Friday, January 17, 2014

Second chances

A few days before Thanksgiving I got a call from Loren while Cassidy, Devon and my mom and I were on a "camping trip". I'm not usually a fan of quote marks but when you're camping and have phone reception something doesn't add up to a wilderness experience. So anyway, when Loren reached us while we were camped out behind a Dinosaur Museum I was somewhat alarmed. It was the wrong time of month to need any financial assistance, requests that had recently become less frequent. In my mind this clearly meant that he had likely been in a limb losing accident and was either calling me with his toes or using a pencil in his teeth to peck out the numbers.

Turns out my crazy was slightly off, my son had all his limbs and was actually asking for a bit of life advice. He had been asked to move home to our mountain valley and intern with a local film company for the winter. Should he, he wondered? What about his lease, his job? While in my head I was jumping up and down and screaming for joy at the thought of having Lo home with us, I played it cool and pointed out that he had a room in an extremely desirable location on the DU campus and that bussing tables was not his lifelong ambition. I told him there would be very few times in his life when he would have no debt, no dependents and the absolute freedom to turn his life in a 180 degree direction within 48 hours. I also reminded him that he had taken the year off from school to look within and figure out where he wanted to go.

So. Go.

Within two days Loren was home, bringing with him the vitality of the young whose dreams ride shotgun and spill over into their every action. I am the happiest of mother hens having all my chicks back in the nest. The high school years can sometimes seem an eternity, but when all is said and done that short time is over and there is the chance your child might fly away for always.

I feel as though this is our chance to finally live as a family of five. It's not always easy. There was the day, a week or so in to Lo's return when I got a call from Ski Patrol that he had fallen and broken his collar bone and my son was in shock. Then there was the adventure of locating his car and paying the boot company an absurd amount of money to get his car mobile again, they weren't sympathetic that he was in the ER when his time expired. But for the most part it has been lovely and not a day goes by when I don't remind myself what lucky ducks we all are.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Can you ever really retrieve your groove?

While asking the above question, one might pose another question: Did I ever really have my groove or is hindsight somewhat more flattering than reality was at that time?

Lately I've been having a recurring thought and it is this: I'm fed the fuck up, or FTFU. It's true. I know that at this time of the year we are supposed to be giving thanks, and I am. Truly. There is so much for which I am grateful. I have a beautiful family with really cool kids and a great man. Plus I have an amazing mother, a roof over my head, food in the fridge. I'm working on my yoga journey, I've cut out all refined sugars from my daily diet, etc.... But under all that I'm FTFU. Why? I'm not entirely sure. Recently I started with a new therapist with whom I suspect I'll make great progress, though in our initial stages it's really just good fun to chat with somebody who isn't part of my family and I can shamelessly drone on for 50 minutes. So. It's mostly just been chit-chat and not too much work yet.

So, again. What gives? Mid-life blahs? Could be. I've been at this parenting thing for a little over 20 years and I still have a nine year-old hanging out in the house. How does that happen? Poor family planning, I know. I'm tired of parent/teacher conferences. Tired of mediating TV wars. Tired of giving up my yoga classes to schlep kids to after school activities. Tired of not doing my shit. I know. So selfish. But it's honest. That's just how it is right now. Somewhere in all the soccer games, ski lessons, hockey practices I lost sight of my own aspirations. My current ambitions include clean uniforms for Devon, balanced lunches for the kids. There is no color in it, just automation.

I hope this part of it ends, that I get my crap together and get over myself. In honor of trying to find a bit of me tonight I am listening The The on Pandora and ignoring the fact that Devon will soon come down stairs wanting sustenance. Hmmm, will it be PB&J or a grilled cheese? The wondering is keeping me on the edge of my seat.

Every time I hear Pink's song about True Love I'm fairly sure she wrote it for me and my family. She's a bad ass through and through, but this one nails it at the heart.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Riding it out

So I stopped writing for a spell. Why? For about 46 x 12 reasons. One of them was that life got super real and in my face and all I could focus on was breathing in and out, in and out, in and out until my lungs worked on their own and could perform the exercise without any instruction. They still need some encouragement most days, but it's getting more manageable and my red blood cells seem to be doing their job of oxygen delivery. Another reason is that there is a creeper out there who stalked my blog for years, so I turned off that Statcounter to live in bliss and ignore his weirdness. Then I waited. And waited. But the words have been stuck. I start sentences in my head, but can't complete them because the fun went away and my sass was covered up by a greasy film of stress.

I'm trying to get the fun back. I backed out of Blogher, let my other blog go into the sky and have returned to blogspot. Why not. It seems low pressure. There are no deadlines. I don't have to Tweet about any products or review any books. I'd like to do something fun here rather just rant about the lack of oxygen in my brain. I have colors in my head I'd like to share. Projects. Ideas. I'm really going to try to step around the piles of sick and regrets that have built up in the corners of our house, hell maybe I'll get out the broom and send them out the door in a swoosh of healthy cleansing.

I'm tired of rare diseases sucking the life from our family. I understand that they are here to stay and roost in arteries and the like, but not in mine. Hell and no. Today we are all upright, breathing and mostly cognitively functional. That's not half bad.

I love this picture. It isn't mine. 
I found it on Facebook without a photo credit. 
While I wait for the words to return in my head, these cats are awaiting the fishermen 
to return home with their day's catch

Friday, August 23, 2013

Being gone vs. being absent

Summer is an ass kicker. There's no way around it, at least in my Book of Crazy. And since I write that book I think I'm something of an authority on it. By the time August rolls in my bones feel hollow, I suspect my judgment on even the tiniest things to be less than stable and I really, really don't want to hear the word Mom and have it refer to me. A bit crappy but 100% honest.

