Tuesday Truth

Tuesday Truth – Anxiety vs. Reality

Today’s truth is a big one.  And one I need to be reminded of quite often:

Life is not as bad

They say anxiety runs in a family.  I’ve spoken before on the blog about my mom’s anxiety.  My husband also suffers from anxiety and has since he was little.  My daughter is definitely showing signs of it.  I don’t have much of an issue with anxiety, but every once in a while, I do work myself into a lather about one thing or another and convince myself that things are bad, bad, bad.  It often causes me to put off doing what I can about the situation, which, of course, only prolongs the suffering on my end.  But, over and over again, I’ve found that life is not really as bad as we can make it out to be in our minds.

I am someone who tends to the optimistic.  I try to give people the benefit of the doubt until they give me reason not to and I try to envision that good things will happen rather than bad.  But, there are some times that I just get fixated on something being horrible.  Often it is something that has resulted from some procrastination on my part and I have just let it get bigger and bigger in my mind.  At some point, I start to believe that the worst is the only possible result.  When I finally get around to acting on those things, I often find that the reality is much different, and better, than I had produced in my mind.

So, I’ve come to the conclusion that life is not nearly as bad as we can make it out to be in our minds.  In fact, it is often much, much better.  If I can keep that in mind at all times, I think I will let go of a lot of my procrastination.  And if I can model that behavior for my DD, perhaps she will be able to do the same.  Life is so much better when we do SOMETHING even if it isn’t perfect.  If we are waiting for perfection or postponing out of fear, we will end up missing out on things or causing ourselves worse problems.  I need to remember this truth when I’ve worked myself into a frenzy.

So, what’s your Tuesday Truth today?

Tuesday Truth

Tuesday Truth

Considering my “slow” goals over the weekend, my week has started out pretty darned busy.  Although, not overwhelmingly so.  Yet.  I do have a few Tuesday Truths to share this Tuesday.

Tuesday Truth

Simplicity and minimalism is not simple.  I’ve been watching some “Tiny House Nation” lately because I am fascinated by people’s desire and ability to live in a space that is the size of our living room.  My biggest question is WHERE IS ALL THEIR STUFF?  Why do I have so much stuff?  And why do I have such a hard time getting rid of said stuff.  I pick up things, look at them, ponder whether I should get rid of them or not…some are easy to toss in the give away box or the trash can, but most take a lot of emotional energy to do so.  And there is SO. SO. SO. much of it.  Where did it all come from?  I am sure that it gets easier as you pare down your stuff.  Upstairs, I have a bookcase in the hallway that was piled with books and other stuff.  I mean, it was full of books and then I had books piled up in front of the books.  And on top of the books were some photos in frames and some little trinkets, etc.

I cleaned it out last week.  And now there is open space.  Open.  Space.  It is crazy how much that makes me happy.  So, now I realize how great it would be to have that same feeling looking at other parts of our house.  My Sister-In-Law and I joked about our Mother-In-Law because when they cleaned out a cabinet at her house they found 13 salt and pepper shaker sets.  But, I need to joke about myself.  Today, I was going through some more books and found two hardback versions of the The Bonesetters Daughter (a book I have yet to read) and two paperback versions of Sarah’s Key (another book I have yet to read).  And that is in addition to a bunch of other books that I’ve been storing on my bookshelves that I know I will NEVER read.  So, now I have a pile of books to decide if I should take them to the used bookstore to try to sell them, list them online or just pile them in the thrift store box and be done with them.  That will take some time to figure out.

We are a messy family.  That’s the only way I can explain us.  And I can’t point my fingers at others with a halo over my head, because I am just as guilty a lot of the time.  I do a lot of cleaning.  But, I think the reason I have to clean so much is because we don’t do any maintenance.  I have piles everywhere.  Right now, sitting on the couch, I can look to my right and see a pile of receipts and ads from my purse that I took out to find something.  My DD’s key chain collection (which is all tied on to a single string).  A deck of Littlest Pet Shop cards we were playing with the other day and never got put away…to my left is the scary, scary dining room table.  This one is actually worth a photo:

dining room table - mess

So, yeah.  I got home from my mom’s a week ago tomorrow.  The ice chest is from that trip.  The cone is from the dog coming home from the vet today.  The black bag is my work bag.  The green bag is another bag from the trip that is empty, but hasn’t been put away.  The Amazon box came yesterday and I didn’t open it yet.  There is cleaner that was left out.  A Build A Bear that someone was playing with and the dog took from them and I put it on the table to keep it from becoming covered in slobber.  There are coloring books.  The papers from three (yes, three) purses that I cleaned out when moving them from one closet to another and/or getting rid of them.  The same thing happens in my car.  I will get it all cleaned out and within a week, there are piles of books, clothes, food wrappers, possibly food…it is RIDICULOUS!

