Category Archives: Blogging/Working

All things related to blogging, writing, photography and working.

Thirty-Something Mean girls

The beginning of this year would probably sound terrible on paper to some, but to me, it has been liberating. Tough, yet, I have never felt stronger and more proud of who I am.

I couldn’t see it when I got out in 2011 but I realized this year that the military taught me integrity and at a very early age. I was 17 when I joined, and while other young kids my age struggled and felt miserable, I did not.

I suppose when you have to grow up fast, you are often taught the “rules” to life earlier than most. So for me, a community where I knew what was expected was a natural fit.

Learning integrity and living with integrity are certainly two different things. But I dare say, it is hard to find adults who have integrity outside of a military base.  Let me explain, in the military you can and will be punished for a lack of integrity. I shit you not, cheat on your spouse and get caught. Well, you and the commanding officer will be making a phone call to said spouse. Docking of pay for lying and being caught, you betcha. In the civilian world this would not happen, like ever.

How does this all fit together? Well in my youth I was unable to stand-up for myself mainly out of fear that I would lose a friend or look stupid. I would ignore red flags, make excuses and hide from any issues that caused me or anyone to feel uncomfortable. If I saw someone being picked on, I was the little shit that looked the other way and never a word. When I was being bullied, I took it. I let kids, adults and family members bully me for years. That is the opposite of living with integrity.

When I was in the military I found my voice among the boys. I could hold my own around a man or group of men. I was counseled on multiple occasions in regards to my ‘verbally abusive tactics’. I guess with the ratio of men to women, it was a sink or swim situation. But I have always been far too timid to stick up to mean women.

Then this year I stopped letting the mean girls win. I stopped letting myself get intimated by good looks and beautifully put-together outfits with accessories. The women that never let you catch them with out make-up and who always seem to have a fucking Starbucks coffee in their hand. The women who are pushing 4 quiet and well kempt kids around Target while they browse every isle they want. Fuck those women, I am not intimated anymore.

I lost a job, I lost a friendship or 2 and I was banned from The Stonermom for voicing an opinion she did not approve of. Cest la Vie.

My serving days finally came to an end after 4 years on and off. I finally decided that I wasn’t going to let those over-shadowed eye rolls bother me anymore. They were never about me anyway. I decided that I wasn’t ok watching a manager belittle her employees or verbally abuse them depending on her mood. It was not ok to be passively aggressively bullied because she had the power to make me clean-up the fucking salad station for a month straight just because I didn’t eat the bullshit she tried to serve.

By the way, I scrubbed that salad station so clean she could have asked that bitch “mirror mirror, who is the fairest of them all?”

I decided that even if it means severing a relationship that matters to you, you owe it to yourself to always be honest and speak the truth. The truth is not something that is not debatable or up for interpretation. There are no variations of the truth.

If you are worried about someone, tell them. If someone is mistreating you, stop allowing it. If someone is struggling with addiction, reach out to them. If you’re values don’t align with someone close to you, reevaluate the relationship. All of these are examples of clear communication and living with integrity.

Remember this one, “do as I say, not as I do”? Change the words, be a force of good, honesty and integrity. Do as I do, and not as I say. Be the example, not the discussion.

 

 

 

 

Authenticity Equals Longevity in the Blogging World

I would like to re-introduce myself and this blog. I am going to start this website over with a new focus. Authenticity equals longevity; and I want to grow not plateau. I am a new lady, going new places and for that reason we need to start over.

For most of 2016 I hid behind the term ‘blogger’ when people asked me what I did. You know the general questions: how old is your child, what do you do, how do you take your mom crack (coffee)?

I served on and off for about 4 years at the same restaurant. However, I always introduced myself as a blogger. It felt more like an age-appropriate gig. More so than letting people be assholes to you for shitty tips. Managers included.

Well, I have decided it is time to stop referring to myself as a blogger. Because I am not a blogger; I am an entrepreneur utilizing my website.

