Week 2: Don’t drink.

It’s been a week.

My FIL has been in the hospital all week.  I’ve been worried about him and worried about Hubby.  My in-laws are also my childcare providers 4 days a week which means we’ve been scrambling to make things work.  Hubby has stayed home.  I’ve stayed home.  My mother took LD an extra day.  LD is teething and also not feeling well and probably misses his grandparents, so he hasn’t been in the best mood though he has actually been really good but terribly whiny.  I had to have my blood drawn yesterday, an appointment that I finally made it to on the third try.  Then this morning I got the stomach bug that has been making its way around work.  Add to that the work stress.  Our building is currently getting some updates that has the whole place in a state of ordered chaos and has made my department way more popular than usual.  Since I had to take yesterday off to be with LD, I’ve pretty much sat at my desk and tried not to puke all day while helping a large volume of people.

So, it’s time to confess.  I smoked this week, though less than usual.  And I drank this week.

Here’s the thing about drinking: I like to do it.  I like to get a little drunk with Hubby and listen to music or play games or just talk about all kinds of things.  I like taking that step out of the norm.  I like that it makes stupid things funny.  I like that it gives me a break.

I don’t like feeling like shit the next day.  I don’t like how old it is making me.  I don’t like how fat it is making me.  I don’t like that I know that it’s kind of becoming a problem.  Or, really, it already is a problem.

Ideal:  Two weeks to completely dry out.  Bonus:  Won’t smoke if I don’t drink.

Proposed: No drinking on school nights.  A Friday and Saturday activity only.

I know that this is going easy on myself but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.  Sometimes life is hard and you have to go easy on yourself.  Nobody else is going to give you a break.

Also, maybe spend some time thinking about what I mean when I say drinking gives me a break…


The Make Up Week

Last Sunday I was folding laundry and listening to a podcast.  The podcaster was talking about makeup, makeup companies, and makeup celebrities.  And it got something rolling around in my head that had been back there for a while.

Why do we wear makeup?

Okay, so…  When it was time to go back to work after my maternity leave, I promised myself that I wouldn’t be that mom.  You know her.  She shows up to work late every day and tells people about how she just doesn’t have time to do her makeup anymore, that she’s lucky if she gets a shower.  I had heard this a lot over the years and I wasn’t judging these women as much as arguing that I deserved that time.

Does that make sense?  Look, being a mom doesn’t mean that I am not a person.  I have needs and I spend a lot of time trying to balance these needs and squeeze them into my life.  So every morning that I work, I get up at 5:45, work out, shower, and do my makeup.  I do my hair just as often as I used to, which is about 50% of the time.  Though, in all fairness, I was blessed with the straightest hair on earth and you can’t tell I’ve curled it five minutes after I leave the house.  Sometimes LD sleeps until 6:30 and I have time to myself to do these things.  Sometimes, like the past two weeks, he gets up when I do and I have to keep him happy while I workout, wrangle him into his saucer with a snack while I shower, and do my makeup with my right leg in front of the cupboard, my left leg on the toilet, and my caboodle on the precarious sink edge.

Why do we wear makeup?  For the past couple of years, makeup has felt like a way to tell the world that I have my shit together.  It’s part of the front that I put up.  But, honestly, I wear so little that I don’t think people even notice.  “Haha!  I’ve fooled them!” I say.  But, really…  Why does wearing makeup mean you have your shit together?  It doesn’t.  It’s not natural and, let’s face it, it’s hiding a multitude of lifestyle sins.  So, is it for men?  No, I say.  In fact, Hubby doesn’t like me to wear makeup.  Then: am I not wearing makeup to make him happy?

Today is the last day of my makeup free workweek and I CANNOT WAIT to wear makeup next week.  While I’ve never spent much time on makeup, I was spending stress on makeup.  That complicated position to apply it, that was built around keeping the baby out of the cupboards and toilet and caboodle.  And it’s hard and he gets upset and then I get upset and I end up very stressed.  I did feel like my mornings went smoother without it but I feel better all day when I wear it.

I had to try it for me and I’m glad I did.

Week 1: Quit Smoking

Alright, I know that it takes more than a week to quit smoking so don’t get all wild and crazy on me.  What I’m saying is that this week, Wednesday to Wednesday, I am going to focus on having not one cigarette.

Because I quit on Saturday.

And promptly cheated on Tuesday.

The thing about Tuesdays is that I hate them.  Honestly, I don’t know why anymore.  It’s residual hatred.  At my previous job, Tuesday was the day that tended to drag on.  I had a story time in the morning that somehow always managed to be a disaster.  Then I had to drive across the county sometimes for another story time in the afternoon or I had a long stretch of afternoon spent in my office, a windowless storage closet that I spent endless hours cleaning because it was a constant dumping ground for other people’s shit.  Usually I was ready for a drink by the time that I got out of my first story time.  Before Hubby moved in with me, I spent Tuesday nights at his apartment.  Hubby and I like good beer and he was always willing to imbibe with me.  When he moved in, it was normal for us to spend cold Tuesdays playing cards and drinking in the basement and warm ones drinking on the front porch.  It was just a long day at work that kind of turned into a pattern and it’s proven to be a difficult pattern to break.

