Posts Tagged With: love

how we got from a duck in an Elvis wig to our top five favorite animated movies

In our group chat today, Thing 2 said her good morning by way of her bitmoji riding a mallard duck. The duck was wearing a wig…?
This devolved into us being as ridiculous as only we can.
Thing 1: Why does the duck have Elvis hair?
Me: I mean, why not?
Thing 1: ……because it’s a duck?
Thing 2: We don’t ask the duck questions, we simply ride it and share a morning greeting.
Thing 1: All hail the duck hair?

It only got more ridiculous…but I’ll spare you…
And at some point I quoted Tulio and Miguel, and we talked about how much we love that movie.
Then an idea hatched!

What are your top five favorite animated films (in order)?

Thing 1:

She literally wore out our VHS of The Lion King. She said, “I wanna watch Simba-Nala.”
Her list came quicker than I expected.

Thing 2 came up with a list but didn’t realize she had to rank them so she asked for a moment.
Thing 2:

I forgot how much she loved The Black Cauldron. I always thought it was scary.
She said: It’s funny, I know I used to love it but when I got older and finally saw Lord of the Rings I grew to appreciate it so much more.

Thing 1 saw her sister’s list and had some second thoughts.
She said: I feel like my top five is on point, but I could easily do a top 25.

I suggested a top ten, but that’ll take more thought.

(So, in case you’re still interested…if ever you actually were…)
This is my top five favorite animated films in order.

The Road to El Dorado

(the only non-Disney film on the list)
I consider this movie absolute perfection.
The characters.
The melding of the historical and mystical.
The cast.
The one liners.
The absolute sass!
At it’s root it’s a story about enduring friendship.
I quote this movie at least once a week.

Hercules

I love for this movie is legendary.
I’ve always loved myths.
I absolutely adore gospel music.
Hades is a villain I love to hate.
The unique animation style.
The songs.
I probably quote this movie every day.
My favorite line: For a true hero is not measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.
I mean, COME ON!

The Emperor’s New Groove

There are so many things I say because of this movie.
The cast is everything. From David Spade’s snark and John Goodman’s warmth, to Eartha Kitt’s operatic diva-ness and Patrick Warburton’s straight delivery. These people make this movie!
It’s a story of a spoiled king who learns what’s really important.
It’s a buddy movie. With one of Disney’s all time best villains, and her interesting sidekick.
What’s his name? Kuzco.

Brave

Y’all know I have mother issues.
This movie rang so true inside me.
Merida just wants to do what feels natural to her, to have the right to discover who she wants to become without constraints and unrelenting expectations. I feel that on the deepest level. She wants to decide her path, not have it laid out before her.
And her hair! I mean, come on!

Moana

Another film that is absolute perfection.
The story is powerful.
The characters are exceptional.
A coming of age story, but so much more.
And having Lin-Manuel Miranda do the songs didn’t hurt.
Maui knew what was up when he sang You’re Welcome, this movie is a beautiful gift!

Rounding out my top ten, we have:

Enchanted

Part animated part live action…but I’m including it.
I love the song That’s How You Know.
My favorite thing about this movie is that the girl grabs a sword and slays the dragon to rescues the prince.
How’s that for teaching Morgan serious Girl Power!?

Lilo and Stitch

A peanut butter eating fish.
A big sister doing everything possible to keep her family together.
All that Elvis!
“Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.”
What more is there?

Monsters Inc

I love the characters.
I love the story.
I love that kindness and humor are actually what makes the world go ’round.
Put that thing back where it came from or so help me. So help me!

Meet the Robinsons

Sometimes the best families are chosen.
The idea that everything you need is already inside of you.
Failure is powerfully important in the learning process.
Keep moving forward.
Even when Franny is wrong, she’s always right.

Aristocats

Everybody wants to be a cat because the cat’s the only cat who knows where it’s at.

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I wanted to share the stories

Tuesday last I went to the PO to send out all the photos I sorted for my friends and family.
I sent five large first class envelopes, three bigger priority mail padded envelopes, and one big priority mail box.

The first text came from my cousin Chris at 11:32 Thursday morning.

Bless you Robyn! Bless you. Just got the pics you sent me. Brought some much needed happiness, and a tear to my eye. Love you.

The second text came the same day at 5:02 from his sister.

I got the pictures. Thank you so much. Perfect timing Chris is coming over tomorrow.