Last year, I latched onto “bloggers” that I thought I connected with for various reasons. I was really searching for myself in a life I didn’t recognize. I went onto to realize that I was suffering  mental breakdown of sorts that manifested in many ways: excessive shopping, cleaning, never leaving the house, screaming, therapy, medicine, more screaming, dramatic weight loss and excessive drinking.

Soon those bloggers that I looked to for a sense of community slowly began dropping off my radar. Their content that was usually funny and relatable changed to narcissistic bullshit. I can’t relate to mom’s who never have their kids and who care more about appearance than actually helping people. You can’t fake being a good person.

This is when I realized that most internet personalities are not authentic people. They don’t have to be gain a following. People will believe what they want to and that shit is for the birds. The blogger community needs more authentic people who build-up others based on truths and not half-truths. People who will be honest even if it means they are exposed. THAT IS INTEGRITY.

The bloggers that are actually making differences (in my opinion) are the ones who are in their 20’s learning life, sharing real experiences and who tell the truth.

Where am I going with this? Well, I have discussed the direction of this blog until we have all gotten blue in the face. One thing about a chick with severe anxiety is that I am consistent. I will consistently say I am going to do something, and then not do it.

But a bitch can be hopeful. Right? Stick around.

This blog is getting a make-over, but first I will be uploading lots of fresh content that is based around my life, my goals and all the business’ I am running.

-My photography business

-Pure Romance Consultant

-Mental Health– to include life coaching in areas of relationships, lifestyle, sexual health. (MS in Psychology and life coach certified)

-My reality as a cannabis consumer and mother

-YouTube Channel (because 3 people have told me I am funny now, it is time)

-Chakra Yoga (because it is free fucking therapy)

And when I have time, I love to cook, so I will continue adding family favorite recipes!

So, Welcome again.

Business Card Worthy? Just kidding.

 

 

Welcome 2017…

Do you do New Year’s resolutions? Do they work? Do you follow through with them throughout the whole year? Probably not.

–I will fill you in on a little secret, gang. If you wait all year-long to make improvements, you can bet by February you have either modified those resolutions or given up all together. People who really want change and really want to improve don’t wait for January to start–

Obviously I think New Year’s resolutions are just plain stupid, so no, I don’t waste my time coming up resolutions for the new year just so I can feel like shit when I give up on them. No thanks.

I am a goal oriented lady, always have been. Every quarter I visit those goals and review progress. If there has been zero progress I either let that goal go for now, because life, or I figure out what changes need to be made in order to meet that goal. No waiting for January to my best me.

This year, this blog will be getting a make-over to reflect my new goals. I have been working really hard lately, hence the absence.

2016 was the year of self-preservation and making BIG changes to get my mental and physical health under control. I had a mental breakdown around February last year and  it was about a 6-month ordeal.

It led me to understand spirituality in a way that resonates with me, to yoga, to meditating, to Lexapro and to other herbal remedies.

Handling generalized anxiety disorder, depression, chronic pain,  insomnia and PTSD is no longer more than I can handle. I am working toward becoming a certified life coach with focus on relationships and western therapies. I already earned my MS in psychology so this is the easy part! If this is something that interest you; you know where to find me. At home trying to write and mother!

 

So, here is to 2017. More to follow!

 

XOXO,

SM

 

 

 

 

The Curveball that is Life…

Life happens and plans change. I wanted to keep on a writing schedule and get this damn year-long project out of its infancy phase. But as I keep trying to teach my wee one, life is not about me or you but about us as a whole.

Life happens; bills have to get paid, people get sick, visits and birthdays happen even if it’s not the best time for YOU.

Despite my best efforts, I have not mastered running on less than 7 hours of sleep. Yes you read that right, I need sleep. I am a human who needs 7 hours a night. Yes, we all know people who do not “need” that much sleep despite what science tells us, and we will watch those people’s bodies break down earlier than ours, mmmkkkk.

