Throwback – Frozen Time

Do you ever wish you could just freeze a moment in time? Maybe not to prevent time from moving, but just to preserve that moment and go back to it as many times as you want. I imagine it would be like having a favorite song and playing it over and over again, whenever you want. It wouldn’t be the same as taking a picture and looking at it whenever you want – it would be more than that. It would involve preservation of the thoughts, the emotions, the feelings… everything that was happening in that moment. It would be like re-living the moment and re-interacting with the people, and re-experiencing those emotions.
I don’t have this desire too often, but occasionally I will be in a moment that I just wish I could re-live an infinite number of times. I try to play it over again in my head and let myself feel the emotions that came along with it. Unfortunately, the feelings fade and the memories become vague. A conversation dwindles into a sentence or two, and even that eventually becomes nothing more than the faint memory of a friendly smile. Finally, there is nothing left to feel and nothing left to remember so I am left waiting for an experience to replace that lost memory. When it finally comes around again, I swear that I will preserve it differently and make it last longer.
Almost always, I want to freeze the feeling of being cherished; the feeling of being cared for and nurtured and being made special. And the more I think about it, the more I realize that it’s not the actual moment that I care most about. Instead, it is the desire to revel in those feelings as much as possible. It’s like I’m trying to make up for lost time, or trying to fill up a vase that as been neglected for too long. I don’t know if I can ever catch up with this emotional short fall – and maybe that is the reason I am always afraid to lose the moments that matter the most to me. 

Originally published on The Old Blog, August 2013

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Surprising Discovery

After cleaning out my closet last week, I was excited to show my husband the progress I had made. He looked around and seemed less than impressed, stating that he didn’t think it looked that different. He was about to turn and walk out until something caught his eye. he pointed to a small brown box in the top corner of my closet: “What’s that?”
I sighed a deep and powerful sigh. “That box,” I started, “needs to go in the garbage…”

Where do I start with that box? How do I tell you what’s in that box? How can I express the personal and powerful associations of that box without bringing you back on a three year journey into the past?

I had a friend – I’ll call her Kay – and everything that she ever was to me is in that box.

Kay was my best friend for a short while – we were close and intense and intimate in a way that I’ve rarely ever been with a friend. It was mutual, she was special, and I loved her.

Before she was my friend, she was my mentor – personally and professionally she inspired and encouraged me more than anyone had before.

Before she was my mentor, she was my physician – she delivered both of my babies and she was kind, compassionate, and caring in a way that many physicians lack today.

Through all of those stages, she became a beacon of “something” in my life and there was not a day that went by in 5 years that I didn’t think of her for some reason or another.

I don’t know how else to summarize my relationship with Kay.

A year ago my life fell apart and I struggled deeply to keep my sopping head bobbing above the water. Kay tried to be there for me as best as she could. Unfortunately, I was sinking more than I thought and I must have been bringing her down with me. One day Kay started pulling away from me, and so I grabbed on harder. I was at the lowest point that I had every been in my life, yet the day finally came where she let me go. In one short and succinct email she told me everything I didn’t want to hear: She can’t be my support, she can’t be my friend, she can’t be my mentor. She hasn’t talked to me since.

After that day, I took everything I had from or about her and I put it in a box. But, I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away – I wasn’t ready to say good-bye – so I placed it in the top corner of my closet instead. And for 8 months, there it remained… for me to glance at every time I went into my closet.

“You can throw it in the garbage, please?” I asked my husband with a tone of authority. It was time, I decided. He wanted to see what was in it first, to make sure there wasn’t anything worth keeping (even though I assured him there was nothing). To my surprise, however, there was one thing I felt drawn to keep: Right on the top of the box was a small glass picture frame with a 4×6 photo of Kay and I after our first 10K race. Before our falling out, I displayed that picture proudly on a shelf in my closet. While I haven’t seen it at all in over 8 months, I was surprised to feel a sense of comfort and satisfaction in looking at the picture. I placed it off to the side while my husband and I filtered through everything else. Eventually I put everything back in the box, including cards of kind words and letters of encouragement, and I watched my husband carry it away to the garbage. I took the framed picture of us at the race and I placed it back on the shelf where it sat 8 months ago.

I’ve forgiven her.  

Our friendship is over and it will never come back.

It still hurts when I think about “what could have been.”

But I’ve made peace with it all.

She was an important part of my life for a long time.

We accomplished wonderful things together, and I can’t change that.  

It’s time to remember the good.

 

Pregnancy Shouldn’t be a Secret

I came across this blog post/article in my Facebook feed this morning:

http://www.scarymommy.com/articles/a-miscarriage-isnt-any-easier-if-no-one-knows-about-it?section=news&u=bx0JraXp8A
I love Scary Mommy for all their awesome and cynical posts about motherhood. This post, however is a little different. While I have no idea who these people are, I feel like it doesn’t matter. Why do we, as a society, feel the need to keep our successes and struggles with pregnancy a secret?

