Sunday, September 6, 2015

Happy Trials?



Once when I was signing off on a post I accidentally typed Happy Trials instead of Happy Trails. This got me thinking if it's possible to have a happy trial, and I'm not talking about the court kind, because I'm not sure that those are ever happy. I mean the trials of life. I'm great about seeing the silver lining after the trial, but must admit that in the midst of a trial finding the positive can seem impossible.

I saw some meme on Facebook about how the bruises that life so often leaves upon us prove that we showed up, and that we lived. That resonated with me because I feel pretty bruised by life at the moment.  However, when I think about these bruises as proof that I’m living my life, it encourages me to continue to look for the happiness in my trials and not to stop living due to fear of future bruises.  My life currently does not resemble what I thought it was going to look like, yet it’s better than it was in a lot of respects.  Life is a constant dance with change, and I’m learning that as much as I’d like to be the lead, I’m not. That being said, I must show up and look for the happiness of the trial. Alright, my inner Yoda is done for the night. Thanks for reading.



Happy Trials,

Fun-Sized Mom

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

I'm baaaaaaaack!



It’s been well over a year and a half since my last post, and WOW so much has transpired since that time. Honestly, it’s far too much to aim at full disclosure in this one post so I’ll do the cliff notes version and possibly elaborate later.



Shortly after my last post (which I just had to repost for some reason) I started a new job that I adore. I am certainly grateful that the transition of becoming a working mother again proceeded the year of loss. It’s helped to maintain my sanity in spite of all the change.  My marriage ended – which included my losing contact with my step daughter, my mother passed away in a tragic and unnatural way, and my father had multiple heart attacks – thankfully he lived but they were right before and after my mom’s passing.  Needless to say, loss of a child, loss of a parent, loss of a marriage, and serious illness of another parent are all up there in the category of life altering events.  Unfortunately, or fortunately (depends on how one looks at life) I’ve gotten to experience all of them all in back-to- back succession. I’ve learned that I’m more resilient than I thought, and reaffirmed that when we have loss we also have the opportunity for growth.  As I grow more at peace with each of these losses I’m confident I’ll need to write about them.



I met with my soon-to-be-former spouse AKA: ex-husband #2 and father of my little dude. I wanted to discuss some things about our son, and future decisions that we’ll need to make. The meeting had its fair share of awkward moments, but all in all I walked away with hope that we’ll be able to have a good co-parenting relationship, one that is similar to the one I have with ex-husband #1.  I’m disappointed that we were unable to work through our issues, but grateful for the lessons I’ve learned because of that marriage.



As I’ve walked through this part of my journey I’ve found myself caught in this state somewhere between sadness and hope. It’s beautiful, and misery combined. It can be a prison and freedom all wrapped in one. It’s actually hard to explain, but as much as I want to brush it off and move toward other emotions it feels really good to allow myself these feelings while maintaining that once I’ve learned the lessons and grieved the losses, the love, happiness, etc. that I want for myself, my children, and my future are there. I may have lost a lot this year, but I’ve also been blessed with some pretty amazing people, and some wonderful opportunities. Letting go and moving on is easier every day. The future is bright and I look forward to seeing what it holds.







Happy Trails,



Fun Sized Mom




Disclaimer: This is a repeat post that was origionally posted in March of 2014

 

 

Did I Fall Off The Face of The Earth? 

 

I can't believe that's it's been almost over year since I last posted something. I do have a few things that I've drafted, but opted not to publish because they were mostly inappropriate rants that only further prove how quirky and off I am. I may share them in the future since they are pretty funny, and the dang title of my blog has the word, "Confessions" in it.  Doesn't that imply that I'll be transparent and share? Why yes, I believe it does. Maybe I should rename my blog so that I don't feel so obligated to confess. Well, now that I've had a little moment of reflection, I can get on with this post.

Where to begin?

How about with the fact that I'm currently waiting for my ADD meds to kick-in so the beginnings of this post may be scattered and seem random. My suggestion... just go with it, and try to keep up.  An added bit of fun that you weren't expecting is that you can play a little game as you're reading this and try to figure out when the meds kick in.
Alriiiighty then....here we go. I blogged a little at the end of the year in 2012, but nothing in 2013. I mentioned above that I wrote a few drafts that I did not publish. You may be wondering why, or you may be thinking, who the hell cares. Whichever the case may be, if you're still reading, you're going to find out. I need to go back a bit because the back story kind of pulls everything together—well, maybe.

