The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Meanwhile, Behind the Scenes… June 30, 2014

Hello all!  Well, I’ve done it again.  At the end of my last post, I promised updates on my new adventure as a community theater stage manager, and that was approximately a month ago.  Without going back and telling the entire story from the beginning, I think I can sum it up in the following four words:  I. Am. So. Tired!  Here’s a picture partly illuminating why:

Grease set pic

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Stage managing has been great so far.  I was pretty well prepared for all my tasks and duties, having observed all the stage managers of all the shows I’ve been involved with in my year with Ardmore Little Theatre.  Also, having downloaded and printed several stage manager guides from college theater departments, and bought a book on the subject from Amazon, I felt like I knew what I was supposed to do.  And for the most part so far, in this particular situation, I’ve been relatively successful.  The director and I make a good team, but I am already aware that for a different director, I would have to do some things differently, mostly with regard to how I relate to the cast and how I help manage rehearsals (read: be tougher).

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Anyway, for those who don’t know and maybe don’t care to do a quick search, a stage manager is basically the glue that keeps the production together and the engine that drives it.  During rehearsals the stage manager is supposed to watch the time and make sure breaks happen on time, make sure things start and end on time, contact people who are late and find out what’s their holdup, call out actors’ lines when they can’t remember them, communicate  and coordinate with all the non-acting people involved, such as sound, lights, costumes, props, set, and orchestra, etc…THEN when the director has the show shaped the way he or she wants it, and the cast is doing full run-throughs, but especially after there are set pieces to work with, and the lighting and sound have been designed, the stage manager is the one with the headset who tells the tech crew when to raise and lower the curtains, when to fly other pieces in or out, when to cue the lights and sounds, when scene change is completed, etc.  In other words- both during the rehearsal process and the performance period, it is a huge undertaking.

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I was given this opportunity as a relative newbie to the theater and a complete newbie to stage managing other than the preparations I mentioned above.  They took a big leap of faith and trust in me, primarily because I have been the Queen of Gung Ho since I started with the theater, and because they trusted the opinion of one of my good friends who recommended me when they couldn’t get anyone with experience.  I think they already knew they could depend on me- they honored me with the MVP award for this season.  I won an Oscar-like statuette and felt like quite the bigshot.  MVP pic

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So.  Thus far, we have had nightly rehearsals, we are now in our exclusive rental period with the facility we perform in, we are in the process of building our set (which is not happening nearly fast enough) and we open TWO weeks from this Thursday.  Tonight is just the first night the cast is supposed to be “off-book” which means they can’t refer to their scripts during rehearsal. The scary part for ME, the scene change and cue-calling part (standby lights one… lights one go.  Standby fly… fly go) is yet to come.  But based on the way I have handled the challenges I’ve faced so far in this adventure, I really think I will probably make it through the intimidating part with only minor snafus.  At least I hope so.  I am doing my level best to be on the ball with this.  I am determined that the powers that be will not regret taking a chance on me, and of course I am hoping to be given the chance to stage-manage again in the future.

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One huge difficulty here, and one that has besieged me from the beginning of my involvement with ALT, is that a lot of people have started telling me that the problem with this new hobby (and one might even say ‘obsession’ there) is that I am putting the theater ahead of other things, more important things.  Most particularly with regard to my offspring.  As usual, when I get into something, I don’t get into it halfway.  I get into it with a vengeance.  Examples:  figure skating fan, Alaska, books, TV shows, Facebook.  Sometimes it seems like I can only wrap my head around one thing at a time.  In simple terms, I’m away from home.  A lot.  Now, I told the kids when I agreed to do this, that they would be “theater orphans” for the 6 weeks the play was in production.  Yes, the kids all live at home, but the girls are 20 years old.  The Boy is 13.  It’s not like I’m leaving three toddlers at home alone with a bowl of cat food and some water on the floor, ok?  True, they have a variety of behavioral and emotional issues that make it more like leaving 13 year old TRIPLETS at home alone, which is probably not a good idea.  But you get the point.  Sometimes I bring them to set construction and so forth, but mostly they are just not into it, which is fine.

