Oh Man. We got an offer on the condo today. Complete LOW BALL, but cash and also our first offer. What do we do? We are a group of siblings with families. We are paying monthly for a place we do not use. The easy answer is to sell. However, there is such sadness for me in this transaction. This condo is a place I LOVE. My family loves. I can't explain it, but the French Quarter is a place I feel brings out the humanitarian in my children. They recognize what needs to be done, who needs to be helped. They don't see the filth, and if they do, they don't "see it". Their focus is on the progress of how help and kindness can be offered. They "see" people. This is a gift I have given them. This is a gift their DAD and I have given them. To be kind, not judge, and just HELP people. Oh how I wish I could go back there right now. I want to help. I will find a way. I think the hardest thing will be that we don't have a place to stay, anymore...
Man it is COLD!! I have been cursed with a Raynaud's disease. I have low blood flow to my fingers when they get cold. I also get have it in my toes as well. This is incredibly painful, and as soon as the temp drops below 40, I am affected. Can I say, this totally sucks. It sucks for my poor pups. Lily is kind of a pansy, so she doesn't seem to mind as much, but then there is the Jack-man. POOR BOY. He lets go of a little steam by running outside often and barking at the random snowflakes or shadows he sees. I believe it is mostly just to annoy me so I pay attention to him.
Children will do anything to get attention. ANYTHING. They will be good, they will be bad. Attention is attention in a kids world. I have discovered it is the same with dogs. Let me back up here just a bit...
In December, my brother moved in with me. Now, I LOVE my brother, but he is living in my basement which is also my office. He has been kind enough to offer me to have my space whenever I need it, but I want to be respectful of him and let him have a space in our home to call his, while he awaits his move in date in the middle of March (PLUS, Brother, if you ever read this, it smells like boy down there).. Now I am doing my work in the main part of our house and have TONS of interruptions every day (not just from having someone else live in the house that is not currently working, but by my daughter who is taking online course, and mainly by my dogs.
This has been a big test on my patience, and also my job. It is difficult to explain, but I seriously need multiple hours of quiet in order to get serious work done. That means, UNINTERRUPTED, no one talks to me, no one asks me to do things, looks over my shoulders while I work on my computer in the kitchen, no one asks me to drive them places, and nobody gets in my way :)
My brain flourishes on peace and being able to get in my zone. There is nothing harder for me than to be right in the middle of something and then be interrupted because I have to go and do something for someone else. EVEN as simple as letting my dogs out because I have to shut the door that gives them access to the doggy door because it is SO COLD!!!
I ask myself, why am I on a rant? Well, because this is the only place for me to really do that at this moment. What does this have to do with my dogs and the lessons I learn from them? Hmmmm........
1. Sometimes I need to throw a "barking" tantrum in order to get attention that gives me the desired outcome I want (alone time, which I know is NOT what my dogs want).
2. Sometimes I wish life were as simple as looking for the ray of sunshine just to lie down in and relax.
Number 2 makes me wonder why it cannot be. Well, because of my nature, I aim to please and with that aim gives me great stress. I try and relax about it, but man it is hard!!
I am thankful for my family. I am thankful I have 3 beautiful, amazing, and healthy children. I am thankful for my loving, supportive, handsome, and "everything I could ask for", husband. I am thankful we have the means and patience to help my brother with a place to live while he awaits his new location. I am thankful that when I do sit down and relax I am instantly greeted by my 2 favorite wiener dogs who burrow under the blanket on either side of me and just LOVE me for being their warm human mama. I am thankful for so much and I do realize that my need to please has helped shape all the things in life I get to list as being thankful for.
Wow. I can't believe I haven't written in here since November. Thank goodness I have my little yellow journal!
I got hit with the tummy bug. I have been working on bringing my body back to a normal state and not running so high on adrenaline. Due to this change, and the supplements I have been taking, I have been sick twice in the last month.....
After 2 days in bed, a lot of trips to the bathroom, and now a backache, I am upright and typing.
Kaia has a gymnastics meet today. She suffered a concussion on the 1st of January when her head met with a pillow and a hidden iphone charger inside. CRAZY fluke accident, but nonetheless scary. I am thankful she is okay. It could have been a lot worse. I can't think about the "what if's" though. I just can't.