So, I’m wondering.  Can we overcome this messiness?  This lack of care and concern for our space and our things?  Because we are all the same.  It isn’t just one of us. It is all of us.  So, here is my take on things:

  • We have too. much. stuff.  There is not a place for everything because…well, there is literally not a place for everything.  So, decluttering will help.  BUT…
  • We are also lazy.  I can’t think of another word for it.  When it is easier to LEAVE something than to pick it up and take it back where it belongs, it gets LEFT.
  • Finally, we are pilers.  We love to pile things up to be dealt with “later”.  Unfortunately, later often comes far too late…

So, there you have it.  No solution.  Just the truth.  I am hoping that decluttering will be helpful.  Doing away with laziness is a little more difficult, but if we can just have a place for everything than we can maybe we can pressure ourselves to actually put things back where they belong.  And the piles.  Well, pilers pile.  But, we’ll pile less if we have places to put things.  Maybe.  Just maybe.

So, those are my two BRILLIANT truths for today (sarcasm aside).  What are your truths on this Tuesday?

Tuesday Truth

Tuesday Truth

The truth is out there…this much I know, thanks to X-Files.

Tuesday Truth

Today is relatively relaxing day.  I volunteered at Vacation Bible School this morning (in the nursery, which is really pretty easy), had a meeting with a colleague over coffee for the hour before DD was done at VBS and then we came home.  She ate lunch and then the neighbor kids came over and they’ve been playing ever since.  So, I’ve been playing catch up on email, housework and other stuff.  But, I’m feeling like I SHOULD be doing something more.  I guess that is my own problem.

My first truth today is that having a neighborhood full of kids is both good and bad.  Good in the way that its happening today – they allow my DD to stay entertained without me having to work at it.  Bad in the way that it happened yesterday – a load of kids come over, eat my snack food, drink my apple juice boxes and make a mess of my DD’s room and then leave.  So, today they “pinky swore” (my DD’s words) that they would help clean up whatever mess they made.  And they’ve only asked for water so far.  I love knowing where my DD is and being a host to other kids, but sometimes it can be too much. Yesterday was one of those days.  Today is better.  So far.  It could still get worse though.  We’ll see.

Second truth, my husband was right.  I am an old lady in my television viewing.  I’ve mentioned before about my Murder She Wrote obsession.  I also love Matlock and Diagnosis Murder (thank you Hallmark Channels).  At my mom’s recently, I rediscovered The Love BoatGolden Girls.  I love them all.  I try to watch newer television, but it just doesn’t have the same appeal to me (although, I am DVRing Aquarius because of my love of X-Files and David Duchovny, despite the whole sex addict thing – I am hoping I like it).  So, yeah, my TV viewing would totally work in a retirement home.  Oh well.  I’ll live with it.

The last truth is that summers here are hot!  We’ve been lucky so far but this week we’re going to hit over 100 and a little north of us it is predicted to hit 111!  Ugh.  Today was only 98 and it was hot enough.  Tomorrow at VBS is water day, so my DD will be cooling off in the park during the a.m.  She had a bit of a meltdown tonight, so we talked about taking rests in the afternoon and coming in earlier at night.  Hopefully, it sticks.  It is hard to be six and want to hang with the other kids in the neighborhood.  But, I’m pretty sure none of them get up at 6:30 – 7:00 a.m., which is what she does, so she is fully exhausted a little earlier than they are (although, I’m pretty sure the other 6 yo was also pretty exhausted by 8 p.m. when I made her come in – he was in a mood).  So, we’ll try again tomorrow.  I want her to learn WHY I want her to do things, so this seemed like a safe way to learn a lesson.  Hopefully, it was learned.  We were supposed to go see Inside, Out today with a friend and her daughter, but her daughter has 103 fever and cough, so that was a no go.  Hoping her daughter gets to feeling better soon. Nothing worse than being sick in the summer time!

That’s it – what are your truths on this Tuesday?

Tuesday Truth, Uncategorized

Tuesday Truths

Tuesday TruthWell, this week is my first official week of summer vacation.  I finally have a few hours in my house alone (we’ve had house guests for much of the past two weeks) and I’m in the midst of doing a power clean of our garage because we are getting a freezer (thanks to my in-laws, who gave it to us as a Christmas present, but we didn’t have space for it in December – we decided to take the jump and clean out for it while they were here this time and it is being delivered tomorrow).  I’m almost done with grading for Spring 2015 and I’m already thinking about what I want to do Fall 2015.  My DD gets out of school on Thursday at Noon.  I’m trying to make my backyard look like something other than an empty lot that folks have used as a dumping ground.  If this post does not make it obvious, I am trying really hard to catch up on things I’ve been putting off forever and then settle into summer in a better place – both literally and figuratively.

