Tuesday, February 28, 2017

I'm sorry for being me

I've talked about depression a few times on this blog. My mental health or lack of a healthy mental state is not something I've hidden. 

But I do find myself apologizing for it a lot.

This struggle began when I was 13. I've spent 25 years dancing with the darkness inside my mind. Some days it's like an epic dance off that I'm proud to win. Other days it feels like I'm a 3X3 piece of oak being pounded by the heavy metal taps of my nemesis. Everyone is different, we all fight our demons differently. 

2017 has been exceptionally rough so far and it's taking it's toll on me. In a proactive move I decided I need to return to counseling. My insurance gave me a huge list of counselors to choose from. I started going down the list calling the names that I liked. Then as their voicemail picked up I decided if I liked the sound of their voice.With each message I left I started to feel myself tear up, as I was explaining the reason for my call. I'm not even in therapy yet and I've already started crying. It's embarrassing to admit I am struggling with depression, it shouldn't be. I feel ashamed, but I shouldn't. I keep repeating this in my mind. "I'm embarrassed and ashamed that I'm depressed". I apologize for being me every single day. I feel like I'm always letting everyone down just for being myself. It's exhausting. 

One of the many therapists I called, got right back to me. She asked me what was going on and I gave her a little background. I told her I want to be invisible. And it's true. I get anxiety about leaving my house because I just don't want to be seen. That's how I know....that's how I know it's time. 

My struggles are mine, it doesn't make me less of a person. I'm still a mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, an asset. I'm not a discounted version of myself. I can write those things and even think them. But then the darkness starts the music and I find myself preparing for the sounds of the metal taps. And I can't stop the words forming on my lips. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry I'm broken and imperfect. I'm sorry you read this and think I'm a mess. I'm sorry you judge me for not hiding this truth. I'm sorry that I'm not good enough. I'm sorry for being me. 

I start therapy tomorrow. Not a moment too soon. 
 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

It's quiet in here

A friend texted me this week asking about my absence from social media.

In her last message she said "Cleanse. But don't be gone forever"
(She may be reading this right now saying "HEY THAT'S ME!)

I started to wonder what we did before Facebook. As I was cleansing and purging I found my answer. I hadn't cleared my email account in years. I found emails going back to 2007. That's right folks, we emailed each other. I clearly remember our first connections after that being Classmates.com. You could search for your friends from high school and reconnect. Then it was Myspace. But as I was smartly told 10 years ago "No one is doing Myspace anymore. Facebook is where it's at, I'll send you an invite". Then (for me) came Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat. So many ways for people to see into my life. I think we've seen too much. Back then you would go to dinner with friends and possibly debate current events and politics. But today everyone declares every thought online. Behind the safety of tiny screens we swipe our instant reactions without a filter. Without looking into the faces of the people you care about it's easy to take their haphazard opinions and sum them up as a person. It makes you start to wonder what it was you loved about them. It makes me feel like we are losing a part of our humanity. 

Most days I feel like John Coffey. If you aren't into pop culture trivia you may not know who I'm talking about. In the Steven King book and later adapted movie "The Green Mile" John Coffey was a wrongly accused man with a powerful gift. In his possibly most famous quote he says


This is exactly what it feels like for me. I feel tired and heart sick worrying about the pains of the world. Maybe this is all a part of my paranoia or my depression and honestly it doesn't matter. Because the cause doesn't negate the feelings themselves. Today, I'm so sad for the trans kids who will have to worry about which bathroom they use. I'm worried about families that will be torn apart by new harsher immigration deportation standards. I'm worried about women in the poorest areas being unable to get access to healthcare. I'm terrified for my family, my neighbors, my friends as the volatile climate in our nation continues to mount. And it's giving people this license to react violently in small towns across the nation. The planet, wars, famine in Sudan, genocide in Syria, nuclear capabilities in North Korea, and so on and so on. It's a never ending list of holy shit. And everyone you know has an opinion. My logistic driven mind gets frustrated with the ridiculous assumptions and absence of truth, facts and data. 

