December is finally here!

christmas

Holy crap man!  This year, both, flew by and crawled at the same time.  But it’s now officially December.  On friday, we’ll put up our Christmas tree.  It’s a bit late for me this year, but oh well.  We do what we can.  I’m lacking in motivation to actually work today, I’d much rather be at home working on my side business.  Things are going well on that front – after this weekend, I’ll be ready to do a soft launch.  Going to have my products in one store front before the christmas season ends just to see how it goes.  Will give me the chance to change and tweak things a bit before officially launching next year.  Until then, I’m continuing to build up my stock and test my product to ensure everything is working beautifully.

I’m looking forward to Christmas this year.  I can’t wait to decorate the house.  I can’t believe that as of March 17th, I’ll have been in the house for a full year.  And hoo boy – what a year it’s been.  I hugged my daughter extra last night, reminding her that I love her and am proud of her for the efforts she’s put in to change some things.  She’s on a better path these days – and it’s a relief.  But it’s also a lesson learned – I now know how quickly things can change, how easy it is to get off course.  I will continue to keep a wary watch over her – to ensure she stays on track.  Her depression really snuck up on us all – and I won’t let it blindside us again.

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Yesterday I discovered that I’d been submitted for a job opening for a company I’ve been trying to get into for quite some time – the real bonus on the opening – it’s about 10 minutes from my house.  I have my fingers crossed, as I’m quickly discovering that I’m not enjoying the commute to my existing job, among other things.  I’d be a director again too – which would be nice.  The job I’m at right now, this is the first time in 7 years that I’m not a manager – and I don’t mind at all – but my new manager keeps having me do work FOR him and it’s starting to get a bit awkward.  It’s not my place to set the course for the team – it’s his, and I’m a bit leery to keep putting myself in a position to step on his toes.

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Ben’s anniversary came and went, and I’m doing ok.  Thanks to some friends, I wasn’t completely alone on Monday and it helped.  I’ve definitely been a bit quiet this week tho.

I had no choice but to stick up for myself yesterday with my mom.  I didn’t want to start a fight so close to christmas, but I’m finding that my tolerance of her negative energy is getting to be less and less.  I made a request of her.  All I asked was that I be treated with common courtesies and decency – just as you would with any person you interact with on a regular basis.  My request was not met well at first, but once my step dad finally stopped trying to talk over me and listened to my request – I think he understood.  Hopefully, he can help me navigate around my mom.  I love her, hell – I love our family – but I’ve always felt like I don’t matter to them.  Unless I’m not doing what they want me to – then it’s world war 3.  LOL.  Thankfully, I managed to simmer them down just enough to avoid utter catastrophe.  I’m not entirely pleased with the outcome – I always feel like compromising is one sided for me – but at least the war was avoided.

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Well – I better get to work.  Thinking of you Neverland.  Wish we could somehow hang out and play hookie today! 😀  Talk soon!

lipstick kiss

Broken

broken

There are times, when I worry that I am seriously screwed up.

My self esteem took a pretty massive blow – for 11 years.

When, if ever, will it be done?  Will there ever be a time, when I see an odd or negative expression cross someone’s face and I don’t immediately worry or wonder at what I did wrong?   Will there finally come a time when I feel comfortable in my own skin?

I’m sure there are a lot of women out there who don’t feel comfortable naked.  I am one of them.  Even when it’s just me, home alone, I don’t feel comfortable.  I suppose when you spend 11 years with someone who doesn’t want to touch you – it really hits close to home.  I look at myself and see every flaw, every damaged part.  It’s rare that I look in the mirror and see someone beautiful staring back.  It’s easier with clothes.

I have a serious problem with sex.  It’s not that I don’t want it.  Cuz, THAT certainly isn’t my problem.  My problem is that I always seem to choose inopportune times to want it.  I don’t know if that’s even it.  Hell – I don’t really know WHAT my problem is anymore.

I know that because I’m sick (stupid Christmas colds), I’m struggling to contain my emotions a bit.  It happens when I get sick.  I cry a bit more freely.  I hate it.  I’m sure the people around me hate it too.

