Thursday, March 31, 2011

AGAIN: Six Word Friday

Sometimes you plan life just so.

You have it all figured out:

Follow the women along the path

That was carved out for you.

So you find yourself settled in.

You have attained, accomplished, and arrived.

Then you look around and realize

You really are only settled, instead.

Not, at all, what you wanted.

Not, at all, who you are.

So you call out: Do over!

And you start all over again.

Terrified and doubtful, second guessing yourself...

Wondering every moment of every day

If you did the right thing:

This second draft of your life.

Then later, much later, you realize

The outcome was obvious all along,

Because it was the only option.

Your life: a reset was required.

What does "AGAIN" mean to you?

Join the conversation with Six Word Fridays.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


It is inevitable that, at some point in life, someone will disappoint you.

I understand that.
I expect that.
But what I have a really hard time with is letting it go, especially when it happens repeatedly and intentionally.

I realize, as I begin this post, that there is a strong possibility that it will not make sense. That when people read this, they will be left only with questions, and possibly wondering why I would write something in a way that doesn’t really give a clear picture. But sometimes, you just have to write stuff for yourself. You just have to get it out.

Consider this an exorcism of anger.

Everyone has issues. No one is perfect. And certainly, no one can behave perfectly every time with every one. But really, that whole little excuse people toss around: “Oh, that’s just how they are”…? That’s bullshit. People treating people poorly isn’t okay. Especially when you actually know each other. Especially when you actually shared a lifetime’s worth of secrets and stories together.

When you just become too wrapped up in your own life, your own world, your own head, that you can’t take a moment to step out of it long enough to ask someone else about her life, her kids, her stuff…that’s not just being flaky, or ditsy, or busy. That’s not “That’s just how she is.” That’s selfish. That’s inconsiderate. That’s rude. And that, in my book, is unforgivable.

When your own issues and personality “quirks” make you a burden in my life, when you can not bring yourself to reach out and return a gesture, an interest, a thought, then I’m done with you. And I don’t really care if that’s just the way you are. I don’t care if you don’t mean anything by it. Because it’s pretty damn obvious that you don’t care, either, about me or my world.

I understand that, in relationships, there’s an ebb and flow. There are times when one person will have to give more, one person will have to be more available, one person will have to be more patient. That’s what relationships are for: not just to enjoy the good times, but to carry the other one’s load when it gets a bit too heavy for a while. But when that becomes all there is…when it’s all about one of you, for a long, long time…when the other one is forgotten…when it becomes completely one-sided…then you walk away (I do, anyhow) because it’s unacceptable, and life is too short. And my life, right now, is filled with wonderful people and amazing things. And when someone becomes toxic, when your presence literally pains me instead of elevates me, then I’m done.

And what drives me the craziest…what bites at my subconscious constantly and makes me desperately want to try to understand...what makes me consider actually having yet another conversation about this that it’s just not normal. It’s just not socially acceptable responses. It’s unexplainable.

And, I suppose, this is why so many are suggesting that there must be a reason for this person’s behavior. “It just doesn’t make sense,” is what I hear over and over again. “Maybe there’s something going on.”


But I doubt it. Because this is just this person’s method of operation, historically.


But I don’t care. Because after you’ve been figuratively beat up for a couple of years and you’ve been chronically bewildered and disappointed by behavior for even longer, you get tired of making excuses…you get tired of defending and explaining… You realize that you were the first person to shrug and say "But that’s just how she is.”

Monday, March 7, 2011

Two Years and a Second Wind

So it seems that this little blogging experiment has gone on a little longer than I had expected: I am now celebrating my two year anniversary. I’ve had my highs and lows: times when I posted frequently and the blog was constantly on my mind, times I barely got on here at all and even resented the blog’s existence…but overall, I can no longer imagine my life, my Self, without this little outlet. Not only has this blog given me a place to vent, but it’s given me a place to connect with others, make friends, and chronicle my life.

I took a few minutes to look back and read some of my first entries. There was definitely a pattern then: it was almost all about The Boys and my frustrations with parenting. My friend once called my blog, during its early stages, “the greatest form of birth control.” Yep. I complained about everything: sick kids (one of my most frequent labels then was actually “vomit”!), canceled vacations, lack of sleep, spilled milk (literally), messy rooms. I did have my occasional posts of joyous celebrations in parenting, too, but mainly, I had tunnel vision: my kids demanded so much of my time and energy, and I was having so much trouble adjusting to my new role in life, that all I saw was motherhood. Every little thing seemed worthy of a post, because every little thing was so new. Every little thing was a Thing. And I was constantly trying to figure every Thing out.

Now, I’ve been at this “job” for 5 ½ years. Hubby and I have finally fallen into a flow. We’ve all sort of figured each other out and settled in to being a part of this Foursome. The kids are no longer a part of us that we try to fight against or live our lives in spite of…they’ve become a seamless part of who we are, as a couple and as individuals. Life with two little kids is now just that: Our Life.

I am not seeing the world so much through Mommy-colored glasses anymore. I am no longer in a perpetual battle to find my sense of self, to lose the baby weight, to adjust to the requirements of parenting, to figure out what the hell I had gotten myself into. Parenting, now, just is. And as a result, I, too, can just Be.

My blog title suited my life perfectly two years ago. It felt, then, that everything in my life had changed, that everything had become a struggle and a challenge within this attempt to balance life and motherhood. Now, I don’t always feel the need to write about my kids or my struggles and successes with them. I know that the person I am has been forever changed by the births of my sons. I know that the way I look at life, the way I behave, my priorities, my beliefs, and my values…they’ve all been irrevocably altered by parenthood. And I know that when I need a place to shout and scream in frustration about my kid’s behavior in school or my feeling of helplessness when one of them gets hurt or how much I hate the everyday chore of bath time, I can come here, to this place, and get it all out.