So this is how I battle the ache and anxiety my heart is filled with. I close up shop. I've been listening to podcasts and reading food blogs. I have a stack of New Yorkers to read and my book list is growing. Mostly, I've been using puppy therapy. I cuddle up with my basset hound and my fluffy puppy and nap. I drink coffee with my parents. I have my cousins over for dinner playdates. I'm just trying to make the crazy noise go away. 

I haven't disappeared. I'm still in the same place I was 2 months ago. I still have email and a home address. Invite me to coffee or dinner or text me from the restaurant bathroom. 

I dont' know how long I will stay away. I don't know that I'll go back. I do know that our lives are really short and very precious. I don't want to waste another moment on reading vicious angry comments. I like the quiet 

Monday, February 20, 2017

2017.....you suck!

It's only February 20th and I think we can all collectively agree that 2017 sucks. 

Oh hi, forgot we haven't spoken in a while. 

  This year took off like a rocket. Or more accurately a missile. Because from the first week we all felt destroyed. My aunt died, it broke my entire family. She was literally the sweetest woman. She would help anyone and believed in every person in her life. We are jaded and cynical, she didn't let our negative outlook penetrate her hopeful sincere need to see the good in everyone. I didn't visit her enough. I could have pushed past the anger of the past to appreciate her more. I could have done a million things differently. She loved me and there is this guilt that I feel for not trying to be a better human...it hurts. 

  Before I had recovered from the hangover I earned at her wake, my sister was hospitalized. She had to have emergency surgery and spent a week in 3 different hospitals. I only have one sister. I had just spent a week comforting my mother who had just lost her only sister. I won't lie and say it didn't mess with my head and scare the shit out of me. Because it really did. My sister doesn't ever do anything for herself. She lives 100% for her family. To see her in so much physical pain and not be able to help was agonizing. But her real pain was from the guilt of not being able to give her all to those kids.....there are no words.

  I think the stress and heartache caught up to me.  I got really sick. First, it was the flu, then a respiratory infection. I threw my daughter a birthday dinner and the minute everyone left I was down for a week. I only started feeling like I had fully recuperated when the next crazy event happened. 

   I live in Northern California very close to this tiny thing called the Oroville Dam. So our entire community was evacuated because of all kinds of scary issues going on there. Literally 200,000 people from a handful of different towns had to get out of the way. I was lucky enough to have family that opened their doors immediately to my clan of five and our dogs. We were lucky that nothing major happened to our town and our home. But the rain is still coming and not all communities were as lucky. 

  Through all of this I've been dealing with the fact that I'm on the brink of diabetes. Well my doctor says I'm on the brink. My diabetic counselor says I have diabetes. Yeah, I have a diabetic counselor, diabetic nurse and an online diabetic health coach. I hope I win an award for beating diabetes. The winners always say "I want to thank my team" and I have a team trying to save my life from this disease. My aunt had diabetes, I remember walking in on her giving herself an insulin injection when I was 7. It was terrifying. A few months before she died she told me she was worried about me. She told be point blank that my weight was out of hand and she didn't want me to end up like her. That was what sent me to the doctor. Everyday is a day of trying. Everyday is another battle of will power.

  So, 2017 sucks and I've started a new life. I am currently deactivated from social media. Right now I need to just focus on me. My health, my kids, my sanity, my peace....I have thought I was at some defining moments many times during the life of this blog. What I realize is that there are no single moments that decide which direction my life is headed. I am always a work in progress regardless of the continuing explosions around me. I am still trying to love me more. I'm still trying to be my own best friend. I'm still trying to feel whole. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Be brave.....and dance!

I'm listening to the sounds of the ocean

Whenever I can't sleep I'll turn on a waterscapes play list. Normally the sounds of waves will lull me to sleep. But tonight it is making me think of sea turtles and dolphins.

My brain just won't turn off I keep thinking of Sawyer.

