I making significant enough changes so that I don’t feel like I’m being pulled in a million directions. I have to. I can say with some certainty that I am on the road to recovery.
The answer to my question is no you can’t be everything to everyone. At the end of the day, the only thing I’m 100% sure about is that even when I’m tired, cranky, running late, drinking too much coffee, staying up way too late to finish things I needed yesterday and making no apologies, I am who I am.
I am a mom. A wife. A daughter.
I am a Mom. If you had told me 10 years ago that I was going to be a mother of 2, I would have laughed you out of the room. Seriously, I was dedicated to my job, I loved my freedom, and cherished my solitude. There were no ties to anything, I could go as I pleased and curse like a truck driver. I wasn’t worried about upsetting anyone with my opinion or what family politics I needed to play. Take me as I am or don’t take me at all was my motto. This was the blow that burst the me-me-me bubble. I became a breeder. To my surprise I wouldn’t change a moment of the whole mom career. I’m still that person save the freedom, cursing, family politics….anyway I still don’t care what people think of my opinions.
I am a wife. I had a serious aversion to the confines of marriage. I never believed that because you signed a piece of paper and some guy in a funny hat said you were married that you were married. I never believed that I was meant to have a partner for life. I was happy right where I was. In the me-me-me bubble, where if its meant to be its meant to be. I, ofcourse, undeniably fell head over heels in love with a man who 7 years later continues to set a standard impossible to reach by anyone. He is my partner, he takes me as I am.
I am a daughter. I was the single child of a single mother. My step-dad left when I was 10 and my mother brought me up alone and without any help. I had everything I ever needed and then some. My mother is the very example of a strong independent woman, with an extraordinary talent for choosing poor partners. She has been married 3 times and divorced 3 times. And I judged her. I always judged her. A woman whose sole purpose in life was to take care of me without ever thinking about herself and when she did I judged her. After I wiped the stupid from my eyes I saw who she really was. My mother. A woman. With weaknesses, dreams and hopes. Someone that in anyone elses eyes has lived through the best and worst of times and has done so with dignity. Most impressively has kept her heart open and maintained a smile on her face. I hope that I have an ounce of the strength in my heart that she has modeled for me in her life. She is my Mami, she takes me as I am.
Tie it up with a little bow and call me a woman. We are expected to be so many things to so many people, it’s a wonder that we don’t end up in the loony bin more often. We are all flawed and those flaws make us whole. Im going to explore those flaws in myself and see how they fit into the roles that define me. My opinion is that you need to make sure that you know your most important roles, they define you.
I hope you take that journey with me, maybe you’ll learn something about you. Perhaps you will teach me something about me. No matter were we end up don’t forget, I am who I am.