What do I have in common with an owl, aardvark, chinchilla, hedgehog and skunk?

Tags

, , , , ,

What do I have in common with an owl, aardvark, chinchilla, hedgehog and skunk? Perhaps more than one thing, but lately it’s “nocturnality” or an animal behavior characterized by activity during the night and sleeping during the day.  …I mean, its early afternoon and I’m up, but my eyelids are heavy, the yawns are continual and I could really use a nap.  Last night I was up until about 2:00am – restless yet again!  I probably should have popped a melatonin, but before I knew it the hours had just ticked by and my alarm was buzzing.  Ugh!

Like a zombie, I rolled out of bed, got the kiddo up and moving, and off to school. Next, I was back in bed for about 40 glorious minutes before I had to get up and get ready for a meeting.  I could have easily slept until noon.

Why can I feel drained all day long and then once about 9:30pm hits (and my home is pretty quiet), I’m raring to go? That’s not cool!  I know the secret…the house gets quiet.  The sweet and sassy 10 year old is in bed, the doggies are ready to snooze, nobody is asking me for anything, and all that peaceful tranquility leads to some loneliness and thought after thought after thought.  Have I gone full circle; once again making it to that exhausting place where I can’t stop the endless thoughts and worries unless I’m crazy busy or distracted by something like technology?  Say it ain’t so friends, say it ain’t so!

There are a lot of thoughts racing around in my head – everything from what is going to happen with Matt, to how in the hell I’m going to find the spark I need to get back in shape, to how hard I’ll have to work and save to get out of debt, to why I have cheerleaders being mean to each other, to the next time I’ll need to mow, to what I’ll pack for school lunch…I just want to scream to myself SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP. The thoughts on mowing and lunch I can handle, but the relationship, finances, and other difficult thoughts…well those are not so easy to work through.

I know what could potentially help – nixing the caffeine (which makes me pudgy and gross anyway), exercising, blogging or journaling (Hey…at least I’m doing something right!), reading, coloring, praying, trusting, letting go. The last two are the hardest…trusting and letting go.

What I’m thankful for today is that even in hard times when I lose my spunk and pizazz; I do not turn to really harmful and addicting things to ease the pain – not smoking, drinking, drugs, gambling, or anything of that nature. That’s a good thing.  Now I just need to find a way to pick myself up and get my groove back.  I want to be like Stella!

 

 

Shit has hit the fan again…let the writing commence…

January 7th…that’s seriously the last time I posted?!?  That pretty much means it’s been about 8 months since I really, I mean REALLY processed my emotions.  Hmmm…that probably explains some of my tossing and turning, moodiness, lack of motivation, bitterness, resentment, depression, frustration, anger, stress, crabbiness, laziness, sadness, etc.

The truth is my friends; I’m not doing so great. I feel like life is chucking some sour lemons at me, but this gal has no interest in making lemonade.  Hell, I don’t even have an interest in turning those lemons into a tasty ole lemon drop shot.  Yep…my mojo is long gone as is my motivation – cue the “Nah Nah Nah Nah Hey Hey Hey Goodbye…”

I don’t even know where to begin…

I feel like I need a shovel to starting digging up the emotions I’ve repressed. Picture this…me in my backyard, probably sweating like a pig, hair all frizzy and crazy, cursing, crying, blasting some gansta rap and digging something that resembles the Panama Canal.  Yes…that’s how deep my emotions run (at least in my mind).

The truth is…that adorable, affectionate, sexy, sweet, funny, 6’5”, blue eyed, beautiful smile having man that defrosted my frozen heart – well…he was a little too good to be true. Time tells a lot; in the two years that Matt and I have been together, unfortunately, I now see my former “dream man” with much clearer eyes.  Life with Matt has been filled with a ton of happiness and laughter, but on the flip side, it’s also been filled with stress, lies, deceit, broken promises, betrayal, manipulation, financial burdens, and irresponsibility.

Let me explain a little more. In my eyes, Matt is a genuinely good person.  He has good intentions.  He wants to be liked.  He has a huge heart.  He’s silly and funny.  He has a great personality.  He’s super likeable.  He loves likes crazy.  He’s smart.  He’s ambitious. He’s the best kisser I’ve ever smooched.  He gives the best hugs and cuddles.  He’s a worker; in fact, he busts his ass.  He cooks and cleans.  I’m a sassy lady and he can always toss attitude right back at me (in a playful way).  He’s friendly and kind to everyone.  He’s romantic.  He’s a guy that expresses his feelings.  He sends those highly coveted long text messages.  He’s affectionate.  He’s complimentary.  He’s such a fun dad – when the kids are crazy and I’m ready to scream, he’s patient.  He’s helpful.  He’s so many, many wonderful things.  But like all people, he has some faults – some pretty serious ones.

I don’t exactly know where it came from or when it started but Matt lies…and he lies a lot. He also has issues with medication.  He had a pretty traumatic experience back in college at Purdue and perhaps that experience along with everything else he’s faced – two failed marriages (yes two) and a lot of painful disappointments along the way – – perhaps those things have really impacted him negatively, almost tormenting him.  In some ways, he’s incredibly strong, but in other ways he’s weak.  In my humble opinion, when you turn to excessive lying and deceit and excessive use/abuse of meds to survive, you’re emotionally weak.