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Anyway.  I will always have people telling me what I should and shouldn’t do with regard to my kids.  And I know I have made “mucho grande” mistakes in raising them, but I can’t and won’t kick myself for that now.  What I can and will do is enjoy my time at the theater and try to make sure I find balance.  I told them today I was sorry I was at the theater so much.  But that’s not gonna change for another 4 weeks.

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I guess this means I’d better not audition for To Kill a Mockingbird, which auditions August 11-12 and runs sometime in late September, huh? Sad face.

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Until next time,

D.

 

 

When the Future You Try Not to Think About Starts Peeking Out At You From Wherever You Hide It June 13, 2013

Cover of "Things That Are"

Cover of Things That Are

Hello all.  I have wanted to update here for a couple of days, but am just now finding a moment.  Today is strange.  Have you ever had one of these days?   Today it feels like the Universe is just kind of pressing in on me from all sides, using everything from the things I see on Facebook to the songs that pop up on iTunes, to force in memories of the past, moments that make you happy and sad at the same time, things you loved that are now gone, and there’s no bringing them back?  Even something as silly as watching a clip of a beloved old actor who is gone now, and it just seems to stand in for all the things you miss?  Today is a day that feels like all the passion and love I have ever had for anybody in my past is trying to bubble out and remind me that they’re not here anymore.  I guess I am saying I’m hurting all of a sudden.

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I know that probably sounds a little dramatic.  It’s just where I am right now.  The other day I spent a whole afternoon reading back through this blog almost from the beginning.  I was a little bit amazed at the progression.  I notice I haven’t talked about the kids recently as much as I used to, but their lives were rolling along pretty simply and normally for a while.  Things are basically fine now too, but I want to share some things that are on my mind.

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Daughter J. has a boyfriend, sort of.  It’s this boy who liked her when they were little, and he moved away and then moved back and found her again.  They are both about 19, but developmentally they both operate on an intellectual and emotional level somewhere about 13 or 14 in a lot of ways.  This new development has re-awakened me to some issues I have thought of off and on over the years, but always managed to block out and avoid thinking about, but now they’re confronting me with a great deal more immediate and relevant presence.  I’m referring to issues of the future, vis. Daughter J’s being able to be married, have children, run a household… things most of us take for granted.   I haven’t really taken an opportunity to talk to her about these things, see where her thoughts are on these issues, find out what her hopes and dreams are.  It’s a hard conversation to have, but I know it’s looming.  I realize that relationship-wise, her future partner is not likely to be a Ph.D. or a C.E.O. but no matter what I want for her, I think the best thing for me to do is just pray and trust that she will find someone who strikes the right balance for her.  Someone who can accept and understand her limitations and still be smart enough to be able to somehow provide for her and be the right person for her to walk through life with, and I just fear this boy is not him.

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And no, it’s not like they’ve been “dating” for very long.  I totally get that these thoughts may be wildly premature, but then again, they may not.  Her history and attachment to this kid goes all the way back to elementary school.  There may be some lost years, but since they’ve reconnected, the whole idea of where her life is heading has popped up in my face and I am forced to think about it.  It may not be this one, but someday The One will probably come along, and I have to accept that.  For both the girls.  (Although Daughter S. is convinced she is never going to have a boyfriend, never going to be loved, and is destined to become the Crazy Cat Lady in the scary house kids throw eggs at on Halloween.  I’m trying to persuade her she’s wrong, but it’s not coming along very well.)

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The thing is, I KNOW that  Daughter J. is bright and capable, and she is perfectly competent to do a lot of things, but trying to visualize what kind of life she will have fills me with so much concern.  The reality is that if she marries this kid or someone very like him, they may always have to have someone who is responsible for looking after them, making sure they are getting things taken care of, etc.  They may or may not decide to have kids, and that may or may not be a good idea, genetics being what they are.

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Basically I am just saying that the future is scary for me right now, and it’s not even my own.  This is how I am feeling and these are the things that are on my mind.  Personally, my own future is bright and wide open and I have all the potential in the world to do almost anything I want, as long as I have the courage to identify and claim it.  I guess I just have to stop worrying and start looking at J’s future in the exact same way, because it really is the same.  I have to prepare her for her life and then let her live it.  Why didn’t anyone ever tell me how hard that would be???

