Thursday, October 27, 2011

Square one

I cried every day this week. And several days last week. That's a hard thing for me to admit, because I pride myself on being a pretty tough broad. It's been building up for awhile, and at first I figured maybe it was just the stress and hard work... maybe I was just being a baby. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I just really, truly hate law school. Not because I hate learning about it, because the intricacies, cases, professors, and people there are all great. I just hate what it is doing to my family. Don't get me wrong, I knew it would be a lot of work, but what I failed to realize was how much it would take away from my relationship with my son (EVERYTHING). It was never about the money I could make or the status of the job that appealed to me, but the chance that I could have a career where I could make a difference in someone's life. And for someone without a family that's totally attainable, but I'm just not built that way and it kills me to have to admit that this just isn't the right fit for me at this point in my life. I can't go days and days of barely seeing my boy, I can't feel like an outsider in his life and watch everyone else doing the things I should be doing--taking him to school, talking to him about his day, feeding him, cuddling with him at bed time, teaching him how to read, write, tie his shoes, ride a bike... I'm his mom, and that has to be my first priority. I can't have this career when the implosion of my family would be the collateral damage.

So now what? Not sure... I had an epic breakdown yesterday where I finally came face to face with all of this (special thanks to my CF coach for being my sounding board). I'm lucky to have so many people in my life who understand and back me on my decisions, in fact I think they might be a little relieved because they're hoping now I won't be so bat-shit insane every day. The not-knowing is what scares me the most, but at the end of the day all I can feel is relief to get this off my shoulders. There are a million options out there, I just have to find the right one. I still want to make a difference, I just need to find another way to do it that won't have such an adverse effect on my relationships and my psyche. At the end of the day I realized that while fear of the unknown sucks, you only get one shot with your kids, your family, with people... law school will always be there, they might not. And I surely don't want to f*$% that up.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Big Black "S"

I've become too complacent with my life at home. It's been creeping up on me for awhile, and the time has come to face the music before it gets out of control. There's a power struggle involved between the side of me that has gotten set in my health(ier) ways and the side that wants to join in with everyone else while they're eating drumsticks without a care in the world. Most of the time I can make the right decision without skipping a beat; I haven't eaten fast food but maybe once in the past few months, I quit smoking again, always pack a good lunch for school.. but as soon as I make that one bad decision it's like a domino effect and 10 more follow. Seriously.. bad news bears every damn time. Clearly I'm just not the kind of person who can have a small cheat, things get ugly. I'm not opposed to the occasional bad life decision (ie-a night of boozing or a sweet treat on the weekend), but chinese food followed by 6 cookies is unacceptable by any standard.

Yesterday I was cruisin the Crossfit Lisbeth site checking out old articles and essays, and I ran across a 2008 writing she did that felt like it was meant just for me, it was called "Sacrifice" It made me realize that when I make the right choice it isn't about deprivation, it's about giving up something to get something else I want more. A novel concept I know; most of the time the thought of sacrificing leaves a bad taste in our mouth. Let's be honest, nobody wants to give up their vices. But if it can be framed in terms of getting something better in return, it just might be worth it.

Since I can be really good at dodging accountability for things when they don't fall in line with what I want in the moment, I decided I needed to do something symbolic to keep the concept fresh in my mind. So until it becomes an ingrained part of my psyche, I'm going to put a big black S on my arm to look at every time I feel like doing the wrong thing. It'll be like having a tiny Mark Cubberley with me at all times to call me out when I'm making an asshole move!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Learning to Deal

Some moments in your life come equipped with perfect recall.. good or bad, they're the ones you remember down to the last detail be it the next day or the next decade. Tomorrow is one of those days for me. October 12th.. it's funny how it can be just another random date for everyone else, but every time I hear it there's this visceral, gut-wrenching reaction within me. Seems like the passing of so much time should have some effect to make it less painful, but here I am 15 years later and it still feels like yesterday we lost them.

I don't talk about it a lot to people who don't already know about what happened to our family, but in 1996 my grandparents and uncle were killed in a car accident. Nobody can really understand what it's like to go through something so traumatic unless they've been there. People just expect you to get over it. The real fucking kicker is that you never really get over it; you find ways to deal and the day to day hurt diminishes a lot. But then a birthday or a familiar season sneaks up on you, or in this case the anniversary of the accident, and it's like rubbing salt into a fresh wound all over again.

And in that moment, on that day, you just want someone to get it. For someone to just snatch you up and tell you exactly what you need to hear to get through that day.. give you a little bit of their courage when you're running low on your own. Or maybe you need to be that guy for somebody else. Either way remember to be thankful for the great people in your life, and for God sakes don't let a moment pass you by--everyone deserves to know how much they're loved TODAY.

I've spent the last 15 years learning how to deal with life without them.. at this rate it looks like I'll spend the rest of my life still trying to figure it out. Truth is, you never get used to living without the people who mean the most. The pain and the scar just becomes a part of you that after awhile only certain people still notice, like it was there all along. If you're lucky you'll eventually find people and habits and things you love that fill the void on the worst days, and be left with a few bittersweet memories to recall on the rest.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011


It seems I spend most days lately hanging at the end of my rapidly-fraying rope. School, kids, house, bills, family, and a healthy mix of people you just don't wanna fucking deal with... all the stuff they don't tell you about when you're young and you just can't wait to grow up. How to deal? It's a damn circus act for me. I'm pretty sure I washed every dish in our house 7 times this past weekend, did approximately 10 loads of laundry in 2 days, and then had my son come down with a lovely case of strep throat/scarlet fever (yes it still exists) at roughly 8 pm on Sunday night. Cool. What a fantastic way to start the week. I love being a mom, hell I'm starting to enjoy our "kid weekends" more than the free ones, but it is a really really really really realllllllyyyyyy underpaid/underappreciated gig. As if that weren't hard enough, add law school on top of it and my life is like a high stakes game of Jenga--fuck up one area and it's all going to hell.

Thankfully I've found some outlets.. staying ahead of the game in school, keeping the house picked up, and lucky for me Kev is great about helping out most of the time. But on the days I'm feeling really stressed out or down, my first instinct is to grab some shitty snack; it's just the way I have always dealt with my emotions. My family has always associated food with fellowship, and I never had the right kind of relationship with it.. So I struggled for a long time and still do on the worst of days. I think part of the reason I started this blog was so I could be frank with myself and whoever else reads it as to where I'm at.. it keeps me accountable. And, as it turns out, so does Mark when necessary, haha

I'm trying to make new connections and associations in my mind as to how I deal with the stress. Crossfit Lisbeth is one of my favorite places to go when I need a little inspiration; she has an amazing daily blog that gives great perspective (Like her on Facebook!) And then there's class. Some days I just wanna stay in bed, or go straight home after school and veg out like a bum. But I always know in the back of my mind that I need it, and that if I'll just get my shit together and go I'll feel so much better for it. One hour a day, that's all I need to salvage my sanity. For that one hour my mind is clear; I'm not thinking about school or kids or the most recent thing that happened to royally piss me off. I can talk to my CF friends and joke around and forget all the bullshit that happened that day. Something about that hour a day fulfills a deeply rooted need within me.. I've done things I like/love before, but nothing that compares to CF. It doesn't have to be your thing, but it is mine. Just find solace in something that makes you feel more whole. Try a lot of different shit, eventually you'll fall into the right thing and you'll just know without a shadow of a doubt that it's where you belong.