I’m no psychologist, but from my experiences with Matt and talking to those who know him very, very well (ex-wife, mom, boss, co-worker), he seems to be a compulsive liar – I couldn’t even begin to count the hella lies he’s told. Is that the person he truly is or is his judgment, choices and thoughts clouded by excessive meds? For as long as I’ve known him, he’s taken a strong cocktail of medications prescribed by a physician for a variety of things – a back injury (he and a friend were rear-ended by a trash truck) which ravaged his back – between that and tearing his ACL (I’ve been there, done that, and it’s NO fun) he was hooked on painkillers.  He was able to break that addiction, but in doing so, more meds were added to the mix – suboxone, things for anxiety and panic attacks, ADD, nerve damage, etc.  And then it got worse – he started seeking additional anxiety meds to cope with stress; it snowballed into a mess, a huge mess.

I don’t need to write all the dirty details, but I’ve watched his life fall apart – I’ve watched him become a financial mess. I’ve watched him attempt to lie to save his ass.  I’ve watched him cry in frustration.  I’ve watched him unable to sleep.  I’ve watched him like totally pass out.  I’ve seen the migraines and I’ve seen him doubled over in pain from his back.  I’ve seen him take advantage of me and try to manipulate me and others.  I’ve seen him shift blame.  I’ve seen him play the victim. I’ve seen him lie about the dumbest things.  I’ve seen him lose a lot, a hell of a lot.  I’ve seen him blow the money he had and then lie about it – – time and time again.  I’ve seen shady shit on his phone.  I’ve seen him turn on the charm in an attempt to dig himself out of the messes he’s created.  He has asked people to lie for him. I’ve watched him completely walk away from “adult responsibilities” because they are too overwhelming or maybe because he’s just completely unorganized or lazy when it comes to things like paying bills – – it’s been a domino effect.  He’s gone to jail for missing court dates and dropping the ball on important stuff like not having his car insurance paid when in an accident, driving on a suspended license, etc.  …It’s heart wrenching and maddening at the same time.  I just don’t get it.  He’s a man with a crazy amount of potential and amazing qualities and then it’s just dumb choice after dumb choice – or maybe a better description is that it’s a serious disease or illness that requires a serious intervention and treatment.

I’m sure that you and the rest of world are likely shouting, “Dump that loser – – You deserve better – – He’s never going to get his shit together – – Once a liar, always a liar.” I’ve thought those very things myself.  How in the hell I found myself in another relationship that has left me reeling is almost beyond my comprehension.  Like what the fuck…again?!?  How things could have fallen apart with Matt and yet my ex and I get along better than ever.  Say what?!?  Apparently, I’ve entered The Twilight Zone.

I haven’t talked to Matt in a couple of weeks; he’s got some consequences to face and some choices to make. What’s going to happen?  I don’t know.  My hope is that he’s finally reached his rock bottom and this latest turn of events will be what he desperately needs to turn his life around.  Sometimes we all need a smack in the face from reality to rock our world and help us to realize it’s time to stop fucking up.

Even in all of my pessimistic-ness, I still believe people can change – if they really want to. And Lord knows it’s not just Matt that needs to change.  I’ve kind of reverted back to the old icky me who is lazy and gross – – not exercising, not eating well, sleeping as much as possible, watching entirely too much Netflix, being crabby and angry, not managing my finances well – – I’m a blob these days and I’ve been this way for far too long. I’m sincerely hoping that firing up my laptop and getting all these toxic thoughts out of my system is the first step in the right direction.

If you have any prayers, good vibes, thoughts, wishes or magic fairy dust please shoot some my way and definitely save some for Matt as well. I think we both need it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Year, a new me? Nah..not so much.

Tags

,

I’m not really into New Year’s Resolutions. I’m not going to go to bed and wake up on January 1st and suddenly stop cussing, stop drinking pop, stop eating fast food, stop allowing the housework to stack up, etc.  It’s just not going to happen.  Instead, I’d rather look to a new year as a fresh opportunity to make some positive lifestyle changes.  Things like focusing more on a plant based diet, trying juicing to see if I like it and to see if it improves my energy, giving matcha green tea a try and so forth. When my resolutions get too precise they last about 30 minutes.  It’s probably that rebellious girl inside of me that doesn’t like being told what to do.  I have to appease her by making general suggestions.  Tell her to stop drinking pop and she won’t.  Encourage her to try matcha green tea because of the health benefits it offers and she just might do it.

When I was in bed last night curled up in my king size comforter I had this weird image in my head.  First, I started thinking about the lack of motivation I currently have.   Those thoughts progressed and before I knew it I sort of felt like I had a shell around me – – No, I do not think I am a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.  So what in the hell do I mean?  Well I’m here, but I feel like there’s this invisible outer shell or cocoon (that’s a fun word, ha ha) surrounding me. The shell that has me feeling trapped can only be removed by things that I’m currently lacking.  Things such as:  motivation, inspiration, joy, drive, ambition, creativity, confidence, enthusiasm and purpose.

