Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Confessions: Guilty Pleasures

This week's Sunday Confession topic:

I like to think I don't have any guilty pleasures...that I am the kind of person who can enjoy anything and everything she pleases without things like guilt. 

But that would be a lie. 

My Guilty Pleasures

1. I love when Bonehead laughs.  I will say crazy things and do stupid ridiculous shit to make that man laugh.  He might be the only man on Earth I chronically make an ass out of myself in front of on purpose.  

2.  I love spoiling the people I love when I can.  They don't need it, but sometimes it just makes me happy. 

3.  I have lingerie that I've never worn.  In my defense... when I bought the item in question it was just a tad too snug but I loved it too much to return it.  So it sits in my drawers still in the packaging, hoping I'll stop eating long enough to actually be able to fit into it some day, but until then I enjoy knowing there is something sexy in my drawers. 

4.  I love trashy t.v.  I used to watch Jerry Springer at night before bed.  I could name all of Bravo's Housewives for years before cancelling my cable.

5.  The More Than Cheese and Beer Facebook Page.  If I were to be honest, I would have to admit to sharing more on the MTCAB Facebook page because people who like my page are more accepting of me and enjoy my personality more than people on my personal page who actually know me.  So I hide out there, sharing the moments of my life where people celebrate them with me and not condemn me for the less classy and graceful moments. 

6.  I am still a Product Junkie.  While I've given up buying more of things until I use up what I have, that doesn't mean I still don't have more than one person should. 

7.  I don't feel guilty about the food I eat most of the time (this is why I'm fat), but one thing I do feel guilty for loving sometimes...Ramen Noodles.  

8.  I keep thinking at some point I should grow up and wear pajamas, but I would rather buy nice sheets and sleep naked. 

9.  Quality Toilet Paper.  There have been times in my adult life where I have eaten Rice-a-Roni and Ramen Noodles out of force, not choice.  But I have never given up my preferred brand of toilet paper.

10.  Schadenfreude.  To clarify, I don't sit around and wait for bad things to happen to other people so I can enjoy it.  But sometimes I can't help but feel a small twinge of pleasure when I see someone "getting a dose of their own medicine", tasting Karma or experiencing something they either supported, condoned or enforced upon another person that wasn't exactly kind or right of them to do. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Way Things Were

I woke up this morning and picked up my phone to look at the time and happened to notice the date.  I stopped and stared at the screen momentarily, wondering how I didn't realize what yesterday was.  In fact, I hadn't even thought about it... not for a year now, anyway.

Yesterday was the BTW's (boyfriend-that-was) birthday.

As I laid in bed I thought about all the things that had changed, the things that seemed to stay the same and all of the roads I have left to travel.  As the one year mark of “the breakup” looms closer, I've struggled with wanting to say so much and not having the right words to express how bad things really were, to acknowledge things I know in my head and heart but can’t say out loud yet, and to tell people a story I’m still ashamed to have been a part of.

A year ago, my life was totally different.  I was in an unhappy relationship. We had conversations only about dinner, work, and bills.  There was no intimacy, emotional or otherwise, other than when he would come in to use the bathroom while I was getting ready to go somewhere if that counts.  We basically just did the same thing day after day, both of us revolving around this idea of a relationship but not really having one and only really interacting on the weekends when we would fight on account of being forced to be awake and interact with each other for more than a few hours.

He had a daughter who would stay with us every other weekend.  She was a good kid and I like to think we loved each other.  Things eventually disintegrated to the point where the only reason I stayed was because I thought me being there made her life better and I thought if he could take out his bad behavior on me it wouldn't be solely directed at her.  A year ago on the weekends, he slept in late every morning, and spent the majority of his day ignoring her and playing video games while I did everything for her from giving her medicine to doing laundry and poop inspection when she drank too much red juice and thought something was wrong.  When she started having behavior problems and problems at home, I was the one reading articles on the internet and staying up late at night losing sleep and sick with worry while he snored in bed.  I will never forget when he told me that he paid child support and that meant that I didn't support his kid in spite of the fact that I had purchased every item of clothing we kept for her, the bed and bedding she slept on and had been the one paying the bills and buying the groceries during his unemployment and for most of our relationship when he didn't actually “live” with me but spent every weekend at my house.