There truly is nothing like the love of a child towards a mom and the love of a mom towards a child. I pray everyday my children are safe and live long, healthy, and fulfilled lives. I want lots of grandbabies I can snuggle on (when they are older), and I want my amazing husband, John and I to experience this together.
Back to being a mom. Last night when I was absolutely miserable from my tummy bug, Kaia and I laid in bed and watched a really stupid movie, then refreshing episodes of Modern Family. She has her first meet today and she cannot compete, but can act as the team manager. She asked me if I would be able to go. I told her I would really have to see how I was feeling in the morning, but no matter what I would get her there and the other mom's would make sure she was taken good care of.
This a.m. as I was getting my water ready to drink I heard this small voice from upstairs say, "Mom, are you feeling better?". I answered, "I am upright". Then I asked her, "Is the underlying question really, am I going to be able to go to the meet with you?". Of course her answer was "YES". I cannot tell you enough how this simple exchange made my heart feel. Kaia knows she will be taken care of my the squad mommies, but in her heart she is comforted more by knowing I will be able to join her, and be the one that looks out for her. I know that probably sounds like it's obvious, but at the age of 13 and being my baby of the 3, there is just something so extra comforting about the need to still want me there.
Having said that. I am so blessed to have the children that I have. Both my other babies have expressed the same desire and need to have me attend certain life experiences. Even if I am not standing by their side, just having me near brings comfort to them, and for that I am so blessed to be a mom.
Today I am venting. I hate drama and yesterday my husband said I was the drama causer of the family. Actually what he really said is I ADD to the drama.
I am trying to sort my thoughts out because I don't even want to talk to him right now. He is supposed to have my back right? Well.....In my blended family I have 2 step sisters that snap at each other like 2 little old ladies. This makes my mom tense and everyone else around them frustrated. Over our 25 years together, John has decided he doesn't even want to be around them.
For whatever reason, I seem to be the scapegoat for people to talk about. When our families were smaller, we would all stay at my mom's for Christmas. Now that the kids are bigger, my immediate family has been staying at my sister's house 10 minutes away. You would think this would help lessening the group volume in the house, but apparently, it has made things worse.
When we depart on Christmas night, apparently there are hard feelings which is so stupid because we are just going back to Erin's to sleep. NOT tie one on with a raging leave everyone out party.
Last year I had enough, so I had our family stay at my mom's for the entire time and guess what, the only drama that happened was the yearly "feel sorry for me cry fest" my sister Michele has every year. It is like she realizes how miserable she is when she is with all of us and we don't give her enough attention, so she has to cry and whine about how miserable she is causing us all to be miserable. Last year I totally ignored her. TOTALLY.
Because we stayed at mom's there was no drama from our family because we didn't give the other sister's anything to talk about.
Well, John made it very clear to me the other day that he doesn't want to stay at my mom's and I add to the drama. BUT......... I add to the drama when I leave, I add to the drama when I stay, I just can't win in this stupid fucking drama department.
I just don't know what to do. I am hoping writing this will bring me some clarity. If I tell mom we are not staying because the sisters act like old hens, then she feels bad because she really wants me to stay. If I don't stay and don't offer any reason, than the hens have a major case of FOMO (fear of missing out for all you who don't know what that means :) ). If we stay then my husband is miserable causing me to have mixed feelings in my chest and heart and now allowing me to fully enjoy myself because I have to watch what I say, what I do, EVERYTHING, because now I know he thinks I add to the drama...
I don't know what the answer is. I really don't. My head at the moment is saying to call Amy and let her know my concerns, but as much as she thinks she is a secret keeper, she is not. It gets out someone giving reason to gossip in the chicken coop. My mom wants me to be home. She likes my help and she likes the neutralness that I contribute, and she likes my company. I want to be with my mom. There. I just got the answer. I want to be with my mom. Especially after losing my dad this past year, I really realize I want to be around her as much as possible at the holidays and If that causes problems with my husband, then actually he can 100% fuck off. Seriously, I really do love him and he is awesome, but seriously. The pain I feel in my head and my heart is almost unbearable at times and he doesn't see to get it.