Oh, and potty training. What a shit show that is. NO PUN INTENDED! It is a literal shit show. But we are on the downward slope now. She is fascinated by counting her poo-poo turds. You’re welcome.

I gave up nagging her about her nose picking addiction. I figure the mean girls at school will fight that battle for me. I just don’t have any more energy fighting the booger battle. I threw in the towel when I had to tell her that I would not join her in eating her boogers, or eating mine, because we are not meant to eat them (with a straight face).

Oh and I have the child that uses “fuck” appropriately. But really, everyone saw that coming. On the plane ride to California she told that she would not be sitting in her fucking seat. And if she cannot see her cookies when she opens the pantry, the f bombs fly. Where are my fuuuucccckkkinnnng cookies? I am working on it, please do not worry. I say fiddlesticks now.

The financial strain of buying a new house and immediately furnishing that house has also taken its toll. I totally understand how money is the number one reason for divorce. We are slowly and steadily getting out of the mess we happily put ourselves in.

Alas, here we are. Christmas right around the corner. I will be home! We are very excited to be celebrating our holiday season at home in this house that we love. Just the three of us. Just perfect.

Don’t let this photo fool you; there will be minimal if any baking going on.

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Perfect Little Family of Three

So anyway, expect new post.

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Ridiculous things I have said to the human being I created

First and foremost, the minute you say your child will never do something you are sealing your fate. They will do that exact thing you swore your child would never do, and they will do it ALL THE TIME.

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proof she is always scheming her next move

My advice is to go into parenthood with the expectation that you will see and say things you never thought possible. Drop any arrogance or self-assurance about your parenting ability and deal with chaos that is having a child. It is amusing and terrifying and everyone goes through it.

Here is a short list of shit I have said to Charlotte that I find both amusing and disgusting.

  1. Don’t play with your poop. No details are needed here, it is powerful all on its own.
  2. Please don’t eat lotion. Her response it what makes it the best. Me: Charlotte don’t eat lotion! (Panicked, crying, looking up poison control numbers) Charlotte: But it’s soooo good. Mommy, it’s so good! It’s delicious! Stop laughing, mommy it is NOT funny. (She doesn’t even describe food this way)
  3. Please stop clawing at and head-butting my chest. (We are going through weaning process)
  4. I’m sorry babe, you just can’t fly like a balloon.
  5. You can’t go to work yet; you don’t have a job. (She was hysterical when I told her this btw)
  6. Get your finger out of your nose.
  7. Get your finger out of your nose, now.
  8. Please, please stop putting things in your nose. DSC_0284 [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

Stay in your lane, girl!

I cannot be the only early thirty-something (33 to be exact) who seems to be having trouble giving up late nights for early mornings. Giving up the cock-tail hour and dinner duo just doesn’t seem to be on my radar. Right now my life revolves around the high-energy two-year I have who does not sit still like society would like her to. She is the loud girl staring you down from two booths over; the one who zero awareness of your boundary issue.

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And I am her proud, tired mother. I still desire to hang out with my childless friends who still tell me stories about waking up somewhere weird or finding someone hanging out with a litter box while passed on out the shitter. Then there is me, I’m like, “oh cool, what kind of litter box is that? I am getting a kitten to add the family!” Fail.

I am socially awkward yes, but I love to entertain. I love to cook and decorate and drink with friends. Only now, I do all this after chasing/playing/cleaning up after my child all day. I usually attempt to ‘hang out’ (I use that term loosely) on Wednesday or Thursday which are may days off from working either in the home or out at the restaurant. These days are also days that I have to squeeze in activities for Charlotte, appointments, errands, etc. So they are not usually relaxing in nature.

