Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What the "H" is wrong with me?!

My last post sounds so depressing and negative... WOW!

Here's the deal...
I have somehow become 'crazy-like' sensitive. I guess that 'somehow' is not totally true. I think I know exactly how it happened! I've been seriously jaded over the past year. I think it's made me cynical and ridiculously negative.

I love to put up the front that I don't care what people think, how I wish it were true. I can say that there are people I DON'T care what they think... but then there are people which I deeply care. It's that whole acceptance thing. The stupid "does he/she like me?" crap.
It seems to be mainly church related. I work with wonderful women, amazing examples of devotion and sacrifice. I have met the most amazing women, who are incredible mothers and wives.
I try my best not to feel inadequate... something I've always really struggled with. I want to be accepted, viewed as valuable. I want to contribute and as stupid as it sounds... I want people to know that I do contribute... I'm really not a bad person and I'm really trying.
It feels like such High School drama to worry about things:
is she mad at me?
does she not like me?
am I important enough?
am I cool enough?
... I mean HONESTLY! How old am I? What am I out to prove, and to whom?
If I hear some gossip about myself, it hurts... big time. But how does adding to it, or gossiping about 'that' person help the situation? It doesn't! If I hear whispers and walk up on someone talking about me?... I should just walk away. What good is it to listen to it? I need to let the chips fall where they may... and things will work out better in the end.

A good friend mentioned to me that sometimes we compete with one another and don't realize it. So true! I'm out to prove my worth... why? Who cares? It seems as if certain people send me into "keep up" mode. I get afraid that I'll be pushed out, disregarded, left out, and left behind. This person makes me feel small, stupid, and insignificant. I'm sure a lot of it is my insecurities. Since having problems with people in the church, I can't help but worry that everyone thinks the worst of me.

I feel like I can get along with most people. For some reason, the one thing I can't handle is when people take credit for others hard work and ideas. Especially if that person is a bit lazy, therefore causing others around them more work. There's an 'alpha dog' analogy that describes this type of person pretty well. They seem to want to let everyone know that they are the leader, and do anything they can to cement that role.
It is really hard for me to let someone take credit for my schtuff. (yes, that's how it's pronounced) Not that I need all the credit... the last thing I want is to have everything I do noticed and celebrated! I guess I just don't want the credit given to someone else.

The more I think about it, I'm wondering if the clashing I have with this personality might because it is MY personality! Crap!

In making a list of things I need to evaluate and change... I can see some serious problems.
I can see how I get in the situations I do, and why I have some of the social issues I do. My fear is that I won't be able to change.
I would never want anyone to feel these feeling towards me. I would never want to patronize someone or belittle them. I know I have a strong personality... but I don't want to completely 'take over' every situation I'm in.
I know that I love to be in charge... I can't deny that! I'd like to think that I have the need to be in charge of myself, and not be in charge of others. Does that make any sense?
I had a family member describe me as 'loud and obnoxious'... can't deny that either! I like attention. I like to think I'm funny, and I feel the need to 'lighten' the mood if I'm ever in an uncomfortable situation. I don't want to be a control freak though.
Having an anonymous blog is hard for me. It contradicts what I believe, and I never thought I would do such a thing... I mean what's the point right? right!
I guess it's very therapeutic for me to write, and I don't want to stop. The thing is... I need to learn that I don't need to express my opinions to anyone and everyone! I think somehow I feel it validates my opinions.

I recently heard a fantastic song on a blog I love to read...'freckles' by Natasha Bedingfield. I LOVE it! I just wish it were easier to actually live that way.

An item on my list is to not give my opinion unless it is asked. If someone else brings up the topic and wants to discuss it with me... then it serves them right! But there's no needed bringing up stuff that bothers me. It doesn't make for good conversation.
Another item (this sounds cynical) but I have to separate my relationships with people Unfortunately not everyone is looking out for your best interest. And sadly, not everyone can be trusted. I need to be better with what I share and how much I open up to people. Not everyone needs to near me vent. And I need to vent it to a friend, (someone who won't pass it along) and move on. There's no need to dwell on it, or keep talking about it over and over.