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Until next time,

D.

 

 

I Tried and Tried, But A Good Title For This One Just Wouldn’t Come November 21, 2012

Romeo + Juliet

Romeo + Juliet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello all.  I’d like to start by wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving.  I’ve wanted to write for a couple of days now, and just wasn’t feeling it.  But I do have to share something that happened last night.

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The kids and I (minus Daughter J., because she was at a friend’s house) had just gotten home from town, had supper, and finished watching The Voice.  We had browsed through some silly TV shows, and somehow or other we got on the topic of Romeo and Juliet.  Now as a former English teacher, I have several variations of R&J in my posession- I have both the DiCaprio-Danes movie version and the Hussey-Whiting version.  I have a side-by-side modern/archaic written version, and I have the Reduced Shakespeare Company (which is absolutely hilarious, btw).  So we decided we’d watch the DiCaprio-Danes movie version of R&J.

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We hunted around and found the DVD and watched it, and The Boy sat there completely absorbed through the whole thing.  He was totally engaged, hardly asked any questions, which made me assume that he understood it, for the most part.  So it was going well, and I was really impressed with him and amazed and proud of him and thinking it was a great educational moment.  Right up until the end, when they died and he cried his little eyes out.  Ooops.

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He jumped up out of his chair, saying “That was so sad!” and threw himself on my lap on the couch, and I was starting to feel like a terrible parent for letting him watch it, knowing his dramatic tendencies, and S. and I were laughing and crying at the same time because we felt so bad for him, but he was so upset it was almost funny, which I know makes zero sense.  So I was shushing and comforting him, and then I tried to explain to him how cool it was that he is smart enough to watch and understand and be moved by something that even some of my freshmen weren’t interested in and didn’t get.  We talked about how even though it was sad, that there were some good things to learn, like how being impetuous and hot-headed can get you in a ton of trouble, among others.  We talked about connections to other things he’s seen, like the R&J quotes used in Twilight: New Moon and in the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast.  (When Belle is teaching the Beast to read, she’s using R&J.)

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So after all that, he was really feeling good about himself and he was proud of what he had learned.  Score!  I was somewhat concerned about some of the definitely un-kid-friendly images in the movie, but unfortunately he’s seen almost all of that before in other movies and games.  (He didn’t watch the honeymoon scene last night, btw.)  And today we watched the Reduced Shakespeare Co. version of it, which is a silly, light, humorous stage interpretation, and he said “Thanks for having me watch that!”  So I think it kind of set it all in perspective for him today- that it’s just a story and it can be seen as simple entertainment.

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So, for better or worse, The Boy has now got a leg up on his future high school peers when it comes to watching R&J in Freshman English.  Overall, I think the experience was more esteem-building than damaging, and if not…well, he’s seeing his counselor today anyway.

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Until next time,

D.

 

Up From Here. Except for the Scale! August 28, 2012

June's multi-colored eyes

This cat kinda looks like I feel!

Hello all.

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Allow me to re-introduce myself.  I am a struggling-with-weight loss, struggling-with-loneliness-and-non-dating, struggling-with-parenting, full-time-working, home-educating, brilliant-but-confused, hot mess.

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Let’s take it from the top, shall we?  I’ve been on a weight loss journey for two years, seven months, and nine days.  My current total loss stands at 116.8, down from an all-time high net loss of 130.6 in June.  I have basically been hovering and bobbing like a cork in the water, weight-wise speaking, for almost this entire calendar year.   Somewhere, I have lost my way.  I have lost my motivation and my drive.  In theory I should congratulate myself on basically maintaining my weight for this long, rather than going into a full-scale retreat and gaining scores of pounds.  But I went to my Weight Watchers meeting tonight, and registered an obscene gain.  Obscene.  I was expecting a gain, but not one that made me want to scream and cuss.  So as of tonight, I am back on track.  I am once again following the WW plan to the letter, even if it kills me.  And it won’t.  I have set new goals and I am going to move forward no matter what.