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I used to enjoy running errands by myself. Listen to music, dance and sing in the car, get some coffee and knock it out. Man, that ship has sailed. Errands can only be described as awful when you do it with a toddler. At least with the combination of my low patience level, her inability to be calm when she needs to be, her need to explore everything and her desire to walk as SLOW as possible. She has one speed at home… zoom is her speed at home. My point is that I am often exhausted by the time the day rolls around to being time to cook and get ready for guest, then entertain.

Plus if it someone new my body automatically enters fight or flight mode from the mere stress of it all.

So guess what happens. I have my two to three glasses of wine and pass the fuck out with Charlotte. Every. Damn. Time. When I say I will be right back, you might as well say good night and plan on seeing tomorrow. For real.

Did I mention Charlotte is phasing out of naps too? I am in the throws of the potty training, meltdowns, picky-eating, non-stop running/climbing/falling, nose picking stage of parenting and I guess I am having trouble transitioning from the semi-cool mom to the busy and exhausted mom.

I need to cut the shit and stay the fuck in my lane. I need to realize that you can’t mold yourself around your friends like you might have in your youth; that shit just doesn’t work. I can now check-off going to sleep before 8 pm while your guest are downstairs waiting on you. I can also say that I have entered the realm of my life where I can no longer blend in with twenty year olds. I just feel uncomfortable and maternal now. The phase is complete. Charlotte has even started saying, “oh mom, you’re so silly!” She is two people. I embarrass her at two.

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So I guess even though I have like 10 types of leftovers in my fridge on the daily and the biggest bottle of Pinot Grigio that Barefoot sells, I can’t have you over. Unless you understand and accept that I am now the host that forgets to offer you water and will most likely talk too much about Charlotte and Chris. But I will keep your glass of wine full and probably be pretty entertaining until I pass out.

I realize that my pool of potential friends is already small and it is shrinking every year I age. I am an anxiety-riddled, socially awkward (at times), overly opinionated and brutally honest momma bear. I am a MS graduate that chooses to wait tables, labels herself as non-religious (for safety reasons), and I am an outspoken supporter of MMJ. Oh, and I reside in the DEEP SOUTH by choice. I am seriously a duck out of water as far fitting in socially around here, but that’s ok. We like the Spanish Moss and we have a good 8-hours before any family can ‘stop by’.

I am getting back in my lane. If I don’t I might start falling asleep the day before company arrives!

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Journey Continued…

Summer has a way of lapsing time, doesn’t it? The heat, the consistent summer storms, new adventures outdoors, repeat adventures outdoors and then playing catch-up indoors. With the rise in temperatures I find myself so exhausted by 1, that if I sit down for any amount of time in double digits I am asleep. Like for real. The heat sucks the energy out me; it’s a rough life!

I am not doing a very good job of keeping up my writing schedule either, with all this extra napping brought on my the overwhelming heat in the south. I have been so caught up with work and keeping up the new house I haven’t even made it over to meet the new baby in our little circle. Westin, I promise, I am coming!

Anyway, for me summer adventures include the outside pool, the sprinklers, the beach, and of course the new park (new for us) and mini-playdates if I manage to remember to plan one and then follow through. My kid loves to be outside and moving, and the poor girl gets the power sweats like I do. So we are often incorporating water into whatever we are doing. Somehow June came and went. I think I saw one of my friend’s so far this month. Oh, and she lives next door.

I am sure this is situation; toddlers tend to make the days seem like groundhog’s day. The attempt to keep a routine while creating summer magic for a tiny person who will never remember most of the days I spent planning for her is a constant struggle. But that is ok, it matters on a higher level.

In the past I would let this really get to me. The fact that I have not kept up with my writing schedule, let some of the chores go from time-to-time and have done zero product reviews and not stressed about until I lose sleep is pretty nice. I have let other things become more important like playing with my daughter on demand, sporadically baking something, playing with and loving our new kitten Mavis, and of course my favorite taking a long hot soak. If you follow me on Snapchat I am sure you are sick of seeing bubble baths.

