Thursday, April 29, 2010

What was I going to do?

This is dedicated to my sister, Lisa. I am her “favorite blogger.” I am also the only blogger she reads. I love you. And thank you for being my biggest fan. . .

I washed my face with hair mousse last night. This of course wasn’t my plan. I had just gotten home from teaching a class at CFLT. I was tired. The girls were complaining about getting ready for bed. The cats were on my counter wanting a drink from the sink. All I wanted to do was get in to my pajamas, wash my face, put on my numerous wrinkle-prevention products and relax on the couch. And my mind was racing about all kinds of things I need to do and was trying not to forget. So after applied said “cleanser” to my face, my first thought was “wow, this is sticky.” It was about that time that I was trying desperately to scrub off mascara with no luck, that I realized that I was indeed washing my face with hair product! I looked in the mirror. My eyes were squinted at this point because, just so you know, mousse stings, and I said to myself, “You are losing your mind.”

I’ve been a bit distracted lately. A bit “off.” I’ve always thought of myself as highly organized – and not forgetful. Not like my sister, Lisa, or Trisha Brock “organized” – but pretty dang good. But when I really look at my life, I think that statement only applies to me as an employee. And that’s maybe because I put a “job” before my personal life when I have one. I can say that I am an exemplary employee. Never miss a deadline. Never had a poor review. Always did my job to the best of my ability. Was it because I got paid? Or because I felt appreciated? I don’t know.

Over the last 9 years, since becoming a Mom, I’ve tried to be my former “organized” self. But I think I’m finally ready to admit, that this isn’t the best job for me. Don’t get me wrong, I am doing it and getting it done. I keep a clean house, bills are paid, and the girls are where they need to be on time. They are well loved, and well mannered. I think by most standards, I do a good enough job, although I usually feel a bit crazy.

So maybe I’m not as “on it” as I thought I once was. Or maybe I only think about the stuff that I want to, and the other stuff just goes by the way side to be dealt with only when absolutely necessary. There is so much to remember and keep track of. Specifically when you have school aged kids. Do you know how much paper comes home with kids? I wish I was the Mom who always knew what was going on at school, but I’m not. I usually scan the kids’ folders and unless something really jumps out at me, then it gets a quick deposit to the recycle bin. And then Cari or Michelle reminds me about Skate Nights and Muffins with Mom. I should write this stuff down.

I’ve also determined that I am not good at remembering upcoming special occasions. If you’re my good friend and you’ve rarely received a birthday card over the last 10 years or so, well then, already know this about me. My sister has told me several times that if I kept an updated calendar of these important dates I’d be fine. Unfortunately, I do this some years and some years I just don’t. But don’t worry, it does work both ways – I really won’t hold it against you if you forget my birthday. I promise.

So I have decided to get things in order. Come up with systems to remember things – and places to put everything – from birthdays to school activities, CFLT business, and of course my personal life. I am capable of this. I just have to make the time to do it. Make organizing my life a priority, instead of just dealing with things as they present themselves. In the long run, I’ll be much better off having a true plan of action rather than having my, at times a bit flighty, brain clogged with all of the random things a women/wife/mother has to think about. It seems rather overwhelming and time consuming to try and come up with a better strategy, but what I am doing now certainly isn’t efficient and is clearly not working.

First line of business? Separate hair products from face cleansers on the bathroom counter!

Friday, April 9, 2010

A great snatch and other happy things.

My days didn’t start great this week. Nothing horribly wrong, just your run of the mill “not great” mornings. The girls started fighting at the breakfast table, brought it upstairs, yelled when I brushed their hair “gently” – so I showed them what “hard” felt like. Sophia told me at the last minute that she needed lunch money. Stella panicked because one of her library books didn’t get read. I didn’t have any money in my purse for “Friday’s treats.” Bobby the cat, puked up hair bands left on the floor by the girls that he’d eaten. . . in about 7 places. The other two cats had been trying to eat the pet fish for breakfast, so I need to re-tape the tanks the kitchen counter. My husband called at my busiest time and was irritated that I didn’t have “five minutes to talk.” Both girls picked completely inappropriate outfits for a very cold windy day because they saw sunshine. I had to make them change. If you’re a Mom you know why this is an awful process. My computer won’t connect to the internet consistently and I can’t figure out why, which is a problem when you need to pay bills and you do this online. And finally, I have somehow gained somewhere in the range of five or more pounds – I don’t weight myself, but my jeans are saying very nasty things to me. So when even your workout pants feel tight and you have to look for your loosest tank, it kind of puts you over the top, so to speak. Anyway. . . like I said, nothing life threatening. . . just life.

So what do I do when I’m having a bad day? Or consecutive bad days? Well, here are a few of my “go-to” things that make me “happier” for the moment. I’m not going to tell you any heavy-deep-and-real things. My happy little things are sometimes rather shallow and simple. Some are physically productive. None are in particular order. And I do not do all of these things on a given day. But on very awful days, I just may do them all!

New lip gloss. Always makes me smile. Even though I generally purchase a shade very similar to what I already own. I still like putting it on. I’m a bit of an addict.

