I am a fighter!!

rocky

I am a fighter.. well, I’m not sure I believe it entirely but in some small way I am a fighter.  I’m choosing to celebrate and acknowledge that today, especially since what I want to do is the complete opposite.  I want to stay in bed and never see the sun.. at least for a few days.  I’m hoping in sharing the small ways I am a fighter, you will also see that you are a fighter.

  1.  I persevered and completed college at a great University (not Ivy League), but pretty damn good- in my opinion.  I got in on basically academic probation. It was called FFP (aka Freshmen fuck up program, as known by all the students).  I ended up graduating with a high B average.  Not bad for a fuck up!!! Not honors but whatever.  No one walks around with their GPA on their forehead, it’s meaningless people.
  2. I did not get accepted into graduate school on my first try.  I decided not to let that stop me and I took a class to improve my GRE score while also taking and acing a graduate course.  I applied again and got into that graduate school!
  3. I have difficult clients and families to work with in my occupation, and I could easily change clients.  I stick with every difficult family, in hopes of learning something and/or winning them over.  I think in my 15 years of working, I’ve only missed the mark with one mom.  Well, that I know of anyways.
  4. I stopped working out for a year but I haven’t given up. I started working out again and even joined a gym to keep me motivated.  Hey even if it’s once a week it counts.  I will not give up again! My health and sanity are important to me! I want to be around to bug my kids for a lot longer! I want to be able to run with my grandchildren and swing them around!
  5. I keep trying out for plays and doing pretty well-for an amateur
  6. I am still married 🙂  Just kidding, if you’re reading this hubby!  I’m so lucky you choose to put up with me daily!
  7. I continue to make my children play piano, even though I’d rather they give it up.  It would save us all some headaches!
  8. I get out of bed every day!  So what if you wake up before 7 a.m.  That’s all semantics, anyways.  I get up before 9 a.m. and that’s all that matters.
  9. On bad days, I drink some coffee or alcohol (depends on how bad it is) and I tell myself tomorrow is another day to get it right.  Shake it off, sista!!
  10. I face my demons… well, maybe I perseverate on them- but there’s that semantics again!!  The point is, I eventually stuff them away.  Hey even if it’s for a week- It’s a victory!!
  11. When I look around and get overwhelmed, I call in reinforcement: cleaning lady, handyman, landscapers.  I can’t do this on my own!
  12. My house may be messy during the week, but come weekend it is usually showroom ready!!
  13. Everyday I feel so lonely and disconnected but I make myself go out there, smile, and talk to people.  I often invite people over to avoid this feeling.
  14. I am constantly re-evaluating myself and figuring out how I can change and improve myself.  I’m not going down without a fight!

SO now that I shared with you some of my accomplishments over my demons. In true people pleasing fashion, I will end by telling you what I struggle with. I can’t end this with you thinking that I love myself.  I’m not comfortable with pride-It’s actually a sin I hear.  Things I need to work on: worrying about things I can’t control, trying to please others, feelings of inadequacy, and vanity (my self worth is not determined by my looks).  The last one is the hardest thing to deal with in this selfie lovin’ world.  I wish I could just take one selfie that I’m happy with.  No not happening, close ups are no good.  Push that camera back a foot or two people.

Please tell me what makes you a fighter???

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It Creeps Up On You!

Let me begin my cliche blog for today.  Sorry to bore you with this mommy stuff but it’s what I’m feeling right now.  I am sure others can relate.  The blogs are overflowing with first day of school moments from every mommy blogger out there.  So I am adding to the junk pile!

This stuff really creeps up on you!! I realize the gravity of this moment.  My third child has just entered school full day for the first time ever.  This is a milestone for both of us.  She now steps into the realm of becoming a grade-schooler and I-well, I’m just not a young stay at home mom anymore.  What the hell does that mean?  Who the hell am I?  I am constantly plagued with this question.  Some people really know who they are at an early age.  My whole life has been a constant struggle to figure this out.  Guess what I think?  That’s totally OK.  I love that I have spent my life constantly experiencing new things,  traveling and meeting all types of people.  I have always pushed myself out of my comfort zone.  I don’t fit a particular type and I think I might surprise people who actually take the time to get to know me.  My friends also don’t fit a particular type.  This can make things confusing in your own search for identity, but then again, it makes you realize that you don’t have to be just one thing.

