Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Popsicle Sticks....le'ts give those little kids crafts another look, shall we??

I can not lie. I have been feeling extremely overwhelmed lately. Taking care of two people in the house with strep throat & the flu, trying to keep me, Jake & Marc healthy, be a nurse to the sick ones, do my professional job, keep my house clean, the bills paid, the dogs & turtles fed,  the groceries stocked up, reminding the sickies to take their prescriptions, and still have time to take atleast a two minute shower daily.

This week the illness seems to have subsided, and everyone in our household is seemingly healthy. However the challenges requirements that I need to meet daily have kept rolling in. I have appraisals due at work this week, inventories to audit, a meeting with all my general managers to conduct, all while my work laptop has decided this is the perfect time to throw in the towel and not operate. On the personal front, I have three kids to keep out of trouble, in school, fed, provided with clean clothes, lunch money, dogs, horses, & don't forget the turtles! to feed, and all without going insane. The appraisals are difficult and time consuming, but a great tool to use with my employees. They get a little sticky though, because people as a whole always think their performance is better than it probably actually is, and I have to come to a happy medium with them and stress their weaknesses and where we have to see improvement. I never relish the reprimands, or hurting feelings, but I'm pretty good at keeping it separate. Everyone knows if you're a good leader you're objective and keep a broad line between friend and supervisor, and that makes the critiques more credible.

Anyway I know we all have a thousand demands on our time every day, and I am not the exception to the rule by any means. Just because I'm an employed mother doesn't indicate I work any harder than stay @ home mom's, or people sans children. We are all stretched entirely too thin.

But today was really hard on me. I was officing out of my home due to the laptop issue, so I could use my personal laptop. I don't know why but my mind kept wandering to the things I wanted, rather than what I have. Perhaps my mind kept drifting because I had no adult interaction, outside of NPR programming. I can't stand daytime TV, so there was no use turning it on. I couldn't keep my mind in one place, couldn't keep it kept drifting to the things I need that I don't feel I get. I am NOT referring to material posessions here. I am talking about things like friends who check just to make sure I'm okay, or just to say a quick hello, I keep waiting for phone calls that tells me vengance is no longer sleeping and what I've been praying for is finally happening, just the things that validate the good deeds I have done and the good works and deeds I pass on and pray that the recipient is blessed by every single day.
Today I just felt like my being kind, loving, sharing what I can, forgiving when I would rather attack, being patient with the kids when I'd rather yell at them, "We've covered this a thousand times, you KNOW to pick up your laundry!" Just isn't getting me anywhere. I was frustrated with being nice, and wanted someone to be nice to me in return. I'm not ashamed to admit i was having a little pity poor Trin party. The running mental diatribe....nobody likes me, nobody has time for me, nobody appreciates me, blah blah blah. Luckily I kept to myself, buried my head in work and the kids, dogs & every other living thing that crossed my path came out unscathed.

Moon & Jake went to church tonight, as usual. While they were gone I stayed in my funk and worked on this 1000 piece puzzle I've been punishing myself with the last week. It has three colors. Red pieces, blue pieces, and golden pieces. Yeah, 1000 of them. I'm telling you, nobody punishes me as hard as I do.

Moon came in from GA's with a craft, as she always does. (Thanks to those Mrs. Pam & Mrs. Karen for their volunteering of their time!) Anyway, Moon has a fistful of popsicle sticks wrapped up in a rubber band. She calls me to the table and says, "Mom this is a puzzle. Time how fast I can put it together." She begins lying out the sticks and I see there's a bible verse written across them.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people."
Galations 6:9-10

Everything you do affects someone, somewhere. You never know how far your good deeds, kind words, simple smile or a text to check up on an old friend will go. Same goes for negativity, so let's keep that to a minimum. I hope all of you never grow tired or frustrated of being kind, and don't waste your time on a pity party like myself. :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Healing Notes of Music

There is an underlying (main) reason I began this blog. To help me heal, or at least deal with the grief & guilt I feel over losing my cousin, my closest confidant, Marriah Elizabeth, last May. However; I don't feel strong enough to reveal all the thoughts and feelings I have pertaining to her at this time. I have been wanting to share so many things, but don't know how to get it all together into cohesive sentences.

