Thursday, September 22, 2016

Typical Mornings, Gecko Gate, and How Not to Interview

My morning was a typical one.  Get up throw on gym clothes take kid three to school, come back to the house and get kids one and two, drop kid two off at college and take kid one with me to the gym.  These are not unusual things for us.  We even stopped off at the grocery on the way home from the gym which I like to think makes us look like we put in effort to be healthy but also may be mildly gross.  That too is not unusual.  Today however, I had to get ready for a job interview and while I do not go on job interviews with any sort of regularity I have gotten ready for other occasions.  Even getting ready for the day is a normal sort of thing as contrary to popular belief I do not, nor have I ever, sat at home eating bon bons all day and watched soap operas.  That is not, nor has it ever been, the way I spend my time.

No, today was a first as today was the first time in all 40+ years of my life that I ever went to the restroom to take a shower used the restroom before said shower, stood to flush, looked in the bowl and found a gecko trying to escape.  A GECKO was in the toilet where I just sat!  A LIVING CREATURE near the nether regions.  People, I just cannot even!  I don't even like doctors to be down there.  I avoid going to see the OB/GYN until I get guilted into going.  My heart started racing faster than it did while at the gym.  My vision got a little fuzzy and I could only think two things, First, "If I pass out here I am naked and will my daughter know enough to dress me before she calls for paramedics?  This floor is tile...the floor of death.  EMT's will be involved."  and Second, "Gross!  I don't blame you I'd want out too."  So I did have a bit of restraint to not scream loudly enough to be heard.  I slammed the lid down and I flushed.  Then I flushed again.  Then I peaked to see if it was gone.  It was.  So I may have sent a gecko to the great eternal pool in the sky.  I may have killed one of God's creatures.  In my defense, one of us was going to go down and I had a job interview to get to so....

After what will now be referred to as "Gecko Gate" I prepared for my interview.  I went with a black dress and simple black sandals.  My options were limited and black looks professional, right?  I live in a southern state now.  It may be the first day of fall but it is still in the 90's here.  Not my best plan.  I went to my interview with the company my husband has worked for for 20+ years.  I arrived before the people who were to interview me.  Three men take me through a door in the back that they had to enter a code to enter and up some stairs to a private room.  All I could think about during this journey was, "Ok this isn't creepy at all.  I'm just going into a private locked cave with three men I've never met and there are stairs involved.  Glad I didn't wear heels.  It's fine, I work out now.  That one is small I can probably take him, the other one looks like I will have to fight a little harder but I'm probably faster and the only one I'm really worried about is the kid that looks like a football player that went to school with my daughters.   Nope not worried at all."  We arrived and sat around a table and  well...I talked more about how great my husband is than myself.  This would probably be listed in the "How Not to Interview" handbook that I do not possess.  To be fair it has been a good amount of time since I interviewed but I have never even heard of interviewing in a secret layer surrounded by three men.  Where I am from the doctor doesn't even go into a room without his nurse.  It was a disconcerting and I dealt with the discomfort by doing what I do best...talking to fill the silence as they didn't seem particularly prepared and I also felt safer talking about my husband.  Also I sweat through my black dress.

Today has been an interesting day to say the least.  When I arrived home I had a message from that same company and I have another interview Monday.  Who knows, maybe I will talk my way into a job yet.  I got my very first job because I was persistent and wouldn't leave the manager alone until she was basically forced to hire me to shut me up.  There will be training involved of course, but I did manage to get licensed to sell real estate in two weeks once upon a time.  I also have raised teenagers, and lived through Gecko Gate, I have no fear.  I am strong and I really need a job so I can afford things like fresh fish and Netflix.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Not Living a Lie

Today is the day.  Today I weighed in at what my Midwest Driver's License said I weighed.  Fun fact #1:  When I went to get said driver's license I gave myself a few pounds "just in case" I put on a few pounds.  At the time I actually weighed a bit less.  Fun fact #2  A driver's license is good for what...six years now?  Fun fact #3:  I had renewed said license on line since that time and when you renew online you don't have a nice lady staring you down when you said "yes everything is correct" you can just click a button thereby allowing you to continue 'living the lie'.  Which really isn't trying to 'live a lie' at all but in fact trying to allow more time to achieve what the license says.  Fun fact #4: In this great southern state that I now reside in they do not ask for your weight and it is not listed anywhere on the license which means...I will never ever 'live a lie' again.  Unless of course, someone asks for my age which is standing firmly at 39 for another six years.

