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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Stupid on an Organic Level

You know, one thing I really like about myself is that I enjoy people.   I don't just fake enjoy people, I really enjoy everything about them.  Very rarely do I find myself not liking someone and I try really hard to not let certain things get under my skin, because in my opinion whatever annoys me about someone else is probably way less annoying that half the things I do.  As I've gotten older, more and more things roll off my back and I like this part of aging.

But today, I'll confess to something that really, really gets on my nerves.  It's the "expert" mentality   The person who runs around shoving crap down your throat and in your face over and over and over, when they really have NO idea what they are talking about.  If you really ARE an expert, I'll sit at your feet and soak it up.  If you know something I don't, *awesome.*  I am very teachable and very much in love with learning.  If there's some bit of knowledge you can put in my pocket, I'm ever so grateful.

So, there's a blog written by someone I know.  This blog ticks me off.  Why you ask?  Because it's about health and nutrition and I know the person is trying to make money off this blog.  It implores it's readers to "get healthy" and "quit eating crap that will kill you...." and the like.  I'm sure you've all read stuff like that.  The advice varies depending on which agenda is being pushed and that's simply the way it goes.  That's also fine with me.  I'm smart enough to sort the chaff from the wheat.  So why does this blog get on my nerves...because this is a typical recipe you will see.

Super Duper Healthy Enchiladas

Organic cheese
Organic Hamburger
Organic Sour Creaam
Organic Green Chilis
White flour tortillas.

Enjoy this ORGANIC dish without guilt.

Okay, dude...we get it.  Organic is better for your health.  No pesticides=awesome.  But EVERY SINGLE RECIPE on the site replaces conventional ingredients with ORGANIC and most of them have something in them that is completely NOT FOOD.  Like white flour tortillas.  I'm not a food purist or snob, but this isn't a good food.  For those who are just trying to tweak their diets to include MORE GOOD and not less bad, this is totally okay, but the basic gyst of this alarmist blog is about surviving cancer and getting healthy and all that.  Organic Sweet Potato Pie with ORGANIC SUGAR is still bad news in terms of overall health.

But that's never addressed.  And it makes me crazy.

An organic dog turd is still a dog turd.  (But if it's GMO free, enjoy without guilt!)

I guess when it comes to people blogging about stuff like this, I feel like they should do a little more research and know what they are talking about.  What about our nation's epidemic of diabetes and insulin resistance? Our wide spread food allergies that are morphing from mere nuisance to deadly serious?  Having your organic cake and eating it too isn't the answer.  Ultimately, we all have to make decisions based on reality and I feel like preaching otherwise is irresponsible   Yes, people should be responsible for themselves s but when you demand the role of expert and leader, at least do it right.

For ME, organic sugar is out.  For good.  Honey is OUT and that's some GOOD stuff (my children still get it) and I am not so hyper focused on what I can't have, but what I SHOULD eat for my health.  I don't want my diet to look like everyone else's but with organic components.   (As a side note, have you ever noticed how people look at food as eating it makes them good or bad?  Like they'll say "I was bad today...I had chocolate cake..." That is interesting to me.  We don't say, when getting lower octane gas..."I was bad today, I got the cheap gas for my car..."  In that same vein, we really should be viewing it as whether or not we gave our tanks gas, or just water.  You aren't BAD for having chocolate cake.  There is no morality issue there.  It's a choice between FEEDING your body on a cellular level or simply FILLING it to feel full....but I digress)

I think I get angry because I get sick of fads, and of people saying if you do THIS you're going to be healthy and lose weight and float around on happy, cancer-free clouds (Another digression.  I am ALL ABOUT eating healthy and taking care of our bodies, and trying to get rid of cancer, but assigning a way to stave it off pisses me off.  It sort of downplays how random cancer can be and puts a whole lot of pressure on people who have it, essentially saying they could have prevented it.  I am sure we all know people who are perfectly healthy and do really well with their lifestyle and still get struck by the lighting known as cancer)

I know in the grand scheme of things, this is a moot point and probably a really stupid pet peeve, but it's definitely one I have.  If you want to be an expert, then BE AN EXPERT.  Don't be lazy about it.  Don't recycle the same shiz with pretty words and think you know what you are talking about.  And dude, don't try to make MONEY off of it.