I have found some solace in visiting her grave and letting all the sadness pour out in the form of sobs & tears, those episodes where your pain is so very real you can't have coherent thoughts, you're crying just for the release and relief; because the pain not only lives in your chest and stomach, it's dug it's claws into you so completely that you can almost hold it in your hands, an orb shaped ball of despair,  that you turn over and over in your hands examining it as if it's some alien object. That's how palpable grief can be.

Marriah & myself shared so much of a taste in music, that it is now a comfort to me. She would come to my house and we could talk for hours about music, and our playlists were almost identical. That particular memory of our friendship has been a place I can run to when I get overwhelmed with missing her. We discussed music so often, that actually we discussed what we wanted played at our funerals. We had just sat by one another through another cousins funeral, and had went for a cup of coffee and a catch up session. We discussed what would be the best songs to have played at our funerals. I remember her vetoing many songs because she thought they'd be too hard on her Mom. That was her, always thinking of others. It kills me now, that we were just talking casually, and little did we know....she would only be with us for three more weeks. It's a hard pill to swallow, but I'm choking it down a minute amount every single day.

I find music can be a healing river, the rivulets of notes running down, washing through my memories,  I can close my eyes, breathe deep, inhale the solace of the old spirituals that reassure me Marriah is in Heaven, and has found a peace and happiness that she so much deserved.

I have seen, my last tomorrow
I am holding my last breath
goodbye, sweet world of sorrow
My new life begins with death.

I am standing on the mountain,
I can hear the angels song
I am reaching over Jordan,
Take my hand, Lord lead me home.

All my burdens are behind me
I have prayed my final prayer
Don't you cry over my body,
Cause that aint me lying there.
Take my hand, Lord lead me HOME.

There are probably millions of songs I could use to describe what I feel, and it would take a million words to describe how much I miss her. How much I wish I had just one more second. To take her face in between my hands, look her in the eye, and tell her how much I loved her & believed in her. And tell her I know that she loved me purely & unselfishly, and I strive to emulate that in my friendships, which in my mind is a memorial to her. Enjoy, appreciate, show the friends that still remain how much I love them, so I won't repeat my past transgressions.

I love one particular song, (the Jamey Johnson version) entitled "Dreaming my Dreams." It is written from a male to female perspective, but just minor word changes describe exactly how I feel. The way the song resonates with me is more about how one interacts with their best friend, the ones we're not too self concious to reveal our deepest, craziest ambitions and plans to. Marriah never laughed at me or my crazy hair-brained schemes. She was never, ever negative about my opinions or decisions. Perhaps that's why I love this song, because it helps me realize one of the things I miss most about her, her energy, zest for tackling life, and her undying optimism. Her belief, her dream that everything would just work itsself out.

Here's the version of words I hear, when I listen to it:

I hope that I won't be that wrong anymore
Maybe I'll learn this time
I hope that you found
what you were reaching for
that way that you are
in my mind.

Someday, I'll get over losing you
I'll live to see it all through,
but I will always miss
dreaming my dreams with you.

But I won't let it change me,
not if I can.
I'd rather keep believing in love
And give it away
As much as I can
To those that I'm fondest of.

Someday I'll get over losing you,
I'll live to see it all through
But I'll always miss
Dreaming my dreams with you.

Yes, I will always miss dreaming my dreams with Marriah.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pass me the mascara & nobody gets hurt!