For his birthday last year, he wanted to have his daughter a few extra days.  We fought about it because money was tight and we would have another mouth to feed for 4 extra days (not to mention the fact that somehow toilet paper use doubled due to the presence of a single nine year old).  I didn't see the point in having her there when he was just going to play video games and ignore her anyway and she should be home with friends enjoying summer instead of being cooped up in the house with her dad.  I eventually gave in and then spent days agonizing over the grocery bill, anxious as to how I was going to afford the ice cream cake he always insisted on and worried if the gift I was going to get him would be “good enough”.

Three days before I was to go and get his daughter for the extended weekend, he messaged me at work and threatened that if I did anything to celebrate his birthday I would regret it.  Yes… if I tried to do anything for his birthday there would be a fight, it didn't matter if his daughter was there or not because he wouldn't have anything to do with it and I would be made to regret it and the money spent would have been wasted.

He changed his mind and apologized the day before his birthday.  I should have not done anything instead of running around last minute doing all of the things I had been afraid to do four days before, but I was afraid not to.

Even now, thinking about it sends a twinge of irritation up my spine and leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Looking back, the birthday incident was basically every incident in our relationship. I was damned if I did and damned if I didn't, and that feeling wasn't limited to his birthday because everything was like that.  Nothing I did was appreciated, nothing I sacrificed was acknowledged, and I was never respected.  If I demanded more out of the relationship or asked him to be an equal partner around the house, I was a nag and a bitch.  If I wanted do see or do something I had to beg him to get ready then deal with his rude and obnoxious behavior which ruined my good time, but when I quit trying to have interests and go places I was chastised for never wanting to go anywhere with him.  When I didn't “behave” and do what he expected, I was called a cunt.  When I cried, he laughed in my face.  When I shut down and stopped begging for attention and decency, when I quit setting myself up for his rejection, and when I no longer wanted his affection…I was accused of cheating and called a two-bit whore.  When I decided I no longer wanted to be in the relationship and tried to leave, he did the same thing he always did and fought with me until I could not fight anymore or did something so shocking and scary that I stopped fighting, then ignored me and continued staying in my house.

Eventually I started feeling like I was never going to be free of him.  We’d broken up before and I had been harassed for months.  He’d sent me a video of himself with a gun pointed to his head, I’d called the cops and they responded only to call me to say he made a bad choice but was “OK”.  He’d drive by my house at night.  He’d text from time to time.  In the end, none of it was enough to keep me from going back and making it worse for myself by letting him move in.  A year ago I wanted to get away from him so bad that I wanted to kill myself because it felt like the only way out.

Here I am a year later.  I forgot his birthday that caused me so much stress and anxiety for weeks beforehand last year.  I didn't worry about trying to be good to someone who threatened to make me pay if I did.  In fact, I kind of quit doing things for people who make me miserable.  I go to bed with my furry babies every night and I no longer cry myself to sleep; I don’t go to bed lonely and lay there wishing I were actually alone anymore.  I can go do things, explore things and see things that I’m interested in and make me happy without having to beg someone to get ready and come with or deal with anger, accusations or guilt if I don’t do the begging and just go alone.  I do things because I want to do them, not because I’m afraid to say no or because someone manipulated me into it.  I have goals and things I want to do.  I have people in my life who love me.  I have hope for the future.  It is amazing how much life can change in a year.

I'll probably never forget all of the things that happened.  But realizing this morning that I'd forgotten is kind of a birthday in itself... a rebirth of the person I used to be before what would become the worst relationship I've ever been in.  And that in itself is worth celebrating.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Feats & Fails 8/29/2014

Welcome to Friday Feats & Fails... before a 3 day weekend!  Whoohoo!  I've been a super busy girl... so let's talk about this week's Feats & Fails!