I have also been expanding my year-long journey of self-improvement to include reading and learning from literature that folks I find inspirational have published. I am almost done with Kate Hudson’s book Pretty Happy and I just got it. That says a lot since my extra time is usually spent driving, napping or bathing. I am learning so much and finally have a spiritual path that I find to be alluring for my lifestyle. More on that later, of course.

In the past couple months at work, I have worked hard on talking less and listening more. Listening to my customers, co-workers, management, friends and family. They may not all agree, but I am giving it may all! Anyway, I found that there are a couple personality characteristics that really turn me off; which hit me deeply because I can recognize some of them in myself.

Negative people. The folks that are complaining the majority of the time and like to trash other people. I work with too many negative people, and I have noticed that negative people are toxic. I mean they have a tendency to suck you in and set the tone in the space that they are in. The constant complaining can become catching when you are frustrated and or having a bad day/time. You follow suite and then you pass that negative vibe onto someone else.

Folks with a superiority complex. I only ever come across these people at work; customers who frequent O’charleys. The tend to talk down to me, don’t make eye contact with me, talk over me and have zero manners. I don’t understand this, on any level. Talking to someone any way you please because you feel superior in some sort of way. In my experience, it is usually retired civil servants and white middle-aged women from a state more northern. I don’t want to get too specific, and I am only speaking from my experience. I can’t help but think that the attitude comes from them feeling superior to me because I take their order and clean their mess. Sometimes I get the sad eyes. This poor girl is here waiting tables, I wonder where her life went wrong?

I know I need this journey because my first instinct is to always get defensive and start spouting out my resume to anyone who listen. It is such a waste of energy, and my getting upset and letting me myself get spun up shows me I have a long way to go.

One thing I have learned and incorporated into my life so far into this journey, is that I am in total control over how I use my energy and what energy I project into the world. I have become a more positive person so far and I have a new vantage point on the people I surround myself with. Sometimes we have to be in the company of negative people or people who are just ugly inside, but when you let your positivity shine it changes the situation entirely.

I hope I can inspire you!

To be continued…

Everyone isn’t going to like you, and that sucks.

You see, I am a people pleaser and when things go sour with someone it isn’t possible for me to just shake it off. It will eat at until something new takes the place. Like seriously… I am neurotic to the point that I analyze any interaction I had that day that felt toxic in some way, virtually or face-to-face. I am always offending, annoying and scaring someone. Maybe it is that exhale sarcasm and suffer from resting bitch face. Or maybe it is that I take the whole ‘treat people how you want to be treated’ way of thinking and apply to all avenues of my life. I bet it is that whole missing filter thing I was warned about by an elementary teacher. Anyway, I usually find myself in trouble with someone.

I realize that not everyone shares my way of thinking and that is normal considering we all come from different walks of life. But I will share my opinion as this is my blog and the whole point of suburban mishap.

I am a server right now, which means I work in the service industry where you have mostly high school kids, young adults in college, older adults who can’t really be employed anywhere else and then my group (moms who want to raise their own kids so they choose a job with flexible hours). I have to tell you, the new generation of adults entering the work force is scary as shit. I am not sure if the kids I work with literally have no work ethic, or they just feel like it can be situational. Perhaps they don’t take being a server as a serious job, and I get that. But to go there and literally throw temper tantrums when someone didn’t ask you if you ALSO wanted a milk shake with your dinner order that was delivered to you by a nice person who willingly did a food run. Or to literally walk right by someone who is doing the work that is assigned to you while the manager yells at everyone walking by for help. Who is raising these lazy and self-obsessed brats and setting the standard of acceptable work ethic?

These same types of individuals are the first ones to notice and comment if someone gets something  and they do not. Maybe my husband has a valid point about handing out rewards and ribbons to everyone who just participates. I’m not positive there is a link, but you know I see a very real ‘me me me’ mentality from the young people just entering the world. It goes further then my generations average know-it-all mentality. Now it is the know-it-all attitude and wanting a fucking reward for it.

