Searching for Bliss

One man's paradise is another man's nightmare.

Days 6-8 were for reflection. Day 9 is for parenting.

Before the birth of my second child, I experienced what I like to call “incomplete parenting syndrome.” My first child passed away when he was 10 weeks old, so I didn’t get to experience many milestones with him. My second child didn’t arrive until nine years and one marriage later.

I was a single mom when Nathan passed away, and I kinda went crazy after he died. There was a point where I had a hysterical pregnancy. My periods had stopped, my belly was distended, and I was truly convinced I was almost 20 weeks pregnant.

When I ended up in the hospital, the ultrasound tech they sent in was the deliverer of the news that I was indeed not pregnant. I cried for days. I cried for my mental state. I cried for my empty womb. I cried for my empty arms. I was only 21 years old.

At some point in the fog that was my life, I promised myself that I would not get pregnant again until I was married to someone and had a different last name. This is one of the few promises I have ever made to myself and kept.

Now, I have the best little 3 year old on the planet. But there are some days when I get so mentally and physically exhausted by parenting that I can’t understand why I ever chose to go on this journey again.

At every exhausting turn, I remind myself that I would have given anything to see Nathan reach the big milestones. I feel guilty to be bothered by parenting, because it was so quickly stripped away almost immediately after I first joined the club. It’s something I yearned years for after his death.

My sudden divorce from parenting, and then my remarrying it 9 years later is still somewhat hard to explain. I love my kiddo with all my heart, but I do carry extreme guilt when I get annoyed or exasperated with her.

It makes me feel as though I don’t really deserve to be her mom, although I know that’s a ludicrous concept, and I will renounce it here and now. I am a good mom, even though I get super stressed about every facet of mothering.

So, what I would really like to do is to have a moment of reflection each time I find myself getting ticked off with parenting. I want to focus my breath and remind myself that I am getting to do what so many people can’t. I get a second chance at being a parent. And even the best parents can get a little crazy sometimes.

And that’s ok.

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Day 5 was for anxiety and tears

Of course it was day 5 when the anxiety and waterworks hit. I figured I wouldn’t be able to keep the fragile me under wraps for too long, but I do wish that I could have made it longer than 5 days.

Our corporate department heads were in town this week at my job, and we were taken to lunch today. Everyone insists on riding together, and I had to cram myself into a tiny backseat with two other women. I am, by far, the largest of the three. There was one medium size, and one very small. I was smashed against the door, and my head hit the side roof. I tensed in the ride, and all of the muscles in my neck and shoulders seized up on me.

The ride to the restaurant and then back to work again was very uncomfortable, and I was almost in tears when we got back. There was one time before when I took my own vehicle instead of riding with the others, and everyone seemed so shocked why I would go alone.

From now on, I will have to be adamant that I will have to take my own vehicle. I can’t put myself into extremely uncomfortable situations anymore just for the sake of going along with the crowd. I have to make my needs known. I can’t be afraid to speak up.

I have plans tomorrow to spend the day with friends and film some cooking segments. The plan was for me to have the house and our kitchen available for filming, and my husband would take our kid to the museum downtown.

His job has called for a mandatory Saturday, so now I have to prepare the house for filming and film while my 3 year old is underfoot. To make matters worse, they are also offering work on Sunday, and my husband signed up for 8 hours.

All I can see for my weekend is dealing with a clingy toddler, who I can’t tag team with my husband, because he will be working 16 hours over Saturday and Sunday. I won’t even get a break the weekend after this one, because I am taking the kiddo out of town to visit friends for Easter, and I will have her again next weekend completely on my own.

Once I picked up the kiddo and got home, we prepared supper together and were already eating when my husband arrived home from work. After dinner, I went to spend some quality time with myself in the bathroom. I don’t feel bad about admitting this, because I was actually sitting in there taking care of legitimate toilet business.