-  I made a day trip to Green Bay... which was fine, except for the migraine I drove home with.  Super ouch.  Pretty sure it happened because I was dehydrated.

-  I seriously could not afford the day trip to Green Bay to see Bonehead for his birthday.  But... I needed a couple of days to myself, and I needed to see him.

-  While I normally try to avoid talking about my job, there are just some things that can't be held back... like my annoyance at the fact that EVERY time I take a day off it is inevitable that I will be emailed with some drama.

-  I haven't done a single thing around my house... except dishes.

-  And then Thursday afternoon I went to put air in my tire, and it wouldn't take air.  Great.

+  I finally got my Thank You cards out the door.

+  I got to see Bonehead.  Super WIN!  Love him.  And he finally got to meet the new baby in his family.  I've been teasing him about having the biological clock of a middle-aged woman for days.  But... the pictures are wonderful and that makes me happy.

+  A blogger friend agreed to join MFP and we're holding each other accountable and working on doing better.  It is weird but awesome to have someone you actually "know" holding you accountable.  And... I've lost some since I last weighed in.  Allegedly.  Which is awesome.

+  It was beautiful for the two days I had off.  It is supposed to storm the next two days, which I like because I'm all about thunderstorms.  I love them.

+  I got to spend some time with my mom and nephew during my days off.  Which was great.

+  My trip to Green Bay meant getting to surprise my brother with a special treat.

+  Speaking of my brother... he got his new Carvin guitar this week.  Which isn't necessarily a FEAT for me but... he's happy, and that makes me happy.  I got to see him open it, and he was so happy.  It is beautiful.

+  My wonderful friend, Mommy Needs Wine, Not Whine, sent me a new mug.  I don't know if you saw my last mug, but it is one of my favorites.  Unfortunately, I've used it so much it is starting to wear and I've had to retire it, but it was my comfort mug... you know, your favorite mug that you HAVE to drink out of when you're having one of THOSE days and you put on your fuzzy pants and a soft t-shirt and watch Netflix all day while drinking vodka cocoa and eating oreos.  It has been my wine mug, my coffee cup, my cocoa cup.... I love it dearly and I'm sad to retire it to being a pen holder.  But...this new mug makes the transition easier.

My old mug

My new mug

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Confession: Denial

This Week's prompt:

I've got a problem with denial.

As in... I go about it all wrong. 

I deny that I have a problem.   That I need help dealing with something.  That something... a person, idea, or thing... might just be exactly what it is as face value.  I live in denial of people, relationships and situations I've outgrown...choosing to keep holding on to things that make me miserable. 

Where does one purchase an ACCESS DENIED stamp?  

Sometimes I think I willingly let people, opinions and ideas into my life, my space and my head that should be denied access at the door.  Deemed "Access Denied" and there is no appeal process.  

The older I get the more I'm finding just how important and good my intuition is and just how much I need to trust and use it.  I think we've all been born with a good amount of gut feelings, we just spend so much time pushing them down and ignoring them to pay attention to what we've been born with as a means to survive.

The older I get... the more important I'm finding it is to just embrace myself and all that I am and quit denying myself good things because other people don't share that opinion, or think it is right, or think it is what I want, need or deserve.  I'm in denial of the fact that the things I don't love about myself might be something someone else loves about me.

Funny thing about much as we associate it with bad things, perhaps it is how we're applying it.  Something tells me if I spend more time denying things that make me unhappy and stop denying things that just might... I'm going to get a lot farther.

Time to stop hiding the things I don't like about myself inside myself

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Feats & Fails 8/22/2014

Welcome to another Friday Feats & Fails!  This week's Featured Blogger is Ripped Jeans & Bifocals.  Where do I start about Jill?  She is a Mommy through adoption, writer, and blogger from West Virginia, but calls Texas home and has been living in England for over three years now.  Which I think is pretty awesome.

