Keep Your Goals In Sight…Especially If Your Goal Is The Bathroom

toilet

I was recently pretty sick and though the majority of my symptoms are gone, I still don’t feel 100% like myself. That’s probably due to the root reason for my illness. My mind. Not that I’m saying I’m sick in the head…wait, maybe that is what I’m saying….

So, for as long as I can remember, I’ve had a sensitive stomach. It wasn’t until a few years ago that my weak tum-tum got labeled as irritable, as if it were a fussy infant or a grouchy elderly gentleman.

Grandpa Simpson

After a series of tests, from food allergies to the most undesirable ‘oscopies, my condition got me lumped into the Irritable Bowel Syndrome category. I say lumped, because it seems like this diagnosis is what you get when there’s absolutely no reason for your symptoms, and yet, there they are. Basically, what it boiled down to was that it was all in my head. Now, as a long-time sufferer from this apparently mentally-driven illness, THAT IS THE LAST THING YOU WANT TO BE TOLD. It sounds messed up, but you almost hope that they find an ulcer just so you have a reason for feeling so awful. It’s not like the Dr. said verbatim, “You’re making this up in your head,” but it still felt like it was my fault.

Anxiety has plagued me as far back as the single digits, with depression joining the party in my teens, and apparently, when it runs amuck, it can cause major irritability in your guts. So, I literally worry myself sick. And trying not to, only makes me think about it more, and makes the rumbly in my tumbly rage on.

True story.
True story.

Aside from taking more pills, there doesn’t seem like a way to escape myself. I’ve considered meditation and heard good things about it. Maybe I’ll give it a try. I just can’t imagine turning off the unending movie in my head.

I know I’m not alone, even if the subject matter is a little, um “unmentionable.” Well, I’m mentioning it. And not like the cute little cartoon bowel in the commercial,

Yeah. No.
Yeah. No.

like the raging, angry, week-ruining, temper-tantrum-throwing jerk that it is.

There we go.
There we go.

The reason for this most recent flare-up? Well, I’m working up the courage to write it down…because once it’s down in writing, it becomes more than just a random, fleeting thought zipping down the interstate of my mind. Next rest stop: 50 miles. Uh-oh.

#WINNING
#WINNING

~L~

Task Away!!!!!!!!

Newton’s second law of motion as defined by my handy Google search states that the acceleration of an object is dependent on two variables: the net force acting upon the object and the mass of the object. I love facts and I love Google.

Today a great deal of information is right at our fingertips. For me, it is right on my smartphone. The only Internet access we have is through our cell phone carrier. Because my phone and internet is so handy, I am shamelessly addicted to reading articles, Google-ing questions (and of course useless movie info), checking social media statuses, and fantasizing about my house looking like photos on various home improvement sights. Unfortunately, it is hard to draw the line where fact ends and fantasy begins.  Is the internet “information” I am filling my head with really useful? What am I doing mentally to promote a healthy movement forward? What does this have to do with me writing a blog?

Well, I often wonder why I am so excited about writing and less than enthusiastic about reading a book. I know to grow as a writer I must expose myself to various writing techniques, points of view, and genres but instead, I find myself filling up on all the tidbits the Internet has to offer.  I often remind myself that I should finish any one of the many books I have been working on for months, so I pick one up and once again become distracted. What is wrong with me? Why can’t my mind sit still? I have asked myself these questions quite a bit in the last three months. I know I have been distracted by my own health problems. I have taken a break to allow myself time to accept and rebuild my life with the knowledge of my own illnesses. It was also nearly impossible for me to keep a straight thought after being injected with steroids for my RA several times in the last few months (making me feel less like the Hulk and more like the Joker), the last round ending an ambulance ride for an allergic reaction. I also admit that I like instant gratification. I don’t want to wait for a story to end, I want to know what happens NOW! What if I have another severe allergic reaction and die before I know how the story ends? I know that is why I don’t get hooked on mini-series or television programs, I hate cliff-hangers! It doesn’t mean that I have never finished a book or indulged in a favorite program, it just means that I have acquired a taste for the get-it-now lifestyle this world is becoming accustomed to experiencing. Lastly, I have made it my life’s purpose to attempt to perfect the art of multitasking. I once heard (or probably read some short article) about how to multitask efficiently. It probably declared, “Find something to do when you are between doing another something! Don’t sit idle when there is something else to do!!” This is why I struggle finishing any of the ten tasks I start because I go from one to the other without finishing what I started in the first place! I know how my brain works. If I think of something, I probably should take care of whatever it is, or I will forget. So I start one thing, remember another, then another, and keep building until my brain melts. ~Sigh~ I have gotten better at my multitasking lifestyle; my house is very clean for a large family but my purse isn’t. My laundry is washed and folded as it comes out of the dryer but often doesn’t make its way upstairs before the next laundry day comes around. I have a list of planned meals on my fridge but often eat out because I am too tired to prepare a meal after a long day and swollen joints. In short, I am my own roadblock. How can I possibly move forward when I am sabotaging myself by just being myself? According to Newton’s law, I’m screwed! Anytime I get determination behind my actions, I can’t get moving! I don’t have the strength (literally or figuratively)!
Forward motion takes strength. I have to have muscle behind my words and actions.

By many accounts, I am a strong person but the variables beyond my control have taken the muscle out of my plans. My body got weak and so I got weak. I stopped moving. Who knows how long it will take to adjust to my life without my usual might but at least I understand my weaknesses and this post is one step forward. Isn’t that what’s important? Keep moving forward, even when it’s hard. For me, it’s picking up a book and finishing it, even if it takes all year, organizing my purse or cooking a meal. It’s also taking what I love and using it to my advantage, like searching for Newton’s Laws of Physics and using that information in my next post. I many not have the muscle I used to but I do have creativity!