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Secondly, the struggling with the loneliness and non-dating thing.  This is something that is SUCH a source of confusion and just…being torn.  On one hand, I would really love to find a boyfriend-type person, someone to go out to dinner and a movie with, someone to talk to, someone to hug and kiss on, a little.  I feel like in the dictionary under ‘Needs a Life’ it says ‘See Her.’  BUT.  The kicker is that I usually feel too overwhelmed with all the other stuff I have going on, too busy, too mentally scattered to be in a relationship at this point in my life.  I’ve had one or two minor relationship opportunities/possibilities that have fallen through in the last couple of months, and I have been quite alone in dealing with the disappointment.  But there is also a slight feeling of relief that they never really developed, because I’m not sure I was really ready for them anyway.  And then there’s the question of who am I really looking for and what do I really want in a significant other?  I know you’re thinking, ‘Wait, didn’t we cover this a month ago?’  Well, yeah.  But it’s still on my mind, especially with regard to all the other personality traits, opinions, likes, dislikes, and REALLY dislikes that my 13 Things didn’t cover.  All I know is, I’ve read a LOT of profiles on a major dating site recently.  This could be a whoooole other post, but there are some apparently decent guys out there, and some real wackos, to put it nicely.  So much so that I’m thinking, “Eh.  Dating can wait.  The kids come first.”

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Which leads me directly into the next two points:  1) home-educating is a huge chore, especially when you’re trying to work full time literally at the same time! and 2) getting your High School graduates launched is much more difficult when, despite your half-hearted attempts at trying to do otherwise, they’ve been kept sheltered, coddled, indulged, and allowed to get away with immense amounts of slacker-ness.  I’ve got one daughter I’m trying to get set up with Vocational Rehabilitation services to help her identify and acquire a job that she can do and wants to do, and one daughter who finally at the 11th hour got signed up to take some college classes but still doesn’t have a job and doesn’t drive very much.  All the paperwork, applications, meetings, assessments, etc. is what you might call seriously overwhelming when you’re just one Momma!  (And yes, I could and should delegate some of that responsibility to the slackers-in-question, but haven’t managed to do that yet.)

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So yeah.  Just needed to get all that off my chest.  I was planning to start a new blog about our home-schooling adventures, but haven’t really got the kinks worked out yet.  Stay tuned for that.  Alternate titles I considered for tonight’s post were “If You’re Not in the Mood for Debbie Downer, Skip This One” and “In the Dictionary Under ‘Overwhelmed’…”  but I decided it was best to go with the positive.  Stay with me- it can only go up from here!

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Until next time,

D.

 

Allure Trip Journal- St. Thomas, USVI June 10, 2012

Caribbean Hermit Crab Colony feasting on a man...

Caribbean Hermit Crab Colony feasting on a mango in St. Thomas, USVI (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello all!

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We were scheduled to see St. Thomas via Sunny Liston Tours. I had seen review for them on CC, looked them up elsewhere, and booked them several months back. (I think I paid a $40 deposit through PayPal at booking, and the balance in cash on tour day, if you’re interested.) I woke up early this morning, expecting to already be there, but we weren’t even docked yet. The Boy woke up early with me, and we went up to the pool deck, originally intending to watch the sunrise, but discovered it was already up. We had fun walking in the wind and pretending we were flying. I wanted to try the Solarium Bistro for breakfast, but it wasn’t quite open yet, so we went ahead and went to the WJ. Between the two of us, we had most of the typical breakfast stuff- eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy. For some reason, The Boy found cottage cheese appealing this morning, too. There’s never any telling, with him.

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We went to get the girls up and ready, and I thought we were running out of time, so I was going to make them just grab something from Promenade Cafe. All I saw were the donuts and pastries, and although I knew that wouldn’t make for a very filling, long lasting breakfast, I thought that was all we had time for, and I made them just grab a selection and eat. Daughter J. was particularly unhappy about this, as we had told her that we had been to the WJ and she thought they were going too. But when we tried to head for the Gangway, they said it would be another 20 minutes or so, so we zipped back up the the WJ so the girls could have something more substantial for breakfast.

