Righting Wronged Ships

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The mantra above is one that I created working with Akua when she was just starting Let’s Pursue You roughly three years ago. It helped me work through a lot of issues around valuing who I am, what I stand for and releasing old stories I believed to be true about myself.

It comes in handy once again. For the last two weeks, I’ve allowed myself to succumb to the whims of life’s tides. There’s a part of me that wants to blame something (Bro’Ham) or someone (The Hero is my favorite scapegoat), but at the end of the day, I believe in ownership.

I sabotaged myself. I spoke being tired, achy, afraid, not good enough into existence and when it showed up and called me Mommy, I was confused and clutching my pearls. For real though?

Yes, for real. See, I have a pretty good mind. When I focus and use it, fantastic things happen. I create. I expand. I feel. I am at peace. When I forget these things and focus on all the small things happening around me, I lose sight of game-changing me. The clouds of smallness roll in and shade my shine.

It manifested here on the blog. I apologize to you for some not-so-stellar posts as of late. I’m going to do better. That may mean that you don’t get to come along for food adventure rides because I’m not cooking anything spectacular this week. As a matter of fact, we’re having plain old spaghetti for about three days, which probably means no food post this week. A funny story may come from me convincing The Hero that he can still eat spaghetti cooked today on Saturday, but sharing a spaghetti sauce recipe that changes with whatever we have on hand seems kinda like cheating. I’m not going to do that.

So I’m righting the ship over here. The Hero mentioned that it’s never that I can’t do something, it’s that I haven’t decided I can and will. So, once again, I’m deciding I can do better starting today. That includes on the blog, in my creative life, self-care and work. In the meantime, I’m going to Google supporting information on leftover shelf life so I don’t have to cook again until Saturday.

 

Week in Review: February 5, 2017

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My weekend ended spending time with The Girl. She was upset that Bro’Ham wasn’t with me this weekend. So she was stank. Which means I had to annoy her alllll weekend.

Wait… it’s the week in review. Let me rewind.

Early this week was tough to put it mildly. I am officially transitioning to a different position and to be honest, it’s scary and exciting. I realize it’s a lot different than what I expected, but different is good. It’s forcing me to break into new ways of thinking and new frontiers. I have to lead an all-day meeting Friday. I am not ready. Not that I haven’t prepared, it’s the scope of the project that I underestimated. It’s huge. The part I thought  I managed is about 15% of the total process. Eye-opening the last 10 days. I know I’ll get it, I just have to be patient getting there. So that’s work.

I thought once my kids were grown, parenting would taper off. Nah. Tuesday through Thursday was hard to get through. Tuesday was the worst. Looking back, I’m proud of myself for moving through it and regaining my calm much faster than I normally do. I dreaded what visiting the kids would entail this weekend, but it turned out fine.

Through that experience, I realized that I had to mourn a phase with The Kid. He’s not The Kid anymore. Well… he’s my kid, but it means something else. This week showed me that parenting never stops, but I can choose how I respond to it. At some point, as parents, we have to let go and see if what we think we put in there worked. What I know is that every one of us figured it out and I really have to give my kid and myself space to allow that to happen.

So that brings us back to the weekend. The Kid had to work so The Girl and I got to spend some time together. We went to lunch (that girl can eat!) and then to the Natural History Museum. I took more pictures, but they all look something like this:

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I bet you can guess I got nothing done for the blog this weekend. Instead we started celebrating The Hero’s birthday early on Sunday. Let’s just say that wasn’t my smartest idea having to wake up at 5:30 a.m. Monday. So on that note, I’m off to take a shower and go to bed. Let’s all meet up again Wednesday when I promise I’ll have a recipe. For humans.

Week in Review: January 29, 2017

Spoiler alert: this post is about my adventures with Bro’Ham 

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I survived a week as a new pet parent! I was so happy that I treated myself to donuts Saturday morning. Man… pets are work. People said it was like having a kid, but It’s more than that. The kid can’t talk back to you. And most don’t get in the way when you’re working on projects trying to get caught up on your blog.

Anyway, Bro’Ham is doing pretty good with ‘sit’ and ‘stay’. I realized some of it was my own fault that he wasn’t listening to me. Last night, The Hero showed me how to walk him so that he isn’t pulling. Changed the whole game. For the first time I didn’t regret having to take him out.

