Tension?

Tension. I woke up this morning anxious. It’s 7 am and still kind of dark outside. I’m not sleepy but I wish I could stay in my bed where it’s warm, my house feels cold. I always turn the heat down at night and then put it back up in the morning so I did that already. What do I have to be anxious about? The ex has court this morning because he hasn’t paid his share of the property settlement. I’m sure he’ll get off scott free but I hope not. He has a way of almost getting in trouble and then getting more time or just getting a slap on the wrist… it’s frustrating and I try to forget about it since I can’t really do anything… but it’s frustrating.

Yesterday the kids and I went to go find a Christmas tree. We soon discovered that most of them are sold out or dead. The rest? Expensive. Seventy to a hundred dollars for a tree too big for our place. The younger kids started complaining about this being the ‘worst Christmas ever’ and I just wanted to cry because I was having a hard time finding a decent tree that wasn’t too small or dead and that I could afford… Christmas has been the most difficult for the kids to adjust to. Their dad just isn’t very celebratory and I’m broke. We did find a cute little one for forty-five dollars, but it is by far the littlest tree my kids have ever had and they’re disappointed. I tried. I forced myself to stay positive and to keep encouraging them as we decorated the tree and then put lights on outside. My youngest lit a fire in the fireplace and that helped a lot. We ate a good dinner and then watched a Christmas movie as well. All in all, the day turned out well but the moods never really changed. The holidays are the hardest to be positive when the kids are the ones who suffer. It’s not their fault their parents aren’t together any longer and it’s not their fault their father is no use.

As a mom, I want to fix everything. I want them all to have smooth sailing and never an upset day. I don’t want them to struggle through anything and I want to be able to buy them whatever they could possibly want. Yeah, I know, not my job to give them everything. It’s my job to help them grow into great people and to love them unconditionally. I do love them but it’s hard to watch them struggle. It’s also hard to allow them to see me struggle. I can’t really help it though and we’ll all be better off and stronger for our struggles. That’s the way we grow.

Life is supposed to be filled with good days and bad days. We aren’t supposed to have all good days. If we did, how would we know they were good with nothing to compare? How would we grow if we never had to work for it? How would our lives get better if we didn’t know how to handle the difficult stuff? I look back at my life over the last several years and I see how amazing it currently is. I’ve come this far because I have been willing to struggle through it and there’s no way I’d ever go back to who I used to be. The struggles are all worth it.

thanks for reading,

me

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A snapshot in my life…

Just thought I’d describe a snapshot of sitting at home… on the weekend… with my kids being bored… around me… all of the time… Will she not stop? My 10-year-old is singing at the top of her lungs… my oldest son is telling her to stop… and she’s wearing a helmet at the moment because she’s worried about him? He tells her to get away from her and she chases after him. The constant, never-ending noise!! And now we “don’t like” her singing… sigh… ten year old girls and the approaching hormones… we can say nothing right at the moment.

“She’s laughing at me,” he says.

“No one likes my singing,” she says as she pretends to cry.

“She’s drooling, her snot is running into her mouth because she is trying to cry.” She goes to wipe her nose then proceeds to chase her brother again.

“Now that you’ve wiped your nose, you’re going to get mad at me again?”

“I love you, I love you, I love you…” she chants over and over again.

“This is mildly extreme, no means no. I said no,” he says.

“I love you, I love you, I love you…”

“Mom, mom, mom… make her stop,” he says. I tell them both to go their rooms, I’m ignored.

“I love you, I love you, I love you.”

“If you don’t get off of me we’re going to have problems.” He attempts to brush her off and she falls to the floor as if she were shoved pretending to cry again. No one believes her and she gets back up continues her “I love you, I love you, I love you”…

and on and on and on… sigh. I told both of them to go to their rooms again. And of course they don’t. He splashed water at her and she goes to return the favor. “You can’t do that because of the computer,” he says.

“Uugh, why do you have to make so much sense?” she says.

The quiet returns for a few minutes… I eat a couple of cookies and relax for a few minutes before attacking the rest of the night. And then the dog begins to bark… quiet? What’s that?

thanks for reading,

me

 

Pediatric Rotations

Many think that pharmacy isn’t like the rest. We, as pharmacists, are often thought of as lesser, unnecessary individuals, at least until they need us. When they need us though, they love the knowledge that we have. I’m in the midst of one of my rotations and this one is with pediatrics at a large hospital. Yes, pharmacists are necessary and needed here. Below is what I wrote after the first day there.