That is all I have for today.
When I first read the definition, my mind read "disturbed" instead of distributed. Ha. I feel like disturbed is more appropriate. It is how I have been feeling and I can't put it into vocalization to other people in a way that makes sense, or in a way people can offer me proper advice. Believe me, I have tried. The only thing I can say to people is I am in a strange "head space" right now, but honestly, I don't know how to describe it.
I know I should quit saying it is because of the emotional build up of losing my Dad., but honestly, it is. I find myself in a funk so many times. I see him driving cars when I am out running errands. I even saw a bumper sticker that said "rand" on my way home from dropping the kids at school. Rand. That was Kerry's nickname for my dad. I honestly miss my Stepmom, Kerry often times just as much. I know Kerry knows that from Heaven. I know. She shows up every once in awhile to let me know she is here and watching. I just wish she would show up a bit more. Maybe even bring my dad along.
With my brother being in his unstable place, and sister just having her first baby, I know their attention is diverted and they are protecting and watching when they can. I just honestly want them in my kitchen drinking coffee, or maybe even a Gin and Tonic (if it is happy hour time, although, Kerry's happy hour started a wee bit before most people's).
So why "Thistle"?
Yesterday when I was on a walk with the dogs we took a different path. They are building a new apartment complex near my house and Jackson is very confused as to where the path through the woods went. He tries to lead me through the construction site every time we go in that direction. It is like he is experiencing a bit of loss and if he revisits it enough times, what he is missing will return. Wow. Can I relate to that or what??
Well, the woods are gone, and the remnants of a path are unsafe to walk on, so I chose to walk him around the grassy area that surrounds the construction site.
It was 45 degrees and beautiful, but the wind was a little nippy and wimpy psycho sausage, Lily really wanted to go home. She is all sweet and simple, but her anxiety is another book I should really write.
I noticed Jackson sitting down and licking his paw. He never does that on walks unless there is something stuck in there. I tried to feel for something and couldn't so I encouraged him to continue walking. When he sat again, I knew we should turn back so I could do some digging in the warmth of the house. Since he was walking okay, I did not feel the need to carry his fluffy 14 lb butt the last mile. On our way home, Jack stopped at least 4 more times frantically licking his paw. He is very ticklish and when I tried to help, he would kick and pull it away. Again, he seemed to be walking fine in between his lick stops, so we continued on our way.
When we returned home, my driving duties with the kids resumed and I myself got a little "squirreled" on Jackson's paw issue. It wasn't until I was home later in the evening that I sat down to give him his good daily rub. To my complete heartbreak, he was COVERED in thistles all over his belly. I knew that is what I would find if I searched in between the long hair of his toes and dug in the pads. These thistles were small and very prickly.
I sat on the floor and picked out all the belly ones and then moved onto the paw. His left paw was fine, still ticklish, but fine. Then I felt it. There it was. Deep inside the soft pads of his right back paw. The poor guy had walked that last mile with this "disturbed" daisy thistle poking him. It took the help of my boy Quinn, to hold him down so I could pick it out. When I removed it, I let him smell it. He likes to smell everything I pull from his fur even if it is a matted chunk of his own brown softness. It kind of reminds me of when a kid has to watch the toilet flush to see what the heck just dropped out of their little body. "Good bye gross poop". Anyway, Jackson was now free of the thorny little disturbed part of the sweet and happy daisy flower. He snuggled up in his bed with my new soft blanket, and went back to doggie dreamland.
So back to the "Rand". As soon as I saw that bumper sticker, I realized I needed to write about Jackson today. First of all, the daisy is my favorite flower. FAVORITE. They are happy, beautiful, and when planted in your garden, they are stubborn and will continue growing (no matter how much you try and "weed them down", shining their beautiful faces towards the sun and to anyone who will look at them, (actually how I see myself a lot of the time). However, underneath one of the species of the daisy lies this little sticky thistle that hides inside, poking and hurting when you don't expect it, but also allowing you to continue "walking like normal" in front of those who don't know the internal pain you really may be feeling. Sound familiar?
