First Steps Without A Fallback

It’s been more than four weeks now since I began my life without a fallback plan, and it’s been a pretty intense learning experience. Being on your own and working for yourself can be a lot more complicated than one might expect.  I thought in the beginning – “this will be great! I’m doing what I love and I get to make my own schedule and do whatever I want!”

Ha. How naive I was.

Well, I said that I would use this blog to hold myself accountable to document both my successes and my struggles, so here they are. Remember the list of goals that I made in that first post that outlined what I would strive to do every day? Remember that I said I wanted to earn my GED diploma and follow the online classes offered by GED Easy? Well, here’s my self-progress report for the first four weeks:

1. Follow the Map – C
Although I begin every day with a list of things to get finished for the day, there have only been one or two days where I follow and actually complete that list. I do a much better job of distracting myself following my path. Because of this, I’ve gotten a little behind, especially with my attempts to score a GED diploma.

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Anger Management and Motherhood

I don’t think I really understood the full extent of the words “anger management” until I became a mother. I understood the words separately (trust me, I really understood anger growing up in a learningfamily where all emotions were on the table all the time) but I didn’t understand them together or more precisely the importance of having them together when you have children.

One of the downsides of having children (oh yes, there are downsides and anyone that tells you there aren’t either doesn’t have children or is lying) is that you have to give up the freedom to express your anger any way you damn well please. Oh no, when you have children you have to learn an entire new way to deal with anger (at least in front of them). Children, especially small children, don’t understand your anger and interpret it only one way, directed at them. SO when your toddler won’t stop screaming no matter what you do and you’re at a breaking point where anger is rapidly building up like a fiery volcano in your throat, you have to take a deep breath and figure out a way to stop yourself from exploding. It’s not easy. Well, it might be easy for some but God knows it’s not easy for me. And I have enough experience. But being a mom is even more difficult when it comes to being polite when you are just angry.

At that moment when my ear drums are vibrating from the constant crying and my nerves are completely shot, ALL I want to do is scream at the top of my lungs and run as fast as possible out of the house. At that moment, instead of doing what all my muscles and nerves tell me to do, I have to take a breath and fight my anger and fight it hard. I have to swallow the huge lump in my throat and wait for the feeling to go away.

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I love people that are not afraid of taking a stand and saying what they believe in

I read the other night an interview with Angelina Jolie and something she said rang a chord with me. When asked about her polarizing persona, she said “I think anybody that makes a decision about where they stand is going to cause strong opinions about them. But I think that’s what you should be hoping for in life, so I take that as a very good sign. That some people support me and some people really don’t like me tells me that I’m making decisions and I’m standing strong for something I believe in. I’m making choices in life. And that’s the right thing to do.”

Maybe to some standing up for what you believe in without fear of judgment or possible repercussions is not an earth shattering thing. But to me it is. It’s like the climbing of Mount Everest of personality traits…so big, so hard, so unattainable. It’s also so beautiful. I love people that are not afraid of taking a stand and saying what they believe in, especially if they know that their opinion will be unpopular. Angie (yah, we’re close like that!) is the extreme of this trait. She’s not only NOT afraid; she relishes it and counts it as proof of her success.

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Floating in Baby Clouds

I was never a baby (or even a child) person. I rarely saw children when I was single and on the rare occasion that I would encounter one, I felt no real connection or desire to spend any time with them. I never knew how to talk to children. What do you say? How do you act? They would look at me with their big eyes and stare at my giant hair (yup…it’s the hair issue again) and sometimes even burst into tears at the very sight of me. That wasn’t exactly a great sign pointing me to motherhood.

But strangely I always wanted children, even more than wanting to get married. Growing up I never imagined getting married but I always KNEW that I would have kids. One reason was that I had such a strong connection with my parents and I couldn’t imagine a life where Iwouldn’t pass on that connection to my own children. So, after waiting a long long long time (as my brother described at my rehearsal dinner…yes, he actually said “long” about six times) I finally met a great guy and got married.

