Tuesday, June 26, 2007

On the Plus side

Somehow through these dark moments I've been doing really well on Weight Watchers. Ordinarily I would eat everything in sight in order to bury the bad feelings. Attending meetings, as opposed to do it online, has really been good. I'm applying more of what I've learned, and really feel like I can do this. Yeah!

My sister and my nephew are coming for a visit on Friday. I can't wait to see them, and to see our kids play together! The baby is 18 months old and is going through a vocabulary explosion. Should be fun!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Fixing Leaks

Have you ever felt like you are trying to stop the water from coming through the dam, only there are too many holes for you to keep up with? That's what the last two months or so have felt like for me. I can't keep up with all of these holes. As soon as one hole seems repaired I spring a leak somewhere else. It's been hard to keep my head above water.

In the past few weeks I've had to force myself out of bed, force myself to interact with my husband, my children, to make good on my responsibilities. I had to pretend everything was ok for my son's birthday party and my mom's visit, for my volunteering stint at the kids' camp.

I drove past a sign at the entrance to a senior's trailer park that said Wake Up--Survive--Go to Bed. That's pretty much what I was doing, and instead of laughing, as those who hung the letters intended, I cried. I was overwhelmed by everything. Irritable. Wondering how to get out of this place in my mind.

I've often wondered, why does life seem so much harder for me than for other people? Why can't I just be happy? And then quickly shushed myself, telling myself that I have a wonderful life which should make me very happy, and that there are so many others who live much harder lives.

My therapist tells me that I've had Generalized Anxiety Disorder since I was a kid, and that while I have felt the affects of this that I've coped really well throughout my life. I feel relieved to hear this. Yes, there is something wrong with me. I'm not imagining the difficulties I perceive. The stomach aches are real. The jittery and wiped out feelings after being in certain situations are real.

I've worked harder to find the ways to explain what I've been going through to my husband. I'm not just a bitchy person. When I freak out, it is my trying to deal with the overload in my head. When I do nothing, it is not because I'm lazy, but because I'm paralyzed and can't see a way out. I had to tell him things I was embarrassed about, like considering how to end the pain when medicine and therapy don't seem like enough.

Yesterday I started feeling more like myself. Still overwhelmed, still anxious. But I got some things done. I felt spring in my step instead of dread. I'm paralyzed today, looking around my home, it seems doubtful that any cleaning I do can make any sort of difference. I'm still hopeful though, and I know that somehow, I can get through this.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I've never been good at goodbye. At the end of our annual visit to my grandparents in San Diego I would be in tears as we said goodbye before leaving for the airport. My parents would want one more picture, and I would inevitably be in tears.

Tonight we called my husband's sister and her family. Tomorrow they are moving from a town 2.5 hours away from us to Hawaii. When we saw them a few weeks ago I was very standoffish. I couldn't bear being close to them that weekend, knowing I'd have to say goodbye soon. Tonight I apologized for acting like a jerk when we had time together, and of course burst into tears. She's not just my sister-in-law, she's my friend. We can talk about pretty much anything. She may not have lived in my town for the past few years, but she is pretty much my closest friend geographically.

It's true what they say about anger--there is usually another emotion behind it. I thought I was angry at them, but truly, I'm just oh-so-sad.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Friendship Part II

When I wrote about Friendship the other day, I meant to talk about a theory of mine. I think that the internet is full of other folks who have a hard time making or keeping friends, with introverted people who want connection with other, but who need lots of time alone.

I met many women with new babies in the summer of 1999 online, when my son was born. Several of them have become my closest friends. We've met in RL, our families know and love each other too. We've been through subsequent pregnancies, and all kinds of ups and downs together. I'm so grateful I have them. But I still really yearn for someone who lives nearby, in the same county if not in the same town.

I took a step this week. I volunteered at my kids' camp for the past two weeks. The teacher I was helping was really fun to hang out with. I gave her my number and email address. I'm hoping we can get together and develop a friendship. I really hope to hear from her, but if not at least I've learned that it isn't so scary to try.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Blogging to Know You

This week's Getting to Know You is about blogging!

When did you begin your first blog and what inspired you to do so?
I started this blog in November, after reading Fussy's idea for NaBloPoMo.
I enjoy writing but didn't often take the time to do personal writing.

Do you have more than one blog? Why? How are they different?
Nope, just the one : )

How would you characterize your blog?

Or something else?
Hmm, a little bit crafty, a little bit mama-blog, a little bit mental health.