I am admittedly a newer reader of Ripped Jeans & Bifocals, but I check in to see what kind of tacos she's making lately, or see what her latest parenting fail is.  But I read blogs because I enjoy reading about the different life experiences of others and that is why I read and enjoy Jill.  Jill is writing about post-adoption life as an older mom (I have started to think that if I'm going to have kids, I'll probably be an older mom... so this is good stuff for me to know).  Sometimes, she writes about Mom Guilt, her experiences in London, and  Dumb Adoption Questions & Comments people ask IN THE CHECKOUT LINE (if this post doesn't make you realize how rude people really can be, you might be beyond hope).  On Thursdays, she features other writers with an "I wish I would have known" piece.

  Sometimes, she even shares pictures of her kids which I love because they're just too cute for words.

Jill is smart, her writing is relatable and enjoyable, and if nothing else... she'll answer all of your dumb ass questions about adoption (in her own way, of course).  You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and over on her blog Ripped Jeans & Bifocals.

P.S.  Jill - I want you to try MY scrambled eggs recipe sometime.  Add 1-2 tablespoons Cottage Cheese (I like the kind of Chives in it) to every 3 eggs (NOT HEAPING.  If you put in LARGE tablespoons, your eggs will be watery).  Scramble.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Use real butter in your pan and scramble them up.  Lightest, fluffiest eggs I've ever had.  Sometimes, I like to cook down some spinach in the pan, then add the eggs and cottage cheese and scramble in the pan and top with a sprinkle of Parmesan, and salt and pepper.  YUM!

On to the Feats & Fails!

-  I have a lot of things I was supposed to do this week.  Like send out "Thank You" cards (and yes, I still believe in fucking Thank You cards... I just forget sometimes, or send them really late).  So... if I owe you one, I'm sorry and it will be on the way soon.

-  I didn't get any mail this week, which stinks and makes me a little salty.

-  Wednesday Sucked.  I cleaned a particularly dusty area at work and ended up with a lot of sinus pain as a result of breathing in all that dust and yuck.  When I went to leave work, I got a double nosebleed as I was pulling out the of the driveway.  Then, on the way to my mom's house... something metal flew at my face and took a chunk out of my windshield.  Super unhappy about that.

-  Job Stress.  The totally unappreciated and undue kind which I was just supposed to get over because of a half-ass apology which wasn't really an apology, coupled with a "Thank you for your patience" as if we had a fucking choice not to be "patient" (aka silent) while someone learned for themselves everything that was required for the rest of us to learn via mandatory training last week.

Whatever.  Anyway... my undue job stress prompted me to create a new word:
Corporamus: (noun) A person or entity who while employed, usually in a managerial position, somehow remains ignorant to corporate policy & the limitations of their position.  
**This has me so annoyed that just writing about it prompted another nosebleed.  I'm at 1 double, and 2 singles now.  Stress and irritation also makes my nose bleed.  UGH!!!!!  **

-  I did a lot of walking one day.  I got around a lot.  Then I went to sync my Fitbit and found the battery died.  I hate when the FitBit battery dies... all those lost and forgotten steps.  I'm very upset.

+  Bonehead told me I need Glitter Anonymous or some kind of similar group.  That just makes me laugh and I had to share.  Speaking of Bonehead... I just kind of love him.  And I get to see him in a few days and that makes me happy.

+  I got to spend even quality time with my Mom again this week.  Which is really good.

+  I actually got some things done around the house (WOO HOO!)

+  I am close to 2,000 Likes on my Facebook page, which is awesome and kinda scary.  In order to get there, I've said that when it happens I'll post a picture of me at prom.  I feel relatively confident that is going to happen.  I'm trying to be positive about it... because 2,000!!

+  I actually blogged this week.  Read about how I got a new perspective (and cried in the Walgreens' parking lot) when a good friend sent me a box of love.

+  I'm actually taking a few days off.  Can't afford it, but desperately need it.  At some point, you have to take care of yourself first and pay up second.  I'm sure this will only lead to more stress in the long run, but... we'll see.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Perspective (or "The day I cried in the Walgreen's Parking Lot")

Sometimes when you've been struggling hard for a long time, it eventually feels like every single problem, even the smallest inconveniences, start to feel like the Universe is conspiring against you.