However, if you're in the market for some b/s....I've got some organic pork rinds for sale ;)  Fried in organic lard, seasoned with organic salt.  Get your cancer fighting chiccorones right here.  Just call 1-800-FAT-YUMZ or visit my website at

Friday, April 26, 2013

Skeletons Need To Stretch Their Legs Too!!

Why keep 'em in the closet all the time?  That's not fun.

Seriously though, we all have them.  These bony little bastards hanging out in dark places, threatening to out us if we get too close to someone that likes us just the way we are.  It's kind of scary actually...thinking if people knew the WHOLE truth, they'd hate you.  We perpetuate this all the time when we chastise people for "airing their dirty laundry" in public, but how about the laundry that was dirty, that we're working diligently to get good and clean?  What about that laundry?  I feel like sometimes it's cathartic to share certain things that have hurt us, those we love and people we barely know...because sometimes when we share the hard stuff, we bless other people in the process.

Today, I'm ready to do just that.

A long time ago, I did something foolish.  Something very much "Not Me."  And the effects of that are still hanging around, in their own faint ways.

As most people know, seven years ago Jamie and I lost a baby boy.  That's it's own story.   When we left the hospital, we were given all sorts of pamplets about grief, and specifically about it's effects on marriage.  Pffft, I thought.  Maybe for OTHER couples not as close as Jamie and I.  We'd be JUST fine thankyouverymuch.  On the outside, I think we were.  Or looked like it.  We sort of went through the motions of life.  We had a lot go on in a very short time.

Wednesday-Sonogram showing baby not okay
Thursday- Waiting for an appointment to see specialist, Googling my way into sheer insanity
Friday early morning- waking up not being able to breathe, getting into specialist, getting confirmation
Saturday-Making arrangments
Sunday-Wanting to die, getting a phone call that Jamie's grandmother has suffered stroke on the way home from church
Monday-Getting stuff ready some more, being really upset about Jamie's grandma
Tuesday-Mom coming in to take care of the kids
Wednesday-Had Matthew, came home
Thursday-Laid in bed, cried, cuddled my kids, Jamie had to go take a test at college, seriously!!
Friday-Mom was too sick to come and help?  She wouldn't stay with us, but stayed down the road where there was a casino (hmmm....wink)
Saturday-HUGE blow up with my mother resulting in her storming out of the house shouting to my children "Bye, I'll never see you AGAIN."  Lovely.
Sunday-Jamie's grandmother passes away
Mon-Trying to figure out how to get Jamie back home, making phone calls
Tuesday-Planning a trip, we're ALL going (Less than 7 days postpartum....)
Wednesday-Buy the van that will get us all there (we couldn't all fit in our van after getting my nieces) and get on the road to Missouri
Thursday-Arrive in Missouri, funeral, I am dragged to the food get together with the whole family, despite my overwhelming protests that I DID NOT WANT TO GO.  But as it was with Jamie's family, my postpartum body, bleeding and exhausted should always cater to what was best for THEM.  Lovely, again.
Friday-Visit with family
Saturday-Back home

Exhausting.  In every single possible way.

And then we just started life as usual.  We fought more than usual.  Usually over Jamie forgetting to pick up Matthew's ashes.  He finally breaks down and admits he hasn't forgotten, he just can't face it.  I am angry, completely unable to help him through his grief, because my own is so deep.

A monthish later, the girls we are supposed to adopt leave.  In the middle of this, every Christian person I know has turned their back on me, chastising me for "aborting my baby" and not "taking in the orphans" as the Bible has directed us.  It was a swell time, let me tell you what.  I always love how people make judgments and think they can do better without having even one single fact about the circumstances.  Like the fact that those girls had serious issues and that one was asking to play with my son's penis and wouldn't stop.  So yeah, all one big ball of happiness ;)  Not.