We went to PetsMart this week too. Yeah… so… I didn’t realize:

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I’m in PetsMart, frazzled that I am the only one with the crazy dog who is spazzing out because he hasn’t seen any other dogs (and all the smells!) since the previous week. My dog turned up and he lightweight turned up the other dogs (as much as their obedience training would allow). Dog party. Unfortunately, those pet parents were not happy about it. Neither was the cashier. And can you believe the only person who helped me was an almost-drunk customer? Needless to say we won’t be going back to that particular PetsMart. I’ll go to Wal-Mart first.

I went to war with the pet hair. To avoid you feeling sorry for me, I’ll spare you the details and tell you that the hair won. And Bro’Ham still has not had a bath. That’s my workout Monday night. I’m going to stay positive and believe that he’ll like not smelling like last week’s funk.

Had our first ‘oh yeah?’ incident. Went out to a birthday celebration and came home to a nice pile of crap. Talk about annoyed. Who wants to clean up dog crap at 1 a.m. after having some drinks? Not. Me. Or The Hero. And then… as I’m discovering the funky gift, The Hero lets Bro’Ham out without a leash. Guess who wants to run off? Saturday night was not cool. Not cool at all.

So I’m hoping that this week feels more normal and I can figure out a schedule that doesn’t leave me sleepy, missing workouts and finishing my posts on time.

 

Hangin’ a Right on HP

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Welcome to 2017.

There are changes coming to the blog. Here’s a brief summary:

Food Discovery. A few weeks ago, I was clearing out the basement and realized I own a ton of cookbooks. Despite owning them, I cook the same things over and over again. Boring. In comes Food Discovery. Every week, The Hero picks random numbers and we find a new recipe to try. Am I nervous? Of. Course. Do you know how many recipes have things in them I don’t eat? I’m not going to even talk about some of the food pairings. But, we committed to expanding our horizons so we’re in. First post coming this week.

Posting. Nice segue with that last sentence, right? When I was thinking about getting back on track, I realized that I am comfortable committing to posting three times a week. In time I may change that schedule, but for now, it works for me.

Video. I’m not even sure what I would video, but incorporating it in the mix seems like a good next step for HP and a lot of fun. The Hero says I have a soothing voice. I think he’s biased, but we’ll see what happens. All I know now is there will be video at some point. And more than likely, it’ll be silly. We have fun around these parts.

There are other changes coming too, but why ruin the surprise? Let’s just see what 2017 has in store for all of us.

Coasting into 2017

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Look. I’m not even going to front like a new year doesn’t shift my mind in some way. At least twice a year, I take inventory on me: January 1 and July 2.

So I’m coasting through 2016 wondering what I’m actually going to do different in three days. Working out probably ain’t one of them. Me and these pounds got history. I’m using ‘grown woman weight’ to justify them. I got a grown woman body. Done.

Changing my eating habits. Eh… maybe. I could eat less. I know it’s brainwashing from when I was little and was the only girl trying to keep up with my brother and two cousins at the buffet. I mean it worked then because I burned it off. Now, competing with The Hero led me to this great grown woman body. Into the maybe category.

Being petty. Sigh. But I tried (imagine reading that in an irritating Steve Urkel voice). It’s so hard. Why can’t Jesus or Jobu just zap me on the head and I’ll be nice? Why, lord, why?! I wish I could blame it on something, but it’s me wanting to control people. Not even situations, y’all. People. That never works well and I usually end up with RBF, imagining how many paychecks I’d have to save to buy a remote warehouse just for the occasional kidnap and torture. I’m kidding. Or am I…? I am. By the time I save that much I’d have to outsource the kidnapping and torturing. Where’s the fun in that? Right.

Even though my mind is dormant, some things are cooking. Despite being petty, I am learning to relax more and let some things roll over me like wind. The good kinda wind, not that polar vortex crap that makes you want to punch the air. I’m learning to breathe when I feel that old familiar feeling creeping down my back. Breathing works. It makes my brain tingle and tingling brain is good.

I miss crafting. My work space is basic. Like it’s so basic, that if I needed to repair an earring or necklace, I’d have to go get the supplies. Better example: it’s like wanting a peanut butter and jelly sandwich then realizing you threw all the peanut butter away because somebody convinced you adults don’t eat PB&J. Oh the regret! But, I can’t change what’s happened and I did enjoy the free space. Now it’s time to get back to creating and cooking stuff (see grown woman body above).

