By Dr. Perry, PhD “Toxic people attach themselves like cinder blocks tied to your ankles, and then invite you for a swim in their poisoned waters.” ~John Mark Green I would like to share with you an acronym that I created for my patients who are dealing with the effects of a toxic relationship. This acronym […]
Do any of my fellow bloggers use Pinterest for business? If so, please share tips and advice!
For my social media project I had to sign my blog up for a pinterest business account and I have spent hours trying to figure out the new language of pinning. Ugh. Please help me.
Yesterday when we were at the library, my teenage daughter asked me to play a game with her. I reflexively answered no, because I was too engrossed in my newfound love of learning and I didn’t like the game anyways. I was hot and sweaty, and cranky about the noise level of the library. Remember the days when libraries were quiet and people were reverent about the shelves of books surrounding them, and respectful of those who wanted to read? I miss those days. I’ll save my rants for another post.
I soon left, preferring to be in the quiet of my own townhouse so I could study. Before I even got there, I was mentally kicking myself. As soon as my daughter arrived home, I profusely apologized over not wanting to interact with her. Until recently, I had done a great job of keeping things in perspective. Everything about my life revolved around my kids. And then I discovered a career that I love.
I always judged parents who valued their career over their children. As my dad was dying with cancer, he revealed that his biggest regret was choosing career over family for his entire life. He had multiple doctorates, and multiple failed marriages. Strained relationships with his daughters. I vowed not to ever have that regret.
And then I found myself declining to interact with my children. It crept in sneakily, it didn’t happen overnight. And it changes right now. Today, after my eight year old’s psychiatry appointment, we are going as a family to the library and I will play whatever game my teenager asks me to play. Time with children is so short. They are grown before you know it. My son will already be fifteen next month. He wants to go to college out of state. I need to reprioritize and enjoy them while I can. I won’t lose my writing gift, creativity, or knowledge if I do other things throughout the day. The whole point of my staying home this summer was to enjoy being with my children. I momentarily lost sight of that fact. I won’t lose sight of it again.
There’s no doubt about it. Mad Men is a must-watch TV show if you are a creative individual. Don Draper is the most creative alpha male on TV. Well, some might say Harvey Specter is pretty ingenious too, but… Don is something else. Dark and moody and mysterious, but also a genius when it comes […]
I am finally learning to relax. When school first started, I was frantically studying 14 hours a day, trying to learn the vocabulary of a new career path. I would snap at my children when they tried to talk to me, and finally my son basically told me to chill out. He is difficult to irritate, so when he snaps I know it’s time to make changes.
All of a sudden, about a month after the summer session started, school became easy. I’m still not sure why. I felt uncomfortable with my newfound free time and lack of sleepless nights; adrift. This was how I felt immediately after quitting my job as well.
Included in The 6 things I have learned so far is not having to run my household with military precision. It’s okay to lounge around, stay up past our bedtimes, and in general not have a plan for our day. This is a revelation, and I’m sure my children are glad I started thinking this way. We are able to relax and enjoy our summer. And wow, time flies when I’m being lazy. I still get my school work done, but not in the frantic, my life is going to end if I step away from this computer sort of manner. It’s a welcome change of pace.
In my other blog, I posted yesterday about how I was feeling blah, and wasn’t sure why. The heat definitely had something to do with it, but I knew there was more going on. I only achieve that level of lethargy when there’s some huge life change that’s about to happen. And then I figured out what it was, as I lay in bed watching Netflix and sleeping.
My day wasn’t a total waste. I dragged myself downstairs to cook and clean for the kids at mealtime, but other than that, I basically just lounged around reading.
I have been spending more time reading grammar books and books about how to read poetry than I have on my actual school work. Something huge is happening. I am having more fun playing with words and analyzing words, rather than just letting them arrange themselves however they want. I am discovering the beauty of literature, and the genius of poetry. More about this can be found at Yet another life change? , my post from this morning in my school blog.
Today, I woke up at 5am, went for a walk in the cool of the morning, enjoying the sunrise, and then got to work. I have energy in spades once more. My daughters and I even baked a cake and rearranged all of the living room furniture. I dug out my dad’s book of poetry from the bin in the basement, and even opened it. What I was subconsciously fighting this whole time, with my adamant statements of “I don’t do poetry” was confronting this piece of the past. My dad has been gone for 11 years now, and it is bittersweet to even look at his printed name on the cover of the book. Oh, how I wish I could talk to him right now.
My mind is made up to apply to the Syracuse University graduate school program in poetry this fall, as well as apply to Lindenwood University for the Creative Nonfiction MFA program, as was my original plan. My lack of energy yesterday was the result of my inner battle with myself over what kind of writing career I really want to have. I was so determined to do memoir, yet the mathematics and analytics of poetry are calling to me. At least poetry can be about things other than myself, there is a wider range of options. And now my energy has returned, since I accepted that I will possibly continue having these mini midlife crises on a regular basis. At least it means I am still growing.
My anxiety disorder ramps up when I don’t have enough to do. Six essays and two stories due this week? No problem. I thrive under stress. This week is a slow week with my school work. So I found myself looking at my basement walls in my rented townhouse, debating on whether I was looking at black mold or just dirt.
After making four trips to the dumpster at 7am, and using an entire bottle of bleach on the floors and walls of the basement, I realized how dirty the rest of the house is. Hello, new project for the day.
As I was scrubbing the railings of our staircase, and smelling the chlorine from the bottle of bleach, I randomly thought about how I used to look down on stay at home moms who had a messy house. Of course, most of this was jealousy, as I worked a job that I hated and was hardly ever home. I prided myself on being supermom; paying the bills, cooking meals, cleaning, taking the girls to karate, the whole nine yards. I was also sick most of the time and exhausted. Definitely bitter and miserable. So I judged everyone who “had it better” than I did.
Now, after only being home for three months, I know that being a stay at home mom is not all fun and games. And yes, the house gets messy and dirty faster than I can clean it. I like myself and my life enough to let myself relax now and enjoy being with the girls. I’m still healthier than I have been in years, and I’m pretty sure it is just dirt and not black mold down there. At least my basement doesn’t smell like a damp storm cellar anymore, it smells like we have a giant pool down there.