Time marched on and I faced severe insomnia.  I couldn't sleep at all.  I stayed up really late, on the internet, working.  (I had a business at that time that was thriving.  Sometimes being up late was necessary in order to chat with clients overseas)  I did all this through Yahoo.  My business contacts were ALL, without exception, moms with small  businesses.  So, yeah I had my profile picture up on my page, and I was ALWAYS available for chat.

One evening, or very early morning, I was still awake, and decided to see what was up in the chat rooms.  I didn't know if they still even had real people in them or what, it had been forever since I chatted online.  So I persued the Parenting and Arts and Crafts forum.  Risque stuff right there.  But it WAS.  I was blown away that no matter what room I wandered into, I immediately got PMs saying "Hey there hottie, what are you wearing??? " and other such nonsense.

Until one dude just started chatting to me within the room.  He wasn't rude, or gross, or obnoxious.  Just "Hey how ya doing?  Yeah I have kids too, I hate Dora, and I don't even want to THINK about what's in Chicken McNuggets because we eat them 8 times a week."  Just  normal stuff.  Little did I know how good he was.  And that was it.  We just chit chatted.  He could have been male or female, it didn't matter.  It was interaction at 3 am, that I desperately needed.

Signed off, thought nothing about it.

Meanwhile, in our house, things weren't so good.  Our intimate life was suffering, for reasons I really can't pin down at all. Maybe I was afraid of being too close, getting too close, whatever.  I'm sure a counselor would have a field day with all the reasons that were there.  In a very heated argument, my husband made a statement that infuriated me and I can't even remember how it was said, but it was something about me being a prude now.  It was a cruel and hurtful thing to say, but in his defense, he was hurting and men get a lot of their love through physical attention.  I think his goal was to get me to realize how my with holding this was affecting him, but in the end I felt like 'Oh think I'm a prude??? I'll show you!!"  Now, in MY defense, I wasn't myself at all during this time.  I went CRAZY.  Dyed my hair, lost weight, smoked cigarettes  decided it was high time I tried pot (ha ha...high time,) routinely got my nails done, drove all over creation even though driving is something I hate, went to bartending school and got a job in a sleezy American Legion.

And I chatted with my new friend, and never once (at first) saw anything coming from it.  I was a Mom.  With a body nothing like it's 18 year old version and I just felt like there was this anti-sex forcefield around me.  I was immune to all that nonsense.  It was just chatting.  To day I was naive was an understatment.  I had gotten married so young and tucked safely under my husband's wing since I was 18.  I had no idea what men (and women) were capable of.

Long story short, it morphed very fast.  His intentions weren't pure and he drew me into considering the same.  I wasn't nurturing a fantasy of clandestine meetings or "secret love" but the idea that maybe I had just married the wrong guy, maybe this OTHER guy would make everything better.  Cliche, cliche, cliche.  A very painful, demoralizing cliche.  In the end, I told my husband and he was shattered.  It didn't get better before it got a whole lot worse and it was a horrible, horrible time.

On a Saturday, I felt really sick and Jamie asked me to go to the drugstore just to get a pregnancy test to see if we might be expecting a baby.  Even though we were fighting, we weren't totally frigid towards each other.  Lo and behold, those two lines announced Mallory's existence, and the second, the VERY SECOND I saw them, everything switched back on for me.  I was a Mom again.  It was the weirdest thing.  I got out my sewing machine and nested the entire nine months.  I sewed and quilted and decorated and cleaned and hugged my belly over and over again.  She didn't replace Matthew, but she did provide healing for me, in so many ways.