“Day one of peds rotation and its after 10 at night and I’m crying already. The patients I have today are sick, really sick. I was assured earlier that most of our patients aren’t like these because these are in a special ward. But these are still these. I’ve never known DiGeorge syndrome and I’m grateful that I haven’t. Three of the 8 kids on my list are DNAR and they’re just babies. DNAR means “do not attempt resuscitation”. How do people do this day in and day out? How can I? So many medicines! Such little bodies! The slightest error on a med could cause serious damage, permanent damage or even cause them to die. And yet, many of these will die early anyway. I don’t question God, not tonight, but I feel for the parents and the kids who have never known not getting poked or prodded. Who’ve never had a chance to fly. But I am not one to know that they don’t fly somehow. Each person has their place, even these. Life is short but for them? So much shorter and yet it feels so long when they suffer.

I’m going to get my boat tomorrow night. I’ll drive up there and spend the night and then we will set sail on Friday morning, early. I’m excited, scared, and wanting to wait but I NEED this now. I NEED to get out there and recharge for next week. I’ve gotta take care of me or I’m not going to make this. Time for bed.”

I did go and get my boat. I love it. I stayed on it for three nights and three days as I learned from the previous owner how to sail. We sailed it down a little closer than it was, yet it’s not yet to its home… I have to take care of myself when life gets hard and I’m glad to have the boat to do that. I’ll be writing more about her later.

Today, though, was another hard day on rotation. Today we learned that one of the babies, really she’s two, will be removed from her life supporting ventilator in the near future. She has no hope for recovery and her parents have been holding on for a glimpse, a sign, anything they can. They’ve decided it’s time and despite what you think, they may be right. It’s not my place to judge them. I have not lived in their shoes and God am I grateful! I nearly cried when I heard the news but I held it in. Then when it was time to go home the tears began to flow on my drive. Even now they threaten to fall.

All of these children! It’s different when you get to grow old and die after having lived a long and fruitful life. That’s different, that’s the way it’s supposed to be. But when you’ve just barely had a chance and that chance was never one out of the hospital? What is life for? What is their purpose for being here? What can we learn? What can they show us?

There’s really a lot we can learn. We can be reminded that life is indeed short, whether you die at two or at 102. Life races by. We can learn to live our lives to the best of our abilities. We can learn to be grateful for our own problems. I’ve heard that if we were given a chance to trade problems with another we’d beg to have our old ones back.

We can also learn that when we have a chance to make a decision that many of our decisions don’t affect only ourselves. We might, and often are, affecting others. Some of these children wouldn’t be in the hospital if their parents had taken charge of their health. Some of the children are recovering from addictions that their parents have. Some of them are suffering from malnutrition and abuse. Some of them are there because of a genetic malfunction. There are so many things to learn!

Even our genetics are things we have some control over. Have you heard of epigenetics? What you do, whether you exercise or not, what you eat, what your mother ate, whether your father smoked? These all change how OUR genes are expressed. So even some of these can be better controlled and prevented. We are barely learning the tip of the iceberg.

Do me a favor. Go love on your babies, your mothers and fathers. Go hug your friends and kiss your spouses. Life is what we make of it. I vote we make it good!

thanks for reading,

me

Small world

Yesterday I met a lovely lady at Juice Plus Live in Indianapolis.  She’s a side line team member and we were just asking normal questions about our businesses. Things like how did you get started? What level are you? Who signed you up? Who’s your up line? Common questions.  But! She said a name that I recognized.  My head began to spin.  How can this be?! Is it even possible?

I began to pour through my contacts on my phone, looking for a single person. I couldn’t find it. I texted my father with a single question. What was her name? I stayed in the conversation some but I felt like I was being rude. Dinner and I’m on my phone? Yup, rude. So I gave up my investigation and asked her about this same person.

My mother died several years ago, in 2009. I still think of her often. We had our differences but I think I understand her more now than I used to. Over these last couple of years I’ve had to become stronger than I’ve ever been. In the process, I’ve begun living into my dreams despite those around me. I’m a new, whole, person now. I’m in a place in my life where I love life, all of it.

I asked her to describe to me the lady who had helped her become interested in Juice Plus. When I heard this lady’s name it was the same as the name of the lady who started my own mother as well, a friend of my father’s in a history more than twenty years ago. The coincidence was not lost on me. I’m currently a resident of North Carolina and my side line is a resident in Minnesota, and we were sitting in a small TGIF in Indianapolis. We lived in Minnesota when I was a child of 8, 9, 10, and 11 years old. My parents were friends with the same lady.