An Almost Passionate Life-Remembering Tim Russert

Today I was thinking back to day of the passing of Tim Russert, it  shook many of us. He was so young and full of life. I knew him as most people did, through his shows and his books about fatherhood. After his passing, I watched a lot of the discussions of his life and what amazed me was the passion he had for his life and everything in it. His passion for his job, his passion for his family, even the passion for sports. That’s A LOT of passion.

It made me think, is that attainable for the rest of us? Should that be our goal so that we can also live such a full life? Not necessarily. I mean, I’m not opposed to living your life with such passion…if you can do it, all the power to you. And I’m sure some people are lucky enough to feel that powerful energy for everything in their lives. But I think it’s something that most of us can’t imagine attaining for all the areas of our lives. And maybe that’s OK.

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I love e-mail candy!

I love e-mail candy! I savor it and only open it when I can’t stand to wait any longer to consume it. I look forward to getting it and when I see it all beautiful and bold, my heart skips a quick beat knowing that it has finally arrived. And I know the best part is not even here yet. When I can’t wait any longer, I open it and hope that it meets (or even…if possible…exceeds) my expectations. Then I consume it slowly making sure to savor each piece. And when I’m done, I usually have a smile on my face with the memory of it.

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Almost Another Night of Sleep

It was another night of sleep. Almost. You see, Violet has learned how to open doors. I am proud of her. I thought it seemed to be taking her a little longer than needed to do this, and I wanted her to be able to open the bathroom door, etc on her own; a little more independence. Really, I don’t know that it was ‘her’ fault she didn’t know. I’m so used to her making me look good and just figuring out how to do things on her own that I didn’t take the time to show her. So I decided to ensure she learned this and within a few days (seriously), it happened. She opens doors.

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What I’m Thankful For

This Thanksgiving seems to be more significant than many ones past. Before 9-11, many of us sat at our bountiful feasts and gave heartfelt though half-thought out thankfulness of what we had. No real deep thought into what or why we felt that we were thankful for something. Always our loved ones, but mostly because we love them.

After 9-11, much of that changed, though each year has probably had a lesser degree of thoughtfulness, meaning…back to the hum-drum of what we’re actually thankful for. Unless we had family members fighting in the war, sick in a hospital, fighting a terminal disease, or some other recent significant event, we didn’t give it thought. But here we are again. We are closer now to a depression that we have been as a country since The Great Depression. So, does this change what we’re truly are thankful for in our lives?

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The Motherhood Throne

How to seal the ability to feel like a completely loser as a mother…meet another mom who seems to have it all together.

Some time ago, I noticed a trend. A lot of mothers were feeling like I did. I felt like I couldn’t do enough, plan enough, clean enough, do the right things with my kids, I couldn’t keep myself up, in shape…I couldn’t keep up with the things that seemed to come effortlessly to other mothers. I questions (as I often do) my ability and decision to be a mother and felt badly for my children that they were stuck with me.

Eventually, I came to the realization that most if not all of us feel like that, even if it’s deeply routed in some denial place that we can’t “go to”. We all feel like we’re in competition with each other, like there’s some secret contest to see which mom can juggle the best regardless of what’s thrown at them; the contest that awards the winner with admiration and awe from other mothers who only long to have the skills necessary to be her. So, I thought, if we’re all feeling like that, including the mothers who seem to have / be / do it all, then that means none of us is succeeding in this unattainable throne of worship. This of course leads to the acknowledgement that there is no throne, but rather another unreachable dream that we all (apparently) collectively have.

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Now Something Light-Twilight Phenomenon

After a week of heavy, it’s time for something light…but don’t judge too quickly.

If you visit my site, you’ll likely notice the Twilight countdown on the sidebar. Yes, it’s true. I’m part of the Twilight Revolution. No, really, I don’t know that it’s what “we’re” called, but it is what “I” am…I LOVE THIS BOOK – if you haven’t read it, rethink that.

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