So, Tuesday Truths this week include:

An empty house is a gift.  I love hosting people in my home.  I love being able to visit, but still be in my own home.  But, an empty house is a real gift.  I get to watch what I want to watch on TV (mostly Hallmark Movies and Mysteries), clean when I want to clean, eat and drink what I want to when I want to, etc., etc.  I realize that I need alone time as much as I need together time.

Summer laid out before me is both bliss and pressure.  I love the start of summer.  So much opportunity.  But, that opportunity also presents pressure to make sure you don’t waste it.  But, I also need down time.  So, my attempt this summer will be to make both memories and time for relaxation.  Right now, I’m trying to figure out how to give myself the gift of time while also giving my mom (who is in hospice) the gift of my time while also giving my DD the gift of my time.  There is only so much time to go around, so I have to try to balance it.

Yards are nice, but a lot of work and cost.  I love our backyard as a concept.  It is big.  Lots of open space.  Not a lot of grass, but a nice little patio and a nice little plot of grass, then a really big area that used to be covered in bark with some nice plants interspersed.  Our landlord provides yard service.  But, we had a pool on the lawn for most of last summer and it killed the grass and it never really came back.  Then we got a puppy who eats everything and takes stuffed animals out there and strews them about.  We aren’t yard care people either, so there are leaves all over on the borders and the bark has decomposed and now its dirt and weeds.  I just talked to the lawn guy and he basically said the lawn is dead and there is too much dog poop back there to deal with it.

I get what he means.  We don’t have a regular schedule for picking up dog poop, which has to end.  So, I’ll put that on my list of things to do each week.  It is easy enough if you do it once a week, right before the trash pick up.  So, I’ve got to put it on my routine chores and just do it.  I’m going to get lawn seed and try to regrow the lawn where it is dead.  They are weed eating for me in that area and I’ll get the leaves picked up that are piled up.  I got string lights to hang back there and moved my bistro set from my front porch to the back patio and got the old BBQ out of the way (my husband got a smoker and basically uses only it now, so we had this big gas BBQ just taking up space on our small patio).  It could be a great place to enjoy the shade (there is a big tree back there) in the summer months and I could set up some fun play things back there.  Maybe a pop-up over in the non-shaded dirt/weed area and I’ve considered getting a plot of fake grass from Costco to put over there as a play place for my DD.  So many ideas.  Not enough money, energy or motivation.  But, as I said above, summer is laid out before me and the possibilities are endless.

Those are my truths for today.  It is almost time to go pick up my DD from school and I’m a bit sad as I’ve enjoyed the solitary couple of hours since my husband went to work.  But, alas, I can’t be alone forever.  The back lawn is cut down and they even weeded over in the open area.  The garbage and recycling are both completely full to overflowing (my in-laws always produce a lot of garbage and recycling when visiting – its a mystery how it is so much more, but it is), so I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to pick up the dog poop and leaves and pieces of toy strewn about by the puppy.  But, hopefully the yard can be making a comeback by this weekend.

 

 

 

Tuesday Truth

Tuesday Truth

tuesday truth

Well, today’s primary Tuesday Truths are all about sickness and hospitals.

First, it sucks to be sick.  I have some thing going on with my throat that has caused laryngitis and coughing and just misery in general.  Coughing makes me tired and relatively sleepless and laryngitis makes it difficult to teach and talk on the phone or talk to people in your house.  Basically, anything.  So, yeah – that’s where that’s at.  Hopefully my voice will soon return to full strength and this cough takes a hike.

Second, hospitals are exhausting.  I spent all day yesterday in the hospital for my DD’s annual heart biopsy.  She did relatively well, but it is still a long, long day.  We arrived at 7:30 a.m. and didn’t leave until 3:30 p.m. and in between we dealt with pre-op upset, post-op upset and just general frustration on hers and our part.  Trying to keep a six year old laying completely flat for four hours is a bit ridiculous if you ask me, but it is what they want us to do to keep her from bleeding at the access sites.  And she gets super frustrated and we get super frustrated and at some point, I just kind of give up and hope for the best.  Everything went okay.  The sites look fine today.  So, I think we did a good enough job.  Her rejection level was 1A which is a bit of a disappointment after the last few zeroes, but the NP says that is basically the same as a zero (which is obviously not true or they wouldn’t have a zero and a 1A), but we’ll take it.  It means no steroid treatment or change in meds.  So, we’re good.  Everything else looked good as well.  So, hopefully another year before we have to go through that again.