The third text I got was from Sally at 5:11 Thursday afternoon.

Who are the other two folks?

I got Nicole’s text at 3:24 on Saturday.

We are loving all the pics! Thank you!

At 5:40 this came from Kristen. She taught second grade to both my girls. When Thing 2 was in her class, she had her first child. We saw them frequently. With the aid of social media we stayed in touch all these years, and she was here to celebrate with us last summer at the party for Baby K!

What a surprise!!!! Thank you!!!

He’s checking himself out (heart emoji)

I heard from Becca later Saturday evening at 8:18.

OMG!!!! Loved it!!! Thank you (with a bunch of smiley heart emojis)

Sundance got quarantined away from home, so her package is at her house waiting for her.

And the big box was delivered to the Things father, but I haven’t heard anything. I mean, not that I expected to. But I keep thinking, now I regret being kind to you.

Thing 1 said, “Momma, never regret being kind.” and she’s right.
None of these packages were about me. About the response I got for sending them.

I sent photos to my friends and family because I wanted to share the stories.
Their kids were babies in some of these photos. The stories of their whole young lives caught in these images. I wanted to share those stories, those memories with their families.
I absolutely adored going through these photos. The stories they told came back in vivid detail. Jogging my memory of other stories. I spent a few days reliving my daughters young lives. It was a sacred place to be.
It was also bittersweet. This part of our lives is past. And dwelling too long there would be less precious and more painful with every passing moment.
The time I spent revisiting my life, the lives of the people I love was a beautiful gift. I’ve sent off photos to my friends and family so they can revisit their own journeys. I find myself ready to once again look forward.

I’m pleased to be finished with that portion of the process. I look forward to the time when I can be with each of my girls and go through their boxes of photos. Sharing memories, stories, laughter, and maybe even tears.
In the meantime, I have the last two boxes. These are more photos from my past. Some of me as a child. Some from the collections of my parents and grandparents.
They feel less fun to me. Though, I remain hopeful that I’ll find pics that tell a story I don’t remember. Or one the girls don’t know so I can share with them.

I do still have a box of photo CDs to add to one of those external hard drives. Though, I’m not in a big hurry to get after that. I need a break from my life as a young mother. I don’t want to feel that bittersweet feeling. That pull of the past.

Those CDs will be there. Sitting in that box. Waiting patiently until I’m ready.

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the little things

I face timed with Sally and her family on Tuesday.
So many kisses blown!

I had the worst headache I’ve had in nearly two years on Wednesday.
Waves of pain so great they caused involuntary tears.
Lying down with my magnet mask saved the day!

I saw Thing 2’s relief money was in her account Thursday morning.
Replenished savings FTW!

I talked with Jessica Thursday morning.
That love is real!

I saw Holly in the afternoon on Thursday!
She stood in my yard and I stood on my porch. We exchanged a bottle of olive oil and a ten dollar (founding father without a father)

I went to the acupuncturist yesterday. Had my treatment and picked up my Chinese herbs.
Listened to the Hamilton soundtrack on the way home.
I can’t tell you how much better I feel!

I talked to Thing 1 while I was in the car on the way to Falls Church.
Husband N said, “Love you, Birdie!” and I heard Baby K giggling!

I read the 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle this week.
Am still reeling!

I swung by Bards Alley Bookshop.
My (prepaid) book was in a basket on their patio waiting for me to come pick it up!

Watched Lego Masters finale off the DVR last night.
The team I love most didn’t win.
The team that started out with the most trouble ended in the final three!

I woke this morning to hot coffee and gooey cinnamon rolls.
YBW is the best!

I’m picking up shampoo and conditioner at the hair salon today.
Prepaid and waiting in a bag for me at the door.
Healthy clean hair!

So much rain this week.
But, much less pollen!

The sun just came out from behind the clouds!

These are the little every day joys from my week.
It really is the little things, y’all!

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ready for porch life

Ever notice how everything is straight chaos while you’re trying to organize?
YBW and I spent the majority of Saturday on the porch. Bringing out the rugs, furniture, and cushion storage containers. Putting together new outdoor dining furniture.