Every night when I turn my bright green porch light on I think to myself "Sweet dreams Sawyer". When I look up at the night sky and see Orion's belt glittery in the black I think " Keep shining Soy". When I hear Uptown Funk play on the radio I think "Dance it out Soytown". I haven't spent more than moments with Sawyer. But I've known him since he was about 4. Those big eyes that steal your heart instantly. And a goofy grin ....well who could resist that. 

Lately, I just can't stop thinking about him and the Awesome family. Kelly and Erin have shared their devastating and inspirational journey with this huge online community. We all cheered together at the beginning when we were so sure Sawyer would beat this in record time. And we've all cried together in these past weeks with the knowledge that his battle could not be won. Nine years on this earth is not nearly enough. He has more dancing to do and daredevil adventures to take. This can't be real. It just can't be. 

Every day I look at pictures and read the comments from Sawyers warriors near and far. The out pouring of love and support is truly incredible. If love was enough he'd have beat cancer that very first day. It has only been ten months since his diagnosis...not even a year. But it feels like he's been fighting forever. No matter how much pain or how scary it has been, he's smiled through it all. His amazing bravery has been a lesson for all of us. The strength and positivity this family projects into the universe every day in spite of the devastating reality they wake up to each morning, it's beyond belief. If you haven't been following Sawyers journey I encourage you to start now. You can go right to Sawyers Caring bridge journal by clicking here . The last entry is a letter Kelly wrote to Sawyer, a beautiful letter no mother should ever have to write. You can also follow the Sawyer's Warriors page on Facebook. This brave and radiant boy is leaving a legacy of love and laughter behind. He touched hundreds of people that he never got to meet. His story has changed my world. If Sawyer can smile through cancer, I've got nothing to whine about. Every time I look at the ocean I'll wonder if he was reborn as a dolphin or a sea turtle. Every time I see green lights, the Seattle Sea Hawks, the cereal aisle....I'll smile as I think about Soy. Soy and I are September babies. He was born on the 23rd. I was born on the 24th. I think an annual Uptown funk dance off and a green candle for Sawyer is a tradition he'd get a kick out of. 

Sawyer is not the kind of kid who'd want us all crying. He'd want us all to get up and dance it out. 

Be brave....and DANCE! 


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Home for Christmas

Dear friend,
I know it's been awhile. But you know me.

It's officially Christmas Eve.

All the presents are wrapped under the tree. The cookies are baked awaiting decoration. My babies are snuggled in their beds dreaming of the morning. And I'm sitting here writing to you
Micah is in the shower right now. His uniform is laid out next to the Christmas tree. He has to leave for work in a few hours and he won't return until well after the festivities are over. I've become more and more depressed about this fact as the date got closer. All week I've been saying this would be the first time we haven't been together on Christmas Eve since he was in Iraq. But I realized that's not true. When I was working I wasn't home for Christmas. The next morning I was exhausted as Ocibel opened her gifts. The truth is this is the first time he won't be here for Christmas. It's different. It shouldn't be, but it is. Micah is my touchstone. He's my home. When he's gone I avoid my house. I didn't realize it until now. But it's totally true. I spend a lot of time drinking my mom's coffee and hanging out at her house. Because when he's not here....it just doesn't feel like home. I never thought I'd be this woman. Even when I'm hurt and angry and ready to throw in the towel, I'm still hopelessly in love with him. He's my lobster.

More importantly it's the first time in my children's lives that daddy won't be there when they wake up Christmas morning. Don't misunderstand me. I'm very aware that there are so many others that are less fortunate than we are. I know my pain can not be compared to what others are going through right now. But it's 1am on Christmas Eve and my heart hurts.  There are alot of changes for us this Christmas. We have had a Christmas Eve party here for the past 5 years. This year it will be at my sisters. Then on Christmas I do a dinner at our house. But this year it's been canceled and instead we'll be doing to brunch with Micah's family. I feel bad for my kids. I want them have solid Christmas traditions. But this year I just couldn't pull it off. I  have felt for weeks that I've been chasing a train I cant catch.
It's getting late and I need sleep. Tomorrow is  a big day of events. Wish me luck friend. Until next  time.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