~d~

Three is a Crowd in the Legend of Me

Everyone has a brood of exes and as my co-blogger has pointed out in her last post, running into one can be, well, interesting. I have three major exes in my life, one ex-boyfriend, one ex-fiancee, and an ex-husband. I have been fortunate to avoid all three for the last twelve plus years. Sure, there is Facebook with the occasional photo but that is a picnic compared to the awkward confrontation. Fortunately my ex fiancée (I will call him Penny Roller) moved out of town and then out of state, my other two exes are still local but I moved away for ten years, thus making a run-in very unlikely. I have since moved closer to my hometown so running into my ex-boyfriend (we will call him Duff) and ex-husband (Holes) a real possibility.

I don’t look forward to the awkward day I am face to face with my past so I hope it never happens. Running into Duff wouldn’t be so terrible. Despite my memories of his rather mopey mug, he was a nice guy and I worked with his wife after high school and I really like her. After sixteen years, I wouldn’t know what to say to him. The last conversation he and I had, we were high school freshman. Penny Roller would be an interesting encounter. We got engaged in high school and he abruptly ended our relationship. I found my own type of closure but there is too much in our past that would be hard to avoid. There are more humorous moments in our shared past as his nickname implies. He dropped out of high school and joined the army while we were together but between these adventures, he worked sporadically. I remember him rolling loose change to afford to put gas in his noisier than necessary truck to “go mudding” (yes, driving your big ol’ truck in an overabundance of mud is a thing in our state) or buy cigarettes. What I boiled down to was a literal notch in his headboard (he had quite a few). The dreaded meeting would be with my ex-husband, Holes. The darker details to this relationship are spelled out in one of my previous posts. He was the man who had obvious red flags that I somehow ignored. I married him out of guilt and fear of hurting his feelings. I ignored the moldy dishes that were rotting in his sink, the odd collection of figurines (earning him the more humorous nickname Senior Nutcracker), and obvious self-centered behavior. I didn’t want to be another disappointment in his life so I chose to turn a cheek to his lack of interest in aesthetics. Holes had a regular rotation of holey clothes and stories by the time I walked out the door. I know how he is and I anticipate an encounter would entail him telling me how terrible of a person I am.

My trio of exes are a string of examples of my self-loathing behavior. I ended the relationship with my ex-boyfriend after we dated a good portion of my freshman year. Things got awkward with Duff when we stopped socializing with friends and I began to feel like I was married at 15. I left him and began dating Penny Roller. I was taken with him, so much so that I often thought of him long after I married Holes. Penny Roller was one of the many reasons I ran away and right to Holes. I had little confidence in myself and thought I needed to settle for the dependable Holes over the Penny Roller’s antics. I didn’t give myself a chance to swoon over other boys (aside from my life long obsession with Wesley from The Princess Bride), but I did have my share of dates between the three. My legend was just a fable, tucked quietly away in the corner of my mind.

It took a few hundred half-witted smiles, several empty boxes of cigarettes, and a shelf load of odd knick-nacks later to finally break free of my trio and meet my legend. I am still amazed by him today. The day may come when I encounter one or all three of the ghosts from my past but despite what happened, I am finally confident in the decisions I have made. I know a chance encounter will no longer bubble up lingering feelings because I know I am exactly where I am meant to be. What memories I choose to hold on are the ones I can laugh at and others that solidify the best decision I ever made.

*d*

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Wesley: “As you wish.”
Me: “Giggle, giggle.”

It’s Parenting Time!

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Here are a few steps that will prepare you for parenthood. Good luck!

Every time you are headed to the bathroom, make a phone call. Draw out the conversation as long as possible, preferably until the urge has passed.

When you finally make it to the bathroom, set a timer for one minute and make sure you are finished within that minute. (Kids apparently think the world will end if you are in the bathroom any longer.)

After every visit to the restroom, open the door to wipe and flush. As hard as you try, modesty doesn’t last long after the children figure out how to open the door.

Before taking a shower, throw in a few Legos. This exercise will help your feet callous properly before they end up anywhere under foot. It will also prepare you for the toys that will eventually end up in the bathtub.

Much like bathroom time, dinner will also become a blood sport. Learn to eat as much as you can in the shortest amount of time possible. Better still, eat the food cold.

After eating a meal, throw half of what remains directly on the floor or in the trash. Before kids figure out how to eat, the food gets on the floor more than their mouth and once they perfect this, they won’t want to eat.

When changing to a new outfit, find a way to make it dirty. Get used to the idea of food, snot or worse hiding somewhere on your clothes.

When the phone rings, turn up the television or radio louder than necessary. A ringing phone somehow also doubles as the volume on children. Once the phone rings, the volume goes up.

Perfect inefficient multitasking. Parenting demands multitasking but unfortunately, it’s almost impossible. Start practicing now by putting the milk in the cupboard or throw some dirty dishes in the freshly run dishwasher. Yes, these things happen.

Learn to have alone time quickly and be sneaky about it. Try opening the blinds and turn the light on during the deed. If you can perfect this, you may find a couple minutes for each other once you have kids.

Spend a few hours every night talking to a wall. There will be a time when you will wonder if the walls listen better than the kids.

Set your alarm for 3 a.m. every night. Spend the next hour wishing you were asleep. Get used to it as soon as possible. “Psst, you never will.”

Brush up on your math. Kids multiply everything by ten. You will need to be able to translate. They also have no concept of time. Everything will take forever.

Parenting is hard work but so rewarding. Make sure you find time to laugh!

*d*