Monthly Archives: December 2011

New Year’s Resolutions…

I have never been one to be big on New Year’s resolutions.  They don’t ever really work out for me seeing as how I am a person with very little will-power. Sometimes I start out well, and sometimes they don’t last past noon on New Years Day. But inevitably by February I can’t even remember what those resolutions were.

So as not to break tradition I will list my resolutions, and hopefully with them posted here I won’t forget them quite as easily…

1. I will drink no more that one 44 oz. soda a day.

2. I will smoke only 5 times a day.

3. I will be kinder to others by being a better listener.

4. I will grow my baby backbone into an assertive backbone.

5. I will exercise more.

6. I will make a plan and stick to it.

Six resolutions seem to be a lot, but I have a lot of backed up things that need to be taken care of from the last year or so.  Hopefully I will be somewhat successful, but the great thing about New Year’s is it comes every year, whether you want it to or not! Happy New Year and best of luck with your own resolutions in 2012! May only good things come your way 😉

I am a…jellyfish.

Through a couple of thought-provoking conversations I’ve had over the week, I’ve come to the realization that there are few people who understand the type of person I am.  I am going to give you a small look into my world, but be advised, it may not make sense or seem rational to you. It will seem wimpy and whiny. It will make you look at us (or me) and think, “Get yourself together girl! Seriously, stop letting people walk all over you!” But it’s a real picture of who we are.

We are called many things… peacekeepers, harmonizers, people-pleasers, fixers, the list is quite extensive.  You probably have met one of us and not even known it, or quite possibly, acknowledged it.  We boost your ego and make you feel self-important. We work to make you happy, even at our own expense.  We make you comfortable and make your life smooth flowing. Even if you’ve treated us horribly, we will go to desperate measures at times to be accepted by you. We have an undying desire to be loved unconditionally, to be praised for our efforts, and most of all, to have harmony and peace in our lives, but more importantly, with others.

We are often contradictory in our behavior because our inner mind is at war between creating happiness and peace for others, and fulfilling our own needs and validating our self-worth.  Yet, sadly, we have very little self-worth left at the end of the day.  We spend so much time trying to make others  happy or validating them, that at the end of the day there is very little left for us.  We can continue in this manner for so long, and then finally, reach a breaking point.  We will try to assert ourselves, but at this point, in our minds, we have made you so superior to ourselves, that  if you dismiss us when we try to gain something for ourselves or when we ask for acceptance or recognition of our needs and desires, we will immediately back down and feel our thoughts and feelings are not as important and we don’t matter.  And so, we learn to push our emotions or needs and wants down deep inside, telling ourselves that you are, in fact, superior.  That if we assert ourselves and ask for what we need, the result will be that we are shown that our needs or thoughts are not valid. That we are not worthy of the things  that we ourselves give to others.

Whether you know it or not, you have learned how to acclimate yourself to this type of person.  Many of you have learned how to get what you want out of us. This is not saying you are mean, or without kindness, just that you are an assertive person who knows what you want out of the world and others, and we are not.  Some people are narcissists, and have learned to manipulate us, and believe me, with us, it’s not hard to do.  These people can have us caught in their traps so quickly that our heads are spinning and we are tied to them before we know it. They know just how to make us feel secure and warm fuzzy, and when we are confident enough to think that we might have the upper-hand, we are dealt with a blow so breath-taking it knocks us back down to the ground.  Then we give double what we gave before, just to gain back more of the harmony we lost from our carelessness.

We can become very bitter people, but still believe in a rose-colored world.  As a result, many of us gain a sarcastic humor to our personality.  We surround ourselves with very few people, and rarely venture beyond that circle.  It is not uncommon for us to occasionally reach beyond our circle to gain some self confidence back, but not on a regular basis, and certainly not if we don’t have a common connection with the other people. If you have hooked us, it is very hard for us to slip from your grasp. We can easily be pulled back in.  You might call us gullible or an invertebrate, but it is difficult for us to cut ties with others because we still believe that someday, somehow, we will gain your recognition and acceptance.