Know what else? Going places alone. I really enjoy my friends’ company, but sometimes the thrill of experiencing something alone, even briefly, is pretty fantastic. No pressure to interpret or be or do anything. Just enjoy the experience of being out and doing something new. More of that. And even more of old things like going to dinner or teenage fantasy movies alone.

Of course there are new things. Travel is one of them. Going to Vegas in January with a friend. That’s like two things at once. Know the last time I went on a girls’ trip? 2005. 2005! For the most part, there hasn’t been a person I wanted to go with and, well, traveling makes me nervous. The pressure of doing something when I probably want to enjoy staying in a hotel for at least a day always made me pause. And just about everyone I knew who traveled had or needed an itinerary. I mean I love a schedule, but can’t we just wing it? Anyway, thing of the past. Vegas was a big step and I figure if I’m going to start something, might as well start it with flair. And no pictures.

Slowing down is another. I’m pretty sure somewhere on this blog I talked about slowing down before. This is different. No. Really. It is. It dawned on me that I ASK people to tell me who they are and get upset when they aren’t who they say. I literally figured that out Monday, thanks to a conversation with The Hero. He’s a pure watcher. Not in a hurry to move one way or another until he SEES what’s happening. I’m about that watcher life.

I KNOW I talked about dulling my shine before. Yeah, that’s done. First of all, it’s getting a little too complex to remember who knows what about me. Blame it on getting older or managing way more information that I’m used to, but I just can’t anymore. I’m showing up with all my rough edges because I’m a human and I’m not perfect. And that means trimming the stragglers. You know the ones. You’re friends with one person, but they have a clique so you feel like you should be friends with the rest. Nope, nope, nope. I’m building my Sisterhood Hall of Fame in 2017.

Um, what else? Ohhh… being constantly connected. I need a 12-step program. I have a lot of free time and get bored because I eliminated the fun in my life, so I find myself stalking Facebook. I’m sure I’ve lost a lot of brain cells and gained some form of PTSD from all the terrible crap going on in the world that I’ve read and shared. I have to unplug and live IRL. I hope I just made that term up, but if I didn’t don’t tell me.

In a nutshell 2016 was a good year. I learned a lot about myself. This is MY life. Everything in it should exist because I allow it, not because it was given to or forced upon me. I’m teaching myself the same lessons I tried to teach The Kid about choices. Every choice has consequences and I have to own them. Know what I’m doing? Owning the choice to design a life that I will LOVE. Not love. LOVE.

Boom!

First Step to Next

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Sometimes you just gotta tell yourself to hold up and take a step back.

Life is cyclical for me. I find answers, implement them for a while and sometimes, when I’m not diligent, find myself almost back where I started. Some circles are getting smaller, but it’s still a circle nonetheless.

I used to wonder what this meant. I often imagined that it meant I wasn’t as spectacular as I thought. Then I thought my focus wasn’t good enough. Then I accepted that there are some things that just take longer to accomplish than others. But today, I had a whole new thought:

Every circle, every iteration of a lesson, is getting to next because I learn slowly. And the reason I learn slowly is because I think all. The. Time. Sometimes the thinking is for processing and how to do something. Sometimes it leads to inactivity. And sometimes it leads to atrophy.

This iteration is a combination of inactivity and atrophy. And it comes in the form of pettiness. (I’m hear E-40 in my head typing this.)

See, small mindedness is a detriment to growth. It keeps me focused on things that mean absolutely nothing in my world. But thinking about them gives them life, invites them into my space and shares a glass of wine with them. And wine should not be wasted. Ever. Well… at least not on this.

I had a talk with myself today and boy was I stern. I mean I gave myself the business. And work. But not the work that I’m used to giving myself. This work is for me in a way that I haven’t given myself work. How, you ask? Well first and foremost, I’m here. One of my tasks was writing. Here. In Google Docs. Short stories, essays, letters, whatever makes me feel good in that moment, but I tasked myself to write. Every day. I mean I’m doing all this thinking, right? And if I’m thinking that means there has to be a subject. If there’s a subject, there’s a story. See where I’m going? These writings aren’t necessarily for public consumption (unless they are), but they will help maintain a particular skill (is it a talent?) the Universe gave me.

