Friday, November 2, 2018

Day 2. It's a strong start. Let's pretend to be optimistic.

I've got a ton of stuff I need to write for work, so this is all that is happening here today. For now. Might be back later....

Thursday, November 1, 2018

NaNoWriMo maybe but probably not

I have forty five minutes to do this before I need to leave for work, but the four year old and the ten year old will be home any second, so this might end up being the shortest NaNoWriMo submission in the history of the universe.

Then again, I managed not to blog at all last month.

I've been busy. Not just busy, but like the soul crushing kind of busy, interspersed with all kinds of old traumas resurfacing in ways that have made me nauseous and anxious and angry and more. I'm not talking about any of that stuff because I just can't. It is so awful and gross and the worst part of really old trauma is that your brain does a really fantastic job of suppressing a lot of it until and unless something dredges it up from the murky pond bottom and exposes it for what it truly was. And that happened for me this past month.

That, and my general life approach for assuming the best about people was wrong. Really, really wrong, and yeah, that's about that old trauma thing too. Suffice to say that I'm not talking about it much with very many people, but that there are a few people that I have opened up to about it all because I need to talk to someone. 

It just sucks.

That, and we've had a lot of health care stuff going on here. Plus Halloween costume building and a kid applying to college and a whole bunch of life. 

I don't get to even touch the computer much unless I am prepping for work or editing pictures, which is also actually work but doesn't feel as much like work because I love it. I have been doing a lot of senior photo shoots lately and I think they are one of my new favorite type of session. 

Anyhow, I don't really having anything shareable that is super profound at the moment, but I wanted to force myself to make some words appear on the screen because I am trying to convince myself to actually DO this challenge this year since I really DO have a book I am working on, and so even if I am not writing here, I hope that I am actually writing.

I hope you all are well. 

xo

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

To The One Who Sings Showtunes Instead of Taking Naps

Dear LAK,

I still haven't come up with a new nickname for you to use here. I should work on that, I suppose. It's probably vastly inappropriate to refer to a preschooler as "Little AssKicker", but that's kinda my thing anyway. Vastly inappropriate. Which is also probably why you were singing "Turn It Off" from the Book of Mormon musical yesterday when you were supposed to be sleeping.


Probably.

I mean, who lets their kids listen to that soundtrack?

Me...

You're going to be four in a few days, although I am pretty sure that you've already decided that you ARE four. All you need to confirm it is the birthday cake you have been talking about for months. You want me to re-create your cake from last year, but somehow also bury dinosaurs in it and add a volcano.



Which will probably happen. Your sisters are pretty good at coming up with those designs.

You are at school right now as I write this. You mostly love school, although there is always that brief moment of hesitation when you are supposed to be lining up to go in where you grab my leg or climb under my skirt and hang on for dear life. And then you shrug and figure you've gotta do what you've gotta do, so off you go.


You've gotten pretty independent this past year, and although I think it weirded you out to be in a room with kids you own age at first, you are loving it. The singing is probably your favorite, since you come home singing a different song every week.

The sun still rises and sets on your siblings, and you are glued to them from the second they get home in the afternoon.




You have developed an absolutely hilarious sense of humor, and somehow you can already conceptualize sarcasm and hyperbole, which is pretty freaking amazing. Your most favorite word to say right now is "caddywhompus". And you know what it means.

Every time it is windy, "Mom, the rainbow flag is caddywhompus again".



And you keep reminding me until I fix it.

You're solidly in the phase of development where you are learning constantly, trying out new words, figuring out how things work, asking questions, and wanting to soak it all up. It's kind of tiring as a parent, but so cool to watch your little brain develop.



You started riding your bike and are forever begging someone to take you outside so you can play with the skateboard or basketball or draw on the driveway with chalk. You love going to all the parks, although you've already learned that the best park is rocketship park. Because it is. Obviously.



You aren't a little baby anymore, though you still grab me by the cheeks and whisper in my ear when you're stalling to take a nap....

Hold me a minute.



And I always do, because no matter how big you ever get, you'll always be my baby. And you know that being adult sized hasn't stopped your siblings from sitting on my lap, so I doubt it will ever stop you either.

Try not to have any major injuries this year. I know that you think you are Spider-Man, but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't end up in a cast jumping off of stuff. So either don't do that, or work on your landings, Spidey.

Keep being silly, sweet boy. Keep singing showtunes and doing whatever that weird dance is that you do.

Keep trying to keep up with your brothers and sisters. Keep wanting to learn about everything. Keep hanging on to my leg when you need to and keep making yourself let go when it is time.