This all sounds depressing, as if we are jellyfish, meaning, we have no backbone and allow others to walk all over us.  I tell you truly, that is not our desire.  We are dreamers, and wish for a world that is a better place. We understand reality. The real world. The way people work. But it is our own selfish desire to be more to others that causes us to continue in an endless pursuit. Maybe it’s because we cannot fulfill our self worth on our own. Maybe it’s because we have put so many others on a high pedestal and we can’t see the good qualities that WE possess. I do know that one day I hope I am able to look at myself in the mirror and tell myself that I am a good and decent person whose thoughts and feelings are as important as anyone else’s, that I am not a selfish and bad person for wanting unconditional love and occasional acknowledgement that I am right, and that no matter what, I love MYSELF unconditionally. And that’s all that matters…

 

Have yourself a merry little Christmas…

Above: My absolute FAVORITE Christmas movie ever.  I love the scene when Judy Garland is singing to Margaret O’Brien, and the scene when Tom Drake appears with Judy Garland after dancing around the Christmas tree.  Classic…

I love Christmas time, I always have and I probably always will.  This time of year is filled with memories of past Christmas’ and family and friends, those still here, those who drifted away, and those who are ghosts from the past. Our Christmas’ were always filled with lots of family… and usually fighting, drinking, and modelling of all of the clothes that were bought for us kids. We were always inevitably bought matching outfits, me and our girl cousin and my brother and our boy cousin. It was really annoying… but now, I wouldn’t have those memories changed for anything.  They are a part of who I am, and who I have become today. I remember going to the candlelight service at church on Christmas Eve, and then coming home and opening one present (or all of our presents later in life) and sitting with grandma while she had her Cognac.  I remember sitting in bed with my brother and cousins talking about whether Santa was real. I remember good food, and kids to play with, and more presents that a person could imagine under the tree.

It’s different now, my brother and his family come before Christmas, and Christmas Eve is just my parent’s and the girls and I. It’s nice, and quiet. But it’s also different from more recent Christmas’s past. When I was married, we spent time travelling between our families homes, dividing our time as evenly as possible.  At the time it seemed stressful and full of guilt, worrying if one set of family didn’t get equal time or if someone was alone.  I miss it now though.  I miss having all of that extra family and talking and laughing together.  There are a lot of things I remember at this time of year.  This year I have a lot of memories about my ex.  They are softer, probably more embellished, but still they remain fond to me.  Again, they are the memories that have made me who I am today. I remember picking out our Christmas tree. I remember whenever we were in the car and Elvis would sing Blue Christmas he would make the CD player  repeat the first words over and over again. I remember the day we were decorating the outside of the house, and (I swear he told her to…) Lainey de-pants me while I was up on the ladder.  I remember our first Christmas at Grandma Vera’s house with Lainey, it was her first Christmas….

I hope that all of you have a wonderful Christmas, and whether you are with those you love, those who annoy they hell out of you, or are away from those you love, know that I am wishing you a merry little Christmas.  Because these are the holidays that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.  Whether they are sad or happy memories, or romanticized into something more than they were, they are still a part of us, and they remind us of the importance of the season: Love.

I am a Jew-illiterate…

As far as Jewish holidays go, I seem to be illiterate… and so the story goes…

Tuesday my parents, Ella and I accompanied Lainey to her school Christmas program.  We were looking through the program and one of the songs the late elementary school was singing was a “Chanukah” song.

I say to my parents, “What IS the difference between ‘Ch‘anukah and Hanukkah?” (Notice the emphasis on the CH, yes, that’s how I pronounced it…) They looked at me in awed wonderment for a moment.

“It’s pronounced Hanukkah,” my mom replied.

“No, aren’t they two different holidays? I could have sworn they were two different holidays…”

“No… they are the same…”

“Really… wow. I had no idea!”

My bad…

 

UPDATE: I just found this card that sums it up…

My Grown Up Christmas List

So, something on the lighter side, I’ve decided to write a personal wish list for Santa this year.  Hopefully he won’t find it too precocious of me to ask for all that I am.  I can do with just a few things, or one, or all… whatever he feels I’ve earned this year…

  • I would like new breaks for the van, also some new tires, an alignment and rotation would be nice, also heated seats… um, geesh, this is getting pretty complicated… how about just getting me a new car?  That might be easier…
  • My own personal version of myself, the one who goes to other people’s homes and cleans it up the way I would like my own home cleaned (or the way I have in the past)… but one that came everyday to clean up after everyone in the house… and for free.
  • Ohhh, oh… my own house would be great, but without the house payment… that would be bad…
  • How about a job?  This might be easier considering I could then take care of all of the other above requests… but please make it something I would like and would look forward to doing everyday, and something that has a hefty paycheck to support above requests… and also something that doesn’t go against my personal moral judgement…
  • A tummy tuck and boob job would be nice, you know, just a booster for my self-esteem… clean up the rough spots, make me look presentable… because then  I could maybe catch a sugar daddy like I’ve been talking about, and again, this list would become irrelevant.
  • A new wardrobe, one that fits nicely and follows Trisha’s criteria of “appropriate” office attire…

Not to sound too selfish, I will add some stuff in here that isn’t for me…

  • Yearly wardrobes for the girls in the appropriate sizes, preferably outfits that have cute coordinating pieces, and cute accessories so my kids don’t look like rag-a-muffins anymore…
  • Gifts for all of the other people in my life besides the girls, because they are really the only ones I bought for this year, and they probably aren’t going to be too happy because it’s not quite up to the same standards of years past, in which case I would like the gift of appreciation for them so they can accept graciously what they do receive…

That should about cover it… oh, the most important, I almost forgot!  World peace and an end to hunger… and for an end to assholishness.  That would be really awesome.  And some karma… that’d be cool too… I’d better stop now… thanks, and I love you, I’m really a big fan… I’ll stop kissing ass now, no really….