We really didn't talk about this that much once it was all said and done.  Jamie asked if I wanted that "other" guy and I truthfully said no.  It wasn't about him at all, it was this person who didn't see (see?  On the computer?  Not sure how that works, but whatever) the lady who had let her entire family and her entire FAITH family down by losing a baby and not adopting these two little girls.  I felt honestly like if I wasn't a good Mom, than what was I?  That's all I wanted to be good at (consequently, after finding out we were expecting Mallory, I was also ready to let go of the business I had built and I sold it for a not shabby price)  I just felt at the time like I wanted all that to go away.  I wanted a fresh start, but in the end, with a "fresh start" you can't bring all that you were and all that you've learned with you.  A fresh start is new, it's not an extension of everything you've been.

I really hurt Jamie and he really hurt me and we haven't dealt with it until now.  I explained I felt like he should have protected me to an extent.  Kept me from that grievous sin instead of allowing me to be "my own person."

When my mother had that huge fight with us (that started because we wouldn't spank our children over something stupid....we just didn't agree with her method of disciple or her reasons for it) she went home and told everyone that knew me that my husband "controlled me" and all sorts of other nonsense.  I am not sure where she got all this or what compelled her to lie in such a disgusting way (we're good now, but but it REALLY affected Jamie.  He knew he had a traditional wife, and I DID ask him before I bought anything big (and he did the same, but I digress) and I DID ask his opinion on things like what to eat for dinner, what dress to buy, what kind of flowers to know husband and wife things.  But he said that statement by my mother really shook him up and make him question if he WAS a controlling husband, that wasn't "letting" his wife do things and he felt like if he asked me to stop staying up late, and running around, he would just confirm that's the kind of husband he was.  And he said he couldn't stand the thought of being like that with me, because he loved me too much.

In the end, every single person in our circle let us down big time.  The "friend" who accused us aborting Matthew, my family who made this horrible situation about them and their feelings, his family for not realizing his wasn't strong enough to support them all in the loss of his grandmother because he had just lost his son (His mother actually chided him for not "being there" for his sister, dealing with the loss of her grandmother....I still want to ring her neck for that.  Hello he just lost his SON AND HIS GRANDMOTHER...why is NO ONE concerned with THAT??) Us for not realizing all that stuff about grief and marriage totally DID apply to us.

And I found out later this dude, the friendly one that just wanted to chat...then talk...then meet...then...whatever??  He was married to a lady I knew.  As in REALLY knew and he was a low down cheating SOB who did it a lot . I wasn't special to him but in order to entertain that idea, I hurt the person who I WAS special to.

And now you know at least a little more about my very imperfect self.  And my very imperfect husband.  And how much we truly do love each other and want to be with each other, faults and all ;)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

It Takes Two To Make A Thing Go Riiiighhhhttt....

It takes two to have a huge a$$ fight.

Seriously, this tune has been playing in my head all morning.  I know, cheesy, but true.

Yesterday was HORRIBLE.  Just horrible.  I was fighting with husband.  Or rather, discussing a fight we had in the middle of the night when my pent up rage, that I was trying to hold back until after Friday, unleashed itself on an unsuspecting husband long after we had both gone to bed.

What???  We FIGHT?  Uhm, yes. Yes, we do.  Wanna know what about?  Too bad.  That's private and it wouldn't make sense to anyone who doesn't know us.  You'd hear the words and be like "Seriously?  That's what you were arguing about?  That's dumb.." But to us, it's not.  That's because relationships have history and meaning and little things can become big before you know it and things that remain unresolved have a way of creeping back up demanding they be acknowledged and put to rest.  Issues are like ghosts, that while we think are dead, are just lingering, waiting to be exorcised from our consciousness   It's funny how we feel so pious when we choose to "forgive" or "let go" of something, not realizing how doing that offends our souls.  If we are wronged, even slightly, it really does need to be acknowledged.  Maybe not in a knock down drag out fight, but in a way that allows the other person to know what they've said or done has hurt us.  We think we are taking the high road when we choose to ignore or even condone a behavior, but really it's selfish.  We don't want the conflict, OR we gather those offenses like arrows, storing them up for the day when a full quiver can be unloaded into an unsuspecting target.  Neither of those help the other person, or our relationship grow.

