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Apr 10 2013

While I wasn’t here

Boy, I wish I had a great story for the radio silence of the last several weeks. Something cool like Tiffani picking up her family and taking off on a one-way ticket to South America. Alas, nothing fun or exciting, just…things.

I found a grey hair and hilarity did not ensue. There was a mild bit of irritated panic, as I just don’t have the intestinal fortitude to manage both greying hair and the skin of a 13 year old the night before school pictures. I’m now trying to work a line item into our budget that covers hair coloring.

I bought lavender nail polish yesterday. Hopefully this will go over better than the yellow polish incident of 1997, when I was mocked by both students and teachers alike my first year teaching. That color lived on for several years to mark flute head joints, never to be seen on my hands again. Now I need to find the time to sit still and let the polish dry. Quit laughing. It might happen. Eventually.

This past week I was notified that I will be co-presenting (with the awesome Mika Gustavson) at the National Association for Gifted Children convention in November. We’re doing a roundtable on homeschooling gifted kids. And yes, I’m aware of the irony.

While I know that April Showers bring May Flowers, there is no mention in that little ditty about the incessant damp being accompanied by cold. I am tired of the cold, and the grey (in the skies and on my head), and long sleeves. I’m ready to blind the world with the whitey whiteness that is my “wintered in Chicago” skin. Ready your blinders, I want to wear shorts.

Right now the house looks like the “before” picture for spring cleaning. As soon as it warms and dries the hell up that will change. No point in scrubbing floors that will just be mud-tracked within the hour.

If you haven’t played with Bitstrips on Facebook, you are missing out on some great time-suck fun.

It’s no secret that I struggle with stress management. In fact, I’m pretty certain that a new acquaintance could pick that up within about 90 seconds of meeting me for the first time. It’s been suggested that I meditate (I’ve tried; hard to do when you can still hear the chaos outside the locked door), exercise (sadly, that’s dropped to the bottom of the budget; yes, I could do it at home, but have you ever tried to exercise with a dog literally in your face and the kids climbing around you?), do yoga (see comment on exercise), practice self-care (what defines self-care, really? Sometimes a pee all by my lonesome is all I can manage), and get rip-roaring drunk and practice my flute (this I’ve done, and it’s fun). The last few years have been brutal. I thought for the last couple of months that we were through the worst of it, and for the most part we are. But big uglies keep cropping up, accompanied by the little uglies. It’s like walking through a big field; one or two burrs catching on to your clothes is manageable. Being covered in burrs of all sizes and shapes is painful, difficult to manage, and you don’t really know where to begin. The last few years have covered us in burrs of all shapes and sizes. I had managed to pull many of them off, but as they keep piling on despair piles on alongside. The most recent burr is directly related to allll the others from the last few years. My stress management…or lack thereof…has finally caught up to me in a physical way. I’ve always had TMJ-like symptoms, exacerbated by flute playing, and I’ve always managed to keep them under control. Not anymore. My difficulty in managing my reactions to life has resulted in the TMJ taking off like a drunk toddler hell-bent on destruction. My ears are involved now, my jaw itself aches, and my teeth are unhappy. I had no idea how unhappy my teeth were until yesterday when my dentist informed me that I had a chipped tooth on one side (going back in this morning for a filling…yay me) and a cracked tooth requiring a crown on the other. Evidently I have perfect oral hygiene and over-achieving jaws; I’ve been clenching my teeth at night for so long, even with a bite guard, that I’ve cracked teeth. At least now I know my superpower. It’s ChompMom! Here to save you from the zombies! Run, save yourselves! She’ll chew down the forest with one chomp and create a barrier!