The breeze was chilly, but it was warm in the sun. You can see the abandoned hoodie on the chair.
We moved all that cardboard to a sunny spot in the yard and asked Thing G to come out and break it down.
Because the winter was rather mild, most of the herbs are coming back. I need to get more basil and lavender, but all the peppermint, cat nip, thyme, and lemon balm is growing like gangbusters! (In case you’re wondering, yes, these herbs do help deter mosquitos.)

We rearranged a few times before we got it right, but were pleased with where we landed.
So much so that we made cocktails and a late lunch/early dinner about four o’clock and ate at our new table on the porch!

We went over to the construction site Sunday morning and walked around in the townhouse unit that’s like ours will be. YBW spent time looking at where to put some sort of chase in which to connect future solar panels on the roof with the electrical system. I was all about furniture placement.
We had our cameras with us and planned to visit a park and walking trails, just to get out of the house. But as we were leaving the new houses, it began to rain. No sense walking around the park in the rain, so we headed home. We drove right out of the rain in one county and into a warm sunny day in the next.

I picked up Meredith’s book and plopped myself on the porch all afternoon until it got windy and rainy and I had to come inside.

The maple tree helicopters are flying about. The oak trees haven’t yet dropped their weird little wormy-pollen-things. I’m waiting to set up the fountain until after that mess. I missed the water sounds as I sat out there, but I’ll be patient, I hate cleaning oak tree pollen out of the fountain.
I’m ready for porch life, y’all!

Of course it’s pouring and windy with mad storms on this Monday morning.
But I’ll be patient because I’ve got all spring…and summer…and fall to spend on that porch. And when the world opens back up, I’ll invite loads of folks to share in my porch life!

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knowing and telling of stories

In case you were wondering the status of the great and arduous process, here’s an update.
This is what It looked like when I finished through 2002.

Each of those boxes was chock full of photos.
I finished the preliminary sort and purge, and returned to those boxes only the photos about which I wanted to share stories. Or photos I wanted the girls to be able to decide what to keep and what to purge.
There are five finished boxes, in those boxes, I sorted the pictures into the following categories.
Thing 1 only
Thing 2 only
the Things together
me
Mommie, Daddie, and Grandaddy (yeah, all in one box, but I only had five)

Of course then I had to bring the rest of the boxes upstairs.

At this point, I’ve gotten through 2004. I haven’t looked at photos since Saturday last. I needed a break this week.
As I sort, if it’s for one of my girls, I write the year and who’s in the pic on the back. First and last names and where the photo was taken if I know. That’s to help jog their memories.

In addition to sorting out photos for the girls, I’m setting some aside to be sent to other people. My intent is to box these up and put them in the mail just as soon as I finish the initial sort and purge. I’m only writing the date on the backs of these.

From left to right, these stacks will be sent to the following people:
Becca
Nicole
the next two are for my cousins
Brooke
Sundance
Sally
the Things father

Grandaddy was on each of these ships.
Either in WWII or Korea.
With a teeny bit of research, I was able to verify which ship was which and label accordingly.
This Golden Dragon thing was kind of cool, I just wish I knew more about it.

I have all his Navy information in a container in the basement. I’m hoping to connect each ship with his time on it, as well as locate his ribbons, dog tags, etc. and compile all that information in one place. For what purpose? Well, in the meantime, just for me. If at some point Thing 2 wants it, yay!, if not, equally yay!, it’s her choice.

It’s interesting to learn more about the man who raised me. He never talked about himself, or his life. As far as we knew, he didn’t exist until the day I was born. He was simply Grandaddy. My mom didn’t talk about his life either, or her own. I grew up knowing practically nothing about the people who raised me.
I tried to do that differently when I became a mom.
I want those girls to know who I am and why. That in addition to being their Momma, I’m a girl. A human being with thoughts and feels and plans and dreams and a sense of humor and flaws. And love.
Knowing and telling each other’s stories is so important!

I’m planning to go back to the photos this coming week.
But today, YBW and I are going to set up the porch! After his cleaning and protective sealing of the porch a couple weeks ago, I purposely waited. I wanted to let the pollening happen before we set it up for porch life. But I’m tired of waiting! I’m looking at the oak trees and realize I simply don’t have the patience to outlast them.
We’re going to set up rugs and furniture and umbrellas today.
Then I’ll be able to go out and porch life whenever I please!

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the disconnect

I see photos of big urban cities with empty streets.
I understand the significance.
I understand the power of these images.
I understand how impactful it is to the city, to the world, but mostly to the people who live there.