The kiddo burst into the room, and basically just stood there staring at me and laughing. Her dad was behind her basically just standing there and laughing. He didn’t move to correct her and shut the door quickly, which is what I would have done had I been out there with her and she busted up in the bathroom on someone.

I yelled to please go away and shut the door and they both still stood there laughing. I can’t blame the 3 year old, but my anger toward my husband flared. I had to wait until things literally stopped exiting from my body before I angrily stood up. I slammed the bathroom door and yelled something toward my husband about not stopping her from coming in.

Our kid is potty training now, and there are times when she and I go to the restroom together. But that is only when the situation absolutely calls for it. I don’t want her to think that she can just barge into a bathroom, even if it is only me in there. I am a human that has a right to my privacy, and it seems I get so little of that these days.

My husband took the kid upstairs, and I sat in the bathroom for 10 more minutes, crying like a baby. I felt guilty for getting angry, but I also was still very angry that no one seemed to care about my feelings. I spend every waking moment caring about the feelings of others: my husband, my kid, my coworkers, the customers I deal with, my friends.

I feel like I give so much, yet rarely it comes back to me. But there I was, sitting in the bathroom, STILL TRYING TO POOP, and crying my eyes out because I made my husband angry with my reaction. I sat in there, wiping falling tears and vowing I should feel no shame in being angry, but the guilt was caught heavy in my throat.

I exited the bathroom and left the house to go grocery shopping. I cried all the way there in the car. I sat in the car for 10 minutes crying before I went into the grocery store. Then, I fielded stares from the other shoppers and the cashier, because I know my red and blotchy ugly cry face was on full display.

I had to go to two stores to get all the items I need for tomorrow’s cooking segments, and when I returned home, the kiddo was still awake. She is over there with her dad, playing some games on her tablet before bed.

I have nothing to do but sit here and write what I am feeling. I am still so angry, and hurt, and confused as to why I don’t get back in return what I give to the world. My brain is telling me I don’t get it back because I am an awful person and awful people don’t deserve nice things to happen to them.

And my sick, evil, and twisted brain secretly thinks my husband takes all the overtime he can to stay away from my toxicity. I just can’t pull myself up from the funk tonight.

But I wrote, and that is better than I can say for my last anxiety laden day. I can only take baby steps toward figuring life out. I don’t know how to take big steps yet…

Day 4 was for being high on life

What a day. Just wow.

After a normal work day, I met up with friends to do a book club video review thing. We broadcast it live on Facebook, and wow, what a rush.

We talked about a book that is very near and dear to all of our hearts. If you would like to check it out, it’s called I Wanted More Than This by Carrie Ann Paulo. Seriously, anyone could benefit from this book. You won’t be sorry if you read it, trust me.

Reading this book is actually what has spurred me to start this little numbered writing project. I am thankful for it being a push that I so desperately needed. Not just for my writing, but for my entire demeanor. It’s a book that makes you look in the mirror and think, no matter how messy the view may be.

Mirrors are the signs that the universe is giving me these days. It’s so strange things just start to sync up.

So since the evening is ending on a pretty high note, I have to go back and review the earlier part of my day. I am very proud to report that I did not eat breakfast out. I met a friend for a quick coffee and sandwich at lunch, but we shared the sandwich, and I spent only slightly more $6. I can’t cut out all extracurricular spending, but I sure am cutting way back!

Overall, it was a brilliant day. I am so happy to be alive, in this skin, as I surround myself with people whose only interest is to push me to be my better self.

Day 3 was a breeze

My kiddo has been out of town at her grandparents since the weekend. Today was the day she came home, so I worked through my lunch hour so I could leave early to meet her at home.

I’ve been sick with a head cold ever since she left on Saturday, so I didn’t get all the things accomplished around the house that I wanted to. I slept in this morning, and actually slept through my alarms, so I was rushing to get to work on time.