To paraphrase Oprah, what is "one thing you know for sure" about blogging?
I know that I've 'met' some pretty cool people blogging!
Is it important to you to get feedback in terms of comments or pings? Why or why not?
I love getting comments, I won't lie. It is nice to feel that someone out there is listening. Even without comments blogging is so valuable. It is something I make time for, for myself. It gives me a chance to write things I'm thinking about, when I might not pull out pen and paper to do so.
What 3 blogs would you recommend to our readers and why?
Hmm, three. This is going to be tough!
One of my favorite's is Krista's blog, The Silent K. She moves and inspires me with every post.
The Living Classroom is the journal of an amazing K-1 teacher. It is wonderful to read about her school and her students.
Shiso Mama is the blog of a wonderful, creative mama. She creates beautiful collages. Check it out! She shares photos and stories of her adorable and fashionable son, Otis.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


When I was a kid, my mother was always reassuring me that the day would come when making friends would be easier for me. Don't worry, she'd say, there are more kids in High School. Then, oh, in college you'll meet people you have more in common with. When you're a parent you'll meet lots of people in your new town.

Caroline at Potato Prints wrote about friendship today. Her drawing really resonates with me. Looking from the outside in, wanting to be a part of that closeness, or fun, and yet being too scared to step forward. It is so lonely.

When commenting to Caroline I realize: I've lived here for eight years. I don't think 'I'm new in town' is my problem anymore. My son is entering third grade and my daughter will attend kindergarten at the same school next year. I know friends won't just jump out and attach themselves to me. I do feel like I'm different than most people here. I grew up in a big city, most folks grew up in this small town. I encounter many folks who've learned racist attitudes from their parents. I cannot get close to someone who believes that type of thing. Where is my bosom buddy?

My daughter is very extroverted. I've had to stretch my boundaries for her. I need to do it more. It is hard for me to arrange play dates for my kids, and yet, how will they learn about friendship if I don't make it possible for them? Yes, they play with kids at school and camp, but we don't often have a child over to play.

Somehow I need to push myself out of this friendless zone, for myself.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Color Me Happy Swaparooni

Orange and Yellow Swaparooni

Looking for a fun swap? Consider joining OMSH's Color Me Happy Swaparooni. Colors for June are Orange and Yellow.

Check out the Flickr Group for info on joining.
I got some great stuff from Frugalmom
for the Pink and Green swap in May:

Green and Pink Swap 2

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Celebrate Eight






Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Today, Tomorrow, and Yesterday

Charlotte is the June host for CAC's Getting to Know You Day. Here is her fun prompt for today:

Where were you in 1987? In school? Working? Single? Married? Attached? What was important to you? What were you doing creatively? Tell us a bit about your life then.

In 1987 I was a junior in high school. I'd never had a boyfriend. My high school was huge, about 4000 kids, but I was in a small program within the school and took classes with the same 20 or so kids. By junior year we were like a big family. Our homeroom teacher was the best, he really took care of us. Being, um, nerdy we sometimes wanted to be marked absent from school so we could skip some of our classes to go home and study. So Mr. Larsen would mark us absent, we'd go to the class the exam was going to be in, and then go home to study. Being absent was less problematic than skipping. High School was more fun than Middle School, but looking back I still think of feeling nervous all the time.

Although I've always enjoyed creating things I was not involved in any crafty activities at the time.

Where were you in 1997? What would you like to share about the nineties?

In 1997 I was living in the greater Orlando area with my husband. We were just starting to think about trying to have a baby. I was still becoming adjusted to life in Florida :) Since we'd moved to Florida I'd been working in retail. By November of '97 I'd had enough, and when my dad offered me a job I took it. This November I'll have worked for him for ten years!

I think the 90's were about transition for me. I stopped being a student upon graduation from NYU. I moved to a new state for the first time in my life. I got married and we bought a home.

Where did you plan to be or think you'd be in 2007? Have your realized your goals? What is one thing about your present life you love and one you'd like to change?

I don't think I had any plans for 2007 : ) I've been going along with the flow for quite a while now (even when going with the flow has simply meant dealing with life as it is, anxiety and all). We have two wonderful (most of the time!) children. I'm working towards some goals now. I'm still figuring out what I want to be when I grow up : )

One thing I want to change is my work. Working for my dad has been great on many levels- my babies came to work with me. I can go to the store on my way to work. I can leave early for a doctor's appointment. But my father's work is his dream, not mine. It is awkward for me at times- he's so happy to have me at work, to know that he can count on me. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of enthusiasm for the work I'm doing. And that makes it very hard for me to get things done.

How do you see your life in 2017? Do you have any goals or dreams for your future?

I want to continue to learn and do new creative and crafty things. I hope to explore many things with my children and my husband- new countries, new adventures, plenty of travel. I hope that by 2017 I'll either be in school learning a new career or already working at one : ). Aaaack! I think in 2017 my oldest will be applying to college. Eeek. Can't think about that--he's turning 8 tomorrow!

The Things Kids Say

The scene: in the car on the last day of school, two weeks ago

Son: (excitedly) Mom, I'm going to third grade! My report card says I'm promoted!

Mom: (smiling bemusedly) That's awesome!