I'm afraid I will blabber on and on about my list for the next while. It will make for some long and boring posts. sorry.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

What a week!

Do you ever have days/weeks when you feel like your entire word is unraveling? Is it only a coincidence that my birthday happened to fall in this week? I can swear that turning 30 has nothing to do with any of my emotions… but I’m starting to wonder what my problem is.

I’m sure a lot of it is paranoia, I know it’s my own insecurities, but I’ve hit the wall. I feel like I need to evaluate every aspect of my life… personal, home, family, church, work, neighborhood, friends… you name it! I’m trying really hard not to let this get out-of-control… but I’m not doing a very good job.

Personal… I feel like I’m mentally incapable of handling my life. I even went to the doctor this week to see if something was wrong. He did blood work, and will call me with results Monday. I’m expecting the following message “Mrs. Smith, you are perfectly healthy, you just need to pull your head out!” Is there a prescription for that? It thought he might notice my birthday and say “Yep! That’s it! You are one day into being 30 and your body is completely falling apart! And even better? It’s only going to get worse!”

Home… as I stated a few posts back, I just can’t get it together! It’s a lack of energy, a lack of desire, a lack of… I’m not sure, but a lot is lacking. My house is messy, and I’m kind of past the point of caring! Only I do care, but I can’t seem to do much about it. I have unfinished (and un-started) projects. I used to LOVE to do big projects!

Family… ahhhhhh. Where to begin? Drama is a good word, but it seems so much more than that! I seem to have conversation after conversation of the same stuff, just rehashed. I feel like I should lock myself in a closet until everyone forgets I exist. Why can’t I just take the family members I want, and forget the others are related to me? I know that sounds horrible, because I AM horrible! I truly have feelings I have never had. Feelings I thought would be ‘water under the bridge’ by now. Instead these feelings are part of a huge brick wall, built so strongly it may never come down.
I feel torn between being a miserable willing participant of my family… or a happy yet awful person who is distant and cold. “just love them…just love them…blah, blah, blah” I’m not thinking that my unconditional love applies to anyone but my husband and children right now.

Church… I can’t even describe the pain associated with these feelings. After dealing with many issues, I try to get past things…move on. I throw my heart and soul into a calling I feel I belong in. As soon as I get comfortable, and think I’m good again… I find that some people aren’t exactly on my team.
I’m not sure why I’m surprised. It’s like family and neighbors… you never really know who’s being real. It’s amazing the things you find out when someone doesn’t think your behind them! I wish I hadn’t heard.

Work… let’s see… not getting paid for hours and hours of hard work. Unanswered phone calls. I love what I do, but not enough to do it for free!
Having an idea, (now six years in the making) and working hard to make something happen, only to have all the doors shut in your face, obstacle put in your way, people quit, and month after month of negative monthly income. Compiling a profit and loss report… wait… what’s a profit?

Neighborhood… it shouldn’t be hard. I try too hard. Waaaaaay too hard! The problem is, if I stop trying… I can’t complain that we don’t have friends. Is it a bad sign when you pull in the driveway and the neighbor runs into her house, afraid you might want to talk to her? Can’t blame her… the last time we talked, I chatted for almost an hour, oops! I was just trying… trying too hard that is! For some reason, I picture in my mind… a street where all the kids are out playing together, the Moms are gathered on the porch… discussing recipies and sharing funny stories about their kids, while the Dad’s stand in the driveway… talking about cars and complaining about work and their bosses. You know, just a typical PERFECT neighborhood, is that asking too much?

Friends… well, since I’m really struggling in all of the areas above… I can say I don’t have any friends to complain about! No, I have some friends. People I should spend all my time with, people I love being around, and would probably love being around me… but I don’t have time for them, because I’m spending all my time being miserable about the people who shouldn’t matter. I spend my energy trying to create or mend toxic relationships.
I’m afraid of trying too hard, afraid of what I’ll say or not say. I know that I’m perceived as outspoken… but when I stop speaking, I’m afraid to find out where I stand. I’m afraid that the people I think are friends, really aren’t. The people I think I can trust, hang me out to dry. So I just keep been outspoken… only I’m tired, and running out of things to say. At 30 years-old, you would think that I could have figured out the whole ‘social’ thing, how to be comfortable around others and secure with myself? Ha!

