To the Idealist at New Years

I’m an Idealist, which means that I am passionately concerned with personal growth and development. I have insanely high standards of how I should live, how our family should behave, how our house should run, how I should relate with God.  High, high, high.

Nigh unreachable and certainly exhausting.

And now it’s New Years, the time to reflect upon my 2013 goals and set new ones for 2014.

Can I tell you a secret? I haven’t looked back on my 2013 goals yet, I’m terrified to do so.  I don’t even dare open that blog post for fear that I will set off a shame spiral from which I will never recover.  But I know that I need to, so here goes.... reading post now….. 

Okay that was rough.  I only hit about 40% of my set goals for 2013, much of this has to do with the fact that we moved 1,000 miles and lived on half our normal income.  But still I struggle with unrealized goals, everything I set out to do in 2013 were things I seriously believe I SHOULD be doing, but didn’t.

Things like Run a 5K.  Ideally I would be someone who does that, but I don’t like running.  I want to like it, I like the way I feel after it, but I don’t like it overall.  Maybe I’m doing it wrong.

I read all the blogs about how to do it better, make it easier, more effective, change your mindset, your outfit, subscribe via email or there’s an app for that.

This me at New Years:  I can do EVERYTHING BETTER THIS YEAR!  Look at me go, I have Goals!  Big Ones!  I will subscribe to all the blogs, use all the tools, buy all the systems ensure I succeed at doing all the things better!  

2014 will finally be the year that I’m okay with myself!  Continue reading

My Elf-piphany (or why the Elf on the shelf bugs me)

I’m a bit of a joiner, when other people are doing something cool I tend to get excited and pull a “ooh something new and shiny, let’s do it!”

This is how we came into possession of an Elf on the Shelf.  It looked like so much fun online that I wanted a piece of the Christmas whimsy. I still wasn’t sure how we would do Santa with our two young kids, but I was going for it on the elf front.

I marched into the Hallmark store and marched right back out with $30 less in my bank account and a bag full of Elf.  In a shockingly large box.

If you don’t know the whole concept behind the Elf on the Shelf, here it is: you pay $30 for a little doll who is Santa’s is secret spy for your family. You tell your kids that he’s watching them, that he’ll let Santa know if they’re good or bad. Then you move him every evening (or frantically in the morning because you forgot) to fun and quirky new places in the house. The kids are instructed NOT to touch him or he will lose his magic.  

I got into it for the whimsy, for the hope of a fun tradition our children would remember and smile on years later.

But this year, it’s bothered me endlessly, I resent that little red bugger. Something doesn’t feel right about it in the pit of my stomach.

IMG_1086 Sometimes when our two year old son was extra obnoxiously naughty and hitting his sister in the head with matchbox cars or smearing the table in oatmeal, I’d pull the elf card. “Caedmon, do you want Santa to see you being naughty? You could lose a present. The Elf is seeing you do that.”

Then emotional vomit would come up in my throat and I’d walk away feeling like a horrible person and parent.

And I couldn’t figure out why.

Then two nights ago I had an Elf-piphany.

It started when I decided to have the Elf, who by the way we named Mr. BoJingles, write our children a note that my four year old super star, starting to read daughter Noelle could practice on in the morning.

So I scrambled for some green paper and a nice pen and wrote out this:

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“Dear Noelle and Caedmon, Christmas is only three days away, so be good!  Love Mr BoJingles.”

Then I got a little of the ol’ Elf nausea (this could be because I had the stomach bug at the time) “This isn’t right, this is bothering me… why?”

Then I had a true lightbulb of a moment.

“Oh my God, GRACE!”  I shouted at myself in the quiet of the dining room.  But you know, not so loud as to wake up the kids because, priorities.

The Elf on the shelf, as done by the book, flies in the face of grace because we can’t tell our children both these things:

1) Jesus is the whole reason behind Christmas, it’s the day we celebrate that God sent him to the Earth to save us. We give presents to each other to celebrate the fact that Jesus was the best gift ever given.
AND
2) If you’re not good, a magical fat man will take away your presents.

You can’t have both grace and works.  It is out of LOVE we were sent Christ, it is by GRACE we are saved, it is because of this LOVE and GRACE that my (mostly) healthy heart loves to give my children good gifts.

Gifts they do not have to earn. Gifts it would break my heart to take away from them.  Gifts I poured myself into and cannot wait to delight them with.