I live at the end of a cul de sac at the back of a suburban neighborhood. Unless kids are out on their bikes, it’s mostly quiet. And this is when the world was normal.
What’s so strange to me is that even in this time in which we’re all staying put, it’s not that much different here.
We live in a place that doesn’t wear the impact of covid-induced self quarantine on it’s sleeve.

It’s a real disconnect.
Life looks pretty much the same.
It’s only in the going about suburban living that I see how different everything actually is.
But there’s the rub. I’m not supposed to be going out.

I find it so strange.
I watch the news.
I see social media.
I talk with friends and family.
What’s going on in the world is something I’m acutely aware of.
But I don’t see the evidence, you know?
My street doesn’t look any different.

Maybe that’s just suburban life.
The quiet cul de sac exists for just this reason.
To lull you into a sense of safety and comfort.

I am so fucking tired of hearing lawn mowers.

These thoughts aren’t fully hatched, so I may not be making sense trying to express them.
But I understand what I feel.
And it looks like this.

There’s a whole lotta WTF? going on.
I have access to information, but don’t actually bear witness.
I’m being impacted by the same things as the rest of the world, only it doesn’t actually look that way…?
Am I grateful to be affected, but not have to see?
Does it make it more or less real to me?
I’m truthfully not sure where I’m going with this, I just know it means something.
Perhaps I should wait for my thoughts to fully hatch before writing them down?

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each story is different

Thing 2’s restaurant closed and she’s without income.
She saved money, but during this time of no income, she’s had to dip into her savings. She needed groceries and vodka, she ordered some carry out, she bought loo paper and deodorant. You know, things we all need.

Before the world went sideways, she and two friends began looking at houses for rent planning to move in June.
Of course being out of work means no money coming in, and dipping into her savings means there’s less savings for deposits and pet fees and the like.

She was having trouble with the unemployment website and expressed her concerns. She had exhausted all her options and no matter how many times she tried, she got stopped at a certain point in the process. The error message was that her social security number was invalid. She said to me, “I don’t exist.”
Saturday afternoon, YBW and I did a bit of research and got on the phone with her. Together, the three of us were able to figure out how to get past that point. Turns out it had nothing to do with her ssn and everything to do with the reason for seeking unemployment benefits. Once she got past that hurdle, everything seemed OK.
Now she waits.
She’s applying for jobs.
Literally all the jobs. From grocery store cashier to the person who assembles the device that lowers coffins into graves.

YBW and I have each said however much it sucks, we’re so pleased she lives at her dad’s and doesn’t have to worry about paying to live with no income.
She appreciates having a roof over her head that she’s not financially responsible for. She understand some people aren’t as fortunate as she is.
I don’t write this as a comparison to another’s experience, I’m simply telling her story.

As much as Thing 2 desires and honestly needs to get out of her father’s house, the timing couldn’t be worse.
Her friends with whom she’s moving are both still working. Still earning money, still padding their savings.
Thing 2 said she doesn’t want to ‘get left behind’. She wants to figure a way to make this work.
I offered to help her financially, emotionally, etc.
I know I can only help her so much. I know she has to do things for herself.

It’s hard to watch her work so hard and be thwarted by circumstances beyond her control.
She’s talking about school. More seriously than she ever has before.
She wants to study funeral services. This is something she’s been talking about rather seriously for about two years.
She and I did some research and traded links in emails all afternoon Saturday.
She has anxiety about the financial aspect of going to school.
I can’t alleviate all that anxiety, but I can help.

She finally decided to get her mental and physical health in order. She finally decided to get her living arrangements in order. She’s doing some seriously hard work.
Sometimes hard work looks like one step forward, two steps back.
This looks a bit more like one step forward, five steps back.
She’s looking for work.
She’s applied for unemployment.
She’s hopeful money from the government will help.

We were talking about the differences between what’s going on here and what’s going on in Canada and I said I read that the checks from the US government are essentially tax credits meant to offset 2020 federal income taxes.

Sunday morning she sent this in the group chat.

You can see that Thing 1 has some pretty strong opinions about this.

The Things and I talked about how things work in our country. We talked about each other. We talked about the state of the world.

It seems to me we’re all so good at seeing things from our own point of view, especially now when we’re staying put more than ever before. But I find it helpful to experience things from other points of view. I like understanding what other people think and feel. Asking questions, getting answers, learning opinions.
I know so many of us are blogging about it.
I asked and received Thing 2’s consent to write about this.