#sawyerswarriors

I've lived in this small Northern California town since 2007. I thought it would be very Mayberryesque. I thought my neighbor would bring me a pie and we'd invite them to Christmas Eve. But that is not what it was like. I made a few friends. But I always held something back. I was afraid they'd judge me. There was this perpetual censor to every word I said. Until I walked into this great little shop called Ruby Q's. The owner was a breath of fresh air. She had this energy that made you want to hang out and talk for hours. It was the first time since moving here that I'd found someone I didn't have to guard myself from. We talked about our kids, she had 3. Listening to her talk about them and how she was parenting, made me want to be a better mom. We talked about marriage and small town politics. She told me all about how passionate she was about surrogacy. I had found a new hero. What else would you call someone who wanted to help couples who couldn't have children become families? Someone who gives their body to the process of bringing joy to others. That's heroic. I always think to myself......I wish I had spent more time with Kelly.

A few years ago Kelly's life completely changed. Most people would take pain and disappointment like that and let it destroy them. But she didn't. In her angriest moments there was always a grace. I mean 50% of her vocabulary was the word fuck. But still...there was something elevated about her. She was this nurturing rock for her children, while carrying a child for another family. I was mentally transported to a teenage version of myself thinking "Wow! that's what a real grown up is!" You can use a million metaphors here. The caterpillar, the seed...all stories of how it takes completely breaking to become what you were meant to be. That is exactly what happened. My husband and I have often talked about how blessed we are to be a witness to her journey. I'm sitting here trying to find the right words and my eyes are filling with tears because the only word I come up with is love. 

Kelly told me about the moment she knew her kids were OK. They knew she'd remarry someday. I'm pretty sure Sawyer is clairvoyant. He must have known Erin would be his mom. He must have known they'd become the "Awesome" family. That kid...nothing but smiles all the time. 


Imagine you are finally with the love of your life. Imagine you have more friends than you can count. Imagine you're finally doing a job you're in love with and passionate about. Imagine school is almost out and you're starting to think about summer plans with your amazing spouse and beautiful children. And all of a sudden your big hearted, goofy, handsome 8 year old son is diagnosed with cancer. Can you imagine that? I can't. My heart won't let me go anywhere near a reality that scary. But that just happened to my friend. In a moment her life turned into his 6 hour surgery, intensive chemo therapy and the most intense battle this awesome family will ever face. 

There is a ripple in the veil of the universe. People who give so much light to the world should not have to fight like this. People who love at such an extraordinary level should not have to know this fear. 

I don't know how far this will get. But I hope you share the Go fund me link. www.gofundme/sawyerswarriors and the web page www.sawyerswarriors.com .I hope you help me support this Awesome family. 

Sawyer was diagnosed with stage 3 Burkitts Lymphoma 6 days ago. Yesterday he started his first round of intense chemo therapy and he'll be in the hospital for a long time. He has a fierce battle ahead. If you pray, say a prayer for this family. If you don't pray, send healing thoughts. Join me and Sawyer's warriors support this truly inspirational family.  


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The check engine light

My check engine light is on. 

It's hilarious!


My husband graduated from the fire academy in January, 2008. He's been seasonal since then. Every year he'd hustle and do interviews. Finally this year he was offered a permanent position. We've been waiting for this for 7 years. We've had so many financial ups and downs. From windfalls to near foreclosure. We're almost to a good place and.......my check engine light is on. 