The Elf on the Shelf concept can’t coexist with the freely given love and grace of the nativity without creating dissonance.

The same dissonance I’d been hearing all season bust just now finally identified.

Do I want my children to live in the ways of Scripture? Absolutely.  But not because they’re afraid of lightening bolts from heaven or a God who will swoop in and steal the good things from their lives.

I want them to long for their Father because they trust him, love him, believe that in his word is the key to the richest, deepest, best possible life on Earth.

So Elf, you can stay for the next two days, but I’m watching both you and my own words. We will rethink you for next year.  You may get the boot, you may be repurposed into another tradition.

But you won’t steal the grace we’re cultivating in these walls, you won’t cause my children to doubt the depth of the love I have from them or the deep beauty that is mingled between the nativity scene.

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The happiness/gratitude formula

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“I’m feeling happy, and that’s a big deal… for me.”
This is decidedly my favorite line in finding Nemo, and it keeps playing through my mind lately because lately, I’ve felt joy in my life.  The real kind that’s not because of wine or the kids finally being asleep.

The kind I still feel in the midst of the dinnertime rush or the messiness of the play room floor.

It all started about a month ago with a very emotional ride home from church. I called Kel in tears after a trip to church had turned into a nightmare. I told him how the kids ran away from me while I was recycling their juice cups and I lost  them for about five minutes. Which felt like an eternity at the time. (found them in their kids area claiming loudly that their mom had left them. Thanks guys.)

I sobbed to Kel about how tired I was of doing weekends all by myself when everyone else was all together as a family. Then I went on about  how even when we were together, we were never happy about it. Someone was always angry or under slept, something was always not ideal, there was always a reason it couldn’t get classified as a “good day”

“I don’t know what’s wrong babe, but I feel like we’re missing something really important and I think it has to do with something Jesus said, but I want to fix it. Can we fix it please? I just want to be happy.”

We hung up and left things painfully unresolved. When I’d finally closed the garage door behind our dirty mini van I collapsed on our couch in desperate tears of frustration.

I texted a dear friend who immediately dropped what she was doing and called me.  I cried to her for what felt like forever, trying to put words to the churning feelings I was having in my life.

It sounded like: “Kel and I can’t stop fighting, we can barely pay the bills, the kids ran away from me in church and we’re never just happy together.  Ever!  It’s not going to change with our circumstances, it has to change with us but I’m so lost and I have no idea what to do next.  

This is the abridged version people, the real version was far more incoherent and dramatic.

She listened to me graciously for over well over thirty minutes. Then she added her advice and a hefty scoop of encouragement.  But I took away two very important things:

1) You can only change you, stop worrying about what Kel will or won’t do.
2) Gratitude changes everything

She texted me for the next few mornings to remind me of both these truths, “Don’t worry about Kel, just change you!  God can take care of him, I promise.”

Then she texted me a really helpful gratitude flowchart the gist of which was this: So many of the things I was unhappy about were above and beyond what God had promised me, or any of us for that matter.

I started asking myself: “Is the thing that I’m upset about over and above what God has promised me? If yes then I guess I don’t need it and I will choose contentment and gratitude”

Laundry day started to go like this: “I hate laundry, God how am I ever going to get through all this, why do we have to wear SO MANY clothes?!?  Wait, I could have to haul all this to the laundromat in the snow or have to wash it in the bathtub, but I don’t.  Thanks God for in home laundry that works like it should.”

At the grocery store: “I hate having to grocery shop with a calculator, I wish I was one of those people who could just throw stuff in their basket without worrying about it.  Wait, we have enough food to eat, period. We’re eating healthy stuff that i enjoy making.  Thanks for the content of this cart God.” 

And in these little moments of self talk, of counting gifts, or thankfulness I have started to feel happiness.

Then I watched this Ted Talk which confirmed everything for me:  

“It is not happiness that makes us grateful, it’s gratefulness that makes us happy.” ~ Brother David Steindl-Rast

Happiness doesn’t come from having everything you want, it comes from wanting everything you already have.

It’s helping with my marriage and it’s making a difference in my parenting.  It’s reducing my anxiety and depression and it’s causing me to finally feel joy in the midst of the uncertainty of life.

I find myself breathing small prayers of gratitude as I move through my day
Thank you for a warm home, a safe place in the snow
Thank you for this box of clementines, easy snacks I feel good about
Thank you for this move night with my kids, together under one blanket.