All little more than two weeks ago now, I wrote a Sunday Confession about Hope.  I cried as I wrote the entire second half of that post.  Life has not been a cakewalk in a while.  I felt terrible writing it, because as much as I needed to write that post and to acknowledge what is really going on with me for myself, at the same time I struggled with feeling like I was taking the hurt inside of me and spreading it on everyone willing to read it, like I was smearing shit on perfectly good white bread by exposing people to the ugly feelings I had been holding onto so tight and making others a part of the shit sandwich that felt like my life.

I thought about deleting it and starting over as I read it over and over again.  It's amazing how even in those moments when we're sobbing at our own misfortunes we still care what people think of us.  

The messages of love and support and understanding were incredible.  Nothing was instantly better, mind you.  But for some reason having people identify with me and let me know that they care and support me was something that I definitely needed.

On Friday afternoon I went to the post office and picked up a box.  A friend had told me she was going to send me something.  I was completely unprepared for what I got in the mail.  I opened the box to find a sweet, thoughtful and generous care package full of all the things someone who is having a hard time might need complete with one of the most heartfelt notes I've ever received in my life.  I was overwhelmed as I looked through the wonderful things in the box.

I put the box on my passenger seat and just sat there.  Then I got in my car and drove to the grocery store.  As I walked around in a cloudy haze, I thought about the person who had sent me the package and everything in the wonderful box.  As I continued on with my Friday errands, I pulled into the Walgreens' parking lot just as my mom called.  I told her about the box and the person who had sent it to me.  And then, there in the Walgreens' parking lot parked in front of the Redbox, I cried.

I genuinely needed those tears, as strange as it sounds.  They were tears of happiness, thankfulness, release, and maybe there were a few "just because" tears in there.  I was blown away and overwhelmed by the wonderful blessing and the beautiful words from a woman who has never met me "in real life" but seemed to know me so well.  I had been fighting so hard, and things just couldn't seem to go right and then someone reached out and blessed me... for no reason other than they could and they wanted to.

I went home that night and vowed to take a night for myself.  I didn't blog.  I didn't post on Facebook.  I just took a hot shower, munched on some snacks, watched some tv, and went to bed early.  And it felt good.

I woke up Saturday morning feeling pretty good still and decided it was time to make some steps in the right direction so I got showered, dressed, and put on some makeup before heading down to the Farmer's Market.

When I stepped into my kitchen on my way out the door, however... there was a beautiful green butterfly flying around my kitchen.

That might not sound like a big deal, except my vents all have screens on them, and my house has been closed up for weeks.  While some people might wonder about the cleanliness or extent of the draftiness in my home,  I saw it as a sign that things are about to get better.  And as I collected the butterfly and brought it outside I spoke to it, wished upon it, thanked it for visiting and set it free.

Maybe that is silly.  But I've found sometimes that when things are going wrong, it is easy to become blinded to the little miracles and beauties of life.  It is so easy to get wrapped up in the negative that it is easy to go stomping through the mud left by the rains and not see the rainbow.

The truth is that I needed that box of love.

 Suddenly, everything didn't seem so dark and ominous.  And it renewed my faith in people...which is something I desperately needed after feeling so jaded and let down by some of the people closest to me.  I am still struggling, but having someone reach out and bless me like that reminded me that while I can and should be honest about the trials and tribulations of my situation, being negative about it isn't going to fix those things.  I need to approach things not expecting the worst, but hoping for the best.  Sometimes when things are going wrong, a little light in the dark makes it just a little bit easier to see and strengthens us for the journey ahead.

I don't know if the person who sent it to me realized just how much they would be doing for me.  But it was like someone hit my Reset button and I felt ready to try again, like my batteries had been replaced with fresh ones, and I desperately needed that.

Words felt inadequate at the time, and they still do.  I could send a hundred "Thank You"s and it wouldn't feel like enough.