The Upside to Honesty…

You know, there are a million things I could write about… and maybe during this holiday break I will get to those million things… but for right now I just want to say that I am so over liars and manipulators and “I’m just gonna twist it enough so if you call me out on it I can totally make you think it’s you whose crazy and not me…”  ooh, ooh, or “I’m gonna tell you one thing now and then do a complete other later..”

Seriously people, it’s called honesty.  It’s a pretty groovy concept, and if you just don’t give a f*ck about what anybody else thinks it is a perfect problem solver.  I mean really what’s not to love?  Win-win situations galore! You don’t have to keep twenty lies straight, and you get to let the other person know in the process that you just. don’t. care.  You can make OTHER people look bad in the process (IF you’ve  been protecting another person’s persona in the tangled web of lies you’ve been weaving…because really… why protect someone else when your perfect? (IT’S NOT YOUR PROBLEM F*CKFACE.) And finally, your life will become twenty times lighter and easier, because doesn’t it get tiring keeping it all straight?

Bottom line: I just don’t care about your idiosyncracies and issues anymore. I have gained a pretty thick skin lately and there are many things that just don’t bother me anymore, and if they do I will go whine to Trisha and Erin about it and you won’t hear a thing about it…So give it to me straight because I haven’t called ya’ll out on anything up to this point, and I just really don’t care to…. and I’m tired of ya’ll acting like I’m stupid and don’t know when you’re lying. K? K. Go home now…

Shopping with children is strongly discouraged…

I took the girls to the mall this weekend to buy them Christmas dresses, and in the process reminded myself why we don’t go shopping together more often.  In all honesty they did pretty good considering they are too big for  strollers and we had to navigate on escalators.  Ella is scared of them, but Lainey is scared of elevators so there isn’t much one can do about it.  Besides the fact that Lainey doesn’t really like going out in public, AT ALL.

We went to Macy’s and found a dress for Ella and a sweater for Lainey, but then Ella needed a sweater to go with her dress, and of course, Lainey needed a dress.  So, we headed down to JC Penney to see what we could find.  Just as we find Lainey a dress, Ella declares she needs to go to the bathroom, RIGHT THAT MINUTE. Ok, so we start walking to the back of the store and it’s like we are moving in slow motion… I look around for Ella and she’s sauntering behind.  I’m like, didn’t you have to go to the bathroom? Yeah. Ok, well, do you think we could maybe get there, like today? Yeah, I’m coming…  Oooo-kay…

finally we get there but you can’t take merchandise into the bathroom with you so Lainey says she’ll stand right outside with the dress, Ella goes in, and I stand at the door listening to her.  Then she insists that she can’t reach the sink to wash her hands, sanitizer will NOT do, and so we take another 5 minutes washing hands and what not…

Finally we make our purchases and head back to Macy’s where there is a Clinique makeup lady waiting for some unsuspecting patron to pounce on.  I give her one look, that says it all, like, seriously lady, if you want to watch my children for 20 minutes while I get a make over go right ahead, but I am not going to be responsible for the impending doom that my youngest will reek on your store.  Did I mention Ella likes to hid in the clothes racks?  Makes for an interesting shopping trip.  100 feet to the door and Ella starts in on how her legs hurt and they won’t work anymore and can’t I just carry her?  She weighs a whooping 50 lbs, so no, I will not carry you.  And they wonder why they don’t ever get to pick out their clothes…

I had to go home and take a nap after that…

Compartmentalization: typical or abnormal?

I was talking to my daughters tonight on the way home from taking our cousin home (she was over babysitting for us today). We started talking about Christmas’ past and I asked my youngest if she happened to remember any of our Christmas’ together, as an entire family, aka, with their dad and me together… She didn’t, and I know because she started talking about the Barbie Dream House her dad got for her last year, after the divorce, and asked if I remembered that.  She was talking about how she loved that gift and her sister made a comment to the effect of “that toy stays upstairs at dad’s house”. This prompted me to ask her if they had all of their toys upstairs or if there were some downstairs as well.  She said no, they were all in their room.  Mind you, I don’t know if that is actually the truth, but I would have to guess that it is.