Anyhoo, I didn't intend to go all philosophical this morning ;)  I wanted to discuss something else that sort of blows my mind.  Something I recalled while I was wallowing in my misery yesterday.  The thing that makes me want to tell people "Jamie and I are fighting and I am really sad and depressed about it" but gives me pause because no matter how mad I am at him, or he me, I will not throw him under the bus and paint him out to be some big jerk that is worthy of not only my wrath, but those of them who love me (Except for one person. She's totally allowed to acknowledge his jerkiness because she also tells me how wrong I am at times)

So I told someone a while ago.  "I am mad at Jamie.  He really crossed the line last night."  And I got asked if he HIT me.  What?? :)  The intentions were pure, and I get that.  My friend really was worried about me and I love that.  But when say "crossed the line" I simply meant his language was sassy and I didn't appreciate it.  He said I was "being bitchy."  He didn't even call me that NAME, just said I was acting like that. (and he was right, but dude, it made me upset.  We don't talk to each other like that)

It's hard when the whole world is so screwed up and you can't even be upset about a marital issue until it's that big.  Does he HIT you?  Did you find a secret stash of cocaine?  Is he cheating on you with a transvestite he met while preaching on the street corner?  Has he decided deodorant and toothpaste is against his religion??

No, no, no and ew.

We just fought.  We said mean things to each other.  We DID mean things to each other.  And when you love each other, that really, really hurts.  I don't function well with conflict.  I don't like looking in the mirror knowing I very adequately defended myself, but did so at the cost of losing who I really am.  I am not this mean, raging lunatic that says hurtful, nasty things.  He is not the type to do anything that makes me feel unloved or mistreated.  But we totally do go there and when we do we are both so miserable we can barely breathe.  There's this vacuum created and it's so lonely.  There are tears, and quietness, and talking about meaningless bullcrap when we REALLY just want to hug, and say sorry, and be okay with each other, yet we know it's not done.  We're both too wounded to finish discussing that which hurt us both, but we know until we do, it's still there.  There's a thorn in our paws that we know we have to get out, but we know that it will hurt when we do.  And it sucks.

This is marriage.  This is what happens when you live with someone for a long time and that someone knows you inside and out and can still step on your feet or your heart, or both.  There are times when I want to throw in the towel, and say "I'm going to.....go Walmart for FIVE hours and turn off my cell and then...then you'll be sorry!!" (Or I could threaten worse not because I want anything like that, but because I'm pretty sure that after a big fight there is no going back to before...but love has a funny way of bouncing back when it's simple human nature, and not something really scary, that causes the rift)

Two nights ago, I was furious.  Yesterday morning, I was super angry.  In the afternoon, I was worn out and by the evening I was so sad I could barely function.  We sat in the living room together, not really talking, him holding the baby, me crocheting.  I laid the rug I was working on down to see how big it was and if it was flat and I heard him speak.....I had to ask him to repeat it.  "You going to make it bigger?"   "Yeah...I'm going  to keep going for a while."  "That's really pretty, it's turning out nice."  Sigh.  I still love him.  He still loves me, I think and we'll be okay. Exhausted, but okay.

(I know this because I had a very vivid dream last night that I was pregnant.  Surely that's a sign right??)

And we all know where babies come from ;)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mexican Dude and the Burrito

So I posted about this on Facebook.  The Mexican Dude in a poncho, sitting on a lawn care trailer, eating a burrito while his (presumably) white dude employers sat in the cab, while they all ate foodz before taking on the busy, busy day taking care of people's yards.  I actually did a double take because the whole thing was so cliche.  I had a mixed bag of emotions and feelings.  You know how that goes.

We could talk about immigration and illegal aliens, or how unhealthy fast food burritos are and how the tin foil wrapping he was holding is going to ruin the planet, or even social injustice.  But that's not what struck me as amazing about the whole thing.  What I felt looking (briefly) at this dude, was how content he was with so little compared to what most Americans are.