I don't have a lot right now and I'm still struggling.  But, I realize that I am still able to take care of myself and I definitely should.  It's time to be a pretty, happy girl again and I need to be kinder to myself.  I also realized that I am so fortunate in so many ways that I can still be a blessing to someone else.  Maybe not in the same way, but there are some things I could be doing to bolster someone else the way my friend reached out and bolstered me.

 I don't think I'll ever be able to thank the wonderful woman who sent me the box enough.  But I hope she knows that she taught me something important...when the world feels ugly, it is amazing what kindness from another person can do for us, and we should all try to be kind to each other now and then because you never really know how far a little kindness is going to go; A little love (even from miles away) can be a game-changer.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Confessions: Change

This Week's Sunday Confession prompt:

Life has been full of change; I look back, and I can't believe how much has changed in my life since August of last year.  I'd like to think that I'm growing.  I'd like to think that things are moving in the right direction for me, and that I'm making progress towards the person I want to be and the type of person I believe I can be and I can't help but think about the past. 

I had just turned 8 when my little brother was born.  He was a chubby baby who later turned into a curly haired little toddler who loved to hang out with his big sisters and their friends.  And all of our friends loved him...a sleepover wasn't a sleepover without my brother toddling around and watching movies with the girls.

When we got older, it wasn't unusual for me to babysit from time to time.  They used to play Bond movies every other Saturday night on ABC, so my mom would give us money for pizza and snacks, drop my sister off wherever she was having her weekend sleepover as she was that age where there was always a sleepover at someone's house, and go out and listen to music in town for a few hours.  My brother and I would stay in, order pizza and hang out on the couch eating junk food and watching James Bond.

When we got older and I got my own apartment, I would drive across town to pick him up and we would hang out watching cable tv until late in the night.  Now that we're even older, we do things like have Resident Evil marathons (rendering me afraid of the dark for much of my adult life), and I still owe the kid an Aliens marathon (I've only seen Alien vs. Predator).  My brother first introduced me to Zombieland and I bought him his first Toppers pizza years ago.   

This is just what we do.  Pizza and a movie, and we tell stories and catch up. 

I spent tonight hanging out with my little brother.  I guess I can't really call him my little brother anymore because he towers over me.  I'm still trying to figure out how my parents created a child that is 3+ inches taller than either one of them and most of the people on either side of the family. 

But I digress. 

I picked up dessert and snacks and we were going to watch Sharknado 2 (we have a love for stupid movies) but settled for Rapturepalooza and some Mark Wahlberg movie I've seen before.  

Eventually, my mom came home and it was just like old times.  My little giant brother and I on the couch, and mom in the recliner watching the end of some movie until late at night.  Then Mom eventually falls asleep, and we watch the rest of the movie until it ends and I collect my stuff, and remind him not to turn the porch light off until I reach my car because I'm afraid of zombies.  

As I drove home tonight, I thought about all the changes of the past few years.  I'm an incredibly annoying big sister and I have cried at every milestone moment of my brother's life. 

Every. Single. One. 

When he went to Kindergarten.  When I had to drop him off at the daycare before school.  When he started middle school.  When he went to his first dance.  When he went to high school.  When he got his driver's license.  When he graduated.  When he got his first job.  When he graduated college. 

I cried every time.  My entire family teases me about it.  

But with everything that has changed... like the fact that my chubby baby brother is now tall and lanky and grows weird facial hair, there is something comforting about the occasional night of cramming on the couch for crappy movies and junk food.

And I know someday that will change.  Maybe he'll meet a nice girl, decide he wants to get married and make babies (or have 5 wiener dogs, or something) and then there wont be pepperoni pizzas with stuffed crust & extra cheese, no movies with D-list celebrities and cheap special effects and he'll want to do Saturday Night movies with his wife and his family. 

I've been trying to embrace the changes in my life, and sometimes I feel a little lost.  But nights like this are what bring me back to myself, and I hope we never stop having them.  It might be unrealistic, but this is one thing I hope never changes.