Every story is different.
We each go through this in our own way.
Sharing our experiences helps everyone.
This is our life.

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the responsibility of farmers and pigs

It’s YBW’s week back to work and he went in today to get a jump start. I’m not sure when but he was gone when I woke at 8:25.
I showered and got dressed and went downstairs.
Out the front door sidelights I saw the front yard, and thought, Damn, we didn’t tell the kid to mow the lawn.
I went into the kitchen and got excited when I saw a piece of paper at his place at the table.
(I got excited! YBW asked him to mow, so I wouldn’t have to. The kid often behaves as though what I say doesn’t always apply to him.)

Then I read the note.

Thing G,
Comb your hair before you go to work.
–Dad

And I was hit with the full force of the truth.

The reason the kid doesn’t think about anything but himself is because he’s not encouraged to.
He takes no responsibility as a human being and member of this household because he isn’t expected to.

We’re in tricky treacherous territory now. Because this is when it becomes personal for YBW. This is when he hears me say he’s a failure as a father.
Only, I’m not saying that.
I think he’s a kind and loving father. In fact, it’s one of the things I’ve always loved most about him. He’s even kind and loving to my children, not because he has to, but because he can.
I don’t think he’s failed as a father. I think he’s raised his children exactly the way he was raised.
How can that be a fail?
He has taken care of them with all the love and kindness he possesses.

Taken care of them to such a degree that one doesn’t have to worry about helping maintain his household.
Taken care of them to such a degree that one doesn’t even have to worry about helping himself.

Thing G will be twenty years old in forty-three days. He is so well loved and taken care of he doesn’t even need to remember to comb his own hair.

My husband was raised by a stay at home mother who literally did everything for the household.
Since the divorce of their parents, YBW’s sons were raised by a full time working father who did everything for the household.
He parented the way he was parented.
His love is evident in that he did everything for his children.

How is this a fail?
My husband isn’t a failure as a dad.
He love his children.
He takes good care of them.

He is responsible for them. Well, one of them anyway.
He bears all the responsibility for Thing G.
We talk often of transferring the responsibility from the father to the son.
I still haven’t figured out if it’s that YBW doesn’t know how, or if he doesn’t want to.
He talks about how he wants the kid to be educated or have a job and be able to ‘be in his own place’ and be responsible for his own life.
Simply put, the kid lacks the skills.
The kid lacks the skills because he’s still being told to comb his hair.
But not to mow the lawn.
Not to participate as a member of this household.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know what that actually means.
Is is mixed messages?
Is it lack of effort on any or all parties?
Is it the never ending excuse of his diagnosis?
I legit don’t know.

What I do know is that there is an adult in this household that doesn’t participate in the day to day goings on.
Does it come down to expectations?
Does the kid meets the expectations presented to him…?
If this is what YBW expects from his son, and his son meets these expectations perfectly, then I am the one with misguided expectations.

At minimum, I expect adult members of a household carry their own weight. Ideally, to participate in the day to day operations to help things run smoothly.
I expect adults to know they’re supposed to comb their hair without being told.
I expect adults to know their responsibilities and to execute them without being told.
I expect adults to be respectful when they need to be reminded of their responsibilities.
There are thousands upon thousands of responsible non-neurotypical humans on this planet.
I’m past the point of being willing to teach.
It’s not my job.
I refuse to take on the responsibility of someone who won’t be responsible for himself.

There is nothing healthy about this situation.
Not for me.
Not for YBW.
Not for the kid.

I’m so tired, y’all.
Tired of living in a situation I didn’t create.
Tired of watching the toll it takes on the man I love.
Tired of watching the kid waste his life.
Tired of feeling helpless and hopeless in what’s supposed to be my home.

I worked so hard to accept what I can’t change. And I even went so far as planning to accept that change may never come.
There is a common expression, but I like Thing 2’s version,’Not my pig. Not my farm.’
It’s easy to say that.
Thing G is not my pig and this is not my farm. However, when I joined my life with YBW I willingly took some responsibility for that pig and this farm.
My question is when does the responsibility shift from the farmer to the pig?
Can I accept that day may never come?