Once again Jackson showed me something on our walk. He showed me that he can pick his paws up and continue moving forward one step at a time. He showed me that it is okay to stop and "lick your wound". He showed me that every time he licked his wound he would feel better for a little bit, until the walking forward became difficult and a little painful and he needed to stop and take a rest, lick, and then keep moving.
On our thistle walk, Jackson taught me that it is okay for me to have good days and bad days. It is okay for me to walk in front of people not showing the pain I really feel, and allowing myself to stop and be vulnerable in front of those who know and love me. I am still learning that the "rest and lick" times will still come and that they will be less and less over time. However, if I don't acknowledge when the pain and sadness are there, then that little thistle will dig itself in deeper and deeper until it makes my feet more difficult to step one in front of the other.
If only life were as simple as my long haired wiener dog's life. Have your "Mama" pick the thistle out and then go run and chase more squirrels. My thistle is still there poking at me. Some days more than others, but from the lesson I just learned from Jackson, I will keep putting one foot in front of the other until the thistle stops poking so hard. Thanks Jack. You are truly my brown haired little buddy.
Apparently there are a few drafts that are blank. I did not know that every time I open a "new post" box and then fail to write anything, it saves as a draft. Just goes to show how I have not been in a writing "mood" lately.
I know I need to begin again. I know I need writing to cleanse my soul and heal from the inner pain I cannot seem to stop. I can put band aids on it; reading books, going for a walk, drinking wine, but it is always still there.
I cannot stop this pain I feel for the loss of my dad. Man, I miss him EVERYDAY!!! I do have a little journal I have written in since his passing, but even that has been collecting dust lately.
Now it is Brother Zach. A part of my soul is missing and I feel it everyday. The stars aligned on the day Zach was born, bringing him into the same place in the galaxy where my soul resides. We share something special and that bond was tarnished in June when Claire and I had to put him into Detox. He gave us no choice. We were terrified for his safety and were hoping someone would just help him.
I am coming to realize that there may not be anyone who can help him. Actually, I know the only person who can help Zach is himself. He is on a road to hitting rock bottom and I pray to GOD, when he hits, he will still be alive. I can't imagine my life without my brother in it. It is funny I can even say that considering he has not had normal contact with me since June. I should be used to this by now, but I am not. I am NOT at all. Even if we didn't talk weekly, we still connected through social media. We both knew the other was there. Now he doesn't even respond.
I had a dream last week. Zach was clean. I know that sounds funny, but his hair was clean, blond and shiny, his skin looked great, and his beard was trimmed. He looked angelic and really peaceful. It actually scared me. I woke up thinking he had died.
Seriously. I need my brother to heal. He has so many people in his life and it terrifies me that he is shutting us all out.
THe day the box arrived I had an overwhelming feeling of sadness. I felt as if there was a little bit of my dad, arriving at my house. His possessions. The things he purchase, used, and loved. Sitting in a box in my driveway.
So, just for the record. I started taking a new vitamin from a company that says their products work. It changed my brain. I started feeling dizzy. I started feeling like I had vertigo. I went off the vitamin, but I am still feeling the vertigo. I am scared to tell the doctor about it because I fear there may be something more serious. However, I should tell the doctor because then if there is something more serious, I can get help. I live for the most part, daily without constant vertigo, I feel like it may be getting worse. I don't like this. I just wanted to get that on record.
Sometimes it is difficult to see what is right in front of you....
Sometimes it is difficult to see what is right in front of you. Today when Jackson and I were walking, we decided to take a different path. The first thing I noticed was a red cardinal. I took this as a sign that my dad was saying COME ON... Get writing!!! "I know, I know", I said in my mind as I always do when I am reminded of what I NEED to be doing.
I started the walk without my phone because I wanted to think of the training I have to record for my monthly meeting on Sunday. Then as I watched my dog walk PAST a bunny who was quietly eating grass 10 feet way, it occurred to me. Sometimes it is difficult to see what is RIGHT IN YOUR VIEW. This inspired me and made my mind start to think on a different path.
