Friday, January 6, 2012

Insta Friday. My first link up.

Since this is my first Insta Friday I wanted to start small. I decided that one picture was enough.

Especially since it’s this picture.

This is my new (used) treadmill. I’m very proud of it. I’m very excited about it. I’m very humorous about it.
Yes. I was that lady who bought a treadmill on the first day of the New Year. I swore I wasn’t going to have a New Year’s resolution, and I’m totally sticking to that. Buuuttt…Since I have wanted one for so long, and I knew that New Year’s Day would probably be a time of year that people would be trying to sell them, I found this beauty for 40 DOLLARS!
NO. There isn’t anything wrong with it! It’s slightly used, home-gym quality, and in perfect working order. And it was 40 DOLLARS! I couldn’t NOT buy it!!
And no one could argue when my reasoning was, “Do you know how many piles of Laundry I can stack on this thing?”
Laugh and others will laugh with you.
Happy Friday.  

life rearranged

What am I thinking right now??

I will be the first to admit that I am guilty of expecting people to read my mind. I honestly believe it is part of the reason I have found myself so desperately disappointed for so many years of my life. I know that sounds a little drastic, but it was a big truth for me. I have exhausted a lot of time and energy expecting things from people that they didn’t even know I expected, then being let down because they didn’t deliver. It’s unrealistic and quite unfair. I have done it with my family, my children and in my own marriage.

And I know I’m not alone.

Over the last few weeks, I have had a few conversations with some of my very best girlfriends about this subject. The age old womanism that is, “Why do I have to tell him? Shouldn’t he just know? Won’t telling him what I want take the romance and creativity out of it?”

Because I’ve read so many articles & books and watched so many television shows on the subject, and I’m totally qualified to do so…

 Here is the stuff I’ve thrown against the wall that seems to be sticking.

1.       I guess you don’t have to tell him. You can just go through the next fifty years of marriage doing what you are already doing and continue to be disappointed. By the way, how’s that been working out for you?

2.       Do you just know what he wants? Do you read his mind? If so, awesome! Please, teach me your ways…

3.       I don’t know. Romance is a super funny word. To me it’s the first cup of coffee. I love the way the first cup of coffee tastes. I get my feelings hurt if I don’t get the first cup of coffee. It’s better than flowers. Better than chocolate. Jeremy gave me the first, first cup of coffee because he was still trying to impress me, I’m sure, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is I told him I loved it and he’s been doing it for a lot of years. It still impresses me. I told him one year that I wanted flowers on my birthday, sent to work, so everyone would know how fabulous I was and how fabulous he was. Were the flowers any less beautiful? Appreciated? Romantic? I don’t know how everyone describes it but living in a world where my partner in crime listens to what I say, and responds in a way that makes me happy, is pretty romantic. So for me the answer is No. No, it doesn’t make it less beautiful. Less appreciated. Less romantic. Maybe I’ve got a lame idea of romance. I don’t think so, though. The other morning, Jeremy got up before I did. We had made a deal the night before. One that included, “Then I want to sleep in in the morning.” So, he got up. Did he want to? Probably not, I didn’t want him to want to get up, I just wanted him to get up. So he did. And on his way out, he turned on the exhaust fan in the bathroom so that the white noise would drown out the boys’ yelling. I thought that was pretty creative. If that’s lame, then, whatever. But, I also willingly gave up the first cup of coffee which he thought was worth it. If I’m wrong, if that’s not romance and I’m just really old and married, I’m okay with that. Seriously. Maybe there was a time where a different kind of romance is what I thought I wanted but tweaking my perception on the issue has made me really old and happily married which is something I can totally live with.

I think one of the very best lessons my mom tried to teach me, one I’m still trying to learn, is the idea that I am responsible for teaching people how to treat me. Part of it is the way I treat myself, and part of it often includes telling people what I want. And by “telling people what I want”, I have found that saying things like, “OMG! You never do anything romantic. Miss Blah Blah Blah got flowers at work the other day from her husband. How come you never buy me flowers? I want flowers. It would be nice if just once you bought me some freakin’ flowers” does NOT yield positive results in my world. When I use that approach with Jeremy, I instantly sound like the adults in the Charlie Brown cartoons…you know. You know the ones. And nothing romantic ever came from one of those conversations.

Since trying to make my thoughts louder just gave me a headache that the Gods of Starbucks couldn’t fix, I’m trying “Stop expecting people to read your mind” instead.  I’m not always super good at it, but I’m working on it and that totally counts.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Not Perfect. Good Enough.

If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you're a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.
--Kurt Vonnegut

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting outside with Roxy while the boys ate at the dinner table. I was making fun of myself because they were eating dinosaur chicken, instant mashed potatoes and canned peaches…again. Roxy usually teases me because they eat so many pieces of chicken shaped like creatures from the Mesozoic Era (What? I watch Friends), but for some reason, that night she just said, “Hey, at least it’s hot food in their bellies”. It’s true, it is hot food in their bellies, and it could be a lot worse. Sometimes I’m a little too hard on myself, though, and forget that good enough isn’t always something to be ashamed of. They’re not the best eaters, anything is better than nothing and frozen chicken, dehydrated potatoes and canned fruit is better than chocolate bars, fruit snacks and string cheese. It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough.

I was talking to someone yesterday, about the exciting subject of laundry, and when I confessed that my folded laundry rarely ever finds its way to closets and drawers, he said, “At least yours is folded.” BAM! Totally right. It’s clean, dry and wrinkle free. That sounds totally good enough to me. Do I want my laundry to be put away? Of course I do. I want my house to be perfect and my car to always be clean and my kids to eat regular chicken. Every once in a while I get those things, but not every day. I could spend a lot of time and energy getting upset about that stuff, and I have, trust me, but part of this whole, corny, “Happiness” journey I decided to embark out on a year ago is teaching me that getting upset because things aren’t exactly the way I want them to be will rob me of the joy, humor and insane beauty that make up what they already are. I don’t want to miss all the good stuff because I’m focusing on the shortcomings.

I have to take this approach a lot, about a lot of things. There are about 15 or 16 emotional directions I could go. I’ve even been known to take 2 or 3 of them at a time. Trust me, “It’s good enough” is the best possible direction for me. And you, if you have the pleasure of being around me on a regular basis.

I’m not talking about taking this approach with the important things. The amount of love I give, the amount of time I invest in myself, the amount of time I invest in other people. I’m talking about the stuff that no one is going to remember when I’m gone. In fact, if whoever gives my eulogy talks about my laundry skills, it will be because I have done something severely, severely wrong.

So, the fact that most of the house is vacuumed today is good enough. It’s harder to vacuum with a helper and Brodie insisted on “Helping”.

The fact that there is no trash or old sippy cups in my car and I can see out of the front and rear windshields is good enough. She’s still really pretty.

The fact that Logan ate two bites of his broccoli and all of his prehistoric chicken before the whining started is good enough. He cleared his plate and told me thanks for dinner.

The fact that I managed to at least wash Brodie’s face and hands and the potatoes out of his hair before he lost his mind and crashed out in between screams is good enough. There is something about the silence of his sleeping that makes me forget he needed a bath.

I can do anything, but I can’t do everything. Not perfectly anyway. Some of it just has to be good enough.

Does that sound lazy? Maybe, but I dare you to call me that after living a day in my world.  

To. My. Face.