Perhaps I sound like a complete wackadoo (love that fancy word for nut job) when I’m trying to explain this shell thing. In a more direct description, I feel bummed and unmotivated.  Maybe depressed?  Ugh…who wants to admit that?  I’m constantly tired and I seriously cannot get enough of my cozy, comfy bed and my highly coveted subscription to Netflix.  If I had a choice, I’d stay in bed all day and not go to work.  I’d spend most of my time napping and watching TV.  I’d live vicariously through the Gilmore Girls pretending to be Lorelai or Rory Gilmore, dependent upon mood.  If I was extra bitchy I could even pretend to be Emily Gilmore.  Yes!

Maybe it’s a touch of the winter blues mixed in with a post holiday slump.  I am having a hard time getting back in the saddle and back to a routine.

I remember thinking of the shell last night and thinking that I don’t have the strength or the motivation to fight through the shell and get back to my normal self. It’s like some stubborn, un-hatched baby chick staying put, refusing to emerge because she’s loving life in her shell where it’s warm and comfortable.  The “shell” I’m in isn’t really warm or comfortable or fun but I’m just too lazy (?) or too unmotivated to break through it and get my mojo back.  Ugh.

I’m kind of jealous of those individuals that have set resolutions and are in beast mode making things happen.  They are probably running, eating well, reducing their intake of caffeine, saving money, working towards goals and I’ve become a lump of laziness.  I wish I could say it ain’t so…but truthfully I can’t.

Sigh, sigh, sigh…I’ve got to dig deeper and open my eyes to the many blessing I have.  I need to stop feeling sorry for myself and get it together.  Matt and I have had some rocky (REALLY rocky) moments over the last 6-7 months and I think it’s taken a bigger toll on me than I care to admit.

I hate feeling consumed by negativity…so I will say that at this moment I am thankful for many things, including:  the roof over my head, the heat in my home, for my daughter peacefully asleep in the next room, for the groceries I purchased today, for my family and friends, for my job and for a Heavenly Father who is so willing to save a wretch like me.

 

 

 

Don’t ditch your convictions to please a man

Tags

, ,

I’m in the business of trying to help teenagers make healthy choices. This includes encouraging them to resist peer pressure and do what they know is right. It involves reminding them that others should respect them and not push them to do anything they are not comfortable doing. It’s about being assertive when needed and remembering what is important and thinking about the potential consequences. It’s about having moral standards and boundaries and sticking to them.

There’s something I’ve learned; that negative type of pressure doesn’t magically disappear once you hit adulthood. We often talk to teens about resisting the pressure to drink, smoke, use drugs, sext, be sexually active, bully/cyber bully, cheat on schoolwork, skip school, steal…I suppose the list could go on and on. However, once we leave those middle school and high school hallways, there are still selfish and immature people who will pressure, manipulate, mislead and lay on some thick guilt trips to get others to do what they want. That pisses me off.

Pressuring someone to do anything they are uncomfortable with at any age is wrong. I guess I just have less tolerance for it when people become “adults” – – like grow up already and respect others. Once someone states they don’t want to do something or that they are uncomfortable with it, it’s time to drop it and move on. Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to positive things, for example…encouraging your co-worker to go for a promotion, persuading a friend to run with you, or supporting a family member showing tough love in the right situation – – I’m all for things like that. Those things have good intentions.

What I really despise is when someone who claims to love and respect you, asks you to do something you don’t want to do. That is shady stuff right there. When you prey on someone’s feelings, vulnerability, kindness, or generosity, it’s just wrong. Boy oh boy…this happens on a daily basis. People will twist, turn, bend, and spin the truth to get you to do what they want. What’s even worse is that they will falsely claim whatever it is they are trying to get you to do will somehow or someway benefit you. Lol, at that – – that’s so far from the truth.

If they get the opportunity, those dirty rats will carry on for weeks and even months (if not longer) to get what they want. They will blame. They will beg. They will mislead. They will bargain. They will manipulate to get exactly what they want. They will feed you lies, delusions and promises that they can’t keep. They will play the role of a master martyr. They will try and try to break you down and get you to second guess what you know is right for you. They work tirelessly to spin a web of deceit to get their wish granted.

Some adults spend their time pressuring others for the same stuff they did in high school- – sex, drugs, drinking, sexting, and stealing. Then, just for the fun of it (no, just for the selfishness of it) they also throw in more complex adult issues dealing with all sorts of things. Regardless, it’s wrong. There’s no room for pressure and manipulation in any type of healthy relationship. I know women can pressure men, but I think the opposite probably happens much more frequently. Ladies, be strong in your values and beliefs. Don’t ditch your convictions to please a man. Listen to your gut, not your heart.

Doing something you’re uncomfortable with doesn’t prove you love or support him. It usually means you let him get into your head and talk you into something you will likely regret. If you don’t want to do something, say no. You don’t owe him some detailed explanation. It’s simple…you’re uncomfortable with it.

We’ve all heard it countless times before, but it’s true…if he truly cares about you, he won’t ask you to do something you don’t want to do. He will respect your decision and not treat you any differently.

