Friday, May 28, 2010

How much do we tell our kids?

This question has so many different levels that I don't quite know where to begin. The first is the obvious, when and how do you talk about sex... for me that's an easy one. Sex is a part of life and kids are aware of it before they can talk, they just can't tell you.
Grown-ups are the ones with the hang ups. We think it's something to regulate, govern and prohibit. That, to me, is the ultimate crack up. For generations, for EVER, young people have found each other, touched each other and life has happened, over and over and over again. We're the ones with the fears that keep us from talking, and by not talking, we set up our children to get into trouble.
So enough said about sex talk.
But what about telling our kids about ourselves? the mistakes we have made or make? When do we tell them? Do we A. load them down with all of our baggage or B. wait until an issue comes up that demands it?
In this case, I vote for B. I don't think they really hear half our stories unless they pertain directly to their experiences anyway, so I wait until it's relevant.
Last night, it was relevant. My baby boy (who is 23) was in pain. Pain that was self inflicted. He knew it, I knew it, and I wanted to take it all away from him, and I couldn't. So I tossed and turned all night thinking about him and what I could have, should have said. When I did sleep I dreamed that I couldn't find him and tell him all that I needed to say. When morning finally came, I was relieved to find him sleeping in his bed, and I bared my soul to him about some mistakes and choices and things I've learned from them. I hope it helped. He seems so beat up today. I love him so very much. I hope I did the right thing.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

How Am I?

After I wrote about my meds issue, I never followed up, and yesterday someone called to see how I was doing, so I thought I'd better follow up.
I've been back on them for a couple of weeks now, and I'm fine. It is amazing to me how the tiny little quarter of a pill dose I take daily can just even out my world.
I don't get irritated by the small stuff. I smile easily. I am more able to roll with the punches.
But it does not alleviate stress.
I think if I could invent an anti-stress pill I would.
I think it would look like a huge bank account and endless love and good business and great health and lots of exercise.
I guess what I'm trying to say is LIFE IS STRESSFUL because it is never perfect.
OK, so I get it. I need to learn to cope with the stress instead of trying to eliminate it.
Yoga helps, if you can figure out how to find the time to go to the classes.
YIKES. I sound like a stress case.
Reality is I'm studying for my Broker's exam in 9 days, working, helping my friend with her work, so she can go take the same exam and trying to do all my normal stuff too.
I'm over committed in my volunteer life, and my house is a mess.
I think it's time to re-evaluate some priorities... BUT FIRST - I have to pass that EXAM.
More wine please... I think that's an anti-stress pill of choice right now.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

WARNING - Sensitive Subject, Stop here if need be

For the past two years, I have joined millions of people in the taking of antidepressants. I have struggled with this over and over again. At the time I started taking them, I had just gone through a crazy six months, had lost hair and could not sleep because I was overcome with anxiety. It seemed like the right thing to do.
Since that time, I have been, well -- blissfully happy. It's weird. I have never been this happy. So much so that I keep thinking there's something wrong with me.
Should I need drugs to be happy? Isn't this fake? Maybe I'm supposed to be irritable, anxious and tearful.
So periodically, about every 6 or 7 months, I try to go off the drugs. My doctor said I may not need them forever right?
About 2 months ago, I decided (on my own) that it was time to go off of them for good. I didn't need them and I was dependent and it was time.
I did it right too, I slowly, very very slowly reduced my dosage. Well at first it was slow. For a month, I took only 6 doses a week, then I went down to 5, then 4 then I decided (again on my own) that I was actually for all intents and purposes off of them, so I stopped. And for a few days, I thought yeehaw, I've kicked this baby!!!
Then gradually, I started snapping at the kids. I started getting irritated at my coworkers, I began noticing that I was having to force myself to smile. I had to remind myself that I hadn't smiled for a while, and make myself smile. It was interesting. And I thought it was normal. I thought cool. I'm normal again. No more of this drug induced euphoria. I'm real.
Then about two weeks after I was completely drug free, I woke up one morning and didn't want to do anything. Nothing. So my partner recommended, I go work out that day. I snapped at him for the suggestion, after all, it was none of his business. Then I got up and went to a Body Pump class. The entire class, I was miserable. I finally just left. I was done. I wanted my drugs. I wanted my drug induced happiness. So I went to the store to refill my prescription only to find out I couldn't the doctor had to call it in. It was at that moment, I completely lost it.
I went home and crawled under the covers and cried. I called my Steve and said, I can't get out of bed. He (sweet man that he is) came to me, crawled under the covers with me and told me it was o.k. to go get my drugs.
The doctor helped me immediately. I've been back on them for four days now, and guess what? I'm not euphoric. I'm still me. But I am once again happy. I can smile. I'm not as irritable (pms so a little hunh?).
I need to remember this. So I'm writing it down. My brain has an issue with me being in balance. I'm off kilter somehow. It is not my imagination, and there is nothing 'wrong' per se. I'm just like millions of people who suffer from depression. I didn't do anything bad, I don't 'deserve' this anymore than someone who has a physical illness deserves it. It just is part of my makeup, and thank God for science and treatments that make it so I can live a normal and happy life.
My children and everyone around me are thankful too.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Follow your nose day