In the span of under 24 hours, the universe screamed at me to change. Through a favorite podcast that I listened to twice in a row, flipping through a magazine I’d never heard of while waiting for a massage, and a friend’s Facebook status, I’ve been directed to check out Byron Katie’s The Work. I’ve only scanned the website and gotten the basic gist of it, but I think this might help me gag the lying voices in my head that are contributing to my stress. I can’t live like this anymore. I hurt all the time, my poor husband has to deal with me (though I did offer to just leave so the other three wouldn’t have to deal with my crazy), and I see myself becoming the angry and bitter old woman I always swore I’d never be.

(Psst…this is why I haven’t been writing…don’t see the need to share my angry and bitter craziness in print)

I’m updating and redesigning this site with Kristi from Creative Kristi Designs. I’m sure she’s wondering what cliff I’ve fallen off of (ooh, bad grammar, bad, bad!), and I should probably wrap up some decisions and send them her way. I’m excited about the change. With the new design and renewed focus will be a new direction for me; I’ve been doing too much self-censoring as I write here. I know there are a lot of people who read here and most of them do not comment. Many of them know me in real life. And I’ve held back a lot because of that. So I’m going to loosen that restriction on myself and make others’ reactions not my problem. Big step for me.

If you’ve made it this far in the whine-fest that is this post, you get a lollipop and a puppy. I shall return shortly with a more engaging, entertaining, and pleasant post. Sometimes you just need to brain-dump the burrs to get to the good stuff.

Comments

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16 comments

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  1. Myrinda

    well for pete’s sake, dump those burrs! I can’t wait to hear you uncensored too!

  2. My Kids Mom

    Is the puppy house trained?

    1. Jen

      The puppy is not only not house trained, but likes to nibble on toes. So. You know, um…thanks for reading? 😉

  3. Robin from Israel

    I’ve heard it said that meeting up with good friends in on a quaint New England seacoast is EXCELLENT deburring technique ;).

    1. Jen

      I do not doubt that in the least. 😀

  4. Natalie

    How will you get my puppy to New Zealand? Kia Kaha

    1. Jen

      I’ll pop some holes in the box. 😉

  5. BeckyG

    I’m definitely part of the Lonesome P Club, the pinnacle of motherhood self-care. 🙂

  6. Mandy

    I can relate, and I might have something to offer. I’m a homeschooling mama of two (totally awesome) 2E children (2 – so I’m one of the chosen who is juggling flaming chainsaws!). I am highly gifted myself and have stress of all kinds from existential to physical – lots of TMJ here too. Wine is good, ice cream is great. But, what I do on the side (which is kind of a joke, but I pretend there’s a “side” to have) is teach people (specifically, chronically ill people) how to manage their stress. I know meditation doesn’t work for most, so I don’t really bother with that in the traditional sense. I have suggestions if you’re interested and I get where you’re coming from, so let me know. I’ll take my lollipop and puppy in separate boxes please, cause together, well that’s just a sticky mess. 😉

    1. Jen

      Yes please! I’d love to hear any and all suggestions!
      And I’ll double wrap the lolly and package it separately. LOL

      1. Mandy

        You have helped me so much, I would be more than happy to give suggestions. Please feel free to contact me via e-mail and I will send you some ideas. I have a unique perspective, so hopefully I can offer some solutions.

        1. Mandy

          Oops, or I can simply e-mail you, I just found the address on this site.

  7. Kelly Dijkxhoorn

    Jen,

    I think your writing is part of your stress management. I like your blog, it lets me know that I am not the only one.

    I don’t need a puppy, we already have two, it would be extra stress 🙂 and I went sugar free two months ago to see if that would help my stress, so lolly’s are out.
    Just keep writing when you can, your whine is my whine.

  8. Kimberly

    I second the “less censoring” cheer! The rawest communications are often those which produce the strongest “yes! yes!” connection that is the reason for reading blogs like yours.

  9. Von

    Hey Jen,
    BTW if you paint your nails before typing for a while they dry without getting mussed. I even think the movement helps it go faster.

    1. Jen

      Ooh, I’ll have to try that! Hmm…I’m watching myself type. I type on the very tips, on my nails. Ay yi yi…

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