Thank you for this simple life, for this profound truth and for filling my home and heart with good, good gifts.

 

Love showed up (a story and a series announcement)

Today I want to tell you a story, talk about light and then introduce a new series I’ll be hosting here for the foreseeable future.  

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It all felt like a nightmare, one I half believed I would wake up from.  Denial at it’s finest, or worst rather.

I stared down at my ruffled ballet flats pressed together on the funeral home carpet and marveled at the turn my life had taken. Just days before I had been laughing with my Dad on the phone and now I was standing 5 yards away from his body, laid out in a casket.

I couldn’t find the strength to approach it, to see him in his stillness, his glasses still and speckled with paint. As I stood there I felt a tap on my shoulder, it was my Grandpa, the one who had stepped up to pay for the costs of my Dad’s funeral.

It’s all a blur in hindsight, but I know I heard something like this: “I think it would be really nice if you and your siblings pitched in to cover your Dad’s headstone.  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a stone to go visit.”

I told him that yes, I would take care of it. Silently I wondered how I’d pull it off, I was in college, my brother was in High School and my sister lived in a group home in Texas, not a lot of money in that equation.

A few days after the funeral Kel (at that time my boyfriend who’d flown in to support me) and I headed up to the monument place recommended by the funeral home to figure out our options, headstone-wise.  The worst shopping trip ever.

Over the next few weeks my mom and I decided on a black granite stone with the words of Romans 8:28 etched along the bottom.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.”

I chose a scripty, non deathlike font for the main text along the top and a pond scene with loons to be etched across the entire front.  I took great care to make it something that didn’t feel like anything I’d seen in the cemetery before, something that felt more like life than of death.

It would be pricier than expected, but it was what I needed to do, it was the only design I could deal with. Continue reading

13 tips for loving in loss.

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First off let me say how overwhelmed and thankful I am for all that likes, shares and comments on my last post 12 Grief Clichés and the reasons they suck.  I’ve never had such a massive response to my writing and it was amazing to have those words connect with so many hearts.

On the flip side of that, a handful of people commented that the list of clichés just made them more anxious when it came to interacting with their grieving friends

Many stresses the good intentions of those who deliver clichés in a time of awkwardness and pain and felt a little bit like I was throwing them under the bus with the post.

Here’s the thing, I never meant to suggest that those who bear clichés do so with ill intent.  I would say that for the most part clichés come out in the anxiety of helplessness. That being said, words bear weight and those of us who resonated with the post needed to have them dismantled because bad words with good intent, still hurt.

And now more people know what not to say, and that’s a good thing.

Moving on, many of you asked for a list of what one SHOULD do or say in the midst of grief and pain and I absolutely agree, now that we have dismantled, let’s build up.

Like this first list, this one is crowd-sourced and comes not only from my own experiences but from those who were willing to chime in for what they found helpful in their worst moments.

1) Speak Up– Saying something and fumbling it is still better than saying nothing at all.  Even worse than hearing clichés is not hearing nothing from those who supported you in the good times. I lost friends after the deaths of both my parents simply because people stopped talking to me, that hurt worse than any cliché. I know that it’s scary and sensitive to speak up, but know that few words are needed. Just go and listen, open up the floor for them to talk about the person they lost, they want to do that.  They want to remember what was for fear it may slip away.

2) I’m sorry + hug (this is especially useful for formal events like funerals and wakes) Not everyone is a hugger so proceed accordingly, but remember that going out of your way to attend a funeral related event speaks volumes. It’s a busy time and not usually conducive for long chats so you don’t need to say much more than: “This sucks, I’m sorry” Remember that words don’t fix it so you don’t need to worry about having the right ones, just go.

3) Share a story- This year on the anniversary of my mom’s death my friend emailed me a ridiculous story about my Mom. Years previously my mother had flipped out with worry that my sister’s and my curling irons and flat irons would burn down the house.  So she tried to pawn them off on people from church out of the back of her car. When this didn’t work she thew them all away in a gas station dumpster. I was so pissed at the time but when my friend emailed me the story about my mom forcing a flat iron on her it made me laugh and remember my Mom in a way I’d totally forgotten.

You can do this at any time, not just on anniversaries or funerals, people cherish stories of those they lost.

