Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tick Tock

Today has been terribly long. I know all days have 24 hours in them, and there are plenty of days when I wish I had a few more hours available to me, but today (well, really this whole week so far) just seemed to stretch on and on.

Some of it is that I'm just tired. Being chronically sleep-deprived leads to a bit of a skewed perception when it comes to time. I'm not stressed out more than usual, so I'm not sure why I'm having another round of insomnia. My doctor encouraged me to go ahead and take Benadryl at night, but that messes with my digestive system. And I've been taking allergy medicine on and off since we got the dog, so I'm not keen on taking something if I don't really need it. But enough of that. Here are some pictures of my dog...
Hmm...that's about it for tonight. Nothing earth-shaking. Besides, there was enough earth-shaking during our recent earthquake and I don't want to jinx myself. I'm sleepy and getting ready to crash in bed for the night. Good thing tomorrow is a new day and I can leave this one behind.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Un-Plan

Periodically, I laugh when I think about all the plans I've made for my life.

Futile efforts. Wasted time. Because really, whatever will be will be, and Fate doesn't care a whole lot about my dreams and plans.

I had a lot of big plans for 2010. It was finally going to happen--after years of being the bread winner, working two jobs and doing a seemingly impossible juggling act in my daily life--I was going to be a stay-at-home mom. Homemaker. Housewife. Whatever you want to call it, I was going to be it. I was going to be in charge of family breakfasts, packing lunches, taking the kiddo to and from kindergarten, helping her with homework, making dinners, keeping the house clean and orderly, maybe having another baby.

Ummm...not quite.

I shouldn't be surprised. Most of my plans in the last 5-10 years have completely gone down the drain. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm bitter about it, because honestly, I don't think I'm bitter. Sad? Yes. A little angry? Definitely.

More than anything, though, I feel defeated. I've been putting up a heck of a fight, but for right now, the fight in me is kind of pooped out. Today, all I can do is pick up the pieces of what was "supposed to be" this year.

I've started gathering boxes, making plans for what I can start packing away. Yup. We're putting the house up for sale next month and I figure there's no harm in starting to prepare now. Seldom-used and seasonal items will get packed first. Then books. Baby items I'd been holding onto in hopes of having another child will be sold to a consignment shop. Books, puzzles and toys that my daughter has outgrown will be donated. Old movies, books and CDs will be given to the senior center. The treadmill will be sold.

For me, taking care of these little things will ease some of the sting of the current circumstances. Gradual acceptance instead of having to deal with it all at once. God knows how poorly I handle sudden changes, and if I can maintain some sense of dignity and control during this crazy time, everyone around me will be much happier.

And of course, I remind myself that the things being packed away/sold/donated are really only that--just things. That's especially true of the things we're parting with. They're all replaceable if the time comes that we need/want to replace them. And I feel good knowing that somebody else will get some use out of them.

Of course, that doesn't mean that I'm all Pollyanna about all of this, but railing against the Fates or being mad at God isn't going to change anything. I might be coping with all of this a little better if I wasn't registering the kiddo for kindergarten next week. Even though it shouldn't, it feels like a slap in the face, just another reminder that once again, I'm not fulfilling the role I had planned for myself.

On the upside, I'm curious to find out what kind of role I'll be fulfilling according to God's plans for me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Ugh. I missed menu planning last week and it threw everything off. I'm going to do better this week.

Today~ Hubby made pancakes for dinner.

Tuesday~ Chicken, bean and veggie quesadillas

Wednesday~ Grilled cheese and Italian vegetable soup

Thursday~ Shawn's "pa-sghetti"

Friday~ Pizza night

I realize this is probably the worst menu ever. Nothing fancy or even remotely intriguing or out-of-this-world yummy...but it's a menu, and that's all I can ask of my mushy mind right now. Plus, February has not been kind to us financially (booooo!) which means the grocery budget is pretty limited. The good thing is that I don't have to shop for anything. The menu is based entirely on what we have available, so that's good. And honestly, it's pretty balanced. We all like our vegetables and there's some protein at every meal, so we should be good.

Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday--for all you Catholics out there, you know what I'm talking about--but I will NOT be indulging. After entertaining the hubby's friends all weekend, I've already had more than my fair share of desserts. Well, there is some fudge left and several red velvet cupcakes waiting to be eaten. But I won't over-do it. Too much.

Okay, I probably will.

Monday, Monday

My weekend was so busy and I can't believe it's Monday. And it's late afternoon already! I'm tired, and even though it was so nice to have the day off work, I still have to drag myself to the university tonight to teach. Spring break is soon, so at least I'll have a week of not-quite-so-late nights. I feel like all I did this whole weekend was cook, clean and do laundry. Wait. Ummm...that's exactly what I did. Speaking of which, there's a load in the dryer right now that I have to take care of. Boooooo.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thankful for the simple things today...

12. A tousled head of hair framing a sleep-pink face and a whisper of, "Hi Mommy. It's morning. Get up now. Please."

13. The dog sitting close enough to keep me warm.

14. Perfect winter skies--blazing sun in an endless sea of blue during the day and starry sparkles in coal at night.

15. A new leaf poking out on the bamboo plant--reminds me that spring isn't too far off.

16. Enough leftovers from yesterday that I don't have to cook tonight.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Busy Saturday

Today got off to a crazy busy start. The hubby is having friends over later today and I've been a mad woman, cooking and cleaning. This morning, I made brownies and cupcakes...then used the brownies to make a yummy, layered dessert. I'm getting the chili started now and then I have to make the icing for the cupcakes. I have to make the fudge. Then I'll get everything ready for the ham and potato casserole. I'm also making a spinach salad with mandarin oranges and almonds--delish! In between, I'm doing laundry and dusting.

I suppose I could always find a job as either a caterer or an events planner...

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Slow Saturday

After the chaos of this past week, I'm actually okay with spending my Satuday lounging on the couch and intermittently getting up to take care of laundry. I am getting increasingly anxious about our doggie...last night, I couldn't stop sneezing. It was awful. Today is better, but my eyes are puffy and itchy.

I keep thinking that I have to be patient and eventually, the rocky start to 2010 will smooth out. I'm pretty sure it has to. Soon.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Flying Somewhere

My husband was driving us home tonight and my eyes wandered into the night sky. Overhead was an airplane, lights blinking, flying somewhere. Somewhere. Where was it headed? Were the people on board happy? Were they excited to be going somewhere new? I closed my eyes, wishing just for a moment that I could be on that airplane. Where would I be going right now? I looked up again, just in time to see that it was gradually descending from the sky...not taking off or cruising to a faraway destination. It was moving downward, making its way toward landing.

If I was on that plane, I wouldn't be going anywhere.

Correction. I would be going to the one place that matters most.

Home.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A February Night

It's mid-evening for me...about 9:30pm. Time for quiet thoughts and quiet moments. I'm moving in the silence, slipping the last pieces of the day into their places when I can, shushing my own thoughts as I struggle against the urge to rush, rush, rush and finish, finish, finish. Not tonight. My last stop of the evening is on the other side of a white door. I linger long...I don't rush on...I pause. There, sleeping soundly, my baby. My little girl. Not so little. My big girl. For a while, I turn back the pages of my memory, carefully sifting through and preserving pictures that exist only in my heart. This moment...this moment is one of those pictures. Curled on her right side, blanket pulled up around her, a small pink bear clutched in one arm, a world of innocence. For the briefest of moments, her eyes open and I step back, sure I've woken her from her sound sleep. But I haven't. She barely glances at me, a smile playing at the corners of her lips. "I love you, mommy." Then silence as she slumbers again.

