I am a mom, a wife, & an often disgruntled lab tech. I write, knit, crochet, cook, & just try to make it. My writing blog is wordsontheceiling.tumblr.com if you'd like to check it out. Thanks for hanging out in my head space! ~D

 

Writing truth

I want to use NaNoWriMo as a motivator to get off my ass and get something done, but the truth is that I am just plain scared.

I have enough material written for at least one novel, if not more. All it needs is hard editing. But I’m afraid to do it. If I do it, I need to publish it. Because that’s the logical next step, right?

I don’t think I’ll get some big deal from a publishing house. I’ve always kind of planned on starting with self-publishing an ebook first. Most days, though, I just don’t think it’s good enough. I don’t think I am good enough.

Part of me wants to, but the rest of me is terrified to put it (and myself) out there. So instead I just spin my wheels, saying that it’s not ready yet, when the truth is, the only thing not ready is ME.

This is my jam…..

No really, it’s MY jam. And a damn good batch, if I do say so myself. The planets aligned for me once again, and I had all my people in the kitchen as I made it, sharing bourbon cream coffee and laughter. I stressed less about it and somehow everything worked better.

On the downside of that subject, staying up until 2:30 talking and sipping doesn’t work well when the kids wake up hungry at 6:45. I’m running on caffeine and stubbornness right now. Worth it, though.

Finally faced the music of shoe shopping for the Dynamic Duo yesterday. It is a chore due to Trouble 1 still being in fiberglass foot/ankle braces to correct her gait. The only tennis shoes we could find that would accommodate them were old-school Converse. Of course, Trouble 2 has to have the same thing, so now they’re the proud wearers of teal low-top Chucks, with yellow interior, double layer yellow and pink tongues, and hot-pink laces.

Today has been lazy, due to the first two points of this post. Playing outside, lounging on the couch, a little bit of laundry… Good thing I have to work an odd shift tomorrow. I might actually have some alone time in the house to get things done.

On the flipside of THAT: I have to cover our walk-in, redi-care clinic’s lab tomorrow night for about four hours. I am praying I don’t come home with the flu or some bullshit like that.

I don’t talk about it much, but we share custody of my oldest with her father. She was with us for seven days straight during her fall break while we were on vacation, and now every time she is gone to be with him, I get emotional. We’ve had this custody arrangement for 11 years, so usually I just block those feelings out, but having her all to myself and then just not…. It hurts. And that sucks.

I’ve been napping while the little ones nap, but they’re waking up, so I should get up, too. Boo. This has been long enough, though. If you made it to the end of it, you deserve a prize. Too bad you can’t taste this jam…
This is my jam…..

No really, it’s MY jam. And a damn good batch, if I do say so myself. The planets aligned for me once again, and I had all my people in the kitchen as I made it, sharing bourbon cream coffee and laughter. I stressed less about it and somehow everything worked better.

On the downside of that subject, staying up until 2:30 talking and sipping doesn’t work well when the kids wake up hungry at 6:45. I’m running on caffeine and stubbornness right now. Worth it, though.

Finally faced the music of shoe shopping for the Dynamic Duo yesterday. It is a chore due to Trouble 1 still being in fiberglass foot/ankle braces to correct her gait. The only tennis shoes we could find that would accommodate them were old-school Converse. Of course, Trouble 2 has to have the same thing, so now they’re the proud wearers of teal low-top Chucks, with yellow interior, double layer yellow and pink tongues, and hot-pink laces.

Today has been lazy, due to the first two points of this post. Playing outside, lounging on the couch, a little bit of laundry… Good thing I have to work an odd shift tomorrow. I might actually have some alone time in the house to get things done.

On the flipside of THAT: I have to cover our walk-in, redi-care clinic’s lab tomorrow night for about four hours. I am praying I don’t come home with the flu or some bullshit like that.

I don’t talk about it much, but we share custody of my oldest with her father. She was with us for seven days straight during her fall break while we were on vacation, and now every time she is gone to be with him, I get emotional. We’ve had this custody arrangement for 11 years, so usually I just block those feelings out, but having her all to myself and then just not…. It hurts. And that sucks.

I’ve been napping while the little ones nap, but they’re waking up, so I should get up, too. Boo. This has been long enough, though. If you made it to the end of it, you deserve a prize. Too bad you can’t taste this jam…

So it was a rough day. You yelled a bit, perhaps feel like a failure, fear for your child’s future, are resentful toward a spouse who doesn’t connect emotionally.