I had a lovely day today.  Overall, this has been a fantastic Christmas.  My kids and family and loved ones have all been thoroughly spoiled.  That makes me so happy.  But tonight, as the cold decided to make me a bit more on the miserable side than I’d  like, I got emotional.  I got insecure and scared.  Tonight – I showed myself how broken I really am.  Sure, I put on a good front.  I’ve done a lot of work on myself in the last few years and I recognize the growth and change that has come about – but tonight – I realize just how broken I still am.  I hate it.  It’s nights like these when I seriously loathe myself.  When I believe what others have said in my past when they were trying to break me down.  Not only do I believe it, but I think everyone thinks it – when that’s not necessarily true.

I need to get control of myself.  As my mom would say, I need to snap out of it and remember just how happy I’ve been as of late.  It’s perfectly ok to fall apart sometimes, and I’ll give myself a pass, seeing that I’m sick and all – but I also need to recognize that it is no longer acceptable for me to beat myself up.  To question EVERYTHING the way I do.  Stop overthinking all the time.  Allow myself to just be content dang it all.

Goodnight neverland.  Merry Christmas.

And so this is christmas…

Christmas-Light

What have I done, another year over… a new one just begun.

What have I accomplished this year?  A lot in many ways, and yet, so little in others.  I started a new job.  Moved from a large house to a smaller house.  Had an amazing adventure down to the Caribbean.  I’ve made some incredible friendships.  I’ve also lost some friendships that meant a lot to me.  I knocked down a few of my own internal walls and let some people in.  Learned, not just to love again, but to actually WANT to love and be loved again.  I found a way to honor my son this year.  Got closer to my daughter than ever before and successfully navigated the age of 3 with my youngest.  I purchased myself a new car (my first), accomplished quite a few things on my bucket list, worked on some amazing projects, attended a couple of amazing comic conventions (Yes, I am a nerd), and generally had more of a life than I’ve ever had before.  What a year!

I’ve spent some time tonight thinking about the changes in me over the last year.  Physically and emotionally.  I’m proud of where I am and of where I’ve come.  I still see the growth I have to make ahead of me.  It doesn’t scare me, it excites me.  The older people get, the better they seem to get.  Or at least the more in tune with themselves they become.

Something I’d like to see more improvement on this next year is my self esteem.  I hate how low mine is.  On some levels, I see my worth.  I see what I can bring to the table.. strengths and weaknesses.  But on other levels, I can’t ever see myself the way others do.  My friends, family and loved ones tell me what they see in me often.  And most of the time, I either don’t believe them, or just struggle because I can’t see it.  Believe me, I wish I could.  As I’ve aged, I’ve learned to like myself more.  My hope is that it will continue to grow over time.

Today, I made fudge.  It used to be a tradition in our house.  We’d make fudge, cookies, and other holiday treats.  Some would be passed out as gifts to coworkers and acquaintances, others would make it to parties we’d attend or be included in the treats left out for Santa.  It felt good to make it.  Presents I’d ordered for xmas gifts started arriving today.  It was thrilling to open the door and find a big giant box on the doorstep.  One large item for the little one, and one of the items I’d ordered for T arrived today.  Should be plenty more of those to go around in the next few days as more packages arrive.  My office will become “Santa’s workshop” where no one is allowed entry other than myself and the cat.  🙂  It’s the most… wonderful time… of the year!! 🙂

Goodnight Neverland.  Much love to you.  Dream sweet.

lipstick kiss

Trying not to lose it

I will not cry.  I will not cry.  Oh… who am I kidding.

*Commence Bawling Session*

It has been a really tough week.  My first day back to work was Monday, and it seems the universe decided it was more than time to end my vacation.

Today I had to tell my team that I couldn’t extend their contracts past December.  These are friends, practically family.  The mood in the office was definitely somber afterwards.  I then spent the day battling war upon war trying to do all I could to save them.  Found out tonight that there is a chance, I may have done it.  I’ll find out tomorrow for sure.

But now, after a day of constant arguments, negotiations, defending, pitching… i’m absolutely wiped, and feeling VERY defeated by it all.  If this is what being in upper management is like, you can keep it.  I’m constantly having to fight for my team’s right to be there.  I hired some of the world’s leading experts to do this work, and they won’t let us get it done.