I'm emotionally exhausted. This has been a really hard year. I mean really fucking hard. For the past 12 months I feel like no matter what I do, the world is against me. Yes, I know that sounds dramatic. But it's honestly how I've felt, so that's what I'm writing. I have tried so hard to keep my sparkle and my optimism. But I feel so beat down. My husband has been at my side through all of it. My cheerleader, my angry champion, my comfortable spot to cry. I have been continually doubting my purpose and he's always there telling me how proud he is and how he believes in me. So you can see why I'm having a mental freak out over him leaving yesterday. It's like real life starts now. He'll probably be gone all summer. The California drought is no joke and it will keep him plenty busy through the warm months ahead. My kids have been so used to Daddy being home. He's worked in my Butterfly's class. He's baked cakes for loved ones. He's tucked our babies in every night. Just writing about it is making me fucking cry. I swear I'm working hard not to break down but......my check engine light is on.


I can feel that I'm retreating into myself. I don't feel important or needed. I don't feel like I'm anyone special. In fact what I feel the most is a vibe that most are just waiting for me to leave. They'd be happier if I wasn't around. And I do like making people happy. So my mind keeps saying "It's OK to disappear, no one will notice". I used to claw against that feeling, but I find that lately I'm just giving in. I don't have that fight in me right now. I don't think I've found my sparkle. Instead my souls check engine light is on.


I want to clear my desk. I have final projects to finish, I have house projects to work on. There are a lot of changes coming for my family. Big changes, hard changes. I need to be strong and focused to get through it. I forgot to take out the trash today. I forgot to take the girls their lunch. I forgot my deodorant. I really just want a bag of cookies and a warm blanket to hide under. But I can't. Because there are dishes in the sink and piles of junk to sort. My floors need to be mopped and rugs vacuumed. I've got budgets to work on and laundry to fold. Oh and did I mention I need to make an appointment for the auto shop? Because on top of it all, my god damned check engine light is on!


Friday, March 6, 2015

Dear friend, I wanna throw my clothes away

I hate laundry

I think every mother will agree that they hate laundry. But I'm washing MY clothes right now. And I hate my clothes the most. When all of my laundry is clean I don't have space for it all. I hate that. It's not because I have a beautiful wardrobe. It's because all my clothes are huge. Come on friend, lets not pretend. I'm a big woman. Big women have big clothes. It's a fact 

You know when I started this blog it was supposed to lead me to a happier healthier life. Over the years you've read my optimistic posts about how it was OK that I didn't meet those goals. Today is different story. 

I'm realizing that my children are going to need me. Especially Moose. There is no way to know what kind of limitations he'll have in the future. At night I lay awake wondering if we'll ever be able to leave him home alone. If he'll live with us forever. If he'll ever fall in love. The questions about "what will come" are endless. As much as I love and cherish my son in any form he comes in, my heart breaks for the vision of his future I had hoped for him....that will no longer be. My mom says I need to have faith and not to give up hope (you know her). I wish I could make her understand. I could never give up hope. But I have to prepare for every possible scenario. And I need to be OK with what may or may not happen. Which is not easy.We have such a long hard road ahead and I'm so scared. Friend...I just can't stop crying. 

But that's not what I stopped in to write to you about. This is about me. Me and my overflowing fucking closet. Me realizing that I'm killing myself. I'm eating crap and staying still and it's killing me. Literally I am going to die because I am so overweight. Yeah I know we've talked about this before. Since starting this blog I have gained 30 pounds. No joke literally 30 pounds. That is the weight of a 4 year old child. I make a lot of excuses. The fact is I just don't try. I don't try to eat healthier. I think about it, but I never actually try. I don't try to exercise. I think about it....but nope. I don't do anything differently. I am an emotional eater. I binge eat my feelings. Reading this blog you know the shit that the past 3 years had been handed to me. And you know that I am completely full of shit when I say I can handle it. Because as my brain is handling it, my car is driving me to the McDonalds drive thru. True story. 

I mean...come on...you know me. You know I want to make big promises that I will start today and change myself. But I'm scared of being disappointed in myself tomorrow. This was a hard week. I've cried so much this week. It feels like the toothpicks that were holding up the castle have been snapping one by one. I'm mentally exhausted. I'm emotionally raw. So (before you tell me)it's likely not the best time to attempt to change. But I feel like I'm having an awakening. Last night, I started to eat a cheeseburger and honestly.....just couldn't eat it. 