4) Practical Support- Grief is a time where life screeches to a halt, this means that the person you care about may have missed work or have increased travel costs. Think through that and then support them that way. My dad died from a sudden heart attack when I was in college and my best friend’s parents covered my rent .  Later my church friends helped with my Dad’s headstone.  When my Mom died my husband’s work covered our unexpected travel costs.  I would have been sunk without these thoughtful gestures.

5) Acts of Service: You what what the most common response is to the question: “Can I do anything?”  It’s no. We all want to be on the serving end and never want to admit that we need help. But we do, we need help. My best advice here is to be a little, just a little, pushy about this.  Say something like: “Hey, I’m taking your kids this week, when is most helpful?” or “Hey I’m bringing you a meal, what day works?”  Or just drop off practical necessities like paper plates, toilet paper or diapers, grieving people are forgetful of such things.

6) On food (Yes, this one needs it’s own category)  The short and overwhelming response from readers was, yes to food! There are really helpful websites when it comes to setting up meal deliver and maybe you can be the one to offer set it up. I’ve personally used and recommend Care Calendar. Without organization things can get a little crazy. If there is no organization in place I recommend making something freezable or dropping off really great takeout gift cards. Also, keep dessert proportionate, although once I ate my way through an entire sheet cake with no regrets so maybe just go for it.

8) Go the distance– There is no “all done” in the journey of loss, it keeps going.  I was immensely thankful for those who checked in on how I was doing for months after the funeral. It was so refreshing to have someone open the floor for something I worried people were hoping I wouldn’t bring up, to know that they didn’t expect me to be all better.

9) Remember special dates– Put loss anniversaries on your calendar and try to remember them like birthdays, yes it’s more morbid but death is a part of life. I assure you it will mean everything to your grieving friend that you took the time to remember.  Ask them if you can help them remember. For years after my dad died we did what was called “soup and pie” where my friends came over for my favorite comfort foods and a time of remembering. One year we just played board games but it meant everything that they were there supporting me.

10) Pray in the moment- Many readers echoed this, but as a people we so often don’t follow through after uttering the phrase “I’ll pray for you.”  We’re all sort of in on this dirty secret and we know that when someone says it, all to often (not all the time) it doesn’t happen.  So pray for them in the moment, briefly, authentically.  You can even text it.  It may seem weird, but it won’t go unappreciated.

11) Thoughtful Gift- In-between the two visitation services for my Dad my church group showed up all at the same time to circle around me and pray. Instead of flowers they brought me a willow tree figurine of a father and daughter, I have it to this day and every time I see it I remember them and that thoughtful moment.

Thoughtful gifts could be anything: a journal, a piece of jewelry, a picture frame.  Be thoughtful about what would best speak to the person you’re supporting.

12) Permission to Lament (for a long while) If your grieving friend tells you that they’re pissed, depressed, empty, exhausted or just all around seeing the world with gray glasses,   Tell them that’s okay.  Give them full permission to feel everything that they need to feel.  They don’t need your permission, but it helps to know that you don’t expect otherwise.

13) Permission to Screw up (Dead dad pass) – Do you watch New Girl?  Well you should. Last season one of the characters unexpectedly lost his dad and anytime someone pushed him or asked too much he’d just yell out “Dead Dad Pass!”

Encourage your hurting people to do the same, let them to be as strange or as messy or as out of it as they need to be. I swear to you that I spent the two months in-between my mom’s death and Caedmon’s birth in the bathtub.When people came to carol our house that Christmas, guess where they did it?  Yup, bathroom window.  The tub was my pass.

I hope that these help, that you can refer to them when you need to. Mostly I want you to feel comfortable to love well in the midst of loss.

If you’d like to add to the list, please do so in the comments, I don’t pretend to know it all when it comes to how to love well in the midst of loss.

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The Hands and Feet of Jesus are kind of Hairy (to me)

I rush around the kitchen. As I reach for bowls and plates, my chest tightens.  With every scream, nitpick or fight my children’s breakfast interactions grate on me as my adrenaline increases, like a slow burn.

Finally, one more: “Mom, I don’t wike dis food and I don’t wike dis pwate!”

And I’m done. I run off to the bedroom to scribble some notes on the cognitive distortions worksheet my therapist gave the previous day.

Because there isn’t a cell in my body that isn’t determined to unlearn the rhythms I use to survive, but there isn’t a chance I can stay another moment in the fray, fragile as I am.