Maybe it’s a touch of the Christmas blues… but it dawned on me today how alone I feel. My little one has been sick, my daughter’s grades aren’t as great as I’d like, and then add in the work battles.  The last few days have included me covered in throw up, the couch destroyed by throw up, screaming, crying meltdowns over the smallest of things.  I’m frustrated.  This isn’t the dream I had when I pictured having a family.  Maybe it sounds bad, but I never signed up to do this by myself.  And now that I am by myself in this, I don’t feel like I could ever ask anyone to help take on the load.  It is my burden, so to speak.  And it’s lonely feeling that way.  I’m the only one who can pull myself out of rough or negative situations.  I’m the one who pulls herself up by her bootstraps and powers through, even when I don’t know how, or when I don’t feel good.  Being strong is something I’m good at.  But sometimes, I just want to be weak.

Today – I just want to go back to the beach.  My trip, my vacation, was truly the most amazing trip I’ve ever been on.  The people I met, the things I saw, the activities I did.. all of it was so relaxing, so inspiring, so epic.  I cried when it came time to go home.  I couldn’t believe I had to go and return to the monotony.  Return to the world where so much weight rests on my shoulders.  Return to a world where I feel so alone.  I couldn’t get over the idea of returning home to plan for xmas fun, knowing that a lot of it would be me doing those Christmas things alone with my kids.

Ugh.  Can I just go hide in bed, maybe build a blanket fort and watch a movie and just pretend like today didn’t happen??

Hugs and kisses Neverland.

Judgy McJudgertons

I’m annoyed.  Actually, that’s probably not quite coming close to describing it. Figured I’d work through it here.

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Why do people feel the need to judge or speak up and say something if they don’t have a damn clue as to what they’re really talking about?  Unless you walk in my shoes.. perhaps you should just keep those thoughts to yourself.  I’m not perfect.  I recognize and admit that 100 percent of the time.  I reserve the right to get smarter.  And typically – I do.  When I make a mistake, I learn from it.

The hardest job I have, is to be a parent.  And to be honest, there are things I do well, and things I don’t do as well. I know where my shortcomings lie… hell, they became more apparent to me when I became a single parent.  There is a hell of a lot of WORK involved.  There’s a lot of joy too.  I love my kids.  I’d do anything for them.  That doesn’t mean they don’t sometimes frustrate the hell out of me though.  I’d say that’s allowed.

I have my children on a 50/50 time schedule with the ex husband.  He loves his kids, and while he may occasionally make a decision that I wouldn’t, and I may not support his methods of handling his anger – he’s a pretty dang good father to them.  I’m happy that he puts the efforts he does.

Being a single mom is strange.

The times I don’t have my kids, I spend either catching up on chores and doing the things I don’t enjoy doing with my 3 year old (grocery shopping and laundry are my big ones), or working late, or trying to have a love life, or spending time with friends.  And the thing about being a parent, it makes you more flexible than you ever were before.  Last weekend was supposed to be a kid-free weekend.  The ex had an event that he needed to attend with his girlfriend, so I took the kids for 1 of the weekend days/nights so they could do that.  This weekend was my kid weekend, and had an thanksgiving dinner to attend at the bestie’s house, so the ex took my little one so that I could attend, as it was a kid-free kind of party.  Things always even out.  And ultimately, either way, my kids are surrounded by those who love them.  With the coming vacation, I feel a little guilty to be going away for the time I’ll be away. But it always balances out.

People who don’t have kids, are often jumping in with their thoughts and opinions on how kids should be raised, or how parents should act or feel about their kids.  I’ve had a few single friends go on and on for a lengthy conversation where they bash people who have children, then realize their error and quickly back peddle to make me an exception.  Most of the time, I let it all roll off my back.  They don’t get it.  No matter how much they protest or debate, even if they have good intentions; They won’t understand until they become parents themselves. And even then, every child is a little different.

So to those who think they know.. tell me this… Can you relate to following situations?  No?  Then shut the hell up.