So in this moment… this very brief moment.  Yes, I am a grieving mother.  I mean this in the exaggerated sense of the word.  No disrespect to those people who are truly grieving parents!  I walked into the mall the other day without my children and right smack dab in front of my face was the children’s playground.  It was filled with young moms and their little ones.  I loved the sound of the shrieks, laughter, and … yes, even the tantrums!  I literally stopped in my tracks at the entrance of the massive mall and did nothing.  I just took it in.  My eyes started to get glassy and it hit me.  Don’t get me wrong I was so excited to be shopping for a few hours without my children for nothing in particular!  However, I realized that part of my life was now over.  I would never have those moments again that all those new mom’s were having.  For a brief second, I hated them.  I wanted it back! Yes! I wanted to be at the mall with my children begging and bribing them to go to one more store.  Nursing in the family restroom and drinking smoothies because I had no time for a proper lunch.  I actually wanted that emotional roller coaster back!  You know why?, because amidst all the chaos there were the hugs and kisses.  There were the adoring looks and eyes of wonder.  My children brought me joy and gave me a purpose.  I was young and didn’t know what I was doing and that was exciting!  I met knew people and new families. Every day was a new adventure.

Today I walked away from my kids school for the first time leaving all of them.  They will be there all day and I will pick them up after seven hours.  This is my new adventure!  I will get back to me!  I will remember what it’s like to do things for myself.  I will work outside the home and watch my children grow up to be wonderful adults.  It’s our job to raise them in order to join the world and form their own adventures without us.  Now I get to focus on, my, next adventure… let them worry about theirs!

That’s today’s notion anyways….

Anita

 

New Day.. Same You!!

I would like to take this blog in a different direction.  Yes, it’s a new day and I’m changing some things but I’m still sharing my thoughts with you.  I know you may have been worried with my long break from blogging!  Right?  I know you were losing sleep over this.  Well, now you can relax.  I’m back and I’m changing things up a bit!

My plan for this next year in blogging will be to keep my posts short and sweet!  I’m not going to bore you anymore… I promise!!!    As my blog name states I am very purposeful: goal oriented, driven, and faith focused.  However, I am also confused:  Everyday and every hour I wear a different hat.  It’s hard to keep it all straight.  I live in the grey area of life.  I guess you would call me a liberal.  I don’t believe in black and white.  Unless we are truly talking about good and evil.  I think everyone can agree on these things.

I am not inspiring and I am not even thought provoking.  I don’t claim to be.  What I have always wanted out of this blog is to connect with others.  I think we can change ourselves in little ways for the better but we can never change who we inherently are.

Please if you are visiting my blog and want to connect please share who you are!  We want to hear it!

I’ll begin.  I’m a sensitive, fearful, neurotic, strong willed, open-minded, worldly, faith filled, emotional, cackling, go-getting, polite, empath, and generally speaking non-judgmental (unless you are judgmental and mean- then I will judge you!)

Who are you????? I don’t want your titles- I want you to describe yourself! We are so much more than these stupid titles we hold ourselves to.  Tell me the good, bad, and the ugly, that is you!

Dreams

Dreaming is what keeps you alive.  It keeps you going and gives you hope.  Some days your hope is shattered and dreams seem to be meant for the young.  Just keep dreaming, ’cause some books are meant to be short stories and some are destined to be novels.  Some are New York Times best sellers and some paperback trash.  Either way every story closes with “The End.”

Week One-Day Five: Join a Group

Yesterday, once again I had planned and desired to do something a bit different but I didn’t have time.  I bought an awesome new journal that says exactly what I want my 2016 to be like.