I'll be here, cheering you on from where you don't see, ready to hold you a minute.

I love you, Turkey Man.

Happy Birthday.

Oh, and go easy on the peaches. Other people in the house would occasionally like to eat one. ;)

Thursday, September 6, 2018

It's weird, being a writer...

I have drafts of several books. Some of them I have been working on for over a decade at this point. Some have been shelved, will probably never be finished since who I am now is not the same person that started writing them at all.

I have a few of them outlined in detail, was working on one for the first time in a few years this morning. I promised myself that when the baby started preschool that I would force myself to do this.

Even if the house is a mess. Even if there is something else demanding my attention. Even then.

I have been distracted for a long time. Maybe forever.

I'm terrible at finishing things.

I know that about myself.

I have all these stories that need to be told, and then the self doubt sets in. It's not good enough. No one is going to care.

I can't write this part of the story anonymously, so I shouldn't bother.

Should still write it anyway?

Can I attach my name to this?

Don't even try.

The best part of being a writer is the self deprecating part. Where you poke fun at yourself and your abundant failures and inconsistencies and flaws.

Ha.

That was funny.

I'm literally sitting in a coffee shop because I know that if I went home, I would find something else to do other than write. I know this about myself, and so my books will eventually get finished because I sat in a coffee shop for a few hours at a time instead of mopping my floor.

I really need to mop my floor.

Part of it is the futility of cleaning with kids. At some point, I realized that I was fighting a constant uphill battle. Nothing will ever stay clean anyway, so if I need to do something else for a little while, I should.

And these books, they need out of my head.

The one that I was working on today is one I started officially writing about five years ago. I haven't looked at the drafts of the chapters at all in years.

I thought that maybe I'd start feeling different about needing to write this one, but as it turns out, I need to write it even more now than I did back then.

So maybe it's time this time.

And if it isn't, it can wait. Again.

I really do need to mop that floor.

Being a writer is weird.

When people ask me what I do, I'm always a little hesitant when I call myself a writer. I still don't feel like I deserve the title.

Ah, the nagging self doubt.

***Stretches

Gets up and walks away.

Wait. I am not home.

I can't just randomly start mopping the floor here, in a coffee shop.

.
.
.
I mean, I probably could, but then I'd get weird looks and get asked to leave or kicked out.

Guess that means I should make the most of this time and actually write. Dammit.

Friday, August 24, 2018

When Writing Is Necessary

I have been needing to write all week long, haven't had more than a few minutes to sit in the same place let alone do anything else. I have been working so much, dealing with the kids and their ongoing issues, driving to and from so many appointments. I lost track of what day it even was a few times this week.

I would like to believe that it will get better soon, but it probably won't. Not for a while, anyway.

Even though I have a long, long list of all the things I should be doing right now, I am sitting here feverishly pecking away at the keyboard because I need to write. My soul requires it.

I gave myself 30 minutes.

This post showed up in my memories either yesterday or the day before and I knew that I was deep in all that still, on top of dealing with even more than I was at the time I wrote it. And I knew that I needed to send it to a friend, which I still haven't done because I just haven't had time.

And then yesterday, the inspirational black hole that is Instagram told me that it isn't that I don't have time, it is that I haven't made time.

FUCK THAT NOISE.

For real. I'm not about to list all the stuff going on in my life right now, all the reasons that I am as busy as I am, all the demands being placed on my calendar and my heart and my mind, but for fuck's sake could we stop it with this unhelpful shit? Not everyone actually has the luxury of free time and Thor knows that I don't have any of it to spare right at this moment.

Liiiiiiiiike life isn't all about choices all the time. Sometimes we are at the mercy of things outside of our control and insisting that everything is something we have the ability to alter if we choose to is bullshit.

Not to mention the heaping load of shame it puts on the shoulders of people who are currently the least able to control their circumstances.

Privilege. It's what's for dinner.

Well, not really....but it's alllll over the internet.

Which I have hardly been on, because I've been so busy. You know, by choice. (Eyeroll so hard I can see my brain.)

What the hell was the point I was trying to make before I got distracted?

It really has been that kind of week.
.
.
.
.
.
I'll get it back eventually.

Anyway, it has been so far beyond exhausting for me lately because in addition to all the normal beginning of the year stuff and working all the time stuff, I have had two kids go through lengthy evaluations at Children's. Let me tell you...answering questions for 8 hours about every single imaginable aspect of your child's development and personality and quirks and strengths and challenges is fucking exhausting. Then do it again a week later for another kid.