Second was managing my time productively. I have a whoooole lot of time. I mean a lot of time on my hands. If I hadn’t been focused on small-mindedness, I probably could have written a novel in November. But… I got distracted being in people’s business and lost that time. Sigh. And you know what? Those people were probably doing something else not giving one fuck about me thinking about them. My fingers feel icky typing that. But the truth will set you free. I’m free!

Third was creating some goals. I guess that should be first because saying out loud ‘I don’t have any goals I’m working toward right now.’ felt like bricks falling out my mouth on my toes. I almost wanted to rewind time and replay the scene because I just knew that I couldn’t be talking about myself. I mean, I always have a to do list somewhere with things on it, but when I thought about it, I was coming up blank on the last big thing I set out to accomplish. Yeah, there were minor things to take care of, but even those items fell off. I was having trouble coming up with things to do to fill my day.

Rolled on into three is four: controlling my eating. Since I was bored, I ate. Then I felt bad that the red ring of death returned, but not bad enough to do anything tangible about it except rub my red tricycle tire and put on some leggings. I’m still not motivated to work out because it’s cold and right now everything is literally a shade of gray when I look out my window. However, I refuse to not be fly and looking at pictures of my flyness is enough motivation for me to think about baking the chicken for dinner tonight rather than trying to remember if I have oil for buttermilk-brined, double-fried chicken with a (family-sized) bag of salt and vinegar kettle chips.

And last was just being free to let everyone else be who they are and showing up every day as me. Unashamedly me. Not me who pretends that I want to go back to school to advance my education. I don’t. Me who works to live, uses all her PTO too fast, enjoys books, writing short stories about nothing, trying new food and going on road trips. All these things are who I am, yet somewhere along the road, I forgot. It’s time to re-member.

Right now I have some straightening to do, honesty to look at and decisions to make. I need to re-evaluate some associateships. And most importantly, I have to show up all the time as my authentic self and be okay with the fact that you may not like or get me. Hard? No. But it will take some focus. Lack of focus is how me and the good old red ring got here.

Today starts step one on the stairway to next. I don’t have a clue what next looks like, but I’m excited about the journey. Isn’t that what life’s supposed to be about anyway?

Falling into Feelings

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I’ve been avoiding this post like… yeah, I can’t think of anything witty. I do know that I need to write though and not talk.

You ever notice how you never see your new car on the road before you buy it, then it seems like every fourth car is the exact same as your car? Your mind starts to pick it out in traffic from five miles away. Then you wonder how you never saw your car before you bought it. That’s me right now.

I’m not really sure what I’m feeling. I will say that I was rolling along until I said something about missing my mother and The Hero asked me if I was okay. That was last week.

I didn’t even notice that the date was getting close until I noticed the date was getting close. I’m not depressed nor do I feel like I need to have a good cry and renew an active membership to the Mourning Motherless Daughters club. I’m not quite there. I just feel… detached. Like I have to get through the next few days and then everything will be sharp and in focus. I can engage with my friends more and not feel like I need to keep them at arms’ length just in case I do break down.

The flip side is the three people I love most, I want to love on them like these are MY last few days. I appreciate The Hero for standing with me when the life storms beat me down. The Kid and The Girl, in recent years, have helped me enter a new phase of mothering that I like. If you tell them though, I will go Liam Neeson on you. Their needs, while more complex, are ones that I feel more equipped to handle.

In some ways, it’s been long enough that I don’t mourn my mother being physically dead. I used to feel bad because some of the crisp memories have started to take on fuzzy edges. I accept that. I even accept that without a photo, I can’t remember the details of her face. I used to think that meant I didn’t love her, but I eventually realized I’m a feelings kind of person and I still have all the feelings and some new ones that time and maturity have helped me understand.

The flipside of no longer having her physical presence is having her present spiritually. I don’t know why, but as I evolve, that’s more important to me. Would I love to hug or argue with her? Sure. But in her spiritual state, she’s guided me through some deeply private emotional moments. I know for a fact that I would not have been able to do that with her physically because of our mother/daughter relationship. Spiritually, we are and aren’t that. We are because I recognize her and in recognizing her, I intuitively understand that she is there to help. We aren’t because we’re not saddled with the baggage that comes with the mother/daughter relationship. Ugh… I am not explaining it well. It makes perfect sense in my head, but the words make it seem like I may need meds. FYI: I am not crazy.

You know I love to make a point, but unfortunately, I don’t have one to make today. I just needed to get it off my chest. To say it in a space where it’s more of a stream of thought than a conversation. Thank you.