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Nine Words Defined

30 Jan

Whine: Two Words: Cardio Mix. I went to the gym today and did a class. My thighs and glutes realized halfway through class that taking two months off from the gym puts me back in the “beginner” category.

Cheese: Two Words: Surprise Donuts. Good thing I managed to do some of those “advanced” moves and burned some extra calories (right before I passed out) because when we arrived home from the gym, there was a bag of donuts in our mailbox from Uncle A. When Big Sis saw the donut bag in the mailbox she said, “That’s so in-ster-est-ing.” My tummy thought so, too.

 

 

I just made a disturbing realization about myself. I am becoming aware that I sort of run from making decisions.  (See? Even that sentence is indecisive.) And not just hard ones like which parenting philosophy to choose, but stupid, easy ones like creamy or crunchy. Maybe I already knew that about myself. I’m pretty sure Mr. Dad has been trying to point that out for, like, ever. But I didn’t realize just how gutless I’d let myself become.

The last few months have been tough. Fun and exciting, to be sure. But also frustrating and exhausting. Starting with Thanksgiving until now, we’ve been in and out of town, hosted lots of people and just generally burned the candle at both ends (whatever that means, my candles only have one end.) Now that I’m through to this side of it, I look back and wonder what I could have done differently so that I came out a little more me at the end of it all. To be honest, my initial thought was that I should have cut something out. So where do I start? Maybe I should have cut Christmas? Or my sister-in-law’s wedding? Or the memorial service for Great-Grandma? Or parenting my children in general?

But I realized that my calendar, which is filled with connections to the people in my life,  is not the problem. Which is good, because as I figure it, my family and circle of friends are not going to get any smaller. No, the problem is me. I have a hard time making decisions. Or taking care of myself.  Or saying what I need. Or knowing what I need for that matter.

But I suspect that through these last few months, I was stuffing down my inner Mom. You know, the part of you that isn’t afraid to admit that she gets especially cranky when she’s hungry and tired. The part of you that knows how to best take care of you so that you can take care of everybody else.

When my inner Mom told me to speak up and ask for help I said, “No, I got it.” When she told me to go to bed so that I could face the next day, I said, “Oh, it’ll be fine to stay up just a few more hours.”  When she told me to shorten my to-do list so that I could make it to they gym for my own health (physical and mental) I told her, “Oh, be quiet.” (She was just getting irritating at that point. And I really didn’t feel like exercising.)

The point for me is, I don’t necessarily need to give my life a makeover. Just like with money or dieting or anything else, I lost myself when I wouldn’t do the little things. Like sleeping or eating or taking a shower or blogging. (Ok, some of those aren’t so little.) I just need to listen to my inner Mom. And be willing to take a little time for myself here and there. Be willing to let someone, somewhere be disappointed in me because I can’t do everything all at once. Be willing to take a risk and actually make a decision for myself .

And so, in light of today’s post about embracing your inner Mom to know and say what you need, here’s a hilarious email forward I received (Thanks, Kellie!) about the ways in which women “communicate”. Note: I DID NOT WRITE THIS. I wish I knew who did so I could give her (or a very insightful him) a huge high five. This could save marriages everywhere. . . .

 

Nine Words Women Use

#1 Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

#2 Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

#3 Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

#4 Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don’t Do It!

#5 Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)

#6 That’s Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a woman can make to a man. That’s okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

#7 Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you’re welcome. (I want to add in a clause here – This is true, unless she says ‘Thanks a lot’ – that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say ‘you’re welcome’ That will bring on a ‘whatever’).

#8 Whatever: Is a woman’s way of saying “I’m done with you!”  (Temporarily, at least.)

#9 Don’t worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking ‘What’s wrong?’ For the woman’s response refer to # 3.

 

So this week I’ve challenged myself to figure out what I need and be grown up enough to say it.  I need a donut.

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Growing Pains

13 Nov

Whine: The Rice Krispie renovation went so well, we decided to go with a similar concept in the living room. We’ve chosen Pepperidge Farm’s Crushed Goldfish for the living room instead of our boring beige carpet.

Cheese: We had an impromptu date at Target last night, Mr. Dad and I. Forty-five minutes of uninterrupted shopping followed by a tall Caramel Apple Spice from Starbucks. Whatever you do, don’t look at the nutritional info on this. (You did it anyway, didn’t you? Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

 

I can’t say that I have ever actually experiened true growing pains. Unless you count the time when I was in fifth grade and decided to shave the place above my nose where my eyebrows seemed to be growing together. That hurt. In fact, I remember very clearly that being the same day I practiced my kissing skills on a Teen Beat picture of Kirk Cameron, who, incidentally happened to be the star of the hit tv sitcom Growing Pains. Perhaps my ill-advised grooming ritual was motivated by my heart-felt adoration for Kirk, but who knows why fifth-grade girls do anything.

Anyway, as I was saying, I’ve never knowingly experienced the scientific phenomena of growing pains. But I think that the term lends itself nicely to the universal human experience of screwing up repeatedly on the path to acquiring a new skill or knowledge. From the eyebrow-shaving experience I learned to NEVER, EVER, EVER do that again. From lighting a pork chop on fire and then throwing it on the floor to put out the flames I learned that if you pick it up off the floor and rinse it off it’s just fine. From having my toddler finally fall asleep at midnight I learned that naptime ends by 4:30 every day, and that Benadryl treats more than just runny noses, if you know what I mean. (I know, I’m a terrible mother.)

So if screwing up and lighting things on fire is just part of the deal in life and learning, why do I hate it so much?

Why do I mutter angrily under my breath when my cake sinks like a California sinkhole? Why do I bang my head on the cold tile of the bathroom floor after Big Sis has yet another accident? Why is the learning process so upsetting to me?

I find that learning is messy and I hate messes. More specifically, I hate cleaning up messes–it interferes with my tv-watching/novel-reading/anything-but-cleaning time. Not to mention that learing implies that I’m not perfect, that I don’t know it all. I don’t know about you, but discovering this about myself (over and over) ranks right up there with getting a colonoscopy.

I want to be a little less focused on knowing it all and doing it right the first time and a little more focused on enjoying the process, even when its messy and frustrating and painful. I want to learn to laugh at myself when I make a mistake instead of hyperventilating and retreating to my bed for four days. And I want to learn it right now!