Small world. Not only is this the very same person that we knew, but this new lady (my sideline) was a good friend of my mother. Tears came to our eyes. I, with one hand shake and a hug, had introduced myself to a friend of my mother’s; and in a short dinner course had gained a small piece of who my mother was. I had gained a part of my mom back. My mother lived on in this woman and for this lady, my mother lived on in me. Two of my children were there with us and were witnesses to this unusual reunion. We had both lost someone precious to us and we have now gained just a small piece of her back. It is a small world; a giant, beautiful, small world.

thank you for reading,

me

Living into a dream

Living into a dream life is interesting. I have goals, tangible ones, and I want to achieve them. But, I’m a lot like most people: big goals, little action. The question today is how do I move beyond what ‘everyone else is doing’ to who I truly want to be? I’m great on a deadline. I am fantastic at procrastinating until the last minute. But this won’t help in the long term. Great for tests but not so much for things like getting out of debt. For the long term I need to be consistent on the little things. Debt for example, would mean consistently eating at home, buying fewer things, selling things that don’t matter to me, paying attention to the money I do have. For school? I know there’s the boards coming in May and June. I want to be ready to fly with those. I want to be an excellent pharmacist and I want to be trustworthy. How do I achieve something like that? The little things again? Of course. I need to study daily and to learn as much as I can. But I see it as an exam… which I normally cram for… Do you see my dilemma?

My life is full of so many things and I live rather randomly most of the time. I’m good in an emergency because I’m great at flying from the seat of my pants; but I don’t want to wait for an emergency to get things done anymore. I love the part of me that decides to go to the beach on a dime and the part of me that can sit and watch a movie with my kids instead of doing anything else. I like who I am. (I could write a book on that statement!) I love life’s interruptions. But, that’s the problem. If I want to reach my tangible goals then I need to set aside time to achieve them. I need to break them down and work them in parts so that I actually succeed. Part of the problem in the past has been that I allowed others to control my time. I have finally learned to say no to something good in order to do something great. I hate it though. I am still learning to manage my time and I’m doing better.

My writing isn’t part of my goals, which is odd. My writing is for my mental health instead. Each morning I wake up early just so I can have some time for just me. I treasure this time so much that I get out of bed despite feeling tired. I’ve made it a habit. If I can make writing a habit then I can also make using my time wisely a habit as well. Is that what I need then? Goals that excite me? Goals that I can’t stop thinking about? Living a life that I dream? Living a life that I love so much that finding the time to build it is easy? That must be the key. If I’m ambivalent toward something I’ll never do it. Again, my passion, is what I need to ignite. I am a passionate woman, I just need to let myself be who I am.

Being debt free doesn’t excite me, not in the slightest! What about being able to actually know that no one owns me? That sounds a lot better. If no one owned me or my time how would I be? I can feel the weight lifting off of my shoulders as I think of this. Now this is a goal I can feel. This is something I can become passionate about. How do I achieve this? There are so many possibilities!

thank you for reading,

me

A Day in Little Washington

The littles and I spent a day in Washington, NC a couple of days ago. We got up early, ate breakfast, packed a couple of snacks and jumped into the car. About two hours later we arrived at the waterfront in Little Washington. First we bought hotdogs at Bill’s Hotdogs. Excellent dogs for a good price, I highly recommend it! Then we walked to the waterfront and sat down at a table and ate them. While we were sitting there a lovely four-year old girl with tight black curls and cute little bows sits with us and just smiles. Her smile is like sunshine and I think how wonderful it is that she can just be a child for a time.

There were some folks fishing from the floating dock. I decided to take the kids down there to see and feel the sea a little better. I ask them if they’ve caught anything yet. “Only a few little ones,” they say. Still, a few little ones is better than none and I’m happy for them. The dock is pretty cool, it goes up and down with the tides and the ramp adjusts from the shore. It was peaceful, relaxing, standing there for a few minutes.

Whenever I go to Washington, I have a sense of peace come over me. I find my steps slow along with my heart rate and I just want to take in the beauty of the place. I love the feeling of the breeze on my face and the sounds of the waves splashing along the sides of the boardwalk. My kids race ahead of me some and I continue to walk quietly. I stop to say hi to a boater, a live aboard like I want to be. We talk some of his boat and how he likes living there. He thanks me for saying hello, talks about how he moves his boat to different places and how if he wants to go to the gulf side he has it shipped for him over land. There’s something for me to learn from everyone I speak to.

Further down the boardwalk we gaze at all of the beautiful boats and start to pick and choose which kind we would like. We’re window shopping right now. There are a few on the hook in the river with dingys to come to shore. No sails are up right now and I wonder if the wind is too strong today or if it’s just because it’s a Monday and that’s the way things are. Most owners are either inside of their boats or at work somewhere. It’s an interesting feeling. I yearn for my chance to live like these and yet I am not jealous nor envious, I only see the possibility and am beginning to understand that there’s really no reason I cannot do the same. I look forward to that day more and more.