None of think we are materialistic, but we are.  Just by being an American we really do hone in on the material objects we have, even if we don't obsess about them or worship them, we really DO enjoy them.  I tend to get along better with people who do seem to have a slight detachment to material objects and what status they may or may not paint about the person, but even those more humble individuals....they are also attracted to and are enjoying material objects day in and day out.  (Okay, I shouldn't hone in on AMERICA...this is probably true of any developed country where it's citizens enjoy this standard of living, but I've only been here so that's the only country I can speak intelligently about.)

And I just wondered WHY.

So I thought about this Mexican dude, probably living in a house with a lot of other people, with much less "stuff" than I have, but more people....and it seems to be most simpler societies (think Amish...) have more people and less stuff and then it hit me...."stuff" IS our community.  It's how we relate to one another.  It's how we know we fit in somewhere, somehow.  We may not know our neighbor, but we can see they have a house similar to ours, drive a car kind of like ours and dress kind of like we do, and we realize, we belong.  We have something in common.

When we get together with people we don't see often, we share about our lives and we enjoy talking about our commonalities.  At my last mom's night out...we laughed, and giggled and shared stories and I found out the lady next to me also liked yarn, and we had something to talk about.  It was something that connected us.  We'd leave at the end of the night not really knowing the ins and outs of each other's lives, but for a moment, we belonged to the same community and it felt nice.

Our things connect us.  They just do.  And I realized it doesn't make us surface, snobbish, materialistic evil people at all.  We just want to belong to something...bigger than ourselves, that we can tangibly touch and share.  Rather than allowing our "things" to replace people, we are building bridges with them, however simple that might be and at the root of it all, we really just want to connect.  With people.  Not things...people.

What an interesting concept.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Leader, Smleader.....

I am totally laughing at the title of this because it's kind of dumb.  But you get the point.

Apparently when Jamie made me tea last night, it was of the caffeinated variety and that kept me tossing and turning late into the night, which means I think about random crap.  Important stuff and trivial nonsense.  You know how that goes.

So I was thinking about how people always reference our government people as "leaders."  This is a pet peeve of mine.  The idea that we're all sheep and our government is the shepherd, even though in reality, they  should be the sheep.  They are paid.  By us.  To do a job.  Leading isn't one of them.  Know what I mean?  I mean seriously, they are no more qualified to be "leaders" than your next door neighbor (unless he or she is awesomesauce, but do you even KNOW your neighbor??)

When I think of the word LEADER, I think of someone who has or is doing something amazing to better our world and is reaching out to others to teach them to do it to.  My government?  Yeah, they are sorely lacking in all of that.

So I was thinking last night about my life and who I feel has made an impact on the business of daily living and I came up with a list of who I am personally marching to.

Of course, my faith plays a big part in all that I am and do, and anyone who reads this already knows that.  So we'll give a shout out to Jesus and his Word, and all the people who have written stuff about it that have impacted me.  The why I am going where I am going is rooted in all that.

And then there's Joel Salatin whose philosophy should be taught to everyone, in my humble opinion.  His model of farming and whatnot is something we've read and studied and are striving for right here on our homestead.  Totally leader material!!

The Yarn Harlot  I probably don't even need to go into this because you see the word "yarn" over there and assume.....she's about yarn or something.  Your partly right.  But she's also an amazing, talented and hilarious writer.  We'd be BFFs if we ever met.  I'm sure of it ;)

Ina May Gaskin  You can just feel the peace and love drifting off Ina May.  This pioneering midwife calls the US on their b/s when it comes to birthing and our outcomes.  Reading anything she's written or listening to her speak should piss off every single women in this country.  If you don't understand WHY midwifery and homebirth is so looked down upon in America, you just have to wake up and smell the dollar signs.  I am not saying every woman should eat granola and wear flowers while she births in her bathtub, but every woman should have the CHOICE to do so.  All the statistics that say it's unsafe are completely concocted to support a medical establishment that makes a huge amount of money on medicalizing birth.  If you think otherwise, do a little research into other developed nations and the birth model that is used in almost every country but ours and ask yourself why is homebirth only dangerous in America???  Does that seem stupid to anyone else?  Does to me!