I have a message today for every single woman out there who has worked so hard to raise her children, who has sacrificed to make home a safe place with unconditional acceptance and love, who has struggled to hold her family together, sometimes with an unsupportive spouse, who stays up late worrying about her family and rises early to pray for them, who sometimes suffers in silence but keeps going, who has worked and labored harder than anyone knows to make changes in her life, to break those old patterns, but who never feels like she’s done enough or is good enough. I want you to let this sink in. Repeat it again and again.

I am proud of you.
I am proud of you.
I am proud of you.

You don’t hear that enough. Either from others or yourself.

You are NOT a bad Mom if your child doesn’t brush his teeth or hair, wash his hands or wipe his feet, or eat everything (or even anything!) on his plate even though there are children starving in Africa.

You are NOT a bad Mom if your kids squabble with each other and act ungrateful even though you never had all these electronics and advantages when you were a kid.

You are NOT a bad Mom if your kids go to school with mismatched clothes (or the same hoody for 12 straight days!) and pre-packed, processed lunches instead of home-made, organically grown meals.

YOU are a GREAT Mom because you love your children more than anything else in this world; because you sacrifice for them daily so they can be healthy, safe and happy; because even when you are exhausted, you get up in the middle of the night to calm their fears or stomach aches; because there is nothing as fierce, loyal and relentless as the love of a mother. You are a GREAT Mom and don’t you forget it.

Kirk Martin (Celebrate Calm)

Every mother I know needs to hear these words….

Starting gate five

5. I had my three favorite people in the world in one room last night. It made me really, really happy. Nice change from an otherwise rocky week.

4. The state inspectors are coming back today at work. They took pictures of my lab yesterday, and today they will be combing through ALL of my paperwork for the past two years with a fine-toothed comb. I am not excited.

3. As we were buckling the dynamic duo into their car seats this morning, Trouble 2 announced that she had “sharp teeth”. I was like, “ooookay….” An silently prayed that se didn’t intend to test them out on anyone at school. Sometimes they say the most off the wall stuff.

2. Last night I used some lavender baby wash in their bath and you could actually see their mood improve as the smell permeated the room. That shit is golden. Permanent addition to the bedtime routine. Yay aromatherapy!

1. I’m almost over my typical end of vacation sinus crap. It would help if the weather here would settle, but it’s getting better. I still could use a day of hot tea and knitting, but isn’t that how we feel everyday? Yep. Can’t someone pay me to just be cute and make cool stuff??

I’d better stop scrolling and get my war paint on. I’ve got a scowling inspector to face. Peace out, y’all.

Unsolicited advice: part 489

Be careful while bending over backward to help someone…. You may accidentally twist yourself into a very painful pretzel. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

In related news, who in the hell let all the idiots out today? It’s like everyone has lost their freaking mind.

http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/ebola-factsheet.pdf

monkeyfrog:

This is an ebola fact sheet from the CDC. Ignore media outlets, and stick with facts.

Most importantly, wash your fucking hands, peoples. It’s flu season. And if you are sick, stay home. Don’t be an asshole.

This. All day long.

This is a bad picture of the cowl/infinity scarf I FINALLY finished for bourbonismyspiritguide . I couldn’t post it until I gave it to her because I wanted it to be a surprise. 

Please ignore how weird my neck looks… I took this in the car. I promise I haven’t aged twenty years overnight or turned into a turkey.

This is a bad picture of the cowl/infinity scarf I FINALLY finished for bourbonismyspiritguide . I couldn’t post it until I gave it to her because I wanted it to be a surprise.

Please ignore how weird my neck looks… I took this in the car. I promise I haven’t aged twenty years overnight or turned into a turkey.

Confession time:

I have never had a pumpkin spice latte or anything of the sort. It just didn’t sound appealing. (I know, I expect someone to revoke my white girl card at that admission.)

Then, this morning, I was cold and sleepy at work and I poured myself a cup of coffee. A coworker suggested I try her pumpkin spice creamer that was in the fridge. I was skeptical, but she and I like many of the same foods, so I did, and…. Whoa. It was like a hug from inside my mouth.

I’m not sure how I feel about that. It’s awfully mainstream of me, but that shit was actually quite tasty.

Confession time:

I have never had a pumpkin spice latte or anything of the sort. It just didn’t sound appealing. (I know, I expect someone to revoke my white girl card at that admission.)

Then, this morning, I was cold and sleepy at work and I poured myself a cup of coffee. A coworker suggested I try her pumpkin spice creamer that was in the fridge. I was skeptical, but she and I like many of the same foods, so I did, and…. Whoa. It was like a hug from inside my mouth.