In April/May of 2011, I had a bit of an emotional breakdown, or overload as I like to think of it. Which almost caused me to pull a YaYa Sisterhood moment and abandon my family to lock myself in a hotel with lots of alcohol (alcoholism runs in deeply in my family so I don't drink often, but it seemed like it might be a good idea at the time). If you have not seen the movie, then just know I was completely overwhelmed, and trying to be too many things to too many people. I did not think that I could manage to keep all the tasks of my life together any longer, and the reality of admitting that I could not handle it all was more than I could bear. I know it seems odd that that's what would break me, but one day I'll write a memoir that will detail the drama filled country song that has been my life, hopefully you'll read it, and in doing so will have a greater understanding of where I'm coming from, and how my twisted mind works. But for now you'll just have to be grateful with whatever I share on the blog.  I was raised by driven, successful, stubborn, prideful, and hard headed women who each did the best they could. Those qualities have definitely seeped into who I am, and have been both blessings, and curses. They've tinted my perception of the world, and how I live my life. I was raised to never give up, and being that the game of life has dealt me a few cards of adversity, I was also raised to lace up the boots and just keep marching. Even when it's hard, and hurts, and especially when I want to quit. This too has served me well, most of the time, but also contributed to the break of 2011. Thankfully, I did not abandon my family-- I'm too damn responsible for that, and my kids are going to have enough issues requiring therapy when they're adults because of my quirkiness without my abandoning them. What I did do, was come to the realization that not one person in my world was getting the best of me which was constantly causing me to feel like a failure. I think I've mentioned before that I'm not a fan of feeling that way. I'm analytical, and solution oriented...so once I came to that realization I decided that I had to quit my job (which I loved) because my family needed to come first, and in hopes that I'd have more time to devote to the people that should be getting the best of me. At first it seemed that letting go of the responsibilities of my job helped in my overall well-being. Looking back, that was short lived because I missed it terribly, and was resentful of not being able to do it all. The gift of hindsight. Additionally, there were underlying biological issues that I was unaware of that were brewing inside of me.

In March of 2011 I went to the ER because I thought I having a heart attack. Turned out to be really bad GERD, also known as acid reflux. Who knew that acid in the esophagus could cause chest, and shoulder pain? I was put on medicine to treat this, and a possible stomach ulcer. Throughout the year I had misc., medical issues that on their own seemed like nothing serious. I'm not a fan of going to the doctor so I just dealt with things as they came up, and really did not pay much attention to them, except to blame things on my hormones because that seemed like the most likely cause to me. After my Aunt's passing in October of 2012 my hair began changing, it just wasn't the same, and I felt like it was starting to fall out. I was also tired all of the time, and mostly felt like ass. I decided that all of this was caused by my grief over the loss of loved one. Then in March of 2013 my wrists be began to hurt, followed by my elbows, then my knees, ankles, and lastly my hips. It was bearable at first, but began getting worse and by September I often had difficulty walking. I was also having many other odd symptoms. I mentioned the pain to family a few times, but tried to not focus on it. I mean goodness-- I'm in my mid-thirties....too young to have arthritis. Finally after some frightening muscle weakness I went to my doctor. I felt like some crazy hypochondriac as I was going over all my symptoms, and ailments with him. I did not look sick, no fever, but felt like all of my joints were on fire, and that I'd been hit by a bus. I had blood work done, and was told it would take a few days to get the results. At 5:30 PM on a Monday my Dr. calls, and begins to tell me how fantastic my cholesterol levels are. In my smart-ass head I'm thinking, and when did docs start calling patients to tell them their cholesterol is good? Well, that's not why he called...he was just starting with the good news. He then proceeded to tell me that one of the tests he ran tested for ANA, or anti-nuclear antibodies. Apparently it should not come back positive, and it did. I was told that high ANA is usually anything over 1:40, mine was 1:2560. At first I thought I misunderstood him, and so I made him repeat everything he said so that I could write it down, and to verify that I'd heard what he said correctly. He explained that my ANA count being so high explained why I was hurting so badly. My immune system was attacking my joints and connective tissue. He explained that I'd require more testing, and need to see a rheumatologist, and that it was possible that I might have lupus. Talk about a freaking shock. Well, I've had some more testing, seen the rheumy, had surgery (unrelated to the auto-immune disease), and have more testing to come. I am currently diagnosed as having undifferentiated connective tissue disease, apparently because I have overlapping symptoms from several different auto-immune diseases. As I understand it my body has yet to decide which auto-immune disease it wants to have (joy), so for the time being I'm taking a drug called Plaquenil in hopes that I can keep my body from choosing one path, or another. I have periods that I feel better than I have in a year, and then times when I'm right back where I was in September. I had some other health stuff hit the radar in January, but since the doctors are still working on figuring things out, I'll wait to share the newest issues. Stay tuned as I hope to have more answers in the next week, or so.