But lately, I find that my topics are less about them and more about me, more about life, more about nothing and everything…from cooking (or should I say, not cooking) to running to just random me-ness. I think, somewhere along the line, I’ve finally become a Woman Who Happens To Have Kids. And fortunately, I’ve come to love my new place, my new role, my new me…the one that can be Mama without always worrying about sacrificing the rest of her.

So now, here I am…two years later. I have carved out this little space in the world for myself to be Me, to yell and scream and cheer and ponder and wonder and celebrate and question and muse: This little blog, where the only rules are those which I choose to impose upon myself.... This little blog, which, after 172 entries and a period during which I even considered closing up shop, I’m now more excited about then ever…because it’s taken a life of its own: my life, and not just as a mom, but as Me.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Disney Princess Half Marathon-Check!

When I go back to reread the post I wrote back in November about my decision to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon, I am surprised. Surprised not only by the fact that it still makes me tear up, but also by the realization that that was actually my experience: the pain of that miscarriage and our struggles to get pregnant seem like they belong to someone else's life memories, so far and faded is that pain now.

Last weekend I went back to run my third (and quite possibly last) half marathon in Disney, this one in celebration of Just Me and My Boys. As poignant and important as the event was, it did not feel at all heavy. The few times I got emotional, it was a giddy sort of joy--tears of relief mostly--that I got all I had wanted Then. I got my kids. I got to be a mom.

And it was fun. The weekend was filled with silliness (how could it not be when 90% of the runners--even men--were wearing everything from tiaras to tutus?!?) and fun and light. So rather than write another post about my emotional full circle and the meaning of this whole experience for me, I found it best to capture it with some photo ops...

We started out the Race Weekend with the kids' races. Ben ran the
200 meter and took off so fast that Daddy almost couldn't keep up alongside him. Aidan Kai earned his first-ever medal in the 100 meter dash. He was pretty darn proud of himself. (I did not miss the irony that this time around my half marathon weekend started out with me on the sidelines watching my children race...)

After the kids' races, we were off to the Expo which, in the past, had been quite an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours among vendors and other racers, but this time...good God!...standing in line for packet pick-up or to purchase one single "I Did It! 2011" t-shirt was surely more grueling than the race itself! However, the Big Moment of the expo came when my boys made their "Go Mama" signs to hold up on race day for me:

Back at the hotel room, Hubby and the boys gave me gifts: a pink sparkly cuff picked out by the boys, a pink flask picked out by Hubby (because, after all, what better way to celebrate the culmination of 3 months worth of hard physical training than with a little girly flask?), an amazingly inspiring card, and a picture drawn by Ben during his art center time in school depicting me running throughout the race all in pink and purple crayon (does my kid know me, or what?).

After getting everything ready, we tried to get in a good night's sleep, but I, at least, only managed one solid hour.

By 3:45 a.m., I was ready to run:

And by 4:45 a.m., the boys were ready to roll:

When Cinderella's fairy godmother counted down and the fireworks went off, I was more than eager to go. I was surprised to find that my first couple of miles didn't hurt as much as they usually do, and I settled into a steady pace right away. I was so excited about the whole thing, that I barely listened to any of my music (which is kind of ironic after all the drama about whether or not my personality allowed for me to just run with a random playlist on my shuffle). Every mile or so, Disney provided entertainment of some type: characters, djs, performers, and I was glad I had decided not to carry my camera after all, because I would not have been able to resist waiting in the really long lines to take pictures with some of them (particularly the Captain Jack Sparrow scene and Ben's favorite: Lilo and Stitch). By the time the course started winding towards the Magic Kingdom, I knew my boys would be along the sidelines cheering me on, and the running felt effortless. As we entered Mainstreet, I scanned the hundreds (and I do mean hundreds) of spectators lined up cheering the racers, anxiously looking for the reason I was running. The minute I spotted them, I broke every runners' courtesy rule and weaved across the racers, practically tripping a few of them, to get to my family.

Seeing them there made every step worth it. I don't think I have ever been so elated in the middle of an event. I took several minutes to chat with my boys, give everyone kisses, and take a couple of pictures.

The next 4 miles were a piece of cake, since the route continued around and through the Magic Kingdom and I was still riding the high of seeing the kids and Hubby. It wasn't until mile 9 or so that my infamous knee issues started to kick in and I started to really look forward to finishing. Miles 10 and 11 were pretty exhausting, and my music playlist finally played a role in distracting me, but once I saw the sign for the final mile, I turned it off and just ran. This was it. I had done it all on my own and for all the right reasons, and had actually enjoyed myself. As I approached the finish line, I heard the air horn that signaled Hubby and the boys were nearby and did a little dancing-wave thing for them as I ran on, shouting "I love you guys!"

I got a tad choked up when the volunteer put the medal around my neck after crossing the finish, but didn't have time to dwell on the emotions since I had to walk for what seemed like another 13 miles just to get around the barricades separating the spectators and the racers.

As proud of myself as I am, I do have to say that the person who really deserved the medal this weekend was Hubby, who dealt with two little boys all weekend long, sprinting from viewpoint to viewpoint to ensure they'd be there for me, probably covering even more mileage than I did, and then tending to them for the next couple of days while I recovered, and the rest of the week, since I came home with a raging virus and have been in bed for almost the whole week. P...when I ran the first half, you were there, running by my side and believing in me when no one else did. When I ran the second one to try to get out of my depression, you were once again my rock, and you never let me hit bottom. And now, you were there to celebrate with me and our boys. You never doubt me. You never doubt us. Thank you (and I don't mean just for the flask).