Has society encouraged parents to keep focus on responsibility and discipline so much that they forget humility and work-ethic? I won’t even go so far as to include teamwork, because I am sure I learned that during my 11-year Navy career. But I can most certainly say that my parents made sure I knew what hard work was and humility before I left at 17. I was always reminded that someone out there has it worse that me when I was feeling sorry for myself, as most young minds do.

It is a struggle for someone like me who wants to people please, make friends, avoid the scary people and just enhance the over all environment in a positive way. I get bent out of shape if someone doesn’t like me. Even if I really don’t like the person to begin with, knowing they feel some way about me eats at me. It’s that incorrectly wired brain of mine.

So where am I going with this rant? Well, things have bubbled up at work and I am on some shit lists. Why? I really really do not like people who do not pull their own weight in the work place. No matter where the work place happens to be. Hell, if I were a prostitute, I would be the hardest working girl with the cleanest corner and organized drug bag. So when I have to drag my tired ass to work in the evening, it makes me a little pissy when I end up doing the work or like 4 or 5 other people. What people? Those darn high schoolers and young adults (plus one or two 40 year olds)  who would rather sit around and complain instead of passing the time, Idk, doing their job. Our job isn’t that hard after all. The bottom line is, what really pisses me off about it, is that my tips, as well as others, suffer because we have to spend time doing another person’s work because the manager gets fed up and starts yelling at everyone they see to get SHIT DONE. So you see, it is like a domino reaction. If I see something that needs to be done, assigned to me or not, I do it if I can. That is a foreign concept to way too many people I know.

After awhile I get annoyed, bitchy and I let you know in some way or another. Then, people start not liking me. If  I could just go to work, do the bare minimum and go home I would be voted most popular. Hands down. Ok maybe that is too far, but it doesn’t matter because that is not me. And dammit, who the fuck wants to be that asshole? I remember long long ago, in my previous life, having quite a bit of beef with a few of my senior female bosses. I generally thought they were meant and picking on me… I still remember each and every one of them and how angry and confused I ended up feeling around them. I respected them though, and I certainly I learned from them. So this is where I have to let this go. I have to learn to except that I am finally old enough that I don’t get the older generation and now I don’t get the younger generation… cest la vie.

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How Organization and Planning are Saving my Sanity

I think by now, the general population that follows Huffington Post  knows that a stay-at-home mom or dad does more during the day than changing diapers and keeping the children alive. Or hell, maybe that is his or her only goal and she achieves day in and day out. I don’t judge.

However, we can’t deny the numerous articles floating around the internet about what a day-in-the-life of a stay-at-home mom looks like that carries the undertone of a shaking finger in your face and eyes as big as a strung-out crack head.

And I get it. I do, I truly do get it. When you are stuck in the throws of endless days that feel like they will never end. Days that are filled with you using words like “blowout” and “lactate.” You start to grow horns and learn how to cuss in a sing-song voice with tears in your eyes.

The slope gets too damn slippery sometimes and you slip right into not giving a fuck. From there you find you self settling into cynical and alone. Hello my Mirandas!

Black and White

So you start reading shit titled, “What I Would Pay My Wife if I Could” and nodding along. You start feeling this stay-at-home mom pride, because you are a part of this group, you know. Then it turns to entitlement and then it ends with truth.

The truth of course being that you are you are alone most of time, changing shitty diapers and praying to someone’s God to please STOP the lactating!

Oh looky there, I went on a rant! Ha! Let me get myself back on track…

Basically, I used to put so much effort and energy into a clean house and appearing like everything was PERFECT.

Then I gave up caring and everything fell apart… as I suspected it would.

So after we settled into Castle Garvey, I found my groove in life again. I had some damn good ah-ha moments that would make even Oprah proud! I found the middle ground that is now keeping this household running so smooth I get to take more than one bath a week. I live for a good bath you guys.