John Taylor Gatto  This dude called out the school system for it's b/s too (I think I see a recurring theme.  I am kind of anti b/s) as he was getting an AWARD.  This completely sums up how I feel about our country's educational system.  If you're a teacher, I bow down to you.  I think you are amazing and how I feel about the SYSTEM in no way reflects how much I value your service.  That you can accomplish anything with the amount of red tape strapped around your body, mind and soul as you do this amazing job impresses me more than I can say!  Homeschoolers are not anti-teacher.  We're anti b/s and the "system."

Sidetracked Sisters  These are the original "Fly Ladies."  The books are hilarious and even though written so long ago, are still a refreshing look into the lives of us stay at home slackers.

And I don't really have any contenders for parenting advice, because....I think all people who try to cash in on parenting advice are doing a huge disservice to people.  I think it's all crap.  It's like animal care manuals...but for humans. And this annoys me.  People are all so different and children are just little humans. They are all different.  I feel like parenting advice shouldn't come in the form of pages written by someone you do not know, that does NOT know your child.  Parenting wisdom is like a baton and should be handed to one another, face to face.  I stick to topics when it comes to my "parenting leaders."  If I need some ideas about getting them to clean their room, I read about cleaning, not parenting. If I am looking for help getting a baby to sleep, I read about sleeping, not parenting.  I ask people I know that are a few steps ahead of the game what they've done.  I wish I would known this when I became a mom.  I fell for the "expert" stuff hook, line and sinker, but guess what? I'm the expert when it comes to my children ;)

I suppose we all takes turns in this lifetime being leaders and followers but I will say with some certainty that I don't look to our civil SERVANTS to lead us anywhere.

The power of words is an amazing thing and what we say and hear becomes truth on some level.  To that end, I think I'll start a new trend.  No more of this "Our government leaders" bullcrap.  From now on it will be "Our government servants..."  You know, just to keep it real ;)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Nice Girls Don't Talk About....That.

First, I have really been slacking on blogging.  My five readers are probably disappointed in me, but I'll do better in the future I promise ;)  I've had a lot on my mind, in my heart and been juggling a lot of things.  Life, for me, is ever changing.  Nothing stays the same and that kind of sucks because I love me some stability.  I like everything being as it is and as it will be so I can count on it.  Yet, I love changing things up from time to time and when I do, I experience this whole bi-polar thing of being super excited about the change while mourning it simultaneously.  Crazy much?  I say yes. But in a totally functioning way.

The hardest thing about struggling with something is realizing in the grand scheme of  everything, it's a minor problem.  Do you ever rationalize yourself out of feeling something because you realize that someone else would LOVE your "problem...?"  I do.  I beat myself up over feeling certain things and the feedback I get cements that I SHOULD be happy about certain things, and I am, I really am...but even happy things can leave you feeling unsettled.  But nice girls don't talk about stuff like do they?

But I'm me, and I talk about everything, regardless of how socially tacky it may be.  I figure if I am feeling something, someone out there might be too and to me it's worth the possible embarrassment if my confessions lead to a deeper understanding or at least one person admitting, they too, have been here.

So here's my dilemma.  I've been paid, lately, to write.  And I like writing.  But the second I got paid to do it, I started hating it.  Same story, different day.  But oh, the agony.  I like earning money.  I like seeing it add up and saying 'Hey, I earned that!"  It's kind of cool.  Until I do the math and realize that I made like .02 per hour.  Well, maybe that's a bit dramatic, but I do know that kids in huts making soccer balls are making more than me and that's really okay with me.  If it empowered me and refreshed me and made me happy, I wouldn't care.  I mean, I do a lot of things for free every day.  But it's not.  I feel a competition within myself to do this much a day, or that much a week.  And for what?  That's what I couldn't pin down.  Why was I doing this?