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The plan was to take 15-20 min and write some poetry.  I prefer to write when the desire comes but I think it’s also important to learn to be disciplined with the creative process and set some guidelines.  So at least, I did step #1 and got the journal.  I hope to spend some time with it tomorrow.  (Which is really going to be later today because I’m writing this entry about yesterday! Last night was busy!)

So anyhow, I technically did do something for myself last night.  I had my first rehearsal for the Shakespeare play I’m going to be in this coming March.  Wow! That was liberating!  The entire afternoon I had to deal with my “needy” children whining and complaining about my rules, asking me to find everything under the sun for them, in order to do their homework, while all three of them ask me questions at the same time! I was losing my mind, but in the back of my head there was peace.  I knew that my time would come tonight, when I would get to leave the house for three full hours and do something completely different that gives me such a huge rush!

Please, take my advice and join a group! I’m sorry— if you can sign your kids up for sports, music lessons, chess, art classes etc., and be the taxi driver for everyone- then you definitely deserve once a week to do something that excites you!!!!

Here are some examples of groups you can join:

  • local swim team
  • church group
  • groups at your library: creative writing, scrap booking, gardening
  • take a continuing education course at your local community college (Photography, dance, writing)
  • volunteer at a homeless shelter, home for children with special needs, at the hospital, or Feed my Starving Children
  • join a running group ( I don’t know how anyone could enjoy this- but to each his own!)
  • Sign up to learn a new language
  • Take music and/or singing lessons
  • Take Karate/self defense
  • Take an art class and learn to draw and/or paint
  • Join a yoga group
  • Learn how to ice skate or swim (then you are set for each season!)
  • Make your own group and ask the library if they will support you and allow you to meet there weekly
  • join a mom’s group or form your own

Whatever it is that you’ve been thinking about, but never thought you could find the time to do– just ignore those naysayers in your head– and DO IT!!!!

Is there something you admire or have always wanted to learn, since you were little, that keeps creeping back into your thoughts???????????

It’s your sub-conscious telling you something.  DO NOT ignore it again!

It’s trying to tell you where your passion lies!  Listen to that little child in your head.  Those are the dreams and aspirations that your little negative self shot down and tried to shut up.  The dreams are still alive and trying to become a reality! It is in your control to make it happen!

JUST DO IT!- IT REALLY IS THAT SIMPLE!

You will thank me later for this,

Anita

 

Week One-Day Four: Meditate

Wow! My mornings are always wonderful but as the day progresses I start to drown a bit.  Mornings are filled with either cleaning, working out, or part-time work.  I’m a speech therapist for children under the age of 3.  It is the most rewarding job.. most days.  Today was the best.  My little kiddo was so excited to see me!  She was laughing hysterically and shouting! Who wouldn’t love that to start off their day?

At lunch, I pick my 5 year old up from school and there begins my daily grind.  My time is no longer my own, but who’s is, right? Everybody else has to work an 8-5 job.  I shouldn’t complain. Still, at times I really don’t think I’m suited for this.  Every day is an emotional battle.  I work very hard to control myself and be a happy and kind person, but add three kids whining, pouting, complaining, debating, and making obnoxious noises to the mix and I’ve lost it.  I’m down in “funky town” trying not to lose my mind.  Funky town is that horrible place you go when you become some crazy person that looks nothing like you’re normal calm- cool self.  You aren’t showered, hair is looking like buckwheat, mis-matched socks, and pajama pants (oops- I thought I changed those before I went out!)  Anyways, from about 11:30-8:30 I just try to keep some sort of sanity so I don’t get taken away in a straight jacket kicking and screaming.  Calgon take me away is an understatement!!  The thoughts that enter my mind usually are:  Why does this have to be my life?  There must be some way out of this!!

Handling my children’s self-esteems and teaching them how to emotionally regulate so that they can be happy and functioning human beings is just too big of a responsibility and burden for me!  It’s just too much pressure!  Still, I signed up for this.  There is no way out.  I must choose to be happy.  The alternative sucks!