Here is how organizing my life into a simple routine is working for me and keeping me sane.

Note: I don’t have a set schedule for the cleaning. That part has to be flexible because having a two-year old means no agenda on my part (so-to-speak). I stay home to be present with her so I put my chores on the back burner as far as time on the clock. I do them as I can, sometimes she lets me knock it all out, other times I do a little here and there. 

Monday:

Babysit from mid-morning to mid-evening.

  • Babysit from mid-morning to mid-evening.
  • I vacuum every Monday and dust every other Monday.
  • Dinner and I usually do bath time with her.

Tuesday:

  • Same babysitting schedule. I have started strongly ” “suggesting” story time and activity times.
  • I vacuum upstairs every week and dust every other week.
  • Dinner and daddy does bath time. Unless of course it is mommy’s turn again because Charlotte is the ultimate decision maker. Of course.

Wednesday:

  • I schedule most play dates, appointments for whoever needs them and run errands.
  • Laundry every week and bathrooms every other week (spot clean) and a deep clean once a month. We have 3 full baths (one with a double sink vanity) and a half bath downstairs. I am not boasting or bragging; I am pointing out the time it would take me to deep clean those every week. Hell no, good sir. Pass. I put Chris in charge of his own shitter so frankly I don’t know how often that one gets cleaned, other than when we have guest. Moving right along…
  • Dinner and bath time.

Thursday:

  • The Little Gym at 10:30. Run errands if there are any to run.
  • Mom gets to write so if there are not leftovers to eat (which 9 out of 10 times there is) we eat out. I write and work until I summoned by either my husband or child.

Friday:

  • This is a fairly new schedule so on Friday I am often doing something I missed or couldn’t get to earlier in the week.
  • Work 5 pm at restaurant job until I am done. This is the same for Saturday and Sunday.

Having a toddler pretty much requires you to have a ‘no agenda’ type attitude, which makes it hard to have a ‘stay on top of the house work, keep money coming in, have lots of sex with husband and cook delicious meals everyday’ type of attitude as well.

Something snaps eventually, and I am not trying to a 20/20 episode. During my recent self-discovery and coming out to the world that I am not the real deal Martha Stewart type I may or may not have mentioned that I also rely on a village (husband, friends, coworkers, that nice British guy at Target) to make it through my day and I am attached to my monthly planner.

I share a monthly planning app on my phone with my husband for joint stuff, but I am old school to the core and love to write it down. It is a process for me… it relaxes me to put in on paper and read it when I need to. I hold a lot of titles and I do a lot with my time. I need help keeping it all together, down to what I plan to cook to where I need to be at any given time. I like to set goals and I like check them off as I accomplish them.

Plus who doesn’t look forward to buying ANYTHING from Target. Especially their stationary and craft supplies; they have really stepped it up in that department. I get inspired walking around there sometimes.

In regards to anxiety, I find that having a plan keeps my mind on track and keeps me working on what I am supposed to be. It also has allowed to me let go of the feeling that I need to vacuum or dust all the time (for example). I know that I am going to tackle those exact jobs on their designated day, and I can move my focus to whatever else it is I need to, or want to depending on the day! Like today, writing!

I planned this schedule out very carefully. It fits my current schedule perfectly and is flexible all at the same time. Look at today, I saved my day for writing for a day that I know the household chores would be done and a day that dad would be available for an extended to amount of time to take the baton and make sure Charlotte stays alive. Heavy planning that if you notice, isn’t driven by the hands on the clock. I still feel in control, and relaxed enough to bust out something enjoyable for my readers.

Having this routine for the last month has brought down my stress level. I live in a larger house now, not much larger, but a bit larger in square footage and with more rooms. There is just more to do in the area of cleaning. I like a clean house, and even though my husband would say “I don’t really care one way or the other” or something to that affect, he likes the house clean too. He is compulsively doing the dishes.