Still here and apparently still pissed off deep down inside

Tags

, , ,

Oh my poor, neglected blog. It’s been awhile since I last wrote. Why do I do that, just leave my blog hanging with no updates? I like writing. It’s therapeutic. It clears my head. Note to self: keep writing, Courtney, keep writing!

Do you know that awful, anxiety filled, butterfly evoking feeling when you are waiting on someone to answer an important question or provide important information? Ugh. I had a moment like that this morning. I hate those moments. It’s like when you finally get confirmation that someone has cheated on you, lied to you, or stolen from you. It just about knocks the wind out of you and often makes you wish you were dreaming and not facing reality.

Perhaps all those anxious feelings led this overly analytical head of mine to do some extra pondering today. …Unfortunately, many of us have experienced the absolute devastation that cheating causes. I know I sure have, not just once, but twice. Lucky me. Not! It’s completely unfair that the cheater typically walks away with the least amount of consequences and emotional damage. It’s the betrayed person that has to attempt to pick herself up off the floor. She has to attempt to look in the mirror and talk herself into believing that she still has value and that she’s not an unwanted, unlovable, undesirable, wretched, old troll.

She has to lie down at night and try to sleep without her head being bombarded with images of the unthinkable. She asks herself and her Savior…why, why, why, why, why???? She can’t focus at work, at home, or anywhere else. If she’s like me, she becomes 50 shades of pissed off. While there are moments of utter sadness and depression, deep down anger seethes through her veins. Understandably, she becomes guarded and untrusting. She doubts the words of those she once fully trusted. She becomes cynical, suspicious, and sarcastic. That once bubbly gal now sees the glass as half empty with no available refills.

More than just about anything else she wants to sleep or at least lounge in bed watching Netflix until her eyes turn heavy and she finally drifts off to some much needed sleep. She eats like crap and stops exercising. Whenever she gets the chance she stuffs her face with junk, feeding her pain. Although there are likely still some great things in her life (children, friends, etc.), her spirit is crushed and both her self-worth and security have been destroyed. She feels hopeless.

She has no motivation to do anything. Her head is her worst enemy – – the thoughts eat away at her. She feels worthless. She might have enough clothes to outfit a small village and yet she feels hideous in everything she owns. She becomes highly critical of herself. She hates her body, her skin, her hair, her face. She has convinced herself she’s not good enough and that’s why the bastard cheated.

There she is…broken; a completely broken woman. But the thing is, life continues around her. The kiddo still needs taken care of, the dishes still need done, the groceries need purchased, the trash taken out, the mortgage paid, the appointments kept, the holidays celebrated, the job done. If she would like to attempt some type of normalcy for those around her (in my case, my daughter) she doesn’t really have the chance to just stop, catch her breath, process, grieve, heal and move forward. Life doesn’t stop because of her pain.

So what’s her option? Give up? Deep down that’s exactly what she wants to do. Surviving one affair is bad enough, but two? Seriously, maybe it’s time to officially throw in the towel. Being an old cat lady wouldn’t be so bad, right? It probably involves a lot of junk food, sweat pants, a bath robe and plenty of TV. Actually, that sounds sort of appealing. Even the meanest cat out there, my late grandmother’s cat Andy, wouldn’t claw my heart to shreds.

If I didn’t have the bluish/green eyes one of impressionable little girl looking at me as her role model, I’m not so sure I would have found the drive to get back up and keep going. And truth be told, that girl has seen the worst of her mama – grouchiness, moodiness, depression, anger, bitterness and straight up bitchiness. She’s seen me scream and yell, get vindictive and mean, cuss, cry, and try to sleep it off. But what she hasn’t seen is me completely give up. She knows I’m not perfect and sometimes my emotions get the best of me (the same thing happens to her too). I guess what matters most is that I have sincere, age appropriate talks with her where I fully admit that I’m nowhere near perfect, that nobody is, and that when I’m hurting deeply it’s hard for me to put a smile on my face and stay positive. Admitting my faults to her is not always easy, but talking through the mistakes and the hard feelings provides such an important life lesson.

I’m writing like the affairs just happened a few days ago. They didn’t. However, just sitting here and thinking about everything brings those heated feelings to the surface. The emotions are still powerfully painful. Hell, I tend to think that years and years could pass and those feelings will still be extremely raw. That’s what happens when someone you trust betrays you.

There are probably countless negative childhood and teenage memories that I’ve repressed – – something like getting picked last during gym class, being made fun of, being embarrassed, getting cut from the cheer team, getting dumped, the list probably goes on and on. And yet…the times I’ve felt the most worthless and the loneliest in my life were the times I was cheated on. To have someone who claims to love you and claims to be committed to you do something so heinous, it’s simply incomprehensible. It doesn’t make one fucking iota of sense. Oh how many times I’ve thought, “I hope she was worth it.” The thing is…she wasn’t. She could look like a super model. She could have a so-called banging body. She could be a dime. She could be a flipping rock star in the sack. She could be loaded with cash. But in the end does that shit matter? Nope! What matters is that you, you big liar/cheater, threw your integrity in the trash the moment you crossed the line. The moment you had that deceitful thought, sent that text, made that call, did the deed…in that moment you might have been sexually satisfied but it came at the cost of your character. Let me be real…ain’t no booty worth your character and your integrity. If you would have actually stopped and thought about the long-term consequences of your selfish actions, perhaps you would have made the right choice. But you didn’t. When you cheat you think about nobody but your rotten fucking self (and I suppose the whore you’re fucking).