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In between there, I also made a couple of trips back to the room, being the thoroughly organized person that I am, (not this morning, apparently) and then The Boy decided to spend 15 minutes in the bathroom, and FINALLY we got off the ship! I think it was about 20 minutes past the time we were supposed to have been meeting our driver outside the gate, so I was panicking a little, even though I had called him when we were in the WJ to tell him I thought we were docking a little later, and we’d be late getting off the ship. He said they’d be right there waiting. Ahh, reassurance!

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We were working our way through the crowds, and I spotted the right sign, and he pointed us to the open air tour bus. We climbed on, and I think we were the last ones. The other folks probably wanted to choke us, but thankfully nobody tried. The first segment of the tour was shopping time. We went to an area near Emancipation Park. There were a lot of shops, but there was also the flea market there, with 50 tables with the same stuff. We went around and around, looking at things and trying to decide if we wanted anything. I would have liked to buy a beach bag set that came with a little wallet and a matching wrap, but I ended up with several t-shirts, a bracelet for Daughter J.’s best friend, a wooden flute for The Boy, and a wrap for Daughter S.

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Then we thought it was time for us to go, but we had read our watch wrong, and we still had an hour!! So we sat in Emancipation park and just rested and watched the people around us. Soon, the driver came back and we piled on, and the fun part began! He started the music and the bouncy driving, and started pointing out areas of interest, etc. He took us to a couple of great photo stops- vantage points to see the island and take pictures. We also went to the Mountaintop Rum Factory, I think it was called, which was alleged to be the Home of the World Famous Banana Daquiri.

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Up to this point, The Boy had been being a little cranky and negative and argumentative, but after my Banana Daquiri, I didn’t mind it so much. My head was a little spinny again, but the ride was a little more fun and the kids were a little less aggravating, and all was right with the world for a while. Finally, it was time for our beach stop. Sunny gives everyone a chance to vote for which beach they wanted to go to, and everyone said they wanted Sapphire, which I was happy with, because that was the one I wanted, too!

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Our first sight of a Carribean beach! It was sooo beautiful! The waves sounded so relaxing, and the palm trees were blowing… it was paradise. For a little while. The kids had brought two masks and one snorkel, and it was hard work making sure everyone was getting equal time. The Boy started getting mad again. I can’t adequately explain how he is when this mood sets in. The tiniest little things infuriate him. The waves pushing against him, rocks in his toes, salt water in his mouth. The girls weren’t sharing the snorkel enough. I was trying to keep him calm and help him to look around him and appreciate and enjoy the moment. It wasn’t helping much. I tried to help him float on his back and just relax and breathe, and that worked for a little while, but I decided to get out of the sun for a bit and go sit under our tree, and he reverted right back to the horrible attitude. I don’t know, maybe I should have taken him to the parking lot and spanked him, maybe I should have just made him get out of the water… I never know what’s the right decision. Anyway. He wanted to kayak, and the one-person kayak seemed pretty reasonable ($10 for half an hour, if you’re interested.) I was going to let him do it, and I thought he would probably be able to do it without much difficulty, because he has had canoe training at Camp Fire camp. But unfortunately the guy running the rentals decided in the end he’d rather not let The Boy do it alone if he wasn’t 100% sure how to do it. And of course, that made things a bit worse.

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So now, thankfully, it was getting close to time to go, and I was desperate to get away from this group of women sitting near me, who, in my paranoid state, I felt sure were talking about me and what a terrible parent I must be. I got the girls out of the water and we went toward the parking lot. The Boy was being as difficult as ever, and there was another lady from our tour who said her son had some of the same problems as mine, and she knew exactly how I felt. She was so nice to me and I felt so thankful to know somebody else understood!! I was hoping to get to talk to her more later.

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But we piled back on the tour bus, and even though Sunny played the music on the way back, and we did a little Woot, Woot to the Days of the Week song, it was a little more subdued ride back to the ship. Our hearts weren’t quite in it, I think. We were sandy, soggy, and sunbaked, and I was feeling pretty overwhelmed at this point. Many cruisers would probably not believe that anyone could be thinking, “Thank God it’s at least half over!” but I was. Especially after planning and looking forward to it for months and months, and living in fear that it would all go by too fast. Can you imagine?