I quickly realized it takes a LONG time getting this sucker clean. I also realized that in keeping with my 2016 goals, that you can check out in my post http://suburbanmishap.com/the-year-i-took-for-myself/, I decided to break it up into days. More than that, I needed to break up the deeper cleaning and not go bat-shit bananas over a little dust or toothe paste in the sink. I don’t have to pull out the rubber gloves every time I need to clean up just a little.

The cleaning and appointment/errand day routine was born and boom, I sleep better at night.

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My love/hate relationship with the month of February

A few years ago, the title would have just read, “my favorite month is February” followed by all the reasons under the sun that made me love the month of February.

I still love the month very much, but now the month comes with a dark cloud of remembrance for me.

I love celebrating birthdays, ask any of my close friends and family. I find excitement and pride in finding the perfect gift for someone’s birthday. I like to listen closely to clues, I try to remember what they appreciated while we were out shopping and I would say I retain information well.

As you can imagine, I also love celebrating my birthday. Which happens to fall close to February; my birthday is in March.

I believe my early love of my birthday started when I was single digits. I don’t have a lot of good memories with my mom, but I do have a fair amount of great memories of my birthday celebrations with her. Let’s just say, she went big, or she went home… this taught me early to value birthdays and that making someone feel special on their birthday makes you feel good too. PSA: My love language involves gifts and acts of appreciation. Mixed in with some positive chatter about how beneficial, beautiful, talented, creative, thoughtful and loving I am… blah blah blah.

Anyways, after lots of money and time invested thinking about it, in my heart I believe she always tried to do really cool things for my birthdays like the dirty dancing themed birthday party I had and another one that involved marijuana and a séance because the rest of the year she was pretty “hands-off”. She fumbled through parenting because she was very busy fumbling through her life with no real support or means of getting any. She was broken early on and spent a good amount of time doing things that kept her on a path that didn’t lead to anything positive. For the most part of her life. Once she learned how to stop getting in her own way, it was too late.  Despite the relationship I had with her as a youth,  and the 11 years we had no contact, we managed to create and nurture a new relationship.

She was diagnosed with stage 4 small cell lung cancer in 2008 I think and at this time I was still  active duty and received a red cross message and had to go. I bought her a beautiful peach Italian jewelry box as a gift to give her. Even though our parting terms probably would alleviate me of the responsibility of a gift. But it was engrained early that it makes people feel good and that makes you feel good. So after 11 years of no contact at all, I fly from Italy back to Texas with this jewelry box. She had a necklace waiting for me.  We spent time together and decided to move on and spend the remaining years together, in each others lives.

She became my best friend. She loved the man I picked as my partner. She walked me down the aisle and attended my bachelorette party. She loved her birthday too, and it was February 23rd. I miss her and I miss celebrating the hell out of her birthday because it always made her happy for months, no matter how sick she was at the time. I have those gifts now, and my daughter plays with them and they live on in her room. She never got to meet Charlotte. She was holding on past the 6-month sentence, but once she knew the pregnancy with Charlotte was healthy she passed soon after.

She would have been 53, but she would tell you 45.

February 23rd also happens to be my favorite aunt and uncle’s birthdays. She is the glue to our family and Adrian and I grew up pretty much like brother and sister.

The last reason I love this month is that my favorite holiday is Valentines Day. Go ahead, roll your eyes, I love this hallmark holiday. I  love being doted on, I love being taken out, I love receiving gifts as you already read. The date I knew Chris was the one was Valentines Day. He got the fucking memo and I was taken care of.

So, you can see the love/hate relationship I now have and will always have with this month. One minute I am thinking of my momma crying into my chocolates and another minute I am sobbing in a bubble bath full of new bath products. Poor Chris. I think he knew it was going to be an emotional roller coaster this month and planned ahead because he has received 4 boxes in 1 week from stores he does not shop at.

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