This summer began with Matt in the ER, unable to walk and the fear of blood clots in his legs. From there the path of madness transpired quite nicely until about 10 days ago when I found myself on an early Monday morning trapped between the garage wall and the car, unable to do anything other than cry and pull at my eyelashes. Fantastic beginning to the week. Matt's inclination was to admit me to the hospital, but since Crazy is much harder to diagnose than blood clots I called my doctor and we proceeded to have a long chat about medications and life balance. She decided I desperately need a decent dose of both.

So what's my point? Nothing really. I have to say I appreciate Klonapen and the therapeutic results of the borderline obsessive exercise that is keeping me out of the garage. That's really all there is to it for today.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Outta here.

I've moved. Mostly. Well, I've moved but just have yet to unpack everything and get it completely set up. But if I don't make the leap I'm gonna be all co-dependent on Blogger and then I'll never leave. So if you stop by here, please click another time and come visit the new Itch!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Flying the coop

My baby is leaving me. Plain and simple, he's going. I get it and it's a natural trajectory of healthy behavior, but still. He is vacating. Loren will be moving to Denver this Friday because he should. He's 18 and ready to go.

So far I've been incredibly cool about the whole thing, thinking I'd break down sometime after we'd dropped him off and were heading west over the passes. This afternoon we spent a couple of hours in Target banging out a list of Must Haves. Things like a coffee maker, laundry hamper, hangers, etc. We visually went through every room and tried to gather as much as possible so he will have all his creature comforts when he looks out over the LoDO skyline from his new abode. His excitement was palpable as he chose a color theme for his bathroom and just the right trashcan for his room. I loved every moment of it as I pictured Lo in his new life with so much Wonder ahead of him.

Tonight while I was working and listening to Pandora, one of his favorite songs came on and out of nowhere I lost it; tears on my keyboard and the knowledge that my ribs would not be able to contain my breaking heart.  Loren is the one person in the world whose soul I fully understand. He is my first, the one whose splitting cells began this whole adventure. I carried his undeveloped nubs, brought him into the world, nursed him, took him to the park, experienced all those Firsts with him and now this is the Ultimate First. He is going and I want to curl up and die just a little bit about it.

I can't be cool about this. There is no nonchalance. It will never be the same because this is real and while I am so happy for this Beginning, I am also grieving the End.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The aftermath of the Juice Cleanse

As I've mentioned a few times before, this past winter was a bitch with a mission. First Matt had his stroke and scared the hell out of us with his weird blood vessels that want to fill themselves up with pearl-like bits of cellular material and then deprive his kidneys of blood. Then Matt's father was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma and given five weeks to live. So Matt and Jen, his sister, went out to Utah to help out and ended up staying until the end of May because the five weeks stretched on to six months. Then I learned all the intricacies of planning a Mormon funeral, a good time for me since we just cremate people in our family and then leave them willy nilly in drawers and what not. Then I was working two jobs and trying to sift through the daily madness of keeping it all afloat while not being able to find footing on the bottom while simultaneously eating everything I could possibly fit into my mouth.

Sometime in July Matt sensed my brittle state and suggested he and I try a juice cleanse in an effort to spur order from the inner core on out, a ripple effect it you will. So I said sure, why not, anything to slow the flailing of my arms to a quiet whir. And so we did it. Sometimes it was hard, sometimes I wanted to snack on the softer parts of Devon because I have long suspected he tastes like vanilla creme. But we did it, I lost about 10 pounds and it was empowering. Now most of my panties fit, I have at least six pairs of pants in my rotation and I feel pretty good.

The next step in the efforts has been exercise. I've been doing a few bike training runs with my friend Beth who is one of the most graciously sassy woman I've ever known. Beth gives voices to children who have previously had none and looks as if she drinks from the fountain of youth because sister permanently looks to be about 29, maybe 32 on a rough day. Anyhoo, she and I are training for a century ride in late September and I'm trilled to bits to have this goal. Matt and I have also been going on some hikes. These usually involve me saying I know of a great place that's only slightly up hill and then feeling him staring heat seeking missiles into my ass as the mountain seems to go on for an infinity of painful hell.  I've also been swimming with both Matt and Cassidy. Cass and I started our swim excursions a couple of summers ago, it's an activity she and I can do together without either of our heads exploding on the other and at the end we are both too tired to push the other's head under the water. It's a win-win with a side of mother-daughter bonding tossed in for some parenting points on my end. This morning Cass was exhausted from last night's first soccer practice of the season, she is playing a league age up and it seems like a brutal group, but a tired Cassidy means a peaceful night for me.

This morning I got to the pool right when all the old birds were lined up, lest they oust me from a prime swimming lane spot I quickly changed and hit the water. I knew from the beginning it was going to be a stellar swim and it was. By the end I had 52 laps, one mile, in a few seconds under 52 minutes! A personal best for me and a moment that made me feel like The Baddest Ass Mo-Fo of the pool. Sure, I got smoked by a couple of old grannies with flowered swim caps and skirted suits, but if those old broads are swimming a mile like that I'm gonna stay the hell out their way. Swimming like this is a huge step towards long term fitness for me but it also quiets the noise in my head and brings me serenity, a concept almost entirely foreign in my soul.