If I had magical powers, I’d probably use them for good. Overall, I’m nice like that. Okay…nice with a potty mouth. Sorry, but cuss words help to drive home the point for me. Back to those coveted, mystical powers – – if I could, I’d blast the private areas of cheaters worldwide and with a vengeful giggle I’d place a twisted little spell that would prevent the cheaters from ever having sex again (or at least enjoying it). Ha…how do like that? It would serve them right. Enjoy that last orgasm fucker, cause once I wave my wand, your days of sexual glory are over. Or maybe I’d shrink his penis to the size of I don’t know…a peanut. Ha Ha Ha…yeah, I like that idea even better because he’d be miserable and nobody would want him. Then he could feel just the way I did. That’s karma.

Whew…it feels so good to write and get these feelings out. Since I can’t really go around throat punching every male I see, this is a much more suitable outlet for my emotions.

I fully acknowledge that this post is filled with a lot of intense feelings. Believe it or not, I’m actually doing pretty well. Today the feelings welled up. I did a lot of reminiscing. If feels good to write and process. I might not ever fully heal from the cheating, but at least I’m not afraid to jump head first into the pool of emotions and attempt to make sense out of a completely senseless situation.

A time of transition

Well…it’s August 14, 2015 (yeah…I’m late posting this, it’s actually August 17th now) and I’m sitting here baffled.  Where in the hell did summer go?  We all say it, we all experience it, but jeez…I feel like school ended two weeks ago.
I’d love to have a summer redo.  This summer just wasn’t nearly as good as last summer.  Last summer I was in fantastic shape.  I was running; I even completed my first 10k…woot, woot!  I came to terms with my marriage ending.  I slowly and cautiously opened the door to the idea of dating.  I’m not going to lie; I enjoyed all the attention I received.  It simply felt good to realize that some men still found me attractive and wanted to spend time with me.  My phone was blowing up with texts, compliments and offers to hangout/date.  I was skinny, tan, blonde, confident and extra sassy.  Go me!  At that point I feel like I was physically, mentally and emotionally strong, a survivor!
Looking back, truly the best part of last summer was growing in my independence, while also learning to forgive and to love again.  As much as I adore the comfort and security that being in a long-term committed relationship brings, there is so much anticipation, excitement and happiness that comes with a new relationship and falling in love.  I’m thinking about those amazing late nights last summer when Matt and I would take 30+ minutes to say goodbye and every free moment we had we would text or talk.  That man showered me with affection, kindness and thoughtfulness; I couldn’t get enough.  I fell and I fell hard for him.  No man has ever treated me better.
Matt and I are still together and we recently celebrated our one year!  We’ve faced challenges and for a brief moment in early July our relationship ended.  I was an emotional mess; let me be real…I was more like the equivalent of an emotional catastrophe.  I’m very, very thankful that we are still together.  Relationships are hard work, but when you find the right one, they are worth every last drop of effort they take.
Dating after divorce is a complicated thing.  There’s just so much to deal with and so much shit to potentially damage or destroy a future relationship.  There are exes.  There’s hearsay from those exes.  There’s insecurity.  There are trust issues (especially if you were cheated on).  There are worries and doubts.  There’s dealing with your own ex.  There’s emotional baggage.  There are often financial issues (nothing like being single to make you feel broke).  There can be bitterness, anger and resentment still lingering from your failed marriage.  There are often kids – your kids, his kids.  It’s pretty damn impressive that couples can deal with all of that PLUS the regular, everyday stuff that all couples face.
Sometimes I think you just have to stop, take a moment and breathe.  You need to reflect on where you were, where you are and where you are headed.  Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed or when I experience bumps in a relationship, I get so discouraged.  It can get the best of me and this summer certainly presented me with some new trials, tests and tribulations.
I haven’t written much, but that doesn’t mean I’m not trying.  I’m here…I’m still finding a way.  In fact, let me end this post on a more positive note.  Here are some things I enjoyed this summer:
–          Laying out and relaxing in the pool (the amount of times was minimal, but I’ll take what I can get)
–          Having Matt take care of the yard work
–          Bonfires
–          Family bike rides and the fun things we’ve done with the 3 youngest kids
–          July 4th – – we worked at getting our relationship back…there was something about being together and watching fireworks that was very meaningful to me
–          My daughter turning 9 and having one fabulous fashion party.  Matt even built a fashion runway for the party!
–          Family dinners
–          Celebrating one year with Matt – I made him the cutest gifts
–          Talking and agreeing that we are ready to officially live together
–          Going to therapy to work through our previous and current issues to make our relationship the best it can be
–          Spending time with my nephew while here from Colorado
While it’s still technically summer, it’s even a toasty 84 degrees today…school has started.  My daughter had her second day today.  I coach cheerleading and we have our first practice game/scrimmage tonight.  The stores have placed the summer merchandise on clearance and the mannequins are beginning to wear leggings, boots and sweaters.  Oh my.  Its okay, I love fall!
As we transition back into a routine, I hope to make some transitions as well – getting back to the physically, mentally and emotionally strong woman that God created me to be:  to be thankful for what I have, to work hard, to make time and spend quality moments with Matt and our kids.

