Thursday, April 30, 2009

Three Can #Suckit

Sweet Jeebus!

Coming up w/ a healthy lunch for my kid every day so she can take it to school in her cute little pink & green lunchbox (okay, it's not really a "box" per se, it's more of a canvas lunch bag, but you get the idea) is freaking HARD.

Oh hell, who am I kidding? Feeding this kid for any meal is hard. She doesn't eat. She hates everything I make her, even if she asked for it just 5 seconds ago. She doesn't want to drink anything either. She doesn't like juice. She doesn't want chocolate milk, so forget about regular milk! Water is rarely acceptable, unless it is in a sippy cup, no a drinking fountain, no a glass, no a sippy cup. And G-d forbid I ask her if she has to go pee, or poop, or to come over here right now before you get a spanking b/c I'm counting to three missy so come here right now instead of running down the block away from me you little stinker of an obstinate $#%^* child o'mine ...

Her answer is always a resounding ...

"NO!"

Also, her repeated NO's are almost always accompanied by maniacal fits of laughter &/or an evil grin that puts the very Devil's to shame.

Whomever it was that said the 2's were terrible? Yeah, they totally lied.

Hands down, the 3's are way worse. Worse still? She won't even be three until June people! I'm so screwed.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Arrogant, Smug & Self-Righteous... (raises hand)

"We, who have turned to Al-Anon, have often done so in despair, unable to believe in the possibility for change, unable to go on as we have before. We feel cheated out of a loving companion, over burdened with responsibilities, unwanted, unloved, and alone.

There are even those of us who are arrogant, smug, self-righteous, and dominating; but we come because we want, we need -- help.

While we may have been driven to Al-Anon by the behavior of an alcoholic friend, spouse or child, a brother, sister, or parent, we soon come to know that our own thinking has to change before we can make a new and successful approach to the problem of living. It is in Al-Anon that we learn to deal with our obsession, our anxiety, our anger, our denial, and our feelings of guilt. It is through the fellowship that we ease our emotional burdens by sharing our experience, strength, and hope with others. Little by little, we come to realize at our meetings that mush of our discomfort comes from our attitudes. We try to change these attitudes, learn about our responsibilities to ourselves, discover feelings of self-worth, love, and grow spiritually.


The emphasis begins to be lifted from the alcoholic and placed where we do have some power -- over our OWN lives
.

------------------------------------------------

It's been a long ass time since I went to an Alanon meeting. Certainly more than 2 years, b/c I remember exactly which meeting it was and how old Dex was at the time. I also remember how happy I was to be back in a room filled w/ alcoholics. I remember thinking, "Ah, I'm home again."

But before you say, "So what? That AA crap is for sissies!" let me just say that for a long time the 12-step community was a huge part of my life. And though I know it's not for everyone, it absolutely saved my life. I can only tell you what it was like for me to hear those folks sharing their experience, strength and hope in the meetings I attended every week. It was my "church" in many ways, I found a whole new G-d in those rooms, and that alone will endear me to Bill W. and Dr. Bob forever.

What qualified me for Alanon in the first place was my dad, an alcoholic by his own admission. He had long periods of "sobriety" throughout my childhood, but the behaviors of a mean drunk were always present, even when he was dry.

When I was about 10, esophogeal cancer & cerrhosis of the liver took my grandfather out in a very painful & dramatic fashion; strapped down to a bed & screaming at my dad to "please kill him"...

I have often wondered what it must have been like for my dad, growing up w/ an alcoholic & emotionally distant dad - which is exactly the kind of dad he ended up being. Somehow, picturing my dad as a little boy (who was loved & cherished once) makes it much easier for me to forgive his adult mistakes.

What must it have been like for my grandmother, trying to raise her son & manage some semblance of normalcy? What was it she saw in my grandfather that we couldn't? Was there a sweet little boy buried somewhere in him too (actually, I know there was b/c my grandfather was my hero when I was really little).