I’m not sure how I feel about that. It’s awfully mainstream of me, but that shit was actually quite tasty.

Things I learned on this vacation:

1. Having an adult-sized kid along with just me and the husband was different and a little like having a third roommate. Sometimes that hotel room felt really small.

2. It was cool, though, when I borrowed a pair of her shorts. That was also a surreal moment, realizing that my kid’s clothes actually fit me. I topped out height-wise at 14. I don’t think she has far to go before she’s at her limit, too.

3. Embarrassing your offspring is fun. Nothing like dancing at a street party to generate a look of horror on your teenager’s face.

4. Never apologize for what makes you excited and giddy. Have fun. Life is short.

5. I’ve become entirely too serious. That must be remedied. I think I’ve gotten stuck in the “what I should be according to ______” mode.

6. Let go of your kids every once in a while. It’s good for them to learn to find their equilibrium without your constant hovering. (Talking to myself here.)

7. I’m really wanting an upper arm/shoulder tattoo now. Have to refine the design and put on a little muscle first. Back to the gym!

One good choice

**Disclaimer: I almost didn’t post this because I didn’t want to sound like another skinny girl whining about her imperfect body. But then I remembered why I wrote it. And that’s because the fashion and advertising industries are killing our young women with unrealistic expectations of beauty and so-called perfection. I want people to know what happens on the inside and how insane that industry is. If you don’t want to read my story, please skip. Thanks.*

I read a post the other day about the fashion industry, sickly thin models, and retouching of photos so that they still looked thin, but it was unrealistically thin and healthy, not a true reflection of their starvation. As usual, it turned my stomach.

When I was 17, I went to a national modeling convention. I’m not classically pretty, as the few selfies I’ve posted prove, but I had been told there was something “interesting” about my look, and my natural thinness and unreasonably long limbs piqued a local agency’s interest. This isn’t me bragging…. I always have considered my physique odd and a bit freakish (and I always will), but if you look at most runway models next to regular people, they tend to look like abnormally thin giraffes. It’s not about beauty. But for a kid that had always been super insecure about her looks, it was a whole new world for me.

I did a local photoshoot, practiced my “walk”, worked on posture, booked a few meaningless jobs locally, and prepared to meet with bigger agencies at the convention, hoping to catch someone’s eye. But what happened once I was there wasn’t something I was prepared for.

I was ready to be turned down because of my height. I’m 5’4”, even though my stats on my card said 5’6”, and that would historically have taken high fashion off the table. But I don’t have a catalog face (I’m too odd), so I was prepared to be told they didn’t know how to market me. My local agency had already told me that, but Kate Moss was in her heyday, so shorter, boyish-figured girls were getting more jobs than ever, and they were hoping someone would like my look.

Instead, they basically told me I was too fat. At the time, I might have weighed 105. I have a very straight frame, no real curves, and back then I definitely had no extra fat, but I had more than one person tell me that weekend that my waist was “way too thick”. At 27 inches. One woman actually said “If you can get it down to around a 25, I might be able to get you some work, but even then I can’t promise anything. It really needs to be less than that.”

I was appropriately horrified, as was my mother. My belly was flat and nonexistent, my abs were naturally tight… I had spent my entire life defending my thinness and refuting anorexia rumors. What did they want me to do, lose an internal organ to get smaller? Nothing short of drugs and an eating disorder could have made my waist thinner.

I was done. I told my mother I was sorry about any money she had sunk into the adventure thus far, but I wasn’t interested in pursuing it anymore. Thankfully she agreed, and I went home and finished my senior year of high school.

But sometimes I’ve flipped past “America’s Next Top Model” or seen a post like the one that got me thinking about this, and I’ll wonder: what would have happened if I had tried to follow their so-called “advice”? Would I have worked somewhere like New York? Or would I be hooked on drugs and in prison? Or would I be dead, having starved myself to the point my body was consuming its own tissues?

Funny thing, though: not once did anyone or any part of that little adventure make me feel pretty. You’re marketing yourself as a living mannequin, nothing more than a walking clothes rack or accessory for whatever someone is selling and the agents never let you forget that. Plus, none of it is real. A model is a canvas, a paper doll, nothing more. I’ve seen what magic is worked by professional stylists and I have the pictures of myself to prove it. Whomever you are when you start means nothing. You will only ever be what “they” want you to be.

The fashion industry is complete bullshit and I’m glad I got away from it before it sucked me in. Not many of my decisions at that age were decent in retrospect, but that one I am very proud of.