OMG…maybe I’m having a mid life crisis

Tags

As the teenagers in my life would say, “I got the feels” today. I’ve got some feelings alright, but I really can’t describe them. This is one of those days where I just want to get in my car and drive until I reach some place that will make me happy. Does such a dreamy destination exist? Nah…probably not. If it does though…I guarantee it’s on a beautiful beach with soft sand, gorgeous turquoise water, hammocks, lots of sunshine, gentle breezes and an endless supply of delicious strawberry margaritas and sweet pina coladas (oh and there’s unlimited wifi too).

That’s not my reality.

All I did was toss and turn in bed last night. That makes for a cranky Courtney. I’ve been totally unable to focus today. Petty arguments with the boyfriend are not helping. I’m wondering just how I’ll produce the extra cash needed to cover a sitter now that summer break has officially arrived. That particular worry makes me want to cuss/scream/punch my ex. One of my most talented cheerleaders can’t seem to keep from twerking. It’s like her life (or her social status) depends on it. Twerking videos of her always end up on social media. Incidentally, that doesn’t really do much to help dispute the inaccurate stereotype of cheerleaders being slutty. Not to mention, I want my athletes to represent themselves and our cheer program in a respectable manner. I spent my weekend in bed sick. Puking is such a horrendous thing. I missed some graduation parties that I wanted to attend. And most disappointingly I wasn’t able to celebrate the last day of school with my daughter. I felt decent yesterday so I spent the entire day cleaning and doing laundry and my favorite (*insert sarcasm*) getting groceries. Oh joy!

I’m running on empty today and I’m overly emotional. Things are bugging me and I’m uber frustrated with all the things I want to do in my house that I cannot afford to do (without getting a loan). Oh how I’d love new, updated landscaping, concrete repairs on my driveway and front steps, new wood flooring (if the boyfriend’s dog pees on my carpet one more time, the little pooch might found himself homeless), living room furniture (which aforementioned dog has also torn up), a deck around the pool and a big, awesome playhouse for the kiddo. I guess I just get irritated because so many of these wishes would be much, much easier with two incomes.

And so I wonder…do I want to go back to school to get my Master’s Degree? Can I afford that? Do I REALLY want to do that? The thought of having to write papers and take finals again is enough to make me cringe. What do I even want to do?

OMG…maybe I’m having a mid life crisis. What the hell? Wouldn’t that be my luck? I found the strength and perseverance to survive my ex’s affair and to survive our divorce and now I’m having a mental and emotional breakdown.

No matter how far you’ve come, I swear…there are always obstacles and challenges to face. It doesn’t seem to matter the circumstance, the journey is filled with a lot of ups and downs.

The topic of money has been a hot issue lately. When we were married, my ex paid the vast majority of bills, pretty much everything. I worked part time and I paid for things like groceries, gas, my car, things our daughter needed/wanted (clothes, toys, fees for activities, school expenses, etc). I also paid for and organized all holiday and birthday celebrations, paid for my cell phone and a credit card debt. Trying to be a somewhat responsible adult, I also saved for retirement and contributed to a 529 for my daughter. And now even with child support, paying for everything is a lot!

The financial burden I feel makes me, well…not the best girlfriend (sometimes). Matt stays over at times and for awhile he was there quite often, pretty much living at my house. We’ve kind of slowed that down. No need to rush things like that (although we’ve been talking/dating/together for about a year now – WOW!).

Don’t get me wrong, Matt is wonderful and extremely helpful. He’s off on Mondays and he’s actually watching my daughter and his two youngest kiddos today. He cleans the house on a regular basis and always finds a new household project to tackle – hanging blinds, organizing the garage, mowing, trimming the landscape, fixing the dishwasher, getting a plugged toilet unplugged, taking the trash out and so much more. That man does not have a lazy bone in his body. He’s a worker, a very hard worker.

Because we are not married, I don’t think we should completely blend our finances. I think where I feel resentment is that I’m still carrying the biggest financial burden. His house is on the market and is currently being rented. I’m feeling bitter that I’m paying for a mortgage and all the bills at my house. He’s technically living at his grandma’s house until his house sells (although he spends more time at my place than anywhere else). Am I bitter because he’s not contributing more financially or because I’m in the situation I’m in (being a single mom)? It’s probably both. Please don’t comment and tell me that he’s the male version of a gold digger, because he’s not. He does help me financially. My water heater took a poo and he paid nearly $300 to get it fixed. Just yesterday he showed up with a riding mower at my house because my old push mower has been dying a slow, painful death for a couple of summers now. Similar to my push mower, my grill has cooked up its last hamburger, so he brought his grill to my house. He also takes care of the maintenance on my car.