How was it for my mom when she married my dad? Why did she choose to jump on board the alcoholism band wagon? She had a favorite uncle who had a serious drinking problem (hence her attraction to my dad, I'm sure), but to go out and marry one? On purpose?!

Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to stand in judgment. I know exactly what it's like to love an alcoholic. My dad was just the first of many. Given our family history (note that my biological family history is eerily similar), it's no wonder I'm uniquely qualified to love alcoholics &/or addicts.

Honestly, I stopped going to meetings not b/c I don't believe in the miracle of the 12-steps, or in the power that program gives us when we work it, I stopped going b/c I started to get better. And once I got better, I didn't want to be surrounded by "sick" people anymore. I didn't want to replace one addiction (alcoholics) for another (program). I wanted program to be part of my life, not all of my life. I don't regret cutting meetings from my busy schedule. I still make sure I'm in conscious contact w/ G-d on a regular basis. That works for me. I also know right where to go if I start feeling a little shaky (like tonight) or if an active alcoholic starts wreaking havoc in my life again. I'll get my ass to a meeting, or pull out my tattered copy of the Big Book, toute de suite!

When my dad died last summer, I went so far as to smugly declare I didn't need program anymore b/c my qualifier was dead & therefore I was "cured"...

Wrong.

I'll never really be cured. Not of my crappy thinking anyway. All the stuff I learned growing up in an alcoholic household, that stuff is still with me. Granted, I don't have to DEFINE myself by it anymore. Having an alcoholic dad wasn't all that my childhood experience was, and certainly, being the child of an alcoholic isn't all that I am as an adult woman. I can choose to live a different life.

So yeah, I'm often arrogant, smug & self-righteous. We all are. It's not a character trait that I covet however. I'd much rather be thought of as respectful, funny and/or kind. The past month since I moved to Seattle (& all that led up to it) has been an emotional roller coaster ride, to say the least. I am struck by just how quickly I can revert to old behaviors & thinking.

So, what's my point?

My point is, change is hard. I don't like myself whatsoever when I focus on what OTHERS are saying or doing. It's none of my business. My only focus should be on me (& my daughter of course). It's the only place I do have any power, over my own life.

Yes, there are parts of my life that are rather out of my control right now, especially my house not being ready yet. I've been flailing around a bit, flipping & flopping like a good little Pisces. It's to be expected though right? Moving me (and my kid) to another state was a big damn deal. It wasn't some easy breezy la-dee-da thing I pulled out thin air!

I know that this is where I'm supposed to be, at least for right now. I know better than to assume MY plans are better than G-d's. Moving away from a strong support network within easy reach is a little unnerving. When you're 20-something, or don't have kids, eh. Not so much. But at 42, with a toddler in tow? Yikes! Much harder than I thought.

Mostly, I wasn't prepared for how lonely I'd actually feel. Thank G-d, it's not the same loneliness I felt back in CA. This is far more manageable by comparison & I also know this too shall pass. I just have to ride it out, learn from it, savor the discomfort of it even.

Anyway, I'm rambling. It's late. I don't even know where I wanted to go w/ this stupid post. I'm just glad I had a moments peace to actually write something down w/o interruption or exhaustion getting in my way. I'm also glad I have a little 12-Step wisdom to take w/ me into my dreams tonight. Here's hoping it knocks me out cold.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ho. Hum. Dee. Dum.

Sometimes I just bore the crap out of myself.

Like today. I haven't been feeling good for several weeks, if not months. Some of it is stress certainly. The rest I can attribute to my crappy diet, poor sleep cycles and my stupid Hashimoto's (thyroid) disease that has plagued me for the better part of 10 years.

Anyway, I am really happy to finally be in Seattle. I just wish I felt better. Then maybe I wouldn't bore myself (or you) quite so much. Or maybe I would.

Hmmmm. What was I saying?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

(Do-Re)-Mi Favorite Things



If you haven't seen this on YouTube yet, check it out! Share it. Save it. Re-play it whenever you're feeling sad or blue. Cry. Laugh. Get up off your fat arse, throw your arms in the air, and dance like ya just don't care. Give your co-worker in the next cube over a big fat jolly hug. Think of a pretty Julie Andrews and all those little blond Children-of-the-Austrian-Corn prancing around like crazy idiots in Alpine mountain meadows. Think of kittens and mittens and love and well, JOY dammit.