My favorite kinds of days now I call a follow your nose day.
It's a day when you don't have to work, but you have a lot to do, but you don't want to make a list or a plan. So I just go with the next right thing.
It is a blissful way to have a weekend day. I usually end up getting a lot done, and I never feel like I'm working, just floating from one thing I want to do to the next thing I want to do.
The only rule is that I don't do anything I don't want to do.
So my nose said to write this down, now I think I'll go find food, then wherever my nose leads me next.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Talking to myself and feeling old...

I love my Bluetooth headset for my cellphone (a new millenium necessity right?) and because I have hair that hangs over my ears, no one can even see it. This is nice, and sometimes humorous.
This morning I was having a long talk with my sister on the phone and since I had to go into Safeway and buy a couple of things, I just decided to take her in with me. So I'm chatting along picking up this and that (that including a bottle of wine that I have trouble finding, so I grab it when I see it) when I notice a guy giving me the funniest look.
Suddenly I realize that I must look like one of those people who have loud and boisterous conversations with their other selves. So I stopped talking to my sister and focused on this guy and told him, "I'm on the phone..." He smiled and said he wouldn't interrupt me no matter who I was talking to.
I about lost it... I had to hang up the phone and laugh -- the gentleman came back and informed me that he was a pastor and talked with many people with similar issues. And besides he said, you have a bottle of wine, and it's before lunch, heck it's before breakfast. By this time I am busting a gut and trying to balance all my stuff, he and I agreed we had made each other's days.
I find the world is full of these joyous and small connections if you are open to them.
I'm not suggesting you go around talking to everyone or even yourself because they're liable to put you away for that, but if you are awake and aware of your surroundings, there are lovely people and moments every five feet or so.
Good morning Friday!!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The art and science of child rearing

I've been known to be naive on some topics. I actually thought child rearing ended when they turned 18 and went off to college. When my dear son Nick turned 21 and was still living with me and going to school, I realized that was a myth. Sort of.
Nick is 23 now, and he's a man. But I still feel responsible for taking care of him. He still needs my help now and then.
Anyway, my two beautiful children 23 and 11, yes 12 years apart are currently engaging in a traditional sibling practice. They tattle on one another.
Now, I get that siblings do this. I have a sister 2 years my junior. BUT I also have a brother 10 years my junior. My sister and I sibling rivaried 'til we dropped, but my brother and I -- NADA. I would never have thought to compete with Tony for anything or to tell on him. It would have been ludicrous. Maybe this is because I was out of my parents' home when I was 18...probably.
So here I am in a different place in time, and my mind is boggled.
Recently my son broke a precious bowl of mine. This bowl had been moved several times and carefully treasured for years and years. He left it on the counter in its broken state, so I would know it had happened. Afterall, he's 23 and a good kid.
But when I returned home that night, his little sister, my sweet 11-year-old daughter, Claire, leapt to tell me that Nick had broken the bowl. She actually seemed to delight in telling me, and when I asked her why she tattled, she explained that Nick would not have told me... which was kind of more than a little amusing because he so obviously left it out for me to find.
OK, so this was not all that strange coming from an 11-year-old girl. But this is where it gets kinda twisted. Two days or so later, I get a call at work from my darling boy. He wants to inform me that No. 1, he's doing dishes, (which is very cool) but No. 2, his sister has 9 -- count 'em -- 9 dishes in her room and 7 plastic drink bottles in various places throughout the house.
At this point, I am stifling my laughter and trying to explain to the young man that 11-year-olds are slobs. REMEMBER????
Nick goes on to tell me that he has piled these things on his sister's bed and is of the opinion that I need to come down on her in a strong manner, so she learns her lesson and doesn't turn out --- like him.
I am so delighted that they are acting like siblings. When I had them 12 years apart, I feared they would never really know one another and never have the issues that siblings have and that I now look back on fondly from my own childhood. So for me this is an amazing and delightful part of life.
I hope they grow to treasure one another and understand that this time is brief and fleeting and all that gushy mom stuff, but more than anything what great free entertainment!