When you have children it is essentially giving your life up to someone else. Some people think that it's when you marry someone. But that is not the moment you fully give your life. It isn't until you see the face of your immortality staring back at you. The light you share with the world. The heart you will protect more than your own. You have a responsibility to life for them now. So I have to stop making excuses. Because I need to live now more than ever. I need to stop eating crap. I want to throw all the crappy clothes in my closet away. So it has to start today. I want so badly to have faith in myself...people tell me all the time how strong I am. I guess I just need to believe. 

Thanks for letting me vent friend. I'll post pictures when I finally throw away all those clothes.   

*For some reason Blogger won't let me comment or reply to comments. So this is for Anonymous!

Hello Anonymous! Thank you for stopping by the Happy Mom Project. Unfortunately, I don't know what you're referring to. I don't really think I give advice to anyone...but myself. I almost never take my own advice which is why I'm so large. Anyways...if you'd like to have an adult conversation please just let me know who you are and when you'd like to meet. Have a great day and thanks for helping boost my page views!

Please feel free to visit my blog page on Facebook "The Happy Mom Project" to see what other readers are saying about you! Thanks again for continuing to visit! 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dear friend, I don't want to go to sleep

I have reoccurring nightmares. So I don't want to sleep anymore.

I'm running on a hilly trail. It starts to snow. As I try to go up a hill it turns to mud. No matter how hard I try I can't make it up the hill. I can feel myself starting to panic. I can feel my chest starting to ache because I can't catch my breath. The snow is getting thicker and I'm getting cold. I start crying...and then I wake up. 

I get into my car and I put it into reverse. But the brake won't work and I can't shift out of reverse. I can't see where I'm going and I can't stop the car. I start to panic, then I wake up. 

Every night these same dreams come to me. Clearly my subconscious is trying to send me a message. My subconscious thinks I have some issues to deal with. My subconscious pisses me off. 

Over the last six months it really feels like our lives have taken a downward spiral. My husband's unemployment got screwed up and it shorted us almost $3000.  Then my identity was stolen leaving our income taxes unreachable for 6 months. The pit that gets dug every winter seems to be swallowing us whole. It has felt like our family truly can't catch a break. All the while I'm volunteering my heart and soul to programs and organizations to help kids and their families. There is no longer a candle to be burnt at both ends. It's all gone now. Just when it feels like it can't get any worse.....we received Moosey's diagnosis. 

I know why I'm having these nightmares. I know why my subconscious is sending me messages. It knows my soul is shattering. It knows that I've been barely holding it together. All these balls are in the air and I've just been punched in the gut. I can't let them fall. People depend on me to keep those balls flying. Ican'tletthemfallIcan'tletthemfallIcan'tletthemfall. My continuous mantra to keep me going through the motions of my day.

Oh my sweet boy. He'll always be the sweet boy his now. Reading the report in my hands, tears start spilling from my eyes, all the books I read in high school are start floating to the surface..Of Mice and Men, Flowers for Algernon, What's eating Gilbert Grape..he's always going to be my sweet boy. I can only sit and sob until my eyes swell shut and sitting upright hurts. This is my fault, all my fears are completely realized. I was so angry when I was pregnant with him. I didn't want to have another baby. I barely liked my husband at the time. I would talk to my belly and explain my frustrations to my unborn son. Then he was born and it was like the light I never knew was missing finally turned on. That was when the fear started. When he was an infant in my arms I would whisper apologies to him. Every day I have been afraid that because of that anger I felt, because I didn't want another baby....something bad would happen. This is my fear realized. 


Suddenly all the debt and pressures and obligations feel like a marching band stomping on my head. My son's fate is weighing down my heart. And I feel so alone. This isn't something you can share and resolve over coffee and a conversation. I don't think I could handle seeing the pity on the faces of others. All of which would have no idea what to say. All of which silently thanking god that their children will grow up normal, healthy and, smart.  And I don't blame them. I don't begrudge them. I just don't have the strength to see it on their faces right now. I look at my daughters and wonder what their futures will be like. When Micah and I are gone they will have to take care of their brother. Will they resent it? Will they embrace it? What if I get cancer? What if Micah blows out his knees? What will all of this do to Moosey's smile and happy spirit? What kind of pain will my son endure? It's just so much and it weighs on my mind constantly. 