I have a natural reaction whenever someone tells me "love and accept yourself as you are." It's called my gag reflex. It just sounds so cornball. Who truly loves themselves, completely? No one does. Well, perhaps people that reached a level of altruism that brought them lifetime & posthumous world name recognition, (i.e. The Dalia Lama, Gandhi, & Mother Teresa.) See? I can only think of three! Watch out, I'm proving my own's scary! 

If we loved ourselves, accepted ourselves, there would be no gyms, tanning beds, no billion dollar plastic surgery, fashion, & makeup industry. We wouldn't pad our resumes or our online persona's, now would we? Who would want to improve or change anything if they were content with the DNA they were given at the roulette wheel of birth?

I'm not pretending that I don't 'fake out' and use every tool available to try to make myself decent and presentable. I love love love dressing up, wearing perfume, and nothing sets my heart aflutter like a shiny brand spanking new tube of lipstick, (in a color that makes my teeth appear whiter!!)
Okay, maybe new jewelry does....or a new pair of heels! Perhaps a just embellished enough, still smelling of quality leather handbag. NO! Wait...a new pea coat, with a nice hounds tooth pattern. OK I digress, now I'm going to go shopping if I don't find a point and attempt to reach it in this century.

I'm not a free range turkey eating, non arm pit shaving, tie dyed skirt wearing, save the earth hippy. I am also not a blatant "waste all the fresh water; who cares about the dolphins I want my tuna; use plastic & Styrofoam every day and what point is neutering your pets? type of person. I'm middle of the road on some things, and other things I just let slide. It depends on what is the most important to me.

As I (age) ahem, mature, and events of life mold and form me into what I hope is a better, more aware, open minded individual, I have developed more sensitivity to the differences between us, and I appreciate them more than I (at one time) resented them. This is America, we are free to choose, and free will is one of our greatest gifts. It takes self discipline in amounts that billions of us don't posses, myself included.

This is not an indicator that I will accept every type of person, like the pit bull fighting Michael Vick imitators of the US, the pedophiles, the racists, or those ignorant because they choose not to utilize their ability to learn, and don't get me started on selfish parents. I WILL NEVER understand selfish parents. I abhor the religion of the insecure, which in my opinion is gossiping/degrading others.

What is one to do? I think, as always, there is a happy midway. I will always love to dress up and be feminine, (i got that from my grand mom!) and I will always love to shop. I will always love irony, and I will never cease to be a devoted Mom & friend.

However, I don't have to 'just accept who I am." I can accept the factors I cannot change, age, race, sex, heighth, etc. But I, nor you, have to accept every single psycho graphic that we were dealt. We can open our minds, attempt to learn and understand one another better, we can atleast just smile at one another. If we would be more accepting of one another, then we would accept ourselves as what we are with more securedness.

I have heard this for years, "It is what it is." Not necessarily. How about this? "It can be what we are willing TO WORK towards it being?" We can apply this adage to our marriages, friendships, encounters with strangers, trips to the shopping mall, our weight, our brains, our careers, our total mind-set. It would change our lives, it has mine.

Do me a favor, throw this out of your mind. Forget you ever heard the words, "I know my limitations." No, you don't. What if the pioneers in multiple fields had lived by that? A world with no creativity, no living outside the box, no free thinking, and no one that is the opposite to keep us balanced? What a sad picture that is in my minds eye.  What if, whomever first thought of something as amazing as the internet itsself thought "I can't do that! My mom/dad/wife/2nd grade teacher told me so!" What a waste.

I personally don't think outside the box. I, like my niece Kaylie, my daughter Moon, & my friends Krysten, Julie & Michele' think outside the triangle. It keeps life from ever being boring. Accept others, and you will accept yourself more readily. Blaze your own trail, be the captian of your own cruise liner. And know that just because you are the way you are, and posess the beliefs you hold dear, doesn't necessarily mean that those beliefs are the only one, true, "right" way to think. People don't have to look, think, smell, worship, study, parent, travel, learn, speak, LIVE the way you do--to be people.

Everyone has a place. Everyone.