Flashback Friday-The Daughter's Accident

Another episode of Flashback Friday, brought to you by the lovely CableGirl over at 42. Go check it out; always worth it. In fact, go ahead and put her in your reader while you’re at it.
As hard as this might seem to some of you, I really don’t have a topic for Flashback Friday today; too many other things going through my head to get the words to string together into a coherent sentence. Therefore, you get another photo post. After all, Cablegirl said we could use any medium…

And yes, folks, this would be why The Daughter will never drive again.

Pimping on the Blog

Pimping April here: she is going to be doing this thing called Blog For Educationon June 20th. Go check out her page and tell her you want to be part of it. I think it is a great idea, and would love to see every one of “us” blog about it. I am not going to get into any kind of political discussion about educational funding other than to say George W. sucks ass and I place the decline in our educational system directly at his feet. But I know that something has to change, something has to be done, and since I have no great ideas of my own, I am happy to jump on the bandwagon for this one.

Random Craziness Today

Just a few little random snippets today. As you can see, I now have an AWARD over to the right. April sent it over to me via email quite some time ago, but I didn’t remember until today when I saw her gratuitously handing out the award right and left. To everyone but me. So when I pissed and moaned to her, she set me straight and reminded me that I did, in fact, get the award, from her, and I should just, you know, POST IT ALREADY. Instead of letting it languish in my saved items folder. Which is where it had been gathering virtual dust for several months now. Yeah. I am so together.

And boy, my little mantras haven’t been working well today when it comes to things getting dicey in my head. I have been having trouble with three different blogs not “getting” my comments; I would post, and they would just disappear. So I was somehow sure that all three of these women whom I love to read were getting together behind my back and had decided to blackball me from commenting. You know, because that makes so much sense. Again, April set me straight there, too, by telling me to just email them and let them know. Hm. Novel idea.

So. I have been messing around with my play list today, and I only have a few more songs to add before I get all 100 on there; I don’t HAVE to have that many, but I somehow like the number. I have also been debating about whether or not to update my blog roll; I have seen a few others do it, and when I look at my reader and then the list, I realize that they are not, in fact, the same. Guess I should get going on that. Not because I care, mind you, but I know that somewhere there is ONE OTHER PERSON who is as fucked up as I am and will look at my list and think, “hm, I wonder why I am not on there?”

Fess up. You know it’s true; there are others like me out there.

And last, a huge thank you goes out to BusyDad; apparently I won a Snapfish gift card for commenting on his Mother’s Day post. He emailed me to let me know I won, and I guess he mailed it right after he got the address because I got it yesterday. That is some good service, and I am thrilled to have won. I love Snapfish, too, use them all of the time, so even better.

Losing-or Relinquishing-Control

“Expect nothing. Hope for everything.”
I have these two meditation books (as in reading and reflecting type “meditation,” not “ohm, ohm” meditation; I would so suck at that!) which I read every morning, one for AA and one for Adult Children of Alcoholics. Sometimes I read them and think, yeah, okay, whatever, but last week I read one of them and there was the above quote. It hit me; I am not sure why, but it did. And along with my little six-word-meme mantra I have been repeating to myself, it has been bouncing around in my head for the whole of the weekend.

Okay, Jesus, let’s be honest here. Sorry, I reverted to old bad habits there for a second, in an attempt to make myself appear more together than I actually AM. I know EXACTLY why that hit me so hard: because I have such high and unrealistic expectations of people that it has really caused me problems in the past. In my relationships, in my friendships, in my dealings with the kids…the list goes on. And for me, a natural consequence of having such high expectations (and I have them of myself, too, I might add) is that of course people can never live up to them, which in turned reinforces my very basic belief that 99% of the people in the world suck, will let you down, will hurt you. Can’t be relied up whatsoever. It ALSO doesn’t help that there have been a goodly number of people-starting from infancy-who have also reinforced that very basic belief. I have been in therapy, I know the reasons for why I am the way I am, but sometimes knowing the problem doesn’t really offer a way to solve it. And for me, in my life, what this boils down to is control. Having such high expectations of people is just another way to try to control them, to manipulate them into doing what I want them to do/say/feel. Again, I know why I feel the need to control, it just isn’t as easy to actually give that up.