When I return, all apologies I see him counting out twenties from our grocery / gas money stash, his lips moving as he does mental math. He walks around the table, into the kitchen where he holds me and presses two twenty dollar bills in my hand.

“One for Gas, One for you blow on whatever. When’s the last time you just had some time off? Not to work or produce. Just go be you.  I saw the your to do list and I’ve got it, I’ll get Noelle to school and I’ll clean the sinks and toilets. When you come home, dinner will be done. Just go baby, I got this.”

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He is the number two reason I will beat this thing, this anxiety, these inner lies.

He is my partner, supporter and very best friend. I didn’t know how deep love could go until I married Kel and every year?  It gets better.

He’s the one whispering God’s truth by proxy.

To me? The hands and feet of Jesus so often look like Kel’s hands and feet: strong, broad and kinda hairy.   Continue reading

Day 14: Here is where we love you anyway

It was an idyllic afternoon, mid sixties, sunny, leaves falling around our feet.  We stood there at the park, Kel and I, watching the kids tunnel through the recesses of the playground.

Nothing could be sweeter, and then?  Our two year old son smacked his sister in the face, hard.

We delegated who would comfort and who would discipline, I drew the short straw and hauled him to the van to take a time-out in his car seat miss out on the rest of park time.

Flash forward to later, after a nice family dinner, when it happened again: They got into a heated moment and he smacked her in the face.

He’s a two year old boy in every sense of the word, alive, energetic and ready to fight the universe… whether he agrees with it or not.  

You want to take my picture by this pumpkin to show off my old man, harry-potter sweater?  Then I'm shoving the pumpkin off the porch.  Cheese!

You want to take my picture by this pumpkin to show off my cute, old man, harry-potter sweater? Then I’m shoving the pumpkin off the porch. Cheese!

Whatever you say, he says the other thing.
Anytime you smother kiss on his cheeks, he wipes them off.
If you serve oatmeal, he wants eggs.
When his sister says “yes yay!”  he says “nope, no!”

He’s a walking, talking, two-year-old cliché.

It happens in more years than just our second…. it happens in marriage, at work, at the grocery store.

So what does one do when caught in “that stage?”  In the land of endless battles and “no!?”

You love anyway, even and especially when you don’t want to.

Because we all get love when we don’t deserve it, and that’s probably when we need it most.  Seasons arise in our hearts where we play the role of Hosea’s wife and do unlovable things just to see if everyone leaves.

It’s our inner two year old.

So tonight after “no” number 174 and face smack number 2, when we were tucking Caedmon in for the punishment of an early bedtime, we didn’t chastise him or run him down.

There was correction, there was explanation of consequences… but mostly? We told him how much we loved him anyway.

All three of us gathered around his tiny bed, kissed his angry face and told him: “Hey, we love you even though you hit and hurt… we’re not going anywhere… but you need to call it a night, let’s do another day tomorrow.  

So here’s a story and a song and a thousand kisses, here’s grace and love and another reminder from the God who does it best that there’s nothing you can do to make us love you less.

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Day 9: Here is where I ask for Help

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Yesterday I sat there in her airy office, on the overstuffed yellow char, bringing her up to speed on my story and how I feel about it.

“And then she was hit by a train, and then she found him gone and then she took her life on the tracks… and here I am.”

I hate this part of getting acquainted, watching people’s faces when I lay it all out for them. I want to hug them and tell them how totally okay I am with it, but lately?  I’m not sure of that anymore.

That’s why yesterday I trudged through the gorgeous streets of downtown, past perfect shop windows, a street juggler and pigtailed children with frozen yogurt, past a gorgeous display of the good life and up the stairs to the office of a new therapist.

Why?  Because I need help with my junk.

I need perspective and guidance and I can’t do it alone.  As we approach the third anniversary of my mother’s death I’m starting to realize that I have survived a lot and I’m weary.  

I have spent the last ten years in a battle of survival and perseverance, in an attempt to overcome odds and live a healthy life.

And for some reason, all the baggage I thought I had neatly tucked away on shelves is falling down around me.  I thought I was okay, that I’d moved past it all, but moving home, driving over those train tracks again and again has brought things back to the surface.

I don’t want to survive this life anymore, I want to lose a thousand pounds of baggage and feel free to quiet the voices of anger, jealous sadness.