Phone calls. To anyone who will listen to you. Usually a best girl friend. I’m very blessed to have several to choose from. They sometimes probably wish they could be put the bottom of the “call” list.

New jammies. Nothing feels better than putting on a new pair of p.j.’s. I just like them. I put them on very early on Friday nights when we have nothing going on. I own A LOT of jammies.

Self-Tanner. A pale girls’ best friend. Nothing makes me feel better than seeing a bit of color on my skin. Especially when I am feeling a bit frumpy. Brings me back to the days of Yakima sunshine and baby-oil suntans.

New sweat pants. These are great because they are never tight. So if the above mentioned five pounds are bothering you, you can avoid tight jeans and put these on and feel a bit cute.

Painted toe-nails. A new coat of polish can do wonders for your mood. Not sure why pink toes make me happy, but they do.

Picking up big weights. There is nothing like a great snatch or a heaving clean & jerk to clear your head and make you feel powerful.

Muscle-ups. Not everyone can do these. A very cool thing to remind your self that you’re capable of.

Coffee. Not the kind your pour from your pot at home – the kind you pay too much for when you’re with a friend. And then drink it with that friend. You’ll start taking about things that don’t make you irritated, or you may re-hash the things that do, but either way, you’re getting it out of your system.

Wine and great music and dancing. Enough said.

I lied, there is one heavy-deep-and-real thing that I do when I’m having a really bad day. I call my Mom. She makes me happy. She’s the most amazing women in the world. She’s lived through anything that comes at me and can make me see what matters and what doesn’t. Sometimes however, she can make me mad. This is usually when she’s making sense and I choose not to, but I love her more than anything and value whatever she says to me. I hope she knows this. I think she does.

This is not my be-all end-all list of things that can change my mood, but they are right up there.

Simple things that make me happy. What do you turn to when you’re needing a pick-me-up?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Like fine wine

This is a picture of me at age 24. Tomorrow I turn 40.

Is this a life milestone? It would seem to be if you follow the media or ask anyone nearing the age. Apparently I’m about to become an official “Cougar,” although I’m not certain if that applies to married women, or not. I’ll take the title either way. I think it makes us “older” women sound tough and like a force to be reckoned with. Complementary, I believe. But black greeting cards and balloons everywhere? It leaves one to believe that turning forty is near death. Dismay. Depression. Midlife crisis? It doesn’t have to be. Or gosh, I hope not, because it’s happening to me.

Am I overly concerned about entering my forties? In some ways, yes and in some ways, not all at. My body is healthier and stronger now then its ever been. That’s a good thing. I also spend more time these days thinking about what I want to do when I “grow up,” and not wanting to waste time on things not worth the time or energy. Another good thing. But I definitely spend a lot more time thinking about combating wrinkles and grey hair. Not a good thing. But besides that, I'm realizing, that turning 40 isn't such a big deal. I wake up and a feel just like I did 20 years ago. Well, that’s not entirely true. After a “late” night, I suppose I don’t recover like I did in my twenties. But in the moment, I still party like I am! Don’t tell me that I don’t dance like the twenty-something’s -- or look just about as good. . . in a dimly lit bar. . . around midnight. . . ahhhhh. . . the things we tell ourselves. But I digress.

My Grandma used to look at photographs of her current self and tell me that she wondered “who is that old lady in these pictures?” She said that she didn’t feel as old as she was. I’m very much the same. Maybe we all are. Those of us who want to remain young, tend to “feel” like we are ageless. Ageless. What an amazing concept.

I’ve met people who are young and think of themselves as “old souls.” There are people who are young and act as though they are much older than their calendar years. I wonder why they would want to run from their youth. And I know people who haven’t let the year they were born dictate their interests, or slow them down in the least. They still do all of the things they loved to do when they were younger. They haven’t bought in to the idea that we have to discard what we loved to do as kids because we’ve grown older. That is the person I will be.

“Ageless” can be applied to our behavior – but our aesthetic appearance as well. This is a topic all on its own, but I will apply it to my specific concerns. What do we do when we see those awful lines between our brows? The deep lines in our foreheads? I swear that I have been “surprised” and “pissed” for my entire life. I have lines that will tell you as much. They won’t go away. I’ve tried every wrinkle cream known to man. They won’t budge. Botox? Restalyne? Not sure where I stand on all of that yet. We should embrace the aging process. I always said, “never.” I said that many years ago. . . For now, what you see is all natural. But I will tell you when or if I decide to go that route. And I just may. As far as grey hair goes? NEVER. I will color my hair and get rid of those obnoxious little silver devils every 6 weeks or so forever. Seriously.

And what do I want to do with the rest of my life? Turning 40 doesn't mean I need to know today. But I will admit that this time of my life seems to be filled with retro-intro-spection. It’s my time to figure out who I want to be, if I don’t already know. And I don’t, so there you go. I suspect that I will take life as it comes, one day at a time, like I have, for the last as many years as I’ve been responsible for making my own decisions.
I was born April 6th, 1970. Tomorrow I turn 40. It will be a good day indeed.