Can I start over? Could I just take each category and rewind? If I could, I would go back to the place where things started to go wrong. I wouldn’t try so hard with the neighbors. I wouldn’t work on things I knew wouldn’t be rewarding. I would learn to keep my mouth shut at church, and not be offended. I would keep my friends close, and my enemies closer. I never knew quite what that meant, but now I’m learning. I’m learning that some of the people who keep me close… may not be my friends. They might keep me close for other reasons! I would not share so much with my family, not say the things I think, or listen to what others think. I would keep a better distance, I would… well, if I went back far enough I could just not be born into my family!

I’m going to make a plan… a checklist of things I am going to remember. So when I get in a situation, I will actually have a list of do’s and don’ts. I need goals, something to achieve in each area. There has got to be a balance. I can handle one or even two of these areas at a time, but I can’t struggle with them all at once like this!
This is the spew before I gather everything up again. Hopefully finding ways to become smarter, and avoiding many of the pitfalls I currently find myself in. It seems that from the age of 20 to 30 I just made babies. I learned a lot in some areas, and made a mess in other areas. I love my kids, and my 20’s were very rewarding in many ways. I got older, but I’m not sure I grew up.
So, now I make my list, (a trait I inherited from my Grandma) a reminder of what‘s important. What I should let go of, and what I should try and change. My list will include the issues I have in each area, and how I plan to remedy things, and avoid them in the future. My goal will be to figure out a way to survive the next few weeks… or months. And my long term goal will be to have the next 30 years be a bit easier than the past 30 years.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

They say you should expect the unexpected

This past week, we took the kids down to Moab. We wanted to watch a friend of ours in a motorcycle race (dirt bike) and I thought it would be fun to make a camping trip out of it.
We had booked two nights in a hotel, one night before and one night after the race. We left early to get in some camping in, then I figured we could be spoiled by showers and real beds.

Here’s my background story…

Mr. Smith and I actually met on a camping trip. I thought it was good for a number of reasons, but I knew that if someone could be somewhat attracted to me when I was dirty, stinky, and smelly… it could only get better from there, right?
I have always been a big fan of the outdoors… I’m kind of a “go with the flow” person (or I used to be) and I liked things simple and fun. Camping was always great, I could just grab a few things… toothbrush/paste, extra tee shirt, extra pair of socks, and a sleeping bag… I could sleep anywhere! As I got more experienced, and as I got some more money, I invested in things like a small tent, a foam bed roll, a pack, and a skillet.
When I met Mr. Smith, I thought I was a pro… or at least somewhat knowledgeable.

Mr. Smith and I went camping every couple of weeks during the summer we met. We would just pick up and go. We cooked food over the fire, or just opened cans of Spaghetti O’s and called it good. Even the first year we were married, we didn’t stop camping.

The second summer we had together, I was pregnant, but we still frequented Arches, Canyonlands, Goblin Valley, etc.

After Smarty was born, we attempted a camping trip which was nothing short of a complete disaster! It was too hot for a baby during the day, she hated the hiking backpack, she needed two or three naps, and I was so worried she was going to fry in the sun. It got too cold at night, the wind blew so hard and loud the baby didn’t sleep, and the zipper on the tent broke. Needless to say… we spent most of the trip in the car! I found myself speaking words I never thought I’d say, “I will NEVER go camping with a baby EVER AGAIN!”

…so there’s the background.

We have gone on a few trips with the Go-Getter’s (my sister’s family), but I have not enjoyed camping like I used to. I have always had a baby over the past 9 years, at least up until the past couple. Somewhere along the line, camping has gotten much more complicated, and we need a TON of crap now!