I want to love and thrive and feel lighter than I now, with all the bags cluttering the forefront of my mind.

So I’m going to therapy because the old mantra for living and writing and story telling doesn’t fit anymore.

“Journeying with those hurting, healing and choosing joy” was good for a while but can I be honest?  I’ve been a crappy joy-chooser of late… and I just don’t know anymore.

I think the new thing might be something like: Wavering Hope Ambassador.

Because I believe in hope, I want to inspire heavy hearts that it’s possible no matter what, but also…. sometimes I suck at it… and you need to know that.

So here is where I ask for help
Here is where I waver in hopes of something better
And here is still lovely, asking for help is brave and I hope that if you need help you will seek it out fiercely.

Our lives are worth fighting for and wavering is okay.

Here

I’m linking up with The Nester and writing on this topic for all #31days of October
I’ll keep this page updated every day as I move through what it means to be “here”

Day 8- Here is Minions and Chips

I recently finished a novel by Elin Hildenbrand which finished with a letter from a deceased woman. In it she detailed two different trips she’d taken to St John’s with her Husband, one when they were camping, penniless and one when they were flush, in a condo.

She said they were basically the same trip, because all they really cared about was being together. Hot dogs or shrimp, bikes or a jeep, together was the only part of the trip that mattered.

I want to adopt that lesson and set it free in my own life, because to be honest with you, I get hung up when the best laid plans don’t pan out.

I’m finicky and particular, I like things a certain way and I rarely relax… and it sucks.

I got a chance to apply this yesterday when we set out for a trip to the zoo only to find it closed. So, Kel improvised and took us to the cheap theater for and encore viewing of  Despicable me 2 followed by a mexican food dinner.

It wasn’t the picturesque, instargrammy, autumn walk in the zoo I was hoping for.
It wasn’t low fat or organic
It wasn’t budget friendly (my inner Dave Ramsey disapproved)
It didn’t hold up to my high ideals or parenting preferences.

But you know what? I allowed myself to be swept up in it and I had a really great time.

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I unburdened myself from the weight of all my lofty ideals and gave in to the language of minions and the saltiness of a second bowl of chips.

Because we were together, laughing and crunching and enjoying the blessing of time.

When here is where we’re together, I want contented sighs to soon follow… some of them even mine.

HereI’m linking up with The Nester and writing on this topic for all #31days of October
I’ll keep this page updated every day as I move through what it means to be “here”

Day 4- Bring Back Stuart

Dare to love yourself, right here.  today.

Hi, I Dare you to love yourself, right here. today.

Do you remember Stuart Smalley and how ridiculous we all thought he was back in the day?

If you’re too young or lived under a rock in the 90’s, Stuart Smalley was a character on SNL played by Al Franken who satirically and ridiculously modeled self help via a daily affirmation.  Youtube it.”

The quintessential line was: “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough… and doggone it, people like me.”

Psh, ridiculous right? Who needs to look in the mirror every day and pep themselves up before facing the world in a ridiculous cardigan?

Uh, I think I do.

Really.  I think I need to bring back Stuart Smalley because these days my thought life tends to be a bit of a mess.

When I look in the mirror, it’s more of a quick glance where I wrinkle my nose about chin zits, baggy eyes, and an annoying cowlick.  Also I hate on my chin, daily.

As I do my hair and think about how great everyone else is and I tell myself that someday I’ll be okay too.

I’ll be great when I lose 10 more lbs and get back into my pre-baby jeans.
I’ll be acceptable when I’m a legit published author.
Someday so and so will notice me and then I’ll feel so much better about myself
Next year we’ll have as much money as so and so.. then we’ll be happy.

Yes, I know.  My thought life is ridiculous.  It’s not easy going public with that.

The other day I sat on the porch crying for no good reason on earth other than that I needed a good cry.

I sobbed on the phone to Kel about how glum and generally inadequate I’ve been feeling lately.

“So many days I just don’t like myself very much” I told Kel.
“I don’t know why baby, you’re pretty wonderful.  Everyone sees it but you.” He replied.

Because. He’s. Awesome.

So this morning I tried something new.  It felt stupid and totally Stuart Smalley at the time.

When I got up, before I did my hair or makeup or changed out of my paint stained t-shirt I looked in the mirror and said: “Hi, I like you right here, just as you are today.” Continue reading