So what is making me happy today- meditating.  I found some great meditation CD’s at the old Borders bookstore many moons ago and still use them.  You can also find some great you tube videos to help if you like or just pop in whatever music you prefer.  I lit a candle, played my music and just breathed.  I suggest putting a sign on your door so no one interrupts you.  That is the key.

If you are taking 15-20 min. to yourself- It must be un-interrupted!!   Put this sign up on your door and explain to your kids that if the door handle so much as twitches or if the door is touched there may be some very pleasurable things taken away from them.

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I also took some time to pray.  I am a member of a church prayer group in which we pray for certain people every day.   It feels so great to pray for others.  After, I say the prayer group intentions I read from an inspirational/prayer or devotional book.  I love to do this because when it’s time for me to pray sometimes my mind goes blank, which is great for meditation but not so great for praying.

Here are some books that I am using right now:

Do you have any that you love ? Please share?

 

Let Go… Let God… And Let Your Child Travel Without You (Part two)

HAVE FAITH!

Yes, I have many fears but I also have courage and faith, which are stronger.   Here’s what I will do to prepare my heart for this challenge life has placed in front of me.  Continued from earlier this week….

So now what???  Doing something makes me feel better so I have to come up with a plan to cope.  With the help of the internet I have come up with some actions that will help keep me sane.

1. First and most importantly, remind yourself that our children are not our own.  They do not belong to us.  They were given to us on loan from our Father.  This is a very difficult concept for some but I truly believe this to be so.  Once you can come to terms with this much, of your anxiety will be lifted up off your shoulders.

Psalm 139:13-16-  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.                

Children are given to us as a gift from God.  It is our job to train their hearts and prepare them for Heaven.  God has a plan and we can trust him so there is no need to be anxious or worried.  We can cast our burdens and fears on Him and he will carry them.

Isaiah 41:10- So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

By letting your children go you are providing them with an opportunity to feel proud and confident:  If we shelter our children and live in fear for them we can never let them fly.  They will stay by our side and miss out on the many experiences in life.  They will not grow or be curious.  This will cause a lack of self-confidence.  This fear will make them believe that they are incapable of doing things on their own.  That they do not possess the wisdom and ingenuity to face any of life’s challenges.  Children need to be brave and courageous and if she pass our fears on to them this is impossible.

When teaching my daughter- who is also my last of three children- to ride her bike I was getting frustrated because it was taking her so long to get it.  I had to keep holding on to the back of the bike and I was starting to take it out on her.   I threatened that I would have to start letting go because she was never going to learn.  I was displacing my anger on her because I didn’t want to let her go.  I was afraid that she would fall and hurt herself.  I stopped right there in my tracks and asked for forgiveness.  I also realized that I needed to trust that she would be taken care of.  I needed to place her in His hands where she belonged.  Right then and there I made a conscious decision to do this.  The rest of the way home was probably our happiest moment together.  We laughed harder than ever before.  She lost her balance a few times but never her humor.   I trailed behind giggling hysterically, shouting words of praise and clapping enthusiastically.  “You got this Sofia!” Her eyes beamed with pride.  Thinking to herself, “I totally got this!”

2. Teach your child emergency strategies:  Have a discussion with your child about making sure to never be alone.  This will avoid any opportunities for getting lost or separated from the group.  Your child needs to be aware of the adults and where they are at all times.  They need to understand the importance of staying with someone.  If for some reason, they do become lost they have to know how to find help.  They should be given a cell phone if possible so that they can call 911 or the adults in their group.  The phone must be charged and they are in charge of keeping track of it.  If a cell phone is not an option, then give them a map with directions to the nearest hospital and/or police department, as well as, a list of emergency contacts.   They should also always carry cash on them in case of an emergency.  Finally, they should be aware of the people around them and only seek help from police authorities.  They should never get into a vehicle with a stranger.

3. Set up a communication plan:  Explain to your child how often and when you will be checking in.  Set this up with the adults in charge or just plan to call your child’s cell phone if that’s an option.  Letting your child know that you are thinking of them and that you are always there for them can relieve them of any anxieties and also help keep them grounded.  Be cautious about telling your child that you miss them.  This may add to anxieties or difficulties with separation.  Instead try just expressing your excitement for them on this new adventure.