I guess I’m just feeling overwhelmed – I’m not different than anyone else…I just feel like a Stretch Armstrong doll. Remember that little dude? Lol, according to Wikipedia, Stretch Armstrong was an action figure in the shape of a short, well-muscled blonde man wearing a black speedo. The doll’s most notable feature was that it could be stretched from its original size (about 15 inches) to four or five feet. I guess that’s the life of a single parent. In regards to finances and everything else, you almost always feel pulled and tugged in many different directions. It’s exhausting.

And I’m starting to wonder am I expecting too much of Matt, at least financially? Should I expect him to pay some type of “rent” to me or take a few bills – internet, trash, utilities, etc.? His kids usually spend a handful of nights a month at my house. Lordy, am I just selfish? I guess I think…hey…drop me some cash for groceries (and sometimes he does) and other things. Like he paid for dinner last night – treated the kiddos to pizza and ice cream. It gets expense though…I need help.

If he stays more than a night or two a week, how do I deal with this? Do we set a monthly amount that he should contribute? I’ve never been good with men and money, yet I refuse to let money issues destroy a good relationship. I’ve taken Dave Ramsey’s financial peace class. I should be better at this.

Feeling a bit like I suck…

For a tough gal, I can be really sensitive and I do not take criticism well. I’m a perfectionist. I take things personally, too personally.

This morning I had a meeting with the athletic director at the school where I work as the head cheerleading coach. I fully acknowledge that there are things that I can improve on. However, I take a lot of pride in how much I have improved the cheer program. Five years ago when I signed on as head coach, the program was a HOT MESS – drama, drama, and more drama! I was charged with turning the program completely around and damn it…I did just that. I created a respectable program with structure. I held my cheerleaders accountable for their behavior. I held the girls to a much higher standard than they had in the past. I stressed over and over again the need to develop a strong character and be positive role models. And quite frankly…I wasn’t too well liked in the beginning. The girls had a hard time transitioning from a program without many rules to a highly structured program. When I started following the girls on their social networks I’m sure they really thought I was a controlling bitch. But here’s the thing…I was not going to allow my athletes to tweet about having sex, getting high, drinking, and saying how much they hate teachers and peers at their school. Sorry, but I hold my cheerleaders to a much higher standard.

It took time to change the program and build a good rapport with my athletes, but I did it (with the help of my awesome friend and assistant coach). My former athletic director even told the both of us we were two of his best hires in the ten years he was in his position.

So today when I had an evaluation with our newest athletic director, I walked out of her office thinking it’s time for me to resign. She told me I needed to not only lead the program at the high school level but also take on a leadership role with our feeder middle schools. Oh sure, no problem…my assistant coach and I can easily take on another couple dozen additional cheerleaders, especially ones who lack basic fundamental cheer skills. I had 19 girls on my varsity team last season. That’s a lot to manage alone and now I’m expected to add several more.

I was also told that my athletic director has received a lot of negative feedback about me from parents. WHAT?!? That hurts the most. The vast majority of problems I’ve had with parents are from the ones that never show up to anything and never want to hold their daughters accountable for poor choices and behavior. As far as I knew that was a very small percentage of parents. If someone complained about me, why would she wait until my season was over to tell me? I need to know these things when they happen so I can change my tone or approach or something. It just doesn’t add up…at the completion of every season, I always have parents that thank me and tell me they hope I stick around for another year. Are these the same parents that are slamming me behind my back?

The negativity continued when my athletic director told me she also received lots of comments about my girls not leading enough cheers. Again, say what?!? Now I’m sure my girls could do more, but really fans were complaining? Half the time they don’t even yell with my girls when they lead cheers. Some of the older folks that attend our games even get annoyed and think my girls are in the way/blocking their view of the game. Regardless, why would she wait until my season was over to tell me this? How about telling me during my season so we can put extra effort into trying to get the crowd to respond? I don’t get it.

On the evaluation she marked three strengths:
– Utilizes assistant coaches effectively
– Builds team discipline
– Communicates with fellow coaches (I don’t even know what that means, with my assistant coach or with the coaches of other sports?)

So those are my only strengths? Wow, that makes me think it might be time to say goodbye to my role as a coach. I could be delusional, but I really thought my strengths would be more like:
– Shows concerns for athletes
– Inspires athletes to work hard
– BUILDS GOOD CHARACTER IN ATHLETES

Earlier in the week one of my varsity cheerleaders sent me a text:

Hey coach! I recently received a letter letting me know that I have been inducted into the National Honor Society and was asked to bring an influential person I’ve encountered throughout my life to the ceremony. I’ll hope you’ll be able to attend!

That invitation warmed my heart and I felt so blessed that this young lady thinks of me as an influential person in her life. That’s what a coach should be – – someone positive an athlete can look up to and learn from. Obviously a coach needs to know her sport, teach fundamentals, and help her athletes improve their skills. However, just as importantly a coach needs to promote and help instill strong values in her athletes, values such as: discipline, work ethic, teamwork, responsibility, character, integrity, dedication, respect, and a positive attitude. I really thought that was the biggest strength I brought to our cheer program and it felt like a smack to my face that my athletic director didn’t acknowledge that.