To sum it up...no I did not fall off the face of the earth, but sometimes I feel like I have. Lesson: Don't ignore your body when it's telling you that something is wrong. I'm hoping to be better about keeping up with the blog this year--so don't be a stranger.

Happy Trails,
Fun-Sized Mom

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Transforming

 A definition for the word transform:

1trans·form

verb \tran(t)s-ˈfrm\
: to change (something) completely and usually in a good way



 
I started this blog in January of 2012 and at the time did not realize the impact the name that I would give the blog would come to have on me. I knew that I wanted be honest and open in the things that I shared which is why I used the word "Confessions", and at that time I'd recently gone from working mom to stay-at-home mom and so I thought that my blog would be a lot about that transition in my life hence the use of "Transforming". Interestingly, I've not written much about that. Why? Not completely sure, but I'm gonna go with the fact that I don't think I've been the greatest stay-at-home mom. I'm not completely horrible at it, but  by no means am I June Cleaver.  Because I've been dealing with the auto-immune junk much of the time, it's hard to know where I've truly had mommy failures, and when things have just had to be the way they've been because there was no other way. Additionally, I'm often my own worst critic, and therefore am harder on myself than I should be. I can't be the worst, because my children are thriving, and because when I mention going back to work my kiddos express how much they like having me around after school. Maybe I should ask them where I'm winning, and in what areas they would like to see improvement. Their perspective could prove inspiring, and if nothing else make them feel like their input matters--it does, I just might not agree with it. (sigh) Back to the transforming part....
Because of all the health issues, I am faced with the fact that my body needs me to transform, and I'm the only one that can do it. I'm convinced that my transforming needs to be physical, mental, and spiritual in nature. My life needs me to realign myself so that my body can be healthy again. Change is often hard, and in some areas painful--but that pain can produce so much good if we (or I in the this case) will allow it. I've put the ball in motion so to speak and am excited and apprehensive all at the same time. I'm open to the possibilities that await me as I take on this transformation. I should let it be known though that I don't want to change my diet, even though I know that doing so will provide my body with the ability to heal, and is a key ingredient of my transformation, and well, I don't think cookies are part of the food pyramid. Thinking about giving up the cookies makes me mentally feel like that toddler you hear screaming at Target because I'm not getting my way. Wish me luck....the adventure begins.

Happy Trails,
Fun Sized Mom

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Confession/Rant: Shopping Carts


I just returned from the grocery store, and must admit, there are few things in this world that are more irritating to me than shopping carts that have some type of wheel malfunction. If you've experienced this misfortune then you know that the wheels of a shopping cart can be plagued by various issues. The wheel could be squeaky, or make an awful knocking noise-- which is only fantastic if it's your mission to alert the shoppers on the next aisle that you'll soon be joining them. My absolute favorite thing about having this particular issue with a cart is when other shoppers look at me like we are in the library instead of the grocery store, and that I'm purposely making as much noise as I possibly can. On multiple occasions I’ve been given the stink eye by other shoppers for having been the lucky recipient of a shopping cart with this issue. Usually I respond by making an apologetic face as I make my way down the aisle. But what I REALLY want to do is push the cart at them and say," Here...see if you can make this thing roll any quieter!”, while returning the stink eye when they too are unsuccessful at silencing the beast.

The wheel problem that I've personally found the most maddening is the one front wheel that only occasionally gets stuck in the sideways position. This one has caused me more headache than any of the other wheel issues. Especially because it is often hard to determine during the cart selection process (yes, I have a cart selection process--don't judge) if a cart will have this condition. In case this particular wheel malfunction has never happened to you, then you can't possibly know how abruptly a cart will stop when one of its wheels turns and locks in the sideways position. It doesn't seem like that would be a big deal, but I've broken toe nails because of this defect. If my cart is full and the wheel (that only occasionally gets stuck in the sideways position) decides to do its thing and gets stuck-- there is a good chance there will be some sort of accident that will either involve me and another shopper, my big toe, or me and a side-cap. All are embarrassing, and exasperate the love/hate relationship I have with grocery shopping. Additionally, it's my experience that the only way to fix this particular failure is to lift up the front of the cart and kick the wheel back into proper alignment. It may sound like I'm being a baby about this whole thing, but I am a petite person and the fuller the cart gets, the harder it is to lift, and since we have a large family my cart gets heavy most of the time. Furthermore, getting the wheel to realign can prove tricky if I’m wearing flip-flops, or high heels. The real booger about this particular problem is that there’s no rhyme or reason to this malfunction; it’ll just sneak up on you. You’ll be rolling right along and BAM the wheel decides it wants to be in a horizontal position. And it’s all downhill from there, because for whatever reason once the wheel has a taste of being in the wrong position; it seems to want to repeat the same behavior. If I’m pretty much finished with my shopping then I can mostly deal with it. But if it happens at the midpoint of my shopping experience you can guarantee that I’m ready to commit myself by the end of the ordeal.