At this stage of the game, these constant reminders to do things for which you’re responsible should not exist.
But that’s the thing, right?
He’s not actually responsible for anything.
Not unloading the dishwasher.
Not mowing the lawn.
Not even combing his own hair.
How can one be expected to be a responsible member of a household, or be responsible to create one’s own household if they’re not actually expected to be responsible?

Y’all I don’t know the answer to any of these questions.
I truly need to learn to stop asking.
It would take the pressure off my husband.
It would make my life so much simpler.
And if I’m not entirely comfortable in life, the least I can do is simplify it.

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how do you choose to cope

Yesterday YBW was standing at the kitchen sink washing out the coffee pot and he said, “I thought this would last two weeks and it would be over. I need to get into a routine like you.”

I think he’s realizing how unprepared we all were for the situation in which we find ourselves. In the beginning he likened it to being snowed in, we hunker down, stay put for a few days, then life resumes its normal pace.
Let me be clear. I am not saying he doesn’t take it seriously, he is acutely aware of the seriousness of this time of extended self quarantine.
It’s more like I’m in ECE mode and documenting his development. I am watching what he’s actively learning through his immediate and authentic experience. I see how he adapts based upon what he’s learning.

He saw me up, showered and dressed and going about the things. It seemed to me he realized the importance of these behaviors. I see he’s realizing how simple it is to stay in one’s jammies and be at the computer or in front of the TV all day long. How doing that helps create that snow day mentality.

Y’all, I made a concrete decision to get dressed every day. And I’m wearing jeans at least three times a week instead of comfy, around the house clothes like yoga pants or leggings. I’m doing the work-y things at the beginning of my day before I do the lounge-y things. This is how I’m choosing to cope.

I talked with him about why I made this decision. I did it because I want didn’t want my life to feel like one extended snow day. It’s easy to sit around in my jammies day drinking and eating all the live long day. I knew that would be bad for me. I chose to live differently in this time.
I know my limits. I know within which parameters I function best. So, I created this routine to keep myself safe and sane.
With nothing to break up the monotony of being stuck in this house, this routine makes every difference.

YBW is currently in his jammies drinking coffee in front of his computer. So, maybe the routine isn’t actually necessary for him. I mean, he does have his normal routine every other week. His regular life, in which he gets up, bathes, dresses and goes to work. So maybe for him the home weeks feeling more like snow days are what’s keeping him safe and sane?
He spent all last Friday pressure washing the deck. Yesterday, he patched a hole in the ceiling where Thing G’s shower leaked. So, he’s doing the things even if he’s doing them in his jammies.

Each of us had to adapt to the best of our ability to do what it takes to get through this while remaining safe and sane.
For some of us, that is day drinking.

Crowley is my spirit animal

For some of us it’s as much exercise as we can cram into a twenty-four hour period.
For some of us it’s cooking or baking.
For some of us it’s sleep.
For some of us it’s Netflix, Prime, Hulu, and Disney +.

Whatever you’re doing to keep yourself safe and sane in this time is none of anybody’s damn business. I mean, unless it negatively impacts another.
So if what keeps you safe and sane is locking someone in the closet, maybe you want to reevaluate. Unless they’re up your ass about some store brand cookies. Then I say, you do you.

I’m choosing to do what’s best for me. I’m aware my choice has no or low impact on others. I’d like to keep it that way.
But you know, I get antsy. I want to throw a temper tantrum now and again. Maybe that restraint is what’s keeping me safe and sane. I can only do me.

What routines are keeping y’all safe and sane in these unprecedented times?

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expressing all the irrational feels

LA wrote this post and it jump-started the hatching of thoughts.
In case you don’t actually click the link and read the post, she had some allergy symptoms mixed with anxiety, and before she knew it, she’d panicked herself into full on covid mode. She knew better, but couldn’t shake the feels.

I’m suffering from allergies, I’m taking my allergy meds, but if it’s sunny, I’m opening the house and letting the pollen in by the bucket load just to get fresh air in this place.
I know it’s allergies, but the ‘what ifs’ are actively punching me in the face.
I know it’s allergies, and even though I know it’s allergies, I continue to talk myself off the ledge.
And I think, ‘FUUUUUUUUUUCK I have this virus’, instead of thinking, ‘I’ll probably get this virus sooner or later.’

It’s natural to feel all these irrational feels, with all our heightened anxiety in a time when the world is in pandemic mode.
It’s especially tricky when you logically think and understand one thing, yet feel so strongly another.
When the feels are big, logic goes out the window.