This brought on some interesting thoughts.  I found it odd that there would be no toys downstairs, because at my parent’s house  (where we currently reside), even though we live downstairs, the girl’s lives pour over into other areas of the house. They have toys upstairs, their personal calendar, pictures and artwork hanging on the fridge and so forth. They are a part of every aspect of our house, even though it’s really my parent’s house. It is their home. Why wouldn’t they make their mark on it… with their things? Should the kid’s things be left downstairs in their “area”? Should they not be allowed in certain places in the house?  They do have limits and rules within the house, but they also have some rights. Right?

This made me think of the theory of compartmentalization. This topic has come up before in the past with several of my friends, maybe not straight out, but a variation of the concept in some way or another. I know many people are able to achieve the act of compartmentalization, but I find it a difficult notion to wrap my head around.  Maybe it’s because I have such a lack of boundaries, or because I have been on an emotional roller coaster worthy of Six Flags status, but I just can’t figure out how to do it, successfully anyway.

My ex-husband was excellent at compartmentalizing. Or so it seemed to me… enough so that he could carry on two different lives at once. I can’t wrap my head around separating so many parts of my life into neat little boxes wrapped with a bow.

I have a friend who is able to completely keep her personal life separate from her professional life, for the most part.  There are only a couple of people who know her children’s names, and possibly what they look like. It’s amazing to me, and I idolize her a little bit because of it.

Sometimes I wish I could do this also, but the idea of my children not being part of every aspect of my life is a foreign concept to me.  Take today for instance, I was substitute teaching in a 3rd grade class and one of the students asked me what I was planning on doing over Christmas break. Naturally I said I would be spending time with my kids.  She then asked how old they were, what their names were, and where they went to school.  I answered all of her questions reasonably.

Now however, I think, should I have been so forth-coming with that information? Should I not share information about my family with students, or co-workers, or acquaintances? Some people would say no, but I also think it might be different in a classroom.  There is something to be said for sharing about your personal life with students so they have some sort of connection with you.

The reason I find it so difficult to compartmentalize is because all of the people I have met and all places I have been in my life are so much a part of who I am today, good or bad, that it is hard not to think of so many of these people and places each and everyday, or close to everyday… For instance, there honestly isn’t a day that goes by, as of yet, that I don’t think of my ex in some capacity or other, whether it be with dread, or with wistful memory of life gone by. Likewise, I think of the school I taught at for four years and ended last year, nearly everyday.  Most of the time it is honestly with the longing that I could be there in my comfortable niche, doing what I still believe I do well, with people I know and many I love. I fully understand that because I couldn’t compartmentalize, I experienced the following:  I lost my job, losing my home was difficult, and watching someone else fall into the footsteps so unnervingly comparable to my old life was hellacious.

Maybe with practice I will be able to achieve the unachievable, who knows, maybe I already have.  Some of those experience I had didn’t hurt as much as I thought they could, but maybe because I was compartmentalizing my feelings. Just doing what I knew had to be done in order for my family and myself to be able to survive.

Anyway, I would be interested in hearing your thoughts or tips on compartmentalization. For me, life is just such an emotional roller coaster, with all of the highs and lows, that leaving emotion out of it seems unrealistic. However, I do see the unlimited value in being able to do it… now to find a way to achieve it 😉

 

 

Irony is saying you don’t want to do something and then God calls and is all like, “Oh yes you will…”

I’m risking my life writing this blog, because I know there will be one or two people who are all like, “you said what?!” and then I’ll have some ‘splaining to do… but whatever, if I’m using this blog to bare my life’s soul, then mine as well go all out, ya know?

So I was suppose to go substitute in a specific school district this week, but unfortunately a “situation” occurred causing me to need to stay home.  I’m not going into the details, but to stay true to the general theme of this blog, it has to do with poop.  Bottom line is, I got myself all worked up over it and then got nervous and ended up, well, you know where…

So yesterday I’m talking to my mom, and I tell her I’m just not sure I’m cut out to sub in this district.  I’m having second thoughts… but then there is nothing new, because apparently one of my personality traits is not to be able to make a simple decision… like, “do you want your sandwich on white or wheat?”, to save my soul.

Then irony called to kick me in the teeth.  I got a call from said school district (actually one of the schools in said district) asking if I’d like to come in for an interview.  Hmmm, maybe whatever I tell myself I don’t want or don’t want to do, I’ll just do the opposite… That might work out for me.  Thanks for the slap in the face God.  Burn….

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