It gets uncomfortable explaining to people that you are still trying to lose the baby weight all the time, really.  They always want to know how old the baby is and then the baby walks up and he's 13 and you are wishing you had a picture of him when he was small so you could pass this giant off as an older brother.  That's about the time the older sisters show up and they are college age and it gets really uncomfortable after that.  

The way I figure it I had three children.  I gained 60 pounds with the first, lets say 40 with the second and 30 with the third.  What?  I'm a slow learner O.K.?  Also I was an only child and Ben and Jerry's were my best friends.  Let's move on shall we?  That is a total of 130 pound that I gained having children alone.  Granted you have the babies and you lose the weight between but...then you are the mom of three children.  You eat when you get a chance.  You shovel down food in between raising kids like it is an Olympic event.  There is no time to sit and enjoy a meal.  Plus if you were raised the way I was back when your parents actually were poor growing up and walked to school uphill in the snow both ways you were taught to clean your plate.  When my mother took ill I cleaned my plate and her plate...sometimes the kids' plates too.  But I digress...I had lost all that weight by the time I got said license the first time around.  I was so pleased with myself and I was never going back.  I felt great!

Days turned to weeks, turned to months, turned to years and I forgot about how great I felt before and remembered how great ice cream tastes...and donuts...and cookies....and...you get the picture.  So I found myself in April almost back to where I started.  I was on three different medicines for my stomach and I had finally gotten over a bought with anemia.  I was tired and I was done.  I was not going to go up another size.  So I took action.

Dave Ramsey once said that you don't ask poor people about money.  I figure that goes for other things as well so I should look for people who are losing weight or have lost weight and are keeping it off.  The thing about being overweight is you don't want advice from skinny people.  Especially skinny people who have always been skinny and eat worse than you do.  So I found someone who was killing it in the losing weight department and asked them how they were doing it.  Once I found out the program (Take Shape For Life) they were doing I got on board.  Essentially I have had to reprogram and look at food in a totally different way.  I have always tended to look at food as comfort or as a reward.  I can get comfort from Jesus.  I can get comfort from my husband.  I can get comfort from a soft blanket.  I can get rewarded in new clothes and shoes that fit and books.  Food is fuel.  Food keeps the body going like gas keeps a car going.  If I want to feel better and look better I need to fuel my body with the right stuff.  You don't put diesel in an unleaded tank.  You get down to the basics and eat like a caveman or a baby really because I eat every 2-3 hours.  I eat more now on this program than I did before.  I'm full.  Sometimes so full I don't want to eat again.  

My family and I also joined the YMCA so we have been exercising as well.  I don't hate it.  I don't love it....but I don't hate it either.  It just is.  BUT....no I weigh what my driver's license once said I weighed and I don't have to take my stomach medicine anymore.  I'm exhausted but mostly because I'm a mom and I'm kinda old.  My body is not accustomed to this kind of torture...er exercise that I have been subjecting it to.  Everything hurts.  I took anatomy and physiology in college and I did not remember that I had so many muscle groups.  I think I blocked that out or assumed that it didn't apply to me.  I cannot keep up with grandmothers and grandfathers at the YMCA.  Seriously, I can't do it.  These people can outrun, out walk, out peddle, out lift, out crunch, out do about everything they have to offer there better than me.  I get tired watching them.  I get everyone is running their own race in life but golly.  God Bless them because I just want to go home and find some Ben Gay and ice something and they are probably going to go play tennis or ride bikes after they are done at the Y.

So here is to not 'living a lie' anymore.  I'm pretty excited/exhausted/sore but maybe just maybe I'll live a little longer to annoy my children.  I have high hopes of one day seeing them have children of their own JUST LIKE THEM.  Until then...it's time for my next feeding.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Focusing on the Left

I lived in the Midwest for the first 43 years of my life.  In that time I never experienced what it was like to have an allergy, seasonal or otherwise.  The closest I ever came was that I would break out a bit when pulling weeds but once inside and washed off with soap and water eventually the redness would go away.  I still have that here in the South but I also have become friends with allergy meds.  I can't breathe.  My face hurts.  I used to break out every time I took a shower from the water.  I had to buy special soap and shampoo and conditioner.  Now it has gone to the eyes.  They itch and sometimes wake me up from the itching.  In particular my right eye....seemingly my more dominant eye as I do everything better on my right side.  I hear better with that ear, I am right handed.  It is annoying.  My eye doctor says my eyes are dry and he gave me some drops.  They do nothing.