This week YBW is home. I don’t feel comforted by that. It’s actually more stressful.
That feels awful to say, but when he’s at work, I can focus on what I’m doing, and even though he’s coming in and out of the house, I feel hopeful we’re still safe.
When he’s here, I find it distracting. I have more trouble staying focused, or on task.
As much as I want to spend time with him, I’m more panicky when he’s here than when he’s not.
That has nothing to do with him, and everything to do with me. It’s one less thing I can control about my environment.

I was fired up Wednesday morning.
I was mad the kitchen was a mess. I was mad there was food on the coffee table from where Thing G ate the night before when I was folding laundry and needed a place to put it. I was mad that before 9 am I’m showered and dressed, doing laundry, and putting a pork shoulder in the crock pot so we’ll have dinner.
I was grouchy and complaining and YBW was sighing.
I went upstairs mad.
About twenty minutes later, I went to YBW and told him I wanted to apologize for being grouchy. That because I’m tired of feeling anxious and cooped up everything I feel is heightened. Things like feeling frustrated that the kid takes no responsibility for himself or as a human being in this household.
He sighs when I express my frustration. When I say that, he asks what he should do instead of sigh.
I stopped and worked hard to express the sighing is fine, it’s that he’s taking it personally is what I don’t like.
He feels responsible that the kid does or does not do the things.

I’ve come to the realization and acceptance that Thing G isn’t going to change his behavior. But it still frustrates me. So, to stop YBW from feeling responsible, I’m going to stop expressing my frustration.
The kid is what the kid is. He has no interest in being different. No amount of ignoring, shouting, guidance, or love makes a difference. No matter what we’ve said, or done, he doesn’t change his behavior. At this point, I’m honestly just counting down the days until he goes to live with his mother and I don’t have to watch it anymore.
At some point YBW has to let go of feeling responsible because the kid chooses not to be responsible for himself.
These are the real and frustrating thoughts I have, but can’t express because they’re hurtful to the man I love most.

When we express ourselves, we can’t control how it’s received. Especially in the current environment of heightened anxiety. What we can control is the way in which we express our thoughts and feels.
LA was feeling anxious and reached out to a friend she loves and trusts, but her friend was at the same level of anxious and it just went sideways.
I was feeling anxious. Cooped up. Tired of these four walls. Tired of doing the things that run the house while other people don’t. I took out my anxiety and frustration on YBW.
Neither LA nor her friend intended to make as stressful situation worse. I didn’t intend to have my frustration escalate to the point of starting our day off in a such a way.
It took me twenty minutes, but I knew how important it was to nip it in the bud.
I needed a pause.
I chose to press reset.

We love our friends and family dearly. We’re all in an anxious state. This works against us when we’re expressing ourselves.
We’re off kilter just enough that logic takes a backseat. Instead of being able to say, I’m having a crap day and need some loving reassurance, LA expressed her anxiety in the form of verbal vomit about how allergies were covid.
Instead of going about my business and quietly cleaning up the messes, I expressed my anxiety as verbal vomit about being frustrated over normal everyday occurrences.
But in addition to the anxious expression of our feels, they were received by those in a heightened anxious state.

Now is the time for us to do the hard work of effective communication.
To be crystal clear about our communication expectations.
We need to do our best to state clearly at the beginning of a conversation, or to ask clearly before engaging in the conversation, I (or do you) need a listener. Or I (or do you) need help problem solving.

We’re going to fail at this sometimes, because we can’t be in both the front and back of our brain at the same time. But if we can stop for a moment and move from the back to the front of our brain, we’re going to be able to communicate more effectively even though we’re anxious.

This whole situation is stressful!
I’m having moments of hanging by a thread. I want to have the biggest fucking temper tantrum you’ve ever seen.
The anxiety in me thinks that sounds straight up amazing!

Y’all it’s a crap situation.
It’s going to get worse before it gets better.
And that’s even if none of us or any one we love gets sick.

At the end of her post, LA wrote:

I verbalized all the stuff swirling in my head, which in turn released the fifty pound weight that had centered itself on my chest…

Same, LA, saaaaaaame.
It feels wonderful to be able to say what I think and feel in a safe and neutral environment.
I’m grateful we’re all here to read and respond to each other’s words.

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