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But we got back on the ship and everybody showered. I spent a little time trying to contain the chaos in our room by reorganizing and re-folding some of the stuff in the cubbies. We went to dinner and I had the crab and noodle salad, Surf n Turf, and coconut creme brulee. I guess sometime after dinner, the kids and I separated and I ended up journaling on the top deck, because I was trying to decide whether to blow off our scheduled show for that night or stop writing and go get the kids. (The planned show for the evening was the Headliner show, the Texas Tenors, if you’re interested.)

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In the end, I decided to go get them and go to the show, because I figured I didn’t come all this way to not do stuff I’d planned to do. Also, because anything had to be better than being alone with my negative thoughts. So finally we have a lighter moment, because the funniest thing happened on the way to the Headliner show! I can’t remember the exact chain of events, but the kids and I missed each other somehow. I was trying to decide whether to go look for them in the room, or just wait for them at the theater, and they were going to go look for me on the pool deck. So I was in one of the glass elevators, and I think I was just making Elevator Small Talk with someone else in there, and I turned around… and what did I see, but my three kids in the glass elevator across from me, going in the opposite direction from me, with their hands on the glass and shocked looks on their faces when they spotted me in the other elevator! It was the funniest thing I’d ever seen, and it was such a relief to laugh!

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So I went to the theater, and finally they showed up, and the show was just starting. With the assistance of a staff member, we found a place to sit and had to inconvenience some people to crawl over them, but we settled in and watched the Texas Tenors. Now, I didn’t know exactly who they were yet. Then their show started, and it explained that they had been winners (or runners up?) on the reality show, America’s Got Talent, a few years ago. They were these country-looking guys who seemed like they ought to be on the CMT Awards, but they were singing classical music! They also sang patriotic and folk music too, but I really enjoyed their show! They brought a lady passenger up on stage with them and sang to her, and made a big fuss over her. It was a lot of fun to watch! Then there was a big teary-eyed Pro-America moment when they sang God Bless the USA. All in all, I was really very glad I had not decided to blow off the show, because it was pretty enjoyable.

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So we returned to the room, and shortly after, it was time to go to the Comedy Show. I have to tell you about our expectations for this show. Daughter S. has a great laugh. I mean, a really funny, really catchy laugh. We were hoping that her laugh wouldn’t get us heckled by the comedians, in fact. (I was halfway hoping it would, actually!) Because I had been telling her for ages that if the comedian could make HER laugh, they’d have the whole room, because her laugh would crack everyone else up.

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Well, as it turned out, we didn’t have to worry about that, because it seemed that everybody appreciated these particular comedians, and there was a guy in the front row with a funnier laugh than hers, so I doubt anybody even noticed. But we thought they were really funny. (Gary DeLuna and Miguel Washington, if you’re interested.) We drank Cokes and laughed through the whole show. (She hates Coca Cola, and was in Dr. Pepper withdrawal the whole time, but she always has to tell me how bad Coke is for you, because it eats pennies. She did an experiment one time where you put a penny in Coke overnight and in the morning it’s just GONE. )

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So after the show, I went to Guest Services and cashed another TC and checked again on the ‘Daughter J. meeting Hiccup’ situation, because we still hadn’t heard anything from them and she was asking me about it every 5 minutes. This time, I talked to a man named Jorge, I think it was, and he said he would talk to the original lady I talked to, and one of them would definitely get back to us. I hoped maybe we’d get lucky. Then we went back to the room and got ready for St. Maarten.

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Until next time,

D.

 

Yes, In Fact I WAS Kidnapped By Aliens, and I Just Got Back Into Town! March 19, 2012

Icon from Nuvola icon theme for KDE 3.x.

Icon from Nuvola icon theme for KDE 3.x. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello all!  I absolutely cannot believe that in my last post I asked you to watch for my upcoming post that would continue my tradition of a New-Year themed post, identifying a theme for the year, looking back, looking forward, that kind of thing, and y’all… that’s been THREE MONTHS ago!!!  Is is just me, or does life get away from us?  (That doesn’t sound nearly as good an explanation or excuse as the alien thing, does it?)