Which takes us to last night.

I had a good day at work.  I was nice to everyone and happy to see everyone.  I got a lot done.  Like, A LOT.  But I do tend to get a little twitchy and impatient toward the end of the day.  By the time my replacement got in, I was more than ready to go.  Then I had to stop at the store and Hubby called to ask the dreaded dinner question.  I fell into a time hole at the store.  Usually I only need stuff on the grocery side but I needed soap and office supplies and cleaning products and meat and baby stuff.  I was all over the store.  I had a hard time with the self checkout.  Traffic was thick when I got out.  Little Dude ran his grandmother ragged and was cranky when I picked him up.  I hit his head on the car trying to get him in his seat.  Finally home, exhausted and starving, I carried in Little Dude, then my work bags, then the groceries.  Little Dude was still cranky, whining while he tore apart the kitchen.  Hubby was showing me things on his phone while I tried to put away groceries.  Nobody made any moves to help me (I didn’t ask) and nobody made any moves to make dinner (I didn’t ask).

By the time Little Dude was down, I just wanted some wine and a cigarette and, by golly, I was going to have them.  Hubby was glad to oblige.

All it took was a little over stimulation to weaken my will.

The thing about hating Tuesdays is that Wednesdays are usually a little rough.  And when Wednesdays are a little rough, I tend to get a little introspective.  Today I thought, “This is it.  I want to be healthier.  I want to be happier.  I want to make some actual changes and I want to make them stick.”

I opened a pad of paper and made a list.  Right there at the top:  Quit Smoking.

So, here I am.  One week.  Hopefully it will turn into two and then three and just keep going but for right now I have one week to work on not smoking.  Here goes nothing.

I am feeling a lot like I could use a little bit of sparkle.  I need some self help.  I need some pseudo psychology.  I need some life coaching.

I’ve been thinking that, like a cake that’s gone flat, all of the ingredients are there but my life is, well, flat.

I’m just a robot running the same program every day and not getting anywhere.

I want to get somewhere.

I want to get happy.

Adventures in Maternity Leave

I have an exciting day planned today.

This morning my mother will be coming over to babysit and I will be going to town.  I’m going to get some groceries and maybe make a quick stop at the Goodwill.  I might even swing into WalMart and buy a wrap to carry the baby.  We’ll see how I feel.  I am looking forward to going into town, even as my list grows and grows.  I need gas and Hubby wants me to pick up his prescription.  I want groceries and I’d like something new to wear, as I’m working on getting a new wardrobe going for work.

It will be a nice break that isn’t a break at all. Ha ha.

LM had his one month wellness visit yesterday and everything is good.  He’s a little on the small side but nothing to be concerned about.  He is a little guy, you know, and now I’m going to worry that he’s too little and that he’s not growing enough and not getting enough of what he needs.  I suppose that I’ll always be worried about it.  That’s being a mom.

And, the baby calls.  I hope you have a good day too and get to have even a lame adventure!

Over a decade ago, I used to work with a boy who I was in love with.  We were, in fact, in love with each other.  We made each other mix tapes.  We read each other’s books.  We e-mailed almost every day.  We went for long walks.  We talked about deep things.

One of the deep things that he told me was about robots.  We were discussing whether or not we existed one day and I made some feeble argument, something along the lines of “I think therefore I am” but a lot more wishy washy, I’m sure.  He told me about robots and AI and how the way that they programmed things to seem human was layering reaction on top of reaction.  If something so simple could make AI seem human, how could we be sure that we weren’t just programmed?

I’ve been thinking about this conversation today.  Here I am on my longest staycation ever and, yes, there are things that need to be done but for the most part my only real job is making sure that LM survives.  Feeding and changing and loving don’t take up alllllll of my time.  And so I have filled it with a program, a list and rules and schedules, until I have driven myself mad.

I told myself to chill today and I did.  It was a great day.  Only when I woke up from an accidental two hour nap I felt the need to rush rush rush and complete my program.  I had to remind myself, just now, to chill.

I am not a robot.

Little Things

Sometimes I forget how much joy is wrapped up in the little things in life.  I forget that sometimes just holding my son and sitting on the couch is enough to make my day brighter.  I forget that it is worth it to get out that pitcher and glass that I bought years ago because I loved them but actually haven’t used yet.

I used to play a game where I would stop periodically throughout the day and ask myself, “What little thing could I do to make this better?”  Sometimes it was during a boring task at work and I would realize that I could turn on a podcast and not be so bored.  But just as often it happened when I was having a good day and enjoying myself.  I might realize that a $1 tea from McDonalds would make it even better or that I wanted to listen to some ELO and sing along ridiculously.

I’m writing on my back deck right now.  I haven’t spent much time out here yet except to smoke or hand Hubby something while he grills.  My next two things on my to do list (blogging and writing) were things that I could easily do out here.  I went downstairs and got my beach chair and brought it up.  Now I’ll sit out here throughout the days and remember why it is that I wanted a deck to begin with.

The little things can make a big difference.  Choose joy.