1. My kids have all been early risers, they awaken with the sun and immediately want potty, juice, cereal, cartoons, “Mommy read a book”, “Mommy can you check for monsters under the bed or in the closet.”  There is no sleeping in. Ever.  BUT, most mornings include early morning snuggles.  My kids and I have seen many a pretty sunrise, and have been the first to experience a freshly fallen snow.

2. Getting ready to leave in the morning involves soooo much.  Not only do I have to get myself ready and presentable…. but I also have to negotiate with my toddler… potty, pull up, that gets only pulled up part of the way because the little man has to do it by himself.  Which results in me chasing him downstairs as I try and get close enough to pull them up and adjust them so they fit right., pants…”No, I want batman pants.”  Shirt.  Experience meltdown if you can’t find the green robot shirt.  Socks – get kicked a few times, distract with dinosaur toy and a silly dance – yay.  one sock down – Take another 5 minutes to get the second sock on.  Find shoes.  Can’t find second shoe.  Look frantically for 10 minutes to discover it lodged between a couch cushion.  Get breakfast in front of toddler while I go check on preteen to make sure she’s ready to go.  Discover she’s still in pj’s, looking like she just got up.  Nag her to pick up the pace while I spend a few minutes trying to find the red cup because the blue one is suddenly not ok to use.  Have to check on the preteen again to remind her NOT to use my hairclips without asking me first, and to put layers on as it’s cold and , hmm I think there’s a boy she’s interested in since she’s trying to let her go to school in a pretty summer dress, when it’s 30 degrees outside.

Go to work. put in a full, exhausting day.

Come home.  Check homework.  Help with any projects, get the skinny on what’s going on in the life of my preteen.  Get a load of laundry in, sweep the kitchen floor.  Sometimes I’ll cook dinner, sometimes, I’ll be tired, and will order something.  Sneak in a snuggle with the toddler.  End up giggling running around the house.  Phone rings, try and talk to the person on the other line without exposing them to the loudness that is your home.  One or both children will interrupt every 2-3 minutes.  Get dinner served.  Depending on what it is, and toddlers mood, may or may not be cleaning up dinner from floor.  Or tray, or hair.  We sit at the table, so I get to hear about everyone’s day, share snippets from my own. (I love this part of my day)

Depending on the time, my energy level or the mess… I spend the remainder of the time before they go to bed either reading books with them, playing a game with them, snuggling and watching curious George or Mulan, The preteen is into her phone right now, so we found a mobile game we could play together that doesn’t require a TON of attention to play.  If there’s a big mess, I may set them down to watch a movie so I can do dishes or get another load of laundry in.  Clean a bathroom, or unpack a box.  If I’m really lucky, I may get the chance to pay a bill, or return an email.

Bedtime arrives.  Sometimes it is fine, easy as pie, and sometimes, it takes extra hugs, or a stern reminder that perhaps not everyone in the house WANTS to give EVERY stuffed toy a hug AND a kiss and convince the toddler that perhaps the toys only needed a hug from him anyway.  After many hugs and kisses, and I love you’s all around, my kids drift off to dreamland.

Sometimes, I do laundry, sometimes, I read, or watch a movie, sometimes, I’ll play a game.  And sometimes, I look at it all and say F THAT and go pass out.

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So you see, my house gets cleaned in odd spurts, and rarely all at once.  I may get frazzled when I’ve spent the day cleaning and re-cleaning the same area 3 times or hearing the same songs in the car on repeat for 40 minute trips.  I look at the way the other two children I raised have so far, turned out… I remember that the early years are a messy time.  It gets better.  So what if the living room couch has no cushions on it because there is a fort built out of them?

I don’t like to be judged.  I spend time with my kids.  I make time with them.  When they aren’t in my care, I make time for everything else.  Sometimes it’s a juggle.  Sometimes, things come up, but in the end, it all balances itself.  Me taking a vacation will result in a more rested, happier mom.  And with xmas season being here now, it means more family traditions and more quality time.  Life balances things.

Ugh.  Thanks for letting me vent Neverland.  Love ya.  Need to run as someone had a nightmare.