I don’t see myself as the best coach. I know I have flaws. I know at times I’m probably too strict and expect too much. At times I don’t have the patience I should have. But c’mon have you worked with teenagers?!? They can test your patience.

I push my girls because I care about them and how they represent our cheer program. I’ve coached for a total of 9 years (four years at the middle school level) and I’d like to believe that I’ve made a positive difference in the lives of my athletes. Regardless of what my athletic director has to say, I genuinely believe my girls (and their parents) know that I’ll be there for them even long after their high school and cheer days are over. It would be so hard to leave my girls, but I can’t work for someone who doesn’t see the value I bring.

One of those days

It’s Sunday night. I’m in bed with my laptop and a RAZ-BER-RITA. Yes, you read that correctly. The window is cracked and I can feel a refreshing breeze blowing in. I should be more relaxed than I am. I’m not sure how to describe how I feel – – kind of bitchy, numb, moody, confused or sad. I can’t pinpoint exactly how I feel or why I feel that way. I’m just in one of those moods where I feel like I could cry myself to sleep and I don’t know why.

My sister is going through some hard stuff right now and my heart breaks for her. She moved away from our hometown a couple of years ago. I miss her; I wish she was here. The last time I saw her was last summer. She came home for a visit over the 4th of July. Oh what I’d give to head back to the beach with her and stick our toes in the sand.

On another note…have you ever been physically close to someone yet felt a million miles apart? You probably have. If so, I don’t have to tell you, feeling that way sucks. I’m actually going to cut this post short and attempt to cut some current relational tension.

I think I need a good talk with boyfriend, a big hug, a good night’s rest and a long, therapeutic run.

Ugh. Keep on keeping on, my friends.

My previous behavior has very likely contributed to her mean girl tendencies

Tags

, , , , , , ,

The sweetest most heart-warming thing happened tonight. I tucked the little one into bed. Awhile later I walked by her door and thought I heard her. I stopped to listen and what I heard filled my heart with such love and pride. She was praying. She was asking Jesus to forgive her of her sins. I melted. That innocent little voice asking for forgiveness, it was so beautiful.

My kiddo had a friend over tonight and the two of them could not agree on what they wanted to do. This led to some drama over sidewalk chalk and I’m not even sure what else. The next thing I knew the girls were standing in the kitchen talking about another girl. The friend made a comment that she wasn’t going to play with my daughter; instead she was going to play with another girl. That upset my daughter and she said something not very nice about the other girl. I quickly stepped in and told the girls they needed to take a break and could try to play again tomorrow.

My daughter can be really critical of others and I take some responsibility for that. Sadly, I think she learned that behavior from me. When the ex was in and out of our lives I was so angry. I know I said things I shouldn’t have said in front of her. There were times when I just couldn’t take it any longer and I verbally exploded on him and about him. Her insightful little self began to mimic something I wish she had never seen – – me losing control and my mouth becoming a volcano – – spewing all sorts of negativity, judgment, criticism, and condemnation.

My daughter is such a bright girl. Like her mama, she loves to read and write. She’s creative and funny. She’s very strong willed. She makes me laugh. She talks from the time she gets up to the time she goes to bed. She loves to have my full, undivided attention. She loves to put on my shoes and jewelry and asks if she can wear my clothes when she’s older. She would argue her point until she was blue in the face. She loves to sing and she has a crush on Bruno Mars. She eats more salad than any other 8 year old I know. She also loves fruit snacks, Doritos and ice cream. When the weather is nice she notices with a cute little, “what a beautiful day” comment. I just love that girl with all of my heart.

I am disappointed in myself for not shutting my mouth when I should have. I should have set a better example. I have told her countless times and have included it numerous times in our prayers…“treat other people the way we want to be treated.” In my home, that golden rule has been spoken an infinite number of times. However, it’s not what you say that matters, it’s what you do.

I don’t want to beat myself up too much or dwell on the past. I can’t go back in time and change things that I did or said. I have talked to my daughter many, many times and explained that I was upset and I didn’t always deal with things very well. I have asked for forgiveness and have tried to teach my daughter that all people make mistakes and that it’s important to own up to our mistakes and ask for forgiveness. It about kills me that my previous behavior has very likely contributed to her mean girl tendencies. She is so amazing in so many ways and I just want to see her grow socially. I still have her in therapy, we continue to talk about friends and how to treat people and we talk about how to deal with negative things.

Just like my own healing, I know my girl has healing to do on her own too. I could not be more proud of her for recognizing her wrongdoing tonight and with grace and humility asking for forgiveness. I might have failed in some ways, but in that regard I did not. She knows about the forgiveness she can receive from her Heavenly Father and that is a parenting win!

As I sit here and type this and think about things, I ask for forgiveness too. And I pray for my daughter’s growth, maturity, empathy and kindness in regards to her relationships with others. She’s like a beautiful, bright sunflower…if I can keep working with her I know she will thrive socially and I truly believe what might be seen now as micro-managing and bossiness will transform into strength and leadership.