I'm reminded that my days, no matter how long and difficult, always bring me back to moments like this. And I wouldn't trade that for anything.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

New Day

Woke up this morning with an "emotion hangover"...that peculiar, heavy feeling after a long night of swinging on an emotional pendulum. I feel more tired now than I did when I went to bed last night. However, it's a new day and I get to decide what to do with it. And today, I'm deciding to be thankful for the day I have...

8. Faint traces of purple and yellow in the eastern sky, a hazy sunrise trying to break through the clouds that are looking to release snow.

9. Soft creaking in the floor, signaling a waking household and the patter of footsteps down the hall as my daughter makes her way in to say good morning.

10. Pink sweater and faded jeans.

11. A few moments of quiet in the dark to think and give thanks in spite of my circumstances.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Earlier this evening, I was blathering on about how I really had nothing to write about. If I'm going to be honest, that's not entirely true.

I've been having a hard time with things--with life--especially in the past few months.

The truth is, I'm tired. And not just the physical tiredness that I often feel after weeks and months of sporadic and erratic sleep.

Every morning, I wake up and I don't want to get out of bed. I want to just keep laying there and indulge in feeling sorry for myself. It's not healthy, of course, so I get up, paste a smile on my face and somehow get through the day. But that's all I do. I just get through. I have too much to do and not enough time.

I don't talk about what's bothering me. It's not that I'm ashamed of my feelings or embarrassed that I can't "do it all". I mean, nobody can really do it all, except for on television shows that are neatly wrapped up in an hour. Obviously, my life is not a television show. If it were, I'd like to think that all of this--this stuff that's been happening--is leading up to the series finale where finally, blessedly, everything comes together and everyone gets the happy ending they deserve.

In an effort to snap myself out of my funk, I'm forcing myself to post my gratitude list. For years, I've made a point to think about things each day that I'm happy about and things that I'm grateful for. Instead of just thinking about it, I think I need to start sharing it. Here goes...

1. Moonlight washing over snow covered fields, giving my little corner of the world an ethereal blue glow that I only imagined to exist in fairy tales.

2. Big brown eyes gleaming from the face of my girl, seeking answers in my face and knowing that nothing but truth will come from me.

3. A rough hand gently rubbing my back, not needing words, just comforting me after a long crying spell that left me too tired to speak.

4. A little bit of new music to soothe my weary soul.

5. A safe place to be vulnerable.

6. Paint, waiting to be blended and swept across canvas, creating something out of nothing.

7. A small brown wish box, waiting to be filled...with wishes...with prayers. My own personal mailbox to God.
I got nothin'.

No menu plan.

Nothing witty to say.

N-O-T-H-I-N-G.

Well, I am recovering from a dislocated kneecap. I guess that counts for something. And I might have a torn ACL. That probably counts for something, too. But it's nothing interesting. Dog ran between my legs yesterday, knocked me over and boom-pop-tear in my right knee. Ouch. I cried. ER last night, visit with family doc today, MRI tentatively scheduled at the end of the week. I say tentatively because I'm hoping I won't have to go. If I'm able to start walking in the next few days, it most likely means it's just the dislocation with a bad sprain. That's what I'm hoping for.

Actually, what I'm really hoping for is an opportunity to re-do yesterday, avoid the fall and avoid the $250 ER co-pay.

Hmmmmm...what else?

Well, it's February. I can hardly believe that. It's still winter, but it'll be spring before we know it. I'm hoping this month might bring some job options to my hubby. It's been a rough couple of months...which has led to having to make some tough decisions about whether we should sell the house and whether we'll be able to afford private school for our kiddo. All this thinking and decision-making has resulted in a lot of headaches lately--my head hurts almost daily.

Wow, this is kind of a "downer" post. Maybe after a good night's sleep, I'll feel a little more like myself. My kiddo is exhausted tonight. She usually goes to bed around 7:30pm, but I think we're going to shoot for about 6:45pm. She's been yawning a lot and is having trouble staying awake. It's been a rough couple of days for her, too.

That's it...more nonsense later.