I was feeling kind of down. This. Made. My. Day.

And yes, I frackin' lurv "The Sound of Music"... hello, have you met me before?

SeaTown Update

The great news is, we made it to West Seattle! The other great news is that my little house has heat, plumbing, electrical, new windows & exterior doors. By next week it should also have the drywall & interior doors hung, which means the contractors can start moving a little faster on the finish work. The "bad" news is that I'm still not able to actually LIVE in it, so we've put our temp roots down in a vacation rental about 2 miles away (a sweet little 19-teens cottage). Crossing my fingers and toes that we'll be IN the house by Memorial Day -- or sooner, even if there is still more finish work to do (cabinets, paint, landscaping, etc.).

Will you please cross your fingers and toes for us too?

Kitchen window gets hung

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Monday, April 6, 2009

Leaving CA w/ an Aching in My Heart

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Spent my days with a woman unkind
Smoked my stuff and drank all my wine.

Made up my mind to make a new start

Going To California with an aching in my heart.

Someone told me there's a girl out there

with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair.
..

Going to California
- Led Zeppelin

Friday, April 3, 2009

Nasty Habits

Here's something to think about
Where would we be without
nasty habits, nasty habits

Makes me want to scream and shout

Life would be so dull without
nasty habits, nasty habits


"Nasty Habits"
- Oingo Boingo

I have a confession to make. I'm 42 years old & I still chew my fingernails (or more precisely, my cuticles). I've done this since I was a little girl. It used to make my mom completely INSANE. She tried everything to get me to stop, but nothing could keep me from it. Nothing.

Ok so yeah, I only chew on my cuticles nowadays, but still, it's pretty gross right? People have taken pictures of me w/ my hands stuffed in my face chewing away like I'm munching on a yummy snack. It's kind of horrifying to see the "evidence" there in living color. I don't know WHY I do it, other than it's a nervous habit that has just become a part of me, like a tic or something.

The reason I bring this up is b/c my daughter sucks her thumb. She never had a thing for a pacifier or a Binky & she's never been the kind of kid that needs a specific blanket or stuffed animal to go w/ her everywhere (thank G-d), but I'm kind of over the thumb sucking thing. She's cute as a button when she does it, there's this little dimple that forms in her cheek that is SO darling I wanna pinch her, but I have to admit it's starting to affect her teeth. And that reminds me of my brother, who sucked his thumb until he was a pre-teen. He had the whole works done on his teeth... headgear, braces, retainers, etc. Dex is already likely to end up w/ a mouth full of teeth straightening metal anyway b/c of her dad's side of the family, but man, it would sure be nice if she DIDN'T.

I know I can't control how her teeth turn out. But really, isn't there some way I can encourage her to stop sucking her thumb? Or should I just not worry about it unless she's still doing it when she reaches Kindergarten (she'll be three in June)?

Btw, I ask these questions while furiously chomping on my cuticles.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

First Stop

First stop on our 1,200 mile road trip to Seattle is... Las Vegas?

Yes, Vegas. We're stopping over there for a few days to see Dex's daddy & hang out before the big push to the PacNW. He's making the drive with us, thank goodness!

We're still working on our route post-Vegas; guess we'll just have to see where the road takes us. As long as it points northward-ish that is. We'll have a few days to figure it out since we're not actually leaving until Monday. I'm kind of looking forward to NOT thinking until then. My brain is utterly FRIED from the past month of moving plans & house selling stress (all while trying to remotely manage the major remodel going on at my house in Seattle).

Maybe I'll take a little break over at Red Rocks. A facial & a pedicure would sure be nice. So would a cold liquor drink & sticking my nose deep into a good book out by the pool. Dex's daddy should let me run away from Mommy Duty for a couple hours, right?

:-)