A stove, dishes, flashlights AND a lantern, backpacks, first aid kits, extra water, a HUGE tent, bug spray, sunscreen, mass amounts of hand sanitizer, and actually planning meals and things to do… all of which I never thought of before I was a Mom! Not to mention…6 sleeping bags, 6 pillows, 6 pads or mattresses, 6 backpacks… where are you supposed to put all of it? We need a semi-truck to take all of our things with us!

So, getting to the point…
We get there, late of course, so the camping place we had wanted to stay at was full. (Which was even worse when the ranger said it “wasn’t full less than an hour ago”) We found another, more expensive campground.
The kids hadn’t eaten, so I thought we would be smart, and set-up all the food stuff and make dinner first. We still had at least an hour or two of full daylight to worry about setting up everything else.
As we were eating, a big gust of wind blew some stuff off of the table… I turned around to see black clouds coming towards us. Not just coming… but coming at a remarkable speed.
I yell “We HAVE to set up the tent if it’s going to rain!” So Mr. Smith and I leave all the food, grab the tarp, lay it out, grab the tent, lay it out. As we are unfolding the tent… it starts to sprinkle. At this point, I think we will be fine, the tent is easy to set up, and it’s just sprinkling! Within 60 seconds it starts raining so hard it felt like God was pouring buckets of water from the sky! I was soaked through every layer of clothing I had on… down to the skin. There was water in a constant drip off my chin!
As the tent is going up, everything was going wrong. Wrong clips, wrong pegs, the dirt was too soft to pound in the stakes. Now it was getting too WET to get the stakes in.
As it finally goes up, I remember that the rain guard has to be on for the top to be closed, otherwise it is just open… there are no zippers or windows, it HAS to have the cover on. We try to put it on… we can’t pull it all the way over. We try to clip it in… we use the wrong clips. We finally clip it… it’s backwards. We have to start over.
Everything was so wet at this point, the tent material was not easy to work with! Sometime around this point I realize the kids are still at the table, wet, shivering, with no place to go. As Mr. Smith puts them in the truck, he notices the air mattresses (and many of the other things in the back of his truck) are completely soaked!
We get the tent up and jump inside. I look around and see seven pools of standing water, and the rest of the tent just wet… totally wet.
When the rain let up a bit, we ran to the truck. We sat in the truck watching all our things getting rained on. Whatever part of our dinner was left… ruined. The pots and pans… filled with water. Even the roll of paper towels, useless.

By the time the rain stopped, it was almost dark. After going back and forth… more forth… we decide to pack it up and head into Moab. We just packed it up and checked into the first hotel we saw.
We had microwave s’mores, hot chocolate, and told stories with our flashlights.

Sassy Pants story…
“ONCE… there was me!”
“THEN… there was a go-stess” (ghost)
“and it GOT ME!”
“and I die-ded” (died)
She just gets right to the point… why mess with all the details, right?

So the rest of the weekend was fine, I was ornery, but that’s nothing new these days. The next day we hiked, and all the kids did so well. We did a one mile primitive trail loop, then we took them up to Delicate Arch. It’s a harder hike, three miles round-trip. I was especially proud of our Fruitcake. She was brave, and endured it all to the point of blisters on her feet. She didn’t complain or ask to be carried once! When I saw her limping I asked what the matter was, she said her feet hurt, but she said it like it was no big deal. She was such a trooper!
I told her how proud I was, she now says that hiking is “her talent!”

I guess I was disappointed in my own failure. I felt as if I gave up, it was easier to just take the easy road and not deal with all the obstacles. We could have had a great experience… granted a wet, cold and possibly miserable experience… but something unforgettable. It’s not like it would have killed us! I think that being outside your ’comfort zone’ is when you learn the most about yourself… and others. We could have bonded, and I still think we did. It was an unexpected situation, and the kids were warm and happy!