In my haste, I forgot to bring my breakfast or lunch, but I knew I had food in the fridge at work. I had free coffee at work and some chicken nuggets I had taken in the other day. Not the breakfast of champions, but it filled my belly, and I didn’t spend any additional money on it.

Since I worked through my lunch hour, I had no opportunity to go out and spend money, so I was quite happy on that front. When I got home, I spent some time playing with the kiddo before we made dinner together.

She helped me build a stuff crust pizza that we assembled from crescent roll dough and various toppings we found in the fridge. Another meal down without going out and buying expensive pre-made food.

Today was a victory, and I shall relish in it.

Day 2 had one small victory

I resisted the temptation to stop for breakfast on the way to work this morning. I wasn’t feeling very well when I woke up, so food wasn’t really on my brain. It wasn’t until I was driving along and the first hunger pang hit that I realized what an interesting position I was in.

I thought about stopping somewhere, I really did. But I remembered my abandoned food from yesterday, still sitting in the fridge at work, and I resolved to have the cottage cheese and peaches as soon as I got to my desk.

I arrived into work, prepared myself a free cup of coffee, and one of the ladies in the office offered me some wonderful homemade lemon-blueberry pound cake.

As I sat at my desk and savored each bite with my free coffee, I decided right then and there that this was my reward for resisting the temptation to stop for expensive fast food.

So far, it’s 9 AM, and I have spent zero coins today. I am a proud woman.

Day 1 didn’t turn out so well…

I resolved to myself that this week would be the week that I stopped eating out for lunch. My plan was to pack a lunch each day so that I could resist the temptation to run through a drive-thru or pick up takeout. I spend far too much money on food, basically because I am a self-diagnosed food addict. It’s not uncommon for me to eat such large quantities of food at one sitting that I become uncomfortable and ill.

I have never been able to force myself to vomit, so the food stays in me and the pounds pack on. So, the over-eating leads to over-spending since restaurant food is way more expensive than food at the grocery store.

So, it’s Monday, and I felt that I got off to a pretty good start. I made myself a grilled cheese for breakfast, to stave off any ideas to pull through somewhere for breakfast. I briefly thought about pulling through Starbucks to get a plain coffee, but I resisted!

I got to work and drank the free coffee they provide in the break room, and I placed my cottage cheese, canned peaches, and frozen dinner in the fridge.

By the time lunch rolled around, I was not in the mood to eat what I brought. I left work to go to the drugstore for OTC cold meds, and I resolved I would eat my packed lunch when I returned from my errand.

After going to two separate pharmacies to find what I needed, I was grumpy and extremely hungry. In an instant, I made the call to the Japanese restaurant and ordered a combo rice to go. It wasn’t until I was walking into the restaurant that I fully realized that I had sabotaged myself on the FIRST day of my resolution.

I paid for my food since they had it ready and waiting, and I returned to work to eat my lunch of shame. The rice has been sticking in my throat, reminding me that once again, I fell prey to my own worst enemy… myself.

So where do I go from here? I know that I will not eat dinner out tonight. I am always good about not getting takeout for dinner, but does today mean I will fail again at lunch tomorrow?

Where’s my magic wand so that I can wave it and erase these mental hangups that I have about food and money?

Staring at the blank page…

When you get to a point in life, where you have all the tools you need to make yourself successful, what is the driving force that pushes you to learn how to use these tools and use them to your advantage?

*Revisit learning how to avoid run-on sentences…*

For me, I feel as though I have finally come to a place where not doing what I want to do is no longer an option. I have to make my dream work, otherwise, I will just be miserable and unhappy. And if there is one thing I am so very tired of, it’s of being miserable and unhappy!

I feel that if I just talk to myself enough in my writing, one day everything will stick and fall into place. Practice makes perfect, so I have to do a lot of practicing. But what am I practicing? What is it that I want to become really good at?

*Revisit ending sentences with prepositions…*

For now, I’m at the drawing board. Anything is possible at this point…

*Revisit ending sentences with ellipses…*