4.  Write a letter and put it in their bag:  I can’t stress enough how important it is to stay connected to your child.  They will enter the world and be distracted by many things.  They may lose their way.   If you can stay connected it will help keep them grounded.  Well, ultimately it is in God’s hands but reminders are helpful.

5.  Prepare their hearts: You are doing a lot of planning for their physical safety but it’s most important to protect their spiritual safety.  Open their hearts with prayer.  Remind them to check in with God daily- who is always there to guide and protect.  Pray with them and ask God for courage and strength.  He always  provides for us.

Deuteronomy 31:6- Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Make a list of prayers and pray every day.   Do not underestimate the power of prayer.  It works!!  Yes, God has a plan and he is always there but when we pray we are connecting with our child and God simultaneously.  We can protect our children’s hearts through prayer.

God, Please watch over Antonio and his entire team while they travel.  May Antonio always know that you are in his heart and that your love is unconditional.  I pray that he loves you openly with all his heart, body, mind, and soul.  I pray that he will treat others respectfully and kindly.  That he will serve others, protect the weak,  and live a life with integrity and courage.  I entrust you with his life and soul to protect and guide to salvation.

How To Let Go… Let God… And Let Your Child Travel Without You (Part one)

bus picMy son Antonio is ten years old and will be taking a trip with his soccer team.  This is going to be a 10 hour bus ride out of the country, from the US to Toronto for a four day tournament.  We have never let our children sleep over at anyone’s house other than grandparents and aunts.   Words can not begin to express how terrified I am for this.  I will admit that I am neurotic and over-protective when it comes to this.

My husband and son are so extremely excited and apparently prepared for this next step in his soccer life but I am NOT on the same page.  I am very anxious and can’t stop thinking about it.  So the best thing to do is get advice from sane, calm, rational people on-line.  It was actually difficult for me to find help in this area which made me think it is definitely something I need to write about.  When I get anxious or stressed out I ALWAYS have to figure out how to solve my problem or eliminate my fears.  I have had such great success doing this through inspirational people and books I have found on-line.  So I did this again and have come up with some wonderful tips that I think are going to help me prepare for this big event and bring me some peace at the same time.

First, I need to acknowledge my fears.  I need to add a disclaimer right now!  They are irrational and extremely insane and I know this but still they are stuck in my brain and I can’t rationalize them out quite yet.

  • Routines and Hygiene: My son has an extremely difficult time completing routines.  As far as hygiene goes let’s just say he doesn’t quite see it’s importance right now!  He has gone to great lengths in finding maneuvers to trick me.  The running the toothbrush under the water no longer works!  I catch on quickly- but none the less he is not a quitter and he tries something new!
  • Physical safety: He carries an epi-pen because of nut allergies.  I hope that he is responsible enough to watch what he eats and has it near him at all times.  The other big piece of physical safety I realize deals with very irrational fears.  I am terrified of the stories I have heard in the media regarding kids being killed or sexually assaulted in the bathrooms while parents were only feet away.  My rational brain tells me the odds of this occurring are very slim, however, I continue to tell myself that I will not let this happen to our family.  I will not let him go to the washroom unattended until he is old enough to fight an attacker.  I will protect myself and him from this horrible tragedy in any way that I can.   After all, that’s my job as his parent and if I don’t do this I have failed miserably.
  • Emotional and spiritual safety: My son does not have a smart phone and our computer is in an open communal room in our house.  I am trying to shield him from images and words that he is not ready for.  I want to protect his innocence and his childhood.  I want to keep him in a bubble at least until he’s 12 or 14.  I haven’t quite decided yet when a good time to “pop the bubble” will be.  What if another team mate shows him a picture or video that is inappropriate.  All my work in protecting him will have been for nothing with just a 3 second video or image.