And the second part of that quote, the “hope for everything” part? Oh, yeah, because THAT is so much easier than letting go of expectations and control. Puhleeze! See, for me, hope is a dangerous emotion-it feels very scary to me to have hope, because so often, in so many ways, it has come back to bite me in the ass. I have hoped and prayed for-well, for lots of things, and then when it doesn’t happen-or more importantly, doesn’t happen the way I think it should, well, doesn’t that just more strongly reinforce my negative view of life and people? Yeah, I think it does.

So I have been chanting my two little mantras all through the long weekend, and you know, it is helping. Every time I found myself getting annoyed or hurt or angry with someone, I took an extra few seconds to chant these things to myself, and found that so much of my angst and panic has to do with things not going the way I expect them to, not that anyone had actually done anything wrong, per se. Well, I guess I knew this, really, but it has just been more present an issue lately, one I am making a conscious effort to work on.
And already, I have noticed a difference in the way I feel-and isn’t that what it is all about, how I feel? Because when I feel good and strong and calm, EVERYONE in my life feels better. When I feel sane, the house runs more smoothly, there is less conflict between the kids, and I am much more able to take things in stride. On Saturday, there was an incident with Steve where he wasn’t doing what I had expected him to do, and for a moment, I got pissed-but then I said my little mantra and lo and behold, I was no longer angry. Then yesterday, I had gotten up and chanted this again a few dozen times, and when Steve showed up with two tomato plants-complete with the wire cages and the food stakes, I was able to be totally and completely thrilled because he did it because he wanted to, not because I expected it of him. By the same token, last night he felt free enough to invite me and the two big boys to the movies (Indiana Jones-and I don’t care how old he is, Harrison Ford still gives me a tingle!), because I no longer expect anything of him. It just makes me feel so much better, and Steve and the kids are all already reacting in a positive way. And here is the really, really big thing: I am not doing this for them. It is a definite bonus, of course, but I am so tired of feeling crazy and emotional and out of control; I have to do this for me.

I have no illusions. I know that this is no cure-all, magic trick to fix all of the problems in my life. I know that this-the letting go of control over people, places, or things-is something that I know how to do; I lost sight of in the midst of the seemingly overwhelming problems going on, but it is time to go back. To work harder at doing the things I need to do to stay even slightly sane, because if I am no good to myself, if I feel like this all of the time, then everyone in my life suffers.

Yeah. I think it is going to be a good day today. Because I am not in charge of anyone today save myself. I am expecting nothing from anyone, but oh, hoping. It feels scary, and huge, and…right.

Six Word Meme

Before I say anything else, I want to say that I absolutely love this whole “scheduled post” option that Blogger now offers. It completely rocks.

So now. Quite some time ago, April tagged me for a six word meme. Six. Words. I have to tell you, April, that I have not been ignoring you, but six words? Please. When have you ever known me to stop at six words when describing anything, much less myself? So all this time, when you thought I was ignoring you or had forgotten, this little challenge has been floating around in the back of my head, popping up at these very odd moments. I would think I had something just perfect, but then alas, too many words by one, or not enough…I don’t know, panache? Something, I don’t know. But I couldn’t think in terms of six.

Last night, though, after yet one more incident involving panic and insecurity, one of those times where I was just sure that I can never measure up and that this is my life, it hit me. And I let it go, really, thinking “Okay, well, if I still remember it tomorrow, maybe…”

This morning? Yep. Still there. Loud and clear. It describes me right this moment, and it also destined to become my personal mantra when things start getting dicey in my head again.

Competition over… I am perfect enough.”

Music Hath Charms…

I have been messing around with figuring out how to embed a playlist on the blog, and as you can see, I now have two; one on the side bar, one at the very bottom. I actually came in to the office on a weekend in order to mess around with them, going through all sorts of songs and picking out which ones just HAVE to be included…and the list keeps growing. I have a specific memory or, perhaps more importantly, feeling associated with every single song on my list, which has been a little bit scary. I know that certain smells can trigger the same feeling, and I know that songs can as well, for everyone; I am not unique in that respect. However, in going through all of this, I have been almost assaulted with memories and feelings, and it is almost sensory overload.

To pinpoint a few: The Pixies. You guys remember them? The one song, “Here Comes Your Man” was on the first album by them that I ever heard. It was given to me by my friend J. (of the horny bear fame, you can see an earlier post if you don’t know the story), handed over in our French class, and I went home and heard this song. Alone in my room, I listened to it, and felt, in that young teenaged naivete, that somehow J. was trying to tell me something. I cringe as I think about it now, but that is how it felt then.