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I mean, it’s not like I had anything really new and exciting to share.  Things are the same.  The job, the kids, plans for the cruise- all those are going fine.  Well, not completely.  There are still times when I worry about The Boy, and all the fabulous choices he makes at school, like not doing his work, talking back to his teacher, and threatening immediate violence against any kid who peeves him off.  And there are times when I worry about Daughter J., and what she’ll be able to do in life with her developmental delays and difficulties, and what is the best choice for her.  And I worry about Daughter S., who has amazing talents and abilities, but no real idea of where she wants to go or what she wants to do, and little or no confidence in her amazing-ness.  Raising kids!  Who knew?  I look back to when I was growing up, and all I wanted to do was sing and be a mom.  I didn’t really think about a “real world” career or exactly what you sign up for when you bring those little beasties home from the hospital.  But the reality is, I’m not responsible for what they make of their lives.  I am responsible for giving them the tools to make something.  I can’t manipulate the universe so that they will be happy, or successful, or any of that.  All I can do is show them how to live on their own and function in society, and then it’s all in their hands.  They have to choose their paths and then walk them.  I can set them an example, but I can’t make them become what I want them to be, or what I think they should be.  That’s what you might call Tough To Take.

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The battle continues as well in other aspects of my life that I’ve talked about previously- the weight loss/fitness thing, for example.  I have hit a rough patch.  I have become somehow complacent or something, and I cannot seem to maintain consistency in my efforts for more than a week at a time.  I do really well on Weight Watchers for a week and then I slack off.  Then I get mad and try to get tough again, and I lose weight that week and slack off again.  And so it goes.  I have been gaining and losing in the same 5lb range for literally months now, bobbing like a cork in the water.  I participated in a fitness challenge at the gym where my sister is a fitness instructor, and in 8 weeks I only lost 5 lbs and 0.78 percent body fat.  Not really the result I wanted to have, but it was nobody’s fault but mine.  My motivation wasn’t what it should have been going into it.  Timing did play a small role, as I was recovering from a dislocated kneecap when the challenge started, and I was afraid to push myself with exercise.  But still, I just didn’t throw my heart and soul into it like I could have.

*

I’m still fighting, though.  Still going to Weight Watchers meetings, and I have just recently recommitted to the whole exercise thing.  I slacked off going to Turbo classes right about the time I switched jobs (end of October!) and just last week started back full time.  I am trying NOT to stress about the fact that I bought a gorgeous, beautiful, dreamy yellow dress to wear on formal night on the cruise, and I cannot actually wear it yet, and the cruise is now 69 days away.   But I am, as I said, recommitting my efforts to healthy eating and exercise, and hopefully in the next 10 weeks I can get my act together.

*

So I guess that’s a wrap for now.  I definitely plan on improving the frequency with which I update here, but because of various computer/internet issues at home, I can only do that when I’m not busy at work.  It’s been so long since I updated, I didn’t even realize they had changed the layout for the ‘New Post’ screen, and may I just say… not loving it!  But.  We shall overcome, as always, and this too shall pass, and stiff upper lip, pip pip tally ho, cuppa sugar and all that.  Peace out, Peeps!

*

Until next time,

D.

 

ETA:  I do not know WHAT screen I was in initally, but I pushed a button, thought I lost the whole post, and then found the place I’d always added posts from before, so Pay No Attention to that last paragraph.  It was post-traumatic stress from the alien encounter!

Later!

 

Senior-itis = My Life In A Blender September 14, 2011

"I always try to balance the light with t...

Image by turtlemom4bacon via Flickr

Hello all.  The overarching theme for my life lately is ‘CRAZY’!  It has seemed like every time I’ve wanted to sit down and write here, I would be suffering from terminal scatter-brain-itis, and completely unable to translate all the things I wanted to say into a semblance of order.  So much has been going on-   I had my 39th birthday on the 5th, met my sister’s new boyfriend, started a fitness challenge at my gym, marked the anniversary of my Grammy’s death, marked the anniversary of 9/11, and dealt with The Boy’s “misdeeds” at school.   There has been so much I’ve wanted to say about all those things.  But on top of all that, I also happen to be the mother of two High School Seniors. 