Jackson is always looking for squirrels. He LIVES to see one run across the road, run up a tree, sit on the fence, ANYTHING. He is always looking. ALWAYS. However, when he missed seeing this bunny today (now keep in mind, it is a dachsunds innate sense to hunt rabbits), I realized how this applies to so many people and so many areas of life. How many people are out there looking for something. They think they have the answer, think they know what they need, when really the answer is right in front of them, but is so subtle they easily miss it. I know I am guilty of that.
Currently, my company is doing a special promotion sign on month. This is an opportunity to invite people to be part of an amazing company with a heart felt mission. It is a time where "CHANGE MAKING" happens, just by saying the words "Have you ever thought about getting paid for talking about something you love?" OR, "You know, you would be really good at sharing these products. Have you ever considered trying out the business"? It is a time to not be picky about who you offer and ask, and it actually helps people who are less confident in offering the biz in the first place. SO, why the bunny story? Well, I think people are looking for "certain" types of people (squirrels) to invite to their team. They look at someone, decide before they ask; that person doesn't have the right "look", or " they seem to busy", or "they seem a little a little too good for their own britches" (I sounded like my mom there). Point being, NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY IT'S COVER. Just because people may seem to have it all together on the outside, it does not mean they do on the inside. You never know who is; trying to make ends meet, trying to find something for themselves, one or 2 paychecks away from bankruptcy. We don't know who these people are. We don't know who has a kid at home with allergies and they have tried everything without success. We just don't know who is going to FLY with the business and how their life will be changed. We just don't know. Think about this... Don't just look for the energetic squirrel. Watch for the quiet bunny. Jackson was looking for the squirrel he could chase. What he missed was the bunny who hops faster and can jump higher than any squirrel. Open your range of sight to see what or WHO you are missing that may be quietly watching you and just waiting for you to engage them in a thrilling new adventure. We as people can all be CHANGE MAKERS. How many lives are you going to change?
My team is going for a big promotion. Vice President Sales Leader. Yes, That is what the title of our team will be. HOWEVER, I get to carry that title personally and represent my team. I get to rally everyone, get them excited, and give them the WANT to want to do this. I get to, or should I say, I HAVE to ask 200 girls to place an order of $250... In my head, I know they should just do it right? Well, not everyone sees the value of this, and I want to tell them and remind them of when they started and the time I invested in them to help get them started. This is just a part of being on a team like this. This is part of the job and privilege of getting the discount. However, it is not this easy and I was reminded of that today by Jackson.
The last time I wrote in this blog about Jack was when he spotted a squirrel. He as SO excited! The squirrels were back. Well, I live in Minnesota and it got cold again, so the squirrels went back into hiding. However, Jackson remembers that day and now every day we drive in the car and pass the corner where he saw the squirrel, he begins to whine. For the rest of our short car ride to get his human siblings to school he stares out the window, shaking, whining, and watching the side of the road with his head and eyes, starting at the front of the window and moving towards the back of the window. Back and forth, back and forth. He has a slight wag in his tail showing he is still happy, but his confidence is a little waned. He caught a glimpse, and now he is just waiting AND waiting to catch that glimpse again so his hope is renewed and he is confident the squirrel population is not extinct just because he wants them SO bad.
It occurred to me this is how I feel this month during the promotion. Back in December, I caught a glimmer of hope that this team was indeed ready to promote. There was hope with the numbers coming in and the interest to place orders. I saw the team come to life and I began to believe this was possible.
Now, here I am, in the middle of the month 25% of the way there, and I feel like that whiny squirrel hunting dog, looking out of the window with a slight wag in my tail, just waiting to see movement. ANY type of movement. I want so hard to believe this is going to happen, but when I have to put my faith in so many other people and have faith they are going to see the big picture and WANT to come through for not only the team, but myself, I start to get a little nervous. I may not show it to the outside world. My smile is like the slight wag of Jack's tail. I am not unhappy, I am not losing hope, but I am just a little nervous about the squirrel population being extinct because I want this so bad...
I know I need to let go and "LET GOD" and I am trying. So, GOD, if you are reading this, please show me a sign that this promotion is indeed going to happen and this is the right direction in the path I am supposed to take. Amen.