There there is Exile; “I Want to Kiss You All Over.” I lived on the Air Force Academy, second grade, and this song used to come on every single morning on our way to school. It was the first time I ever “got” that it was a slightly naughty song. There is a smell associated with this one, too: little yellow flowers that smell like cinnamon, wafting through the open windows of the car.

Tool: “The Pot” I love the bass. I saw this group in concert in December and I was totally floored. You need a really good stereo system, with a lot of bass, to get the full effect, but just listen. If you are AT ALL a music aficionado, you have to at least appreciate the talent, if not love the music. For me, it is both. At the concert, which was the most awe-inspiring event I have been to, I felt the music in my bones. This song in particular. And then Steve and I went to Taco Bell at midnight, went back to the hotel and ate and had excellent sex. All part of the memory.

I could go through every song on the list and have something to tell you about them, but I won’t do that to you. What I AM going to do is ask you to go through. Pick one song to listen to. Just one, on either list, and then tell me what you think. Each one of them will tell you more about me than any meme would, or ten posts. Come on-it’ll be fun.

The Tip of The Iceberg

One of my new favorite blogs is note to self… and the ever-lovely, terribly knocked up Jillian tagged me for this meme; she titled hers “More Than You Wanted to Know,” but since I clearly have far more inflated (and, I am sure, far less reason to have one) ego than she does, well, you saw the title. I am an enigma, a mystery, a delusional…’nuff said.

What I was Doing Ten Years Ago: Let’s see. 1998. Ten years ago I was still drinking perhaps more than was good for me, so I would imagine that whatever it was, it had something to do with alcohol. I was also married to Husband Number Two, who was using drugs perhaps more than was good for HIM. We worked on a ranch, and I also worked as a Ward Clerk/CNA for the local hospital, plus had a part-time job tending bar. Hannah and Eli were 5 and 4 respectively, just turning into little people instead of toddlers. Hannah started Kindergarten, but Eli started off his educational career by being too smart for pre-school. That was the year I got pregnant after 13 months of trying-Clomid helped out. Ten years ago I will still naive enough to think that if I loved my husband enough, he would get better, still naive enough to believe that life would work out just because I wanted it to, as if sheer will were enough.

Five Snacks I enjoy:

2. BBQ Corn Nuts
3. Peanut M & M’s
4. Mint Three Musketeers
5. Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger Gingersnaps

Five Things on My To Do List Today:

1.Take a shower.
2.Change out of my pajamas.
3.Go buy smokes.

Come on, on a Saturday of a three day weekend? Please!

Five Things I Would Do If I Were a Billionaire:

1.Buy April a house.
2.Buy myself a house.
3.Set up my Jones-McCaffery Foundation for Single Mothers, which would provide help for, you got it, single moms. There would be a lengthy application process, because even though I would WANT to, I wouldn’t be able to help every single one, and I would also have to weed out the freaks. And I would pick maybe ten per year, but each “award” would be different based on that particular individual’s needs.
4.Oh, God, luxury: Buy a freezer and totally fill it with food. TOTALLY. And as part of that, I would throw away-not even donate but flat CHUCK-every single package of Top Ramen and Macaroni and Cheese. Never again.
5.And then I would go buy this picture from Anna over at Borderline Bonkers, or beg her to paint a similar one.

Five Jobs I Have Had:

2. Calf Feeder at a dairy
3. Bartender
4. Greens keeper at a golf course
5. Insurance Agent (current).

Five of My Bad Habits:

1. I take everything personally; in a bad mood? Surely must be my fault. Don’t comment on my new shirt? It must be ugly. Don’t call me when you say you are going to? You are a bitch. It’s all about me, in a bad way. 2.Like Jillian, I also bite my nails compulsively. To the quick. I don’t bite the skin, though, just the nails, to the quick.
3. I have recently discovered that I can be very vindictive. Threaten or hurt my kids? You are so busted. I don’t like this new discovery about myself, either.
4.I am capable of hurting people I love with my words. I have never physically abused my kids, but I have yelled to the point of a sore throat. I have also used my tongue as the sharpest weapon imaginable, and almost instantly regret it when I lose control.
5.I throw all my mail on the kitchen table, opened or not, and then get mad because the table is always covered up with papers and shit.

Five places I have lived:

1.Evanston, Wyoming
2. Colorado Springs, Colorado
3.Columbia, South Carolina
5. Here,Idaho

I am supposed to list five people I would like to get to know better, but I can’t stand the pressure, really. So if you want to play along, please do; I would be honored!