Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It Can Wait

Those dishes by the sink?  I'll do them later. Right now I have kids to snuggle.

The toys on the floor? We're not done playing yet.

The laundry piling up by the washer? It will still be there tomorrow. The Angel Baby is trying to sleep. This is the only time she LOOKS like an angel.

It's hard to change. I used to be worried about what everyone thought. What everyone wanted from me. I'm not anymore. I'm doing what I want. Sure, I want clean dishes eventually, but not this minute. It will get done, just not yet. I used to worry that dinner wouldn't be on time. That someone would laugh at me (or complain) if the clothes got wrinkled in the dryer.

I used to worry about everything. I still do, I just don't let it get the best of me.

At some point, it became exceptionally clear that I was not living for me, but for everyone else. And now I can see that most of the expectations I was trying to meet, were not even realistic. There are things that we all like to see get done, but I was so frantically trying to please everyone at once that I forgot what was really important.

And then I crashed. I stopped doing it all. I just couldn't figure out where to start or who to please first. I did nothing beyond the necessary functions of life.

Not anymore.

That's not for me anymore.

I started something small. I started slow. I started to invest in myself. For a while, it was just getting myself to bed at a decent time. Then, spending time reading with Art. Talking with Macboy. Playing with Angel Baby. None of it because I felt I had to, but because I wanted to. I missed those kinds of things. 

I stopped beating myself up over how often I made it to the gym, or what I was eating that I shouldn't have. I started taking the stairs at school, parking farther away when I went out. I started playing in the yard. I bought a bike. 

I went to SCHOOL. I'm working for something I WANT. I'm living for Wendy.  Sure, the kids place demands on me and my time. My job does too. Being married to a trucker has it's own share of work. I'm still doing those things that I did before but I am making the choice to not stress over them.

I don't have to spend hours doing laundry right NOW. Yes, it has to get done, but do I have to interrupt my child to do it? No. it can wait a few minutes. Or an hour. Or even a day.

I have fleeting moments of stress and panic over these things, but now instead of letting them eat me alive, I am purposefully letting them go. I am aware of my self, and self is not something I'm overly familiar with. As I step forward and make changes, I am seeing so many signs that this is right. Everything is pointing in the direction I was aiming. 

Each small accomplishment presents another choice. Each choice leads to another accomplishment. I'm enjoying life and not looking for failure. I'm seeing sunshine everywhere. I'm feeling pride in myself. I was wearing myself out, overthinking every little thing. I was burying myself in the dark and heaping unnecessary stress on my soul.
So, I let the stress go. 
It can wait.

Monday, May 28, 2012

WWE - Not Just For Wednesdays

I love camping. I don't really enjoy the packing or unpacking parts, especially since our tent trailer bit the bullet last year. I like tents, but I sure don't like losing all my storage.  Once we get out there and get settled, get the fire going and start relaxing, camping is one of the best breaks I can think of.

The only holidays we really take during the year are around Victoria Day and our anniversary. We go on other weekends too, but those are the ones we usually take extra days off for. We are not huge travelers. Maybe when the kids are bigger, but not yet.

We found a nice place last year, close to home and great for ATV's. I really like it there. Most of the places we've camped are so out of the way that we don't even have an option for cell service or anything else, but this one is just close enough that we do have service.  And yet, we still do not use it.  The only technology used over the weekend was the music on the iPod. (I am discounting the use of the iPad, it was only used in the bathroom. We have a child with encopresis. When it comes to that, I do what I gotta do to keep this kid regular.)

The cell phone stayed in the vehicle. I did look at the time on it a few times, but not much. For the most part if someone asked what time it was I just asked if they were hungry. Usually were. That's how you know what time it is when you're camping. "Oh, you're hungry again? Must be lunchtime."

I spend a lot of time through the week on my laptop. I watch the Angel Baby play behind the screen. Earlier this week, 4 of us were plugged in to something and Macboy said "Hey, I feel kind of left out here!" It happens. We live in a digital world. Without the internet, I wouldn't have the job that I have and couldn't be at home. But it is too consuming. Imagine going back a decade or two where the TV began to take over. That's actually not sounding so bad now.

When I take a day off, I usually still have email to check or blog posts to write or messages to return on Facebook.


For four days, I did not look at email. I did not answer my phone. I played in the dirt with Angel Baby. Couple plastic spoons and some cars go a long way. The kids rode bikes and played games. We made S'mores, did all the awesome camping things and came home smelling like the fire! The kids played on air mattresses in the tents. Everyone talked and was listened to.

I learned a few things about what is important to my kids. I learned that consistency in anything makes a difference in our kids. My boys were able to find signs at the campground from the last time we'd been there. It was familiar and comfortable. It was exciting to them, to see that they really do leave a mark wherever they go.

It was an excellent weekend. I almost hated to come back to reality. But here I am.