So now what???  Doing something makes me feel better so I have to come up with a plan to cope.  With the help of the internet I have come up with some actions that will help keep me sane.  Find out this week what those strategies are….

Actors needed!

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I’ve done it again!  This is definitely a pattern for me.   Some might say I’m a dreamer, an optimist, but I know that’s not true.  I’m the most pessimistic, unconfident person out there.  OK fine, I’ll agree with dreamer but nothing ever comes of my dreams.  So here I go again.  What am I doing on a community college campus?  What in the world did I get myself into?  Is this a mid-life crisis or something?  I had this great idea to take an acting class while my daughter is in kindergarten.  As I get out of my car, I realize it seemed like a much better idea in theory.  I start to feel a bit warm in my cheeks and try to not look around.  I just begin to smile and laugh.  I can’t believe I’m doing this.  I can’t believe I’m actually here.  I wish someone I knew could see or hear me now.  I hear music blaring from a car passing by and kids that look like they are not actually old enough to drive with their backpacks slung over one shoulder are on all sides of.  One student seriously whizzes by on a hands free segway (the invention claiming to be the hoverboard).  I find the building my class is in and after about 10 minutes going up and down the same staircases and back tracking down the same hallways I find my room.  That was a feat in itself!  This might have been the second sign from above that this was not a good idea- I think the man upstairs was telling me to get back in my car and go the hell home.  The first sign was the four parking lots and 15 minutes of driving around before I could actually park my car.  Some might say, “What ambition”, “What drive”, or “What perseverance”, but I know the reality is that I”m just dumb, crazy, and stubborn.  So…. in I go to an almost empty classroom with only chairs- no desks to hide in.  I smile and sit myself down hoping I might blend in, but who am I kidding I’m almost 40 and these kids I quite possibly could have babysat when I was in the eighth grade.

It’s in this class that I have to for the first time since I was a freshman in high school act out a scene from a play.  That was over 24 years ago!!!  Plus, I was only on the drama club for one year and I never actually performed in any real plays or musicals.  All I could think about was what an idiot I was.  Thoughts raced through my mind-none of them positive.  You’re shy! You’re socially awkward! You are quite and not much of a talker!  The only drama you express is in the comfort of your own home in front of your family.  Let’s not forget that you have no confidence, and that you are essentially a very boring and uninteresting person!  Plus, I think I might just lack emotion or affect in my voice.  I have a horribly monotone whining voice.  How the hell did I think taking an acting class was going to be a great idea!  It’s like a bad audition for American Idol.  Why doesn’t someone tell that person they suck!!!  None the less, I do it and I survive.  I think there were worse people than me but then again there’s no video to prove it.

So what’s the point here? What will I do now?  Well, in reality I really don’t know.  This is how most of my life goes.  I never really truly know what I’m going to do, but for now I will continue on.  I’ll finish this class even if it’s the most humiliating thing I ever do.  Maybe it will give me confidence, make me more exciting to talk to at parties, or who knows maybe it’s something that can actually be learned even at an old age.  I guess If there’s anything that I know about myself it’s that I’m not a quitter.  I want to see this through-give it a real shot.  It’s something I always regretted not pursuing.   Maybe it’s a bucket list thing, maybe it’s a mid-life crisis- but damn it- I’m gonna see this thing through.  I may be a complete and utter failure but I definitely am not a quitter.  So guess what?  The majority of people in this world are mediocre and average.  There are only a small percentage of people who are great and phenomenal.  These are only a select few.  So stop quitting just because you can’t be that dynamic 10% of the population.  What about the rest of us?  Join the masses but don’t be like everyone else.  Find your path, even if it’s a scary one and even if you might fail.  You might learn something along the way.  It might lead you to your true path, your purpose or your God given talent.  The point is you’ll never know if you sit in your house and do the same thing everyday.  Challenge yourself, get out of your comfort zone.  God does not want us to waste this life.  Keep trying to discover yourself.  Never give up!!  This is what makes life worth living.

Get out there and find your part.  I’ll let you know how mine pans out.