Well, I feel better now that I’ve gotten that out. I know I’m not the only person who’s frustrated by this, so maybe I should start some type of support group. Or, I could file a class action law suit. I mean heck I’ve had emotional and physical trauma because of this and I’m sure others have too. The last two sentences are a joke; I think lawsuits are over done. Plus my family and friends would probably be embarrassed if my face popped up on the Yahoo homepage with some story about how nuts I am for filing a lawsuit over the matter. So if you happen to see me during the cart selection process at my local HEB, don’t judge, and know that I’m taking preemptive measures to preserve my sanity, and my toe nails. 

Happy Trails,
Fun Sized Mom

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Lessons from Manilow

There's really not much explanation for why a Barry Manilow song was on in my car, and I'm actually not even sure what station the radio was on.  I have nothing against Barry Manilow's music, but I would not consider myself a fan either. (I wouldn't want anyone to think I have a secret Manilow obsession, so I thought I should clear that up before I continue).

I'd just finished a quick trip to the grocery store with my little guy, and while we are driving back home he says from the backseat," Is that true Mama?” And I ask him," is what true?” To which he replied," what that man just said".  Since I am lost in my own thoughts I have no clue what my precious boy is referring to and I did not realize until that moment that we were even listening to Barry Manilow. So I ask, "what'd he say?", and my boy replied," you know...you get what you get when you...I'm not sure what else he said". Then I responded by saying," you get what you get and you don't throw a fit?"--we say that alot in our home.
He became flustered and said," nooooo Mama, that's not what he saaaang!", and then the chorus came back on and what the words my son was wanting to verify as being true were-- "you get what you get when you go for it".

The song was Ready to Take a Chance Again, and I explained that the singer was talking about being ready to be in love again after having had a broken heart.  I could see the wheels turning as he thought about what I was saying. I then said, "but you know buddy...those words could apply to all parts of our lives, and it's true about anything--if you don't go for it, or don't try because you're afraid of failing, or being hurt then you'll never have accomplished, or gotten anything that you desire for yourself, or for your life".

It was a good reminder for me, and probably subject matter that I would have not discussed with my 4 year old at this point in his young life but for his having heard that song. So thank you Barry Manilow for the lesson, even if that was not the intention of those lyrics when you wrote the song.

Happy Trails,
Fun Sized Mom

Friday, November 9, 2012

Gratitude

This season of my life is and has been one that's definitely given me more opportunities for personal growth and life lessons than I ever can remember having had before. I guess it's possible that maybe I'm just more self aware, or maybe God's currently working overtime preparing me for the next season. I'm guessing that it's a combination of both of those things. Being that it's November (the month of Thanksgiving) there is a lot of focus on gratitude. I'm seeing people display it on their Facebook posts, reading articles in magazines about it, and I myself am trying to focus on all that I have to be thankful for instead of the all the things about my life that I'd like to be different. Last night I was given the opportunity to enjoy my daughters for who they are, and I used the time to celebrate their unique gifts, and spirits. I hope that they got as much from it as I did. I don't feel like I deserve to have been given such cool people as my children. Thankfully God did....because my life certainly would not be as wonderful as it is without them.

One of my daughters is multifaceted, complex, and mysterious. If you don't take the time to allow her to open up and show her "20 sides" as she calls it, you'll miss the wonder that she is. Because of this I think she's often underestimated--hopefully she'll learn how to make that favorable in a positive way during her life. The other is an open book, heart on her sleeve, extremely thoughtful ray of light. She gives the kind of unconditional love we all aspire to give. I pray that life is not too hard on either of them, and that I'm giving them the tools to get through whatever comes their way. It's funny how as mothers we often see our kids through our mommy eyes instead of seeing them for who they are, and I'm so glad that for whatever reason God gifted me the ability to see them through different eyes last night. My heart was overflowing with happiness. Sometimes life gives us gifts we can only receive if we are open, and slow down long enough to appreciate them.

Happy Trails,
Fun Sized Mom