On the upside, the people officially in charge of all this stuff confirmed that I know my kids pretty darn well, so well in fact that my assessments of what is going on have been eerily accurate thus far. So I guess I have that going for me.

Woo for being right about the wrong shit.

Yawn.

I also made a post this week on Facebook expressing frustration at the whole "dyslexia is a gift" thing that so many people claim. It seems particularly popular in the books written for non-dyslexia-having parents of dyslexia-having kids. And I'm here to call bullshit on that too. Sure, he's got a gorgeous complex mind that can come up with ways to solve problems all the rest of us couldn't ever imagine....sure. And maybe that is connected to the dyslexia in some way. But, honestly...it's not a gift. And it's not a gift because nearly all that anyone cares about with kids his age is his ability to read. And he's never going to be very good at it. And all of my suspicions about all of those things were right on. So, universe, spare me the inspirational speech about how #blessed he is, and let's talk about some accommodations that will make his life a little bit less difficult all the time instead.

Oh. I remember what I was writing about when this started.

I told you all I would get back there. Eventually.

Hi. My ADHD is also raging out of control. I think because I am more tired than usual and more stressed than usual and literally being pulled in a million different directions all the time instead of just figuratively having 278 tabs open on the browser of my brain.

The world is my oyster, full of shiny squirrels covered in glitter and dancing in knee high boots.

I had a friend ask me a while back why I don't try medication for it, you know...the ADHD that I
know that I have that I have never formally been diagnosed with because when I was a kid no one cared in general, and even now, the diagnostic criteria are based on boys...

My answer? I don't want to, really. I mean there is a part of me that will forever wonder what I might have been like as a kid, as a teenager, as an adult even, if someone had figured it out at any point before I figured it out myself. There is a part of me that wonders if my life would have gone down a different path. If I would be better at finishing the things I set huge and lofty goals about.

Then reality sets in and reminds me that I've built 41 years of coping skills to function in a world that is always shiny. Mostly. Sometimes I'm not very good at it. But I'm also resistant to change, and I know how to live in this unmedicated body. I don't know if I'm too old to see who I might be. And maybe that scares me a little.

Maybe.

Ooooh, truth is fun, isn't it?

That's not even what I started writing this for. I started writing this because on top of everything else going on, I have been pretty deep in the PTSD trigger for over a week. It has been years since I did EMDR therapy to deal with the constant nightmares and insomnia. Years since I voluntarily relived all that trauma so that my brain could begin to try and process it properly. Years.

And most of the time, I am good. Recovered. Okay.

Until I am not.

And sometimes the triggers will gradually creep up my spine, settle in on my right shoulder and whisper in my ear,

I'm still here. 
You thought you 
could get rid of 
me completely, 
but I might 
never 
be 
gone 

I might always be waiting here for you. 

Those times, when I can sense them starting in on me, I can push them away enough, I can carry on with whatever else is going on. Keep being the version of me that lives in after.

But not every time.

Other times, like this time, they aren't so gradual and considerate. They hit me like a grand piano dropped from three stories above my head, leveling me, flattening me, stealing my ability to function normally. And this one did. And kept doing it, over and over and over again, to the point that I am currently unable to read the local news at all. I can't. I just can't.

I sure as hell can't talk about it right now with anyone.

I am doing the best I can to protect myself in all the ways I know how. Making sure I eat well, making sure I don't drink much, making sure I keep my body moving and rested, making sure I grab a few moments here and there to center myself - even if it is in a car in the parking lot outside of a hospital or in a bar full of people I'm about to yell at. I'm doing the best I can, and sometimes it isn't enough.

I cried yesterday for the first time in a long time, but only managed to squeeze out half of one pathetic tear, knowing full well that if I opened up those floodgates, they might not get closed for a long time. So I allowed only one moment of vulnerability to catch the lip of the spillway, then drew the water back.

So, I apologize if there's something I was supposed to do or say or read or think lately and I haven't done it. I really and truly am this busy and overwhelmed these days, and nearly all of those things are things that are not within my control. I'm doing the best I can, trying to keep my head above water while pushing the boat carrying everyone else to shore.

Actually, I don't really apologize. I'm done saying sorry for taking care of myself.

As hard as it is to be here right now, I also know and appreciate that I'm in a much better place than I was not so long ago. I am more capable. I am stronger. I am more able to weather these storms, to answer these questions, to face these challenges.

And this, this right here, is part of what made me stronger. This self indulgent airing of the grievances where I bleed onto the keyboard and tell you nothing and everything at precisely the same time.

I needed to write. For me.

My 30 minutes are up. xo

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