A miscarriage or a fertility struggle is not something of which we should be ashamed. Yet, people get criticized for sharing the news too early, or they feel like they can’t be honest about the excitement, disappointment, fear, or whatever emotion they’re feeling about their family planning. 

Previously I decided to be open about my decision and efforts to try for a third baby. If I’m going to be honest, I am disappointed that this time around hasn’t been as easy as the previous two… And when I say easy, I mean I think about being pregnant and BAM!  This time around I am into cycle 4.

I am trying to be more open about trying to conceive. However, I still find myself saying “I’d like to have another,” rather than, “yes, we’re trying,” when someone asks if we want another child. I wouldn’t say that I’m happy with my difficulties in being honest and open… But I can start here, on this blog:

I am trying. So far I haven’t had any luck. In fact, this month my period came earlier than I expected and this worries me because of my family history of premature ovarian failure. 

So there you have it – all my open and honest worries about my failed attempts at pregnancy over the past 3 months. 

Decluttering Life

A few weeks ago I started reading this book about Tiding and Decluttering.  It’s amazing how reading a book about cleaning and throwing out “junk” could make you itch to start cleaning.  For weeks I was getting more and more irritated by the clutter in my house and all I could think about was finding time to actually get started on the decluttering.

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At the Beginning

Last weekend I actually had some time to get my decluttering project started.  Marie Kondo recommends starting with all the clothes in your house.  Ans when she says “all,” she means ALL.  So, I got together all my clothing, including the clothes in my closet and drawers, my clothing in my husband’s closet, and all my winter clothes down in our basement storage closet.  I spread all of these clothes on the floor in our living room and I just looked.  I knew I had a lot of clothing, but I had no idea it was that much.  I took a moment to reflect on he rules and suggestions about paring down my wardrobe that I had read in the book.  My preliminary guidelines were as follows: 1.  If I haven’t worn it in the last year,  2. if at any time I thought about wearing it and then didn’t because I didn’t like it for some reason, and 3. If it didn’t “inspire Joy” when I held it in my hands.

Clothes for Donation

Clothes for Donation

After going through the pile of clothing twice, and then a third time as I placed what I decided to keep into my closet and drawers, I realized that decluttering my clothing was just the beginning of an amazing journey.  I was amazed at how much lighter I felt just knowing that I had removed so much unwanted-ness from my closet.  I longed to do more – She was right: once you start declutttering, you don’t want to stop.  Unfortunately, the weekend was over and the next task will have to wait until I have another free block of time.  While I still feel disturbed by the clutter and disorganization in the rest of my house, I at least had something done and the decluttering itch was satisfied for a brief moment.

Two-Legged Cats

Two cats, each with two legs.

Two cats, each with two legs.

I received a beautiful picture from my Little One when I got home from work last night.  He drew me a picture of the cats he wants.  I asked him why the cats only have two legs and he said, “Mommy, when you are looking at them from the side, you can only see two legs.  Because, you know Mommy, the other legs are on the other side.”

How could I be so silly to forget that important tidbit of factual information!?!

At least the cats have some awesome whiskers.  Oh, and that random happy face?  That’s Little One smiling, because he has two cats.

Lightening Run

imageI wish I could say that I was running as fast as lightening – metaphorically speaking.  But, I think I did a pretty good job for my first real run in almost a month.  It was beginning to get dark as I sloppily slapped kisses on the boys’ foreheads and then peeled into my running clothes.  Thirty minutes is all I needed, as long as the rain would hold off and the sun would linger.

My fastest 5km pace was last summer at this time – 4’56” per km.

I’d like to imagine that I’ll get back there someday, but for now I’ll bask in the warm, accomplished feeling of knowing that I ran a steady pace. I found that wonderful running “sweet spot” where you’re running fast enough to feel your legs and lungs burn, but not so fast that you feel the need to stop and walk.

Maybe it was me finding my stride again after a hard month, or perhaps is was the electricity in the air from the impending thunder storm.  Whatever it was, it was a fantastic way to end the night.

Throwback: The Past is Never Far

…And scars are souvenirs you never lose,
The past is never far.
Did you lose yourself somewhere out there?
Did you get to be a star?
And don’t it make you sad to know that life
Is more than who we are…

She was 13.  She sat in the corner, on the back bench of the city bus.  She held her new Sony Discman in her hand, the headphones circling her head like miniature ear-muffs.  This was supposed to make her cool, make her fit in – but it didn’t.  At least she didn’t think so.  She may have only been 13, but she was older than that, really; she was older than she was supposed to be.  Life was tough and tumultuous for that little girl.  It hurt.