*

This is monumental.  There are so many things they need money for, so many issues like college applications, scholarship applications, ACT tests, deadlines, driver’s licenses, senior pictures, job searches.  The list is endless.  My brain has not stopped wheeling for weeks.  The problem is, I haven’t really started tackling these issues yet.  Daughter S. has not taken the ACT, nor does she know what college she wants to go to (other than the Dallas Art Institute, which is way out of range, both financially and transportationally.)   She hasn’t identified any scholarships she wants to apply for, and she doesn’t have her driver’s license, and she only seems to practice driving about once every three weeks!

*

Daughter J. is a whole different set of stresses.  She has learning disabilities and most likely would not be able to handle traditional college.  There are agencies like the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, which are in place for students like J., to help her with getting into either a vo-tech course or some other type of job training, and to help her find a job that suits her.  We haven’t talked to anyone from this agency, although her teacher did give me a contact name just last night.  The problem with Daughter J. is she sometimes doesn’t think in realistic terms.  She wants to work for Disney and sing and act.  She’s never acted in her life and never even done a solo in her high school choir class, but this is what she daydreams and fantasizes about doing.  I think her Plan B is to do something involving working with animals, like at a veteranarian’s office or something similar, but we haven’t turned in any applications.  (As a side note, I have to say I don’t know where J. gets her whole acting/singing fantasy.  It’s not like she has a mother sitting here singing Broadway tunes into her microphone fist and channeling Idina Menzel in Wicked!)

*

So basically we are dealing with a lot of issues and a lot of questions and a lot of possibilities, but we can’t seem to lay out a plan and take the first step.  Part of the problem is financial.  I haven’t signed up Daughter S. for the ACT because I don’t have the fee.  I haven’t put Daughter J. in Driver’s Ed because I didn’t have the fee at the time a class was open.  We haven’t ordered their Senior stuff because I don’t have the money.  I’ve been needing to get a second job for a while now, but just put it off because I absolutely hate the thought of so much time away from the kids!  But I know I’m going to have to just bite the bullet if I want to get all this taken care of, because I can’t seem to depend on either of the people I’ve been married to, to help much.  Another part of the overall problem is transportation.  The girls can’t really consider getting jobs because the jobs they might want are in a nearby town about 7 miles away and they can’t drive and don’t have a car anyway!  That, and I feel like school is their job right now.  Daughter S. has a crazy schedule this year, a lot of hard classes, and I don’t think she needs to worry about a job at this point.  If she had her DL and a car and was running around all the time, I’d make her get a job to pay for her own gas, but since she doesn’t…

*

I guess what I’m trying to say is it feels like my life got thrown in a blender and hit frappe’!  There are so many things I need to do, and not enough money or time to do them all!  As another example, I still have never cleaned out the garage and my mother is planning to have a garage sale at her mini-storage shed this weekend.  (I know, and here I sit blogging, right?)  I have continued my fitness journey and I am participating in a fitness challenge at my gym, which is a 7-week event where we earn points for showing up for workouts, turning in food logs, attending accountability meetings, meeting a personal goal, doing workout challenges, and for pounds lost and body fat percentage lost.   I’m planning to kick a$$ and take names in this challenge, incidentally.  I’ve logged my food intake every day so far (today is only Day 5.  Ha!) and I’ve gone to two workouts this week and I plan to go to two more.  At Weight Watchers this week, I lost 4.2 lbs, bringing my total since January 2010 to 116.2.  (!)  Unfortunately I still have between 95-98 to go if I want to be a WW leader, which I do.  I have to be in their recommended range, and that’s what it will take.  (Actually, I can get a note from my doctor if I hit a weight that is the best place for me and I can’t go any lower.)   We’ll see what happens.  I may be able to hit the Magic Number easier than I expect, now that I’m becoming an exercise person too.  (Still weird for me, that.)

*

Next entry I’ll talk about meeting my baby sis’s new boyfriend and my Grammy’s death and 9/11.  I have a poem I’m planning on sharing that I wrote when the Oklahoma City bombing happened, that I felt fit on 9/11 just as well as April 19. 

Until next time,

D.

 

 

 
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