As we walk we approach the estuary portion that has been protected. The children lean over the rails watching for signs of turtles. Spitting in the water they wait and watch. I taught them a long time ago that it’s not proper to feed them but it’d be OK to spit and have them come and so the two of them are busily trying to hack up some spit to ‘feed’ the turtles. It’s quite a site and I love watching them. The turtles come, dozens of them. We lose count as we watch them. You can see the little heads from a distance and then when they arrive their bodies are of various sizes. One is a snapping turtle and reminds me of the king dragon in ‘How to Train a Dragon’, he’s so big. The kids ooh and awe and we all watch as the turtles vie for attention. Even the little fish jump at the chance to eat some spit. A lady goes by and says, “It’s not fair to spit, they’re not getting anything for their actions!” She laughs, though, and it’s all good.

As we turn around at the end of the boardwalk we go back to watching the boats. I meet a few more people and talk briefly about Washington and how much I love it here. One man says another place is better since it has more to do but he doesn’t understand how much I need the solitude for now. I’m looking to buy a boat not a house and so when the time comes where I can be with the multitudes again, I can do so. My front yard can be where ever I choose.

We went to other docks and finished our day with ice cream from Scoops. We waited for a rainstorm to pass and then finally made it back to my car a little wet and a lot of laughter. Days like this help to give me life while I go back to my town with its land-locked, high traffic, busyness, that tries to drive me insane. Breathing deeply and marking these sites at the waterfront helps me to make it another couple of weeks back at home.

thank you for reading,

me

 

What’s it like to be me?

What’s it like to be me? What is my ‘normal’ day like? Lately, my day begins when I go to bed at night. As I finally get ready to go to bed exhausted, no matter the time, sometimes 10, sometimes midnight… I always go to bed exhausted. Then my children think it’s a great time to talk. I love this. I cherish this, they are a part of my heart line and I love to know them… but I’m exhausted, couldn’t we have talked a couple of hours ago? Finally after shooing them away with enough love and hugs I settle down to sleep. It used to take me hours to fall asleep while I had so much on my mind but now it’s so much better. Now I fall asleep within minutes. I wake slightly a few times in the night as the dogs I sleep with decide they are cold and want under the covers with me but mostly I sleep well. Sometimes in the early morning I hear my daughter cry because of a nightmare and I climb out of bed and hold her some for a few minutes and then try to go back to bed again. But once I wake after 4 in the morning there’s really no point in sleeping because sleep will not come. If I wake fully after 2 I will likely fall back to sleep but it will take a while.

When morning comes, often before, I wake up and make my way to the table to have a cup of coffee and to write. I love this hour or two before the rest of the world wakes. It’s my time, it’s precious and it builds me up. I write some on my blog or I write in my journal or both. I never dreamed in a thousand years that I’d be a writer some day. If I have to go to my rotation site then I go get my shower and start my day after I’ve written some and had my coffee. If I have the day off then I write or read until the kids wake up, about 8. I love this part of my life. The next several hours are packed full of doing things. Things that have to be done like laundry, or cooking, or studying, or paying bills, or making calls, or finding someone to fix my car or mow my lawn. Then the evening comes and I start all over again…

That’s just the physical world around me… Inside? Inside is different. Inside I worry and think. I pray and I hope. I hear my child ask for a hug and I give it to him or her. I see my kids avoid life on their computers or phones and I make them go outside. I ask about school and see how they are doing. And I dream. I dream of getting my degree and of earning the top spot in my virtual franchise that I’ve been in for years. I dream of living on a boat and of learning to sail. I dream of waking up to the waves and the rain. Of waking to the sounds of birds and of wind. I dream of living a life that I love. I already love my life, though, but I dream of making it less on physical things and more on the things that truly matter. I see myself as a calm spot in the midst of chaos. I see others being able to rely on me for peace and hope. I see myself being able to provide counseling and love to others. I wonder again why I am in this loveless town so far from the water. I can see myself teaching and I know that I can make a difference in other’s lives.

There’s another part of me that I’m just beginning to understand. I love hard. I’ve always loved hard. What I didn’t realize was that when I do I lose a piece of myself. I need the water and the sea to help me find me. As much as I love people and want so much to help them, it drains me. I need space and openness and the outdoors to refuel me. I really do need the quiet and the sea to breathe deeply. I can feel when someone is upset, and when I do I yearn to help them. The problem is sometimes I can’t help. And often times there are many people all at once. One or two or even five or six or heaven forbid ten or more people whose emotions blast me like a fire. Sometimes that’s what it feels like. How do I function when there are so many? This is why I take my escapes like others take medicine. Without my escapes I cannot refuel and I begin to fall into the chaos with the others. What good am I if I cannot breathe?

thank you for reading,

me