It was a long bus ride to school.  The other kids got on the bus and she looked at them from her seat in the corner.  They were supposed to be cool, too.  She thought they were.  But she just sat there, holding her Discman, watching the white CD spin round and round and round.  She only listened to one song, over and over and over.  Repeated, day after day after day.

“Name” by The Goo Goo Dolls.

It’s been 16 years, but that song still plays.  And, every time it hits the radio, she goes back to that seat on the bus.

Life has changed but the song stays the same.  The hurt feels the same.  A prophesy come true.

…We grew up way too fast
And now there’s nothing to believe,
And reruns all become our history.
A tired song keeps playing on a tired radio,
And I won’t tell no one your name.

**Originally posted Feb 2013 on The Old Blog

Too Young for This

“But Mommy, I can have good behavior without taking a pill. I promise!”
He was pleading with me after I asked him why our nanny found his Dexedrine tablet in the garbage can the other morning.“I don’t like having to take medicine, Mommy. No one else takes medicine, just me. I want to be normal, like everyone else.”
My Little One, while only 5 years old, has been diagnosed with high-functioning autism and ADHD. He’s been taking a small dose of Dexedrine for the past 5 months and we have noticed a huge improvement in his negative ASD symptoms: Less random noises, few and shorter lived emotional breakdowns, less disruptive and abusive behavior, less rigidity in his thinking, and better able to focus throughout the day. But, how do you argue with a 5-year-old to take medications when he comes back at you with such an adult complaint?
“Everyone takes medicine, Honey. Mommy takes pills, Daddy takes pills, and those puffers that Little Brother uses, that is medicine too. There is nothing wrong with taking medicine – sometimes we need a little medicine to make us feel better.”
“But I feel just fine when I don’t take my pills, Mommy. I’ll show you how good I can be when I don’t take my pills. Please Mommy, let me show you.”
My heart was breaking just a little bit. How does my little man already feel ashamed and marginalized for taking medications to help wit his mood and behaviour? So, over the weekend I decided to try a day without his medication. It was a horrible day filled with defiance, little brother beating, random sounds, and worst of all, lots of Mommy and Daddy yelling. But how do you get mad at a little boy for just being himself?
“See Honey, how much trouble you are getting into today? It’s because you didn’t take your pill this morning. Taking your medicine really helps to make sure you are the best you can be.”
“But Mommy, I’ll start having good behaviour right now. Watch, you’ll see.”
Apparently being yelled at and sitting on time out all day is better than taking medication.
The next morning it was back to direct observed Dexedrine therapy and my heart was breaking a little bit more

The Weight

If I’m being completely honest, I am extremely upset and disappointed with myself over my current weight.  I’m not “fat” and I wouldn’t even call myself overweight (even though my BMI is probably in that category these days).  However, I have been “letting” myself gain weight steadily for the past 6 months.  I’ve used the excuse that life has been too stressful.  A year ago I moved and relocated to a new city for a job – it was not a move that I wanted to make.  Since then I have been struggling with getting my life back in order, keeping my ridiculous anxiety under control, and just keeping myself afloat day-to-day.

I am scared to get on the scale now, but at the beginning of July, after my two-week vacation to Florida, I was weighing in at 25 pounds heavier than I was last July.  I’m pretty sure I can add at least another 5 -10 pounds to that total in the last month.  I’s like to say that I’ve been trying to curb the weight gain: At the beginning of the year I made a goal to run 1000Km this year, I started packing healthy lunches, I joined a TaeKwonDo club… In March, despite the numbers still creeping up, I joined weight watchers, I stepped up my game and started training for a half marathon, and in May, I actually did it!  But despite all this work, I’ve never stayed truly committed.  And so I have a weight watchers membership that is not being used, I’ll be lucky to run 500Km this year (in fact, I only ran 20Km in the whole month of July), and I am pushing the waistband on all my my clothing.  Let’s not even talk about how gross I feel and how much I can’t stand looking at my body in the mirror.

Despite all of this negative feelings around my weight gain, I still feel like I have no motivation to change anything.  I feel like working 11 hours a day most days is a good enough excuse to not run at the end of the day.  Being exhausted by the time my kids are in bed justifies not packing a lunch for he next day.  And because I’m awake and at work at 3am, I am allowed to eat the take out and donuts and other goodies that are laying at all the nursing stations.

I don’t feel motivated to make a change.  But I also don’t want to keep gaining weight because I have no motivation.  If this is the definition of the phrase “stuck in a rut,” then that is me.  What should I do?  How can I change my attitude?  What can I do to find motivation?