Internally I struggle with this day after day after day.  Somewhere in my brain I've decided money...or a number, determines best what I've contributed, or not, to my family.  If my family was in need of things, important things, perhaps this would be different, but the fact is....we just don't.  Shoot, we can always use MORE money...I don't know one person who can't, but true need?  Nope.  Not here. Not anymore.

And that's what's killing me right now.  I don't know how to do this thing.  I know how to be a penny pincher.  I'm good at that.  I know how to budget down to the last dime and keep everyone well fed, clothed appropriately and adequately educated/mentally stimulated (and socially acceptable most days)  But this idea of having to prioritize luxuries (thank you Kelli for giving me those words, that was EXACTLY what I was trying to say and couldn't get those words to form) is hard for me.  But you can't talk about things like that with people.  I've heard "Oh I wish I had THOSE problems..." and I get it.  Everyone thinks money will fix things and if they had "enough" everything would be all good and great and wonderful but that's not true.  It's just not.  I heard a saying once "If money can fix it, it's not really a problem."  Now, I get that you need money to live and to fix a flat tire and to stock the pantry, but when you really think about the life shattering stuff, money can't touch it.  That's what that quote meant and something I totally agree with.

The Bible says we can enjoy what we've worked for.  It also says to give.  But we did that long before we could "afford" to and we've got that base covered.  What I am not comfortable with, at this point, is being left with enough...and more...and deciding what that looks like or what to do with it.

And left with the idea that there really is nothing I could do that's more valuable to my family than being The  Mom.  I fought this and fought this and fought this.  Then, this past weekend, I picked up an old book I have on my shelf called The Happiness File  It's a book by the ladies that inspired the Fly Lady (back before I was born!!) and I got slapped in the face.  I'll paraphrase this, but basically it said "If you're only working to purchase a specific item...a new couch, a vacation, etc,'re doing it for materialistic reasons."  Now, if you read this and you work because you have to, don't get your panties in a bunch over this.  This isn't about that.  It was just saying if you have small children, do whatever you can to be home with them, to be their nurturer.  It wasn't downing working moms at all, just calling out those who are working for the wrong reasons.

I was sufficiently humbled.  I had to say to myself "Holy crap.  Me.  Melissa.  Materialistic."  Yup.  I guess I am because anything I've earned has bought SOMETHING.  (Shut up.  Yes, I bought yarn among other things)  Oh this stung.  It STINGS.  And I hate it.  I don't know what to do with it.

My husband has always encouraged me to do whatever I want to do.  He is especially focused on me nurturing my creative spirit.  The only thing he has ever had a problem with was my trying to earn money with it.  Because he's a mean, controlling ogre?  Well, let me share his thoughts with you and you can decide.  He has said things like:

"We're a team.  This isn't MY paycheck, it's ours.  My career is just as much about you as it is me..."

"If you want to do this to earn money you can, but at the end of the day, you need something that's JUST FOR YOU, and not anyone or anything else, and I would like you to consider doing it for that alone..."

Or, "You need to take a break. Nothing you HAVE to do, only something you WANT to do..."

But everything I have ever read about being a chick and being a wise wife and taking care of a family suggests that as the woman of the house, I should be contributing and don't even get me started on what she-man-women-man-haters think of the concept of a stay at home mom leaning (and thriving) on the salary of her MAN.  (To all you I say..remember I totally burned my bra, so pffftttt.)

Everything I love to do...I can do all I want, but the second I try to cash in on it I start to hate it, resent it and avoid it.  The hubster says to selfishly claim it as my own and find refreshment in all that I love to do...that my contribution to my family is being a Mom.  A good one.

And the messed up part is, if someone handed me a paycheck at the end of the week for doing it, I'd feel more valuable.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who's ever felt this way, and definitely not the last.  And I feel guilty for some odd reason that I love this life I have and somehow feel like I should be suffering and "working" so as to have value.  Why is that?