I feel like we need to try it again… like it didn’t count or something. This time I am ready. I will expect the unexpected...whatever that's supposed to mean. Anyone who knows me, knows I will take a challenge, so BRING IT ON!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Memorial Madness

If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell her is
“God’s crying”

And if she asks you why God is crying, another cute thing to tell her is,
“probably because of something you did”

(just kidding...I'm not that mean...most of the time)

I had one of those experiences over the holiday weekend that every parent fears… a moment you never forget, even if you want to. I assumes it deserves documenting, if only to remind me how quickly things can happen, and never to judge those seemingly ‘neglectful’ parents who’s children I feel sorry for.

We celebrated Memorial Day with the Smith’s this year.
Mr. Smith’s family has much more of a traditional Memorial Day than I ever had. It may have something to do with that fact that I’ve never really had anyone’s grave to visit, my Dad always being so far away, and just recently losing my first grandparent (who is buried 5 hours away).
I have always found it so strange that all of Mr. Smith’s family lives within the same County. Not Mr. Smith’s brother and sister’s… but ALL of the Smith’s. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, great-aunt’s, great-uncles, cousins, second cousins, etc. And the family member who moved out of the county (blame the person they married for that!) flys in for the summer, and calls on the telephone during family dinners. It’s different to me… but anyways…
We have narrowed the holiday celebrating down to Mr. Smith’s immediate family members. Which is always a good time, and the kids have cousins, so I was looking forward to it. So, after dinner, the kids are playing. The adults had just started playing games, and I was settling into that ‘happy place’. That place of a full-stomach, kids-are-occupied, adult-conversation, everyone’s-comfortable, no-time-constraint, happy place.
I can say that those are my favorite times, wherever, and whenever they happen… I think they are good for my sanity. So, as luck would have it, next thing I know… Sassy pants is standing next to me, with strange blue things around her mouth. The next thing I remember, we are driving to the ER.
Sassy Pants ate D-Con (rat poison)
The sort of thing you can expect from a toddler… but COME ON! It’s as if she came to me as my ‘child of trial.’ I love the girl dearly, but I can contribute almost any stress I have to her. I think God gave her a detailed list of things I needed to learn. A list of all my weaknesses and short-comings, the location of all my buttons and how to effectively push each and every one of them. She is the caboose, and I guess I have to get all my tests of love and patience.
Back to the poison…
I am completely, 100% unfamiliar with mice and/or traps. As a kid… I vaguely remember some peanut butter on one of those metal snap things. For all I knew, my child would either die before we got her medical attention, or she would have some disabling side-affects, and we’d just be glad she was alive!
As we drove through the rain, after dark, when we remembered how to get to the hospital…the one we’ve been to a million times…it seemed she would be okay.
I’m not sure if it was worse to be the driver or the one sitting in the back. Poor Mr. Smith was just as scared as I was, and I seemed to forget that he had ever driven before. I would tell him to “hurry, hurry…pass him!” Then when he would speed up, I yelled “Slow down! It’s raining! Be careful!” then ten seconds later I was back to “faster, pass him…we have to hurry!” Luckily, he loves me, and knew that my barking came from of a place of extreme love and fear…and it wasn’t directed at him. He used his mad skills and got us to the hospital in record time.
There’s not a finer moment, as a Mother, than entering the ER waiting room with your child in one hand and a box of rat poison in the other. The looks from a couple of the other women in the room seemed to shoot flaming arrows for all to see. The nod of their heads felt like I might as well had fed her the stuff myself. I wanted to throw up my stomach felt so sick. They got us right in, and the nurse took the box to the Doctor. She asked if I had called Poison Control. Ummmm…no….even though that’s what it says in big bold letters on the box.
A couple minutes (which felt like two years) later, she came back to tell us that while they definitely needed to treat her, she would be alright… she wouldn’t die in my arms. The nurse must have read my face like a book. I’m not good at hiding anything, so at this point she was treating me before treating the actual patient.
Well, needless-to-say, I got an education that night. D-Con is simply Coumadin…a blood thinner. After traumatic blood sucking needles, and drinking charcoal… I think Sassy Pants learned a lesson too! I think that experiencing the crazy black poop and those horrific black ‘skid marks’ sealed the deal. I dare say that she’ll never eat anything unfamiliar again. At least I hope.