I will be honest.  I have been struggling this week.  I am feeling a lack of purpose.  I feel like a sloth.  My husband works, my son has school, and now both girls have started their college classes.  I give rides to school, I do laundry almost every day, I prepare meals and do the shopping.  I understand that those things need to happen but I do not feel I really contribute all that I should.  I miss my work.  I miss the kids and being a part of something....bigger.  I can't have that here.  There are schools, yes, but they are so far different that I'm not sure I would be able to make the connections with people like I did before.  I accept this, it doesn't make it easier, but I get that sacrifices were made by everyone when we chose to move and this was mine.  All of this is making me feel sad this week in particular for some reason.  While I have found friends, I still haven't found my place...my contribution.

Two weeks ago my middle was struggling and was mad and upset and just plain overwhelmed with unknowns.  She is better now.  School has begun and routine has once again taken hold in her life.  She thrives on routine, something that she hasn't had much of since the move.  She said the words, "I have a job, where's yours!" to me and it broke me.  It felt as though she ripped my heart out and thrashed it around like the Hulk tossing around Loki.  It has resonated in the back of my mind ever since.  It has festered and taken hold and I have struggled to let it go.  I'm not upset with her, she has apologized.  No, I'm mad at me for holding onto it.

I have looked online for jobs.  As it turns out there aren't a lot of postings for people like me.  Women who married, had children and stayed home to raise them.  I spent eleven years at home with my children and only really left to go to work at a preschool to give me something to do once my son started school.  My knowledge of computers is limited.  I can Google and I think all computers are touch screens so that gets me into trouble.  I have to get help to figure out how to get music on my computer.  My smart phone is smarter than me.  I don't know what a cache or a ram is and I have no clue how the cloud works or why I have it or even how to access it.  And if all of that doesn't date me or make me seem an unlikely hire for today's workforce, I also need to only work Monday through Friday and I need to work school hours because I still have responsibilities to my family that I love more than anything.

I lack knowledge and know how in a lot of areas.  I have run a household and I have been raising three children.  This is no small fete especially since I have been learning on the job.  I'm an only child.  I had literally no clue what to do with babies when I started.  Now I'm still trying to figure out teenagers and young adults and I'm failing miserably.  I always say something wrong or look at someone wrong or forget stuff.  I'm pretty sure the women I see in line at drop off have their act together.  They also probably don't get excited and start singing along with Rick Springfield in the car during drop off either.  I kind of think that's the point.  No matter who you are or what you know, there are always going to be people out there that are smarter and know more than you do.  It doesn't make you any less.  It just...is.

My right side is dominant.  I was saying earlier today that maybe I'm allergic to the air or maybe God is trying to get me to focus on something with just my left eye which is weird because my right side is dominant.  Writing that or saying it is when it clicked.  I haven't been able to write.  I haven't been able to do much of anything really because I haven't been focusing on the right things.  I've been focusing on what I can't do and not on what I can.  My right side is dominant, but so is my ability to focus on all my negatives, so is my ability to make excuses, and so is my ability to procrastinate.  All the wrong things.  I need to go the other direction.  I need to focus on my left.  I need to pay attention because God has been talking to me for an entire sermon series.  It is OK God knows I'm a slow learner and kind of a prat too.  He loves me anyway and I think He has higher hopes for me than I have for myself.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  2 Corinthians 12:9  I have to believe that in my weakness here God can use me for something I'm not seeing yet.  I have to believe that the words are coming but I haven't really been listening.  I have to believe I can be of some use and I am actually making a contribution.  My children are a contribution and if that is all I contribute then that has to be enough.  If it isn't then I have to be OK with that too and not keep saying no when asked.  

The truth is I don't know what comes next for me but I do actually have a job here.  I am a mother, I do not bring in an income to help my family but I do work and if I run out of the regular chores and tasks there are plenty more to add in.  Paining needs done, rooms need rearranged and it seems I always have one room that I hate the most no matter where I live.  I just can't get it right.  Also when I shut up the inner voices that like to make me feel less than, it turns out I can get quite a bit of typing done.  God has a lot to say when you turn your voices off and listen to his.  So I'm focusing on the left now.  The right is getting a bit blurry anyway.