This week, we have locked up the iPods and DS's and controllers from the video games. We are detoxing. No one will get the games back until Friday. I will be turning off everything as well when the kids are at home. I do have a few commitments online, but will do my best to have those things completed before the kids get home.  This is not as extreme as our normal WWE as I am not eliminating all electronics. We will have the computer for schoolwork and the TV is not banned. It's the devices that pull us all in different directions. The devices that the kids are so hooked on that I have to check their rooms 4 times after bedtime to make sure they are shut off and put away.

I hope to see some positive attitudes come back into this house. It has been proven in our house that disconnecting helps us connect and I look forward to this entire week. I will post short updates on facebook when I can, please join me on Busy Mama's page, but I lead best when I lead by example!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

May Has Been A Blur!

I have gone through a variety of phases with this blog. I have gone overboard trying to post often, I have had stretches where I only wrote the funny moments. I have had times where the dark side of my mind prevails and I write the painful thoughts that exist in my head.

I had times where I was super concerned about numbers and growth and built up a facebook page and a following on Twitter. Then I got overly addicted to Twitter!  I have posted regularly for a while and then waited a month or more between posts. And, I have stopped writing on my other page entirely.

And yet, many of you stick around anyway.  
Thank you for that.

So far, the Trucker has not hauled me off to an insane asylum since I've jumped into a night class on top of the too many things I already do. And at the same time, my job took a big change in direction so I've got a big learning curve there too. And then I decided to quit smoking too. I think we're managing okay, but likely because we all know that it's not going to last forever. This course will be done in July and then I have time to think about what I'm doing again!

I'm pleased with the marks I'm getting so far in my class. It's reassuring, last time I took this course it didn't go so well. I think the teacher makes a big difference, no matter what you're learning. Well, that and I have a lot more experience under my belt, not to mention motivation. I mean really, I PAID for this! I'm not one to waste money.

Honestly, things could definitely be improved. It is truly the 'temporary' side of this that is getting my family through. We are all tired and living outside our comfort zone. It is taking a toll, we are a much crankier bunch lately. There is more arguing going on and whining and complaining..... Oh, it's frustrating.

Maybe I should quit doing it.

Angel Baby is adjusting well, except Wednesdays. I leave for class Tuesday after dinner and don't see her again until it's creeping up on lunch time Wednesday. She clings to me much of the day.  My boys are doing okay. They are not really helping out more, but they are not making things more difficult for Dad. 

The Trucker... I'm not so sure how he's dealing with this. I have little sympathy for him. Most Dad's have to be more involved in the home life. I think it's good for him to do a little more. (Boy do I mean little) There are many things I'd love for him to take over (like dinner on my school nights) but after all, this is my Trucker, he's not going to suddenly be the Husband and Dad of the Year. He is still a trucker working crappy trucker hours. I'm just grateful he's not refusing. Or falling asleep before the kids.  

Well... there's my checkin. I'm still alive. Can't drop dead if I never stop moving. If you wonder what I'm doing when I'm not running in circles, I'm spending time with the important things in my life. I'm enjoying the moments and going Hands Free. You should try it. If you don't know how... my friend Rachel can show you. So while you're on Facebook liking my page, you can jump over to hers too. Join this great revolution and embrace the moments that matter.

Got it? Good. See you soon!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Benefits of School That I Didn't Know

Yes, yes, education is important and can take you to great places. It can open your mind, feed your soul... blah, blah, blah. Not that those aren't great things, but what I have found by adding this upgrading course to my already crazy life is that the best benefits of returning to school as a mother strike much closer to home. 

As in, IN the home.

Oh Yes. You have no idea. 

From getting ready for school to ensuring that assignments are done on time. I have new ammunition.

"But, Mom....Why do I have to do this?" 
"Because, if I can do homework, you can do homework."

Bahahahaha.... couldn't have planned this better.

"No, you need to go to sleep now because I need to go to sleep because we ALL have school tomorrow."

And when they try to get smart, I can get back at them. "oh, yeah, mom? Did YOU do YOUR homework?" Why, yes I did and it's even here, typed and printed, THREE DAYS EARLY. So there!

I know this is just the beginning, I have a few long crazy months ahead of me. I'm hoping that things settle down soon because this is just to busy, even for me. I've had appointments almost every day for two weeks and I'm used to leaving the house maybe twice. The kids are so far handling this well, they are not totally used to being with just Dad. Aside from my gym time (which I had to suspend for a few months) I am always here. 

Last week, I left for school at 6 p.m. Tuesday and didn't see Angel Baby until 11 a.m the next day. I had a meeting for work that hauled me out right after dropping the boys at school and she was still sleeping. Once I finally got home, she held on to my neck, stayed on my lap, held my legs if I tried to walk and even followed me to the bathroom for most of the afternoon. Angel Baby was NOT impressed with me. 

I'm having a lot more trouble with her throwing things, demanding time and attention from everyone. I know that it is quite largely related to my absence. In her almost 4 years, I have been here for pretty much everything. If I am away for a day, it was usually a month or more before I went away again.

And besides, for another year and a half, my ammunition from school is worthless. Homework for her is making the mess that I need to help clean up. To her, it's more like HOME is where your WORK is.

Wish me luck!