I don't want to go to sleep. There is no escape for me there. My dreams only reflect what my mind is already struggling with. Oh, friend....I don't know where to go from here. I just know that I'm so tired and scared. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Dear Friend

Dear friend, 

I've been awake since 3am. My mind is like the computer I'm typing on right now. Once you push the on button, it's all systems go and bright lights. Whenever I wake up in the middle of the night...it's all over. I've been cleaning my emails, updating reminders, color coding my calendar. Damn I'm so tired. 

You may have noticed my absence, or not, it's OK. Sorry about that whole deleting you thing. I just paid the Go Daddy bill to renew the name. It seemed wasteful to delete you after paying. I've missed having someone to talk to. Poor Micah takes on my world when he's my only outlet. And I take on the rest of the world....so I can see how it could get heavy. If I had a super power I'm sure I'd be an empath. Which to be clear is hardly a power. It's more like a painful burden. I don't watch the news. I rarely read the paper. It's because I absorb all that pain I see. If you hate me and talk horribly about me and wish I was dead, I'd still cry for you. I'm just totally messed up that way. I get choked up when I see the homeless. I get choked up when I see children with disabilities. I get choked up when watching commercials. I feel everything. And yet I hate when my family says I'm over sensitive. It sounds so negative and disparaging. Having emotions isn't horrible, it's just painful.

Last night we had a Family Reading Night. One of the stations was a crime scene. Families were encouraged to come together and write a story about what they thought happened. I foolishly used what I thought were unimportant stuffed toys for the victims. It was a fabulously gruesome crime scene. But my poor Butterfly was very upset with what she saw. I have taught her that toys have feelings too. (In my defense it was completely in an effort to convince them NOT to destroy things.) Her stuffed toys were lying on the floor with blood splatter.....I'm mother of the year. So as I lay awake at 3am I wondered if I am creating children that will grow up to be adults like me. Will my kids be "over" sensitive? They already cry when cartoon characters face eminent doom. Even when those characters survive, my children will still talk about (with tears in their eyes) how they ALMOST died. Monsters...I'm creating monsters. 

Did I mention I deleted Facebook? Well sort of. I deleted all of my Facebook friends. Including my husband and my mom. I was really really REALLY depressed over the holidays (as you may have noticed since I nearly deleted you). I did have friends reach out. But I'm always scared to actually use that "here for you" coupon. How much is too much? How weird will it be afterward? How to ask someone to be "here for you"? What ended happening was the one I always thought I could lean on, never showed up. It led me to evaluate the false feeling of celebrity that social media gives me (maybe others, but we'll just start with me). You post your opinion and people "like" it. You post pictures of your kids and people "like" it and comment. You follow the lives of your "friends" and feel compelled to be a part of it by making sure to comment and let them know "Here I am!! Watching your life!! Totally not like a stalker though!" Actually, completely like a stalker. Watching from a window, not a part of the picture...alone. There is that goddamned word again! I hate that fucking word. So anyways I decided to let it all go. Cut all those ties and see what happens. I surprisingly started feeling better. Because when you don't see what you're left out of ....you don't feel left out. I decided to choose to stop watching. Some may say "Yeah, but now we can't watch you either!" True, but they have my phone number and my address and my MOM'S number. So it's not like I'm unreachable. I just need to feel like I'm leading a more authentic existence. I need to have actual phone conversations and coffee dates and nights out. And if no one wants to have that with me....well I guess that's the answer to my big experiment. 

Oh friend, I have to go get dressed. I've got a long day of training for my position on the school board. Wish me luck. Oh and friend........thanks for listening, I've really missed you.