Third, having a sick, aging parent on hospice sucks.  My mom was here all weekend and she was considerably weaker than the prior weekend (just four days later).  And since she went home on Sunday she has gotten progressively worse.  Yesterday she didn’t really get out of bed.  My sister went down there today and says she is not making a lot of sense and seems very disoriented.  She is weak and now they want to get her a hospital bed.  Her caregiver seems to be a little low on the caregiving department since she says she can’t help her get into bed, which I was able to do this weekend.  So, now we may have to look for someone else OR we just need to convince my mom to go into assisted living, which she will hate, but which will probably be good for her.  I’m exhausted after taking care of her the last two weekends not because of having to help her move around, but more because of her emotional state.  I was also getting sick, so I didn’t feel good this weekend, and I think it all caught up to me this week.  Hence, my loss of voice.

So, that’s it – my Tuesday Truths.  Not much positive here, I know.  Its been a rough weekend.  And it has continued into the week.  But, I’m hoping things start to look up.  Maybe my voice will come back, hopefully this weekend will be without a hospital visit AND my mom will get what she needs and be more comfortable.  And, I hope to get some sleep.  And, get some grading done.  And, finish cleaning/organizing my house.  And, go to the fair.  And, read some books.  And, just R-E-L-A-X.  Yeah, right.  What about you?  What’s your Tuesday Truth?

Tuesday Truth

Tuesday Truth

Life-is-Hard-Quotes-13-300x300

Life is hard, but life is good.

That is my Tuesday Truth this week.  I am so incredibly grateful for all of the gifts I’ve been given in my life.  But, I am also incredibly tired from all the gifts I’ve been given in my life.  I have realized over the past couple of weeks that I have a lot to deal with in my life.  And those are good things.  I have not just one job, but two.  I have not just a daughter, but a daughter with a life-long medical condition that requires attention and medication.  I have not just a mother, but a mother in hospice who is staying healthy enough to survive longer, but not healthy enough to maintain the life she wants to live.  I don’t just teach, I coach intercollegiate Speech and Debate.  My life is full.  But, pretty much overflowing and I can’t stop the slow drip, drip, drip of additional responsibilities and tasks and demands.

But, I am also starting to realize that I am capable of making decisions about what I allow to just “flow over” and what I work at keeping in my life.  I also realize that I want more things in my life, but right now, I let the things that are slowly dripping in take the place of those things I would choose to pour in, and that needs to change. So, I’m going to start focusing on keeping my life full, but letting it “drain” every once in a while.  And this summer, I would like it to be more drain and less fill.

So, what’s your truth for today?

Tuesday Truth

Tuesday Truth

tuesday truth

First truth today:  Kids and puppies are the cutest when sleeping.  When sleeping together, they are even cuter:

Sleep_mates

Second truth is that time does move faster when you get older.  I feel like this semester has barely begun and it ends in a matter of weeks.  Wha?  Where have the last three months gone and who lived them instead of me?  I feel like it is all speeding by and I can’t keep up and I’m missing so much.  It is strange and scary.  Turns out, it isn’t just me and I need to do new and unique things to slow time down.  Psychology Today says so!

Final truth.  My life would be so much better if I could live it like Jessica Fletcher lived hers.  Well, I wouldn’t want to necessarily see all those dead people every week, but other than that.  I would be a famous author who everyone loves and respects.  I would get to go to glamorous parties wearing glamorous clothes and meet glamorous people.  Actually, now that I think about it, I could skip that part too.  I would probably have to wear heels and I would much rather hang out in pajamas in my hotel room where room service would deliver my breakfast with the morning paper.  I would live in a pretty house with a nice garden and have eclectic friends who would come over for dinner parties each week.

But, alas, I am living my own life instead.  I don’t see many dead people (plus), but I’m not a famous author and everyone does not love and respect me (some do, but not everyone).  I can barely dress myself for work on most days.  I stay at hotels, but rarely order room service and when I do, no one brings me the morning paper with my food.  I live in a pretty duplex with a lot of dirt in the backyard that needs to have something done with it.  I have eclectic friends, but I don’t have many dinner parties.  I can barely get a meal together for me and my family on a regular basis.  So, I’ve got a ways to go to be on Jessica Fletcher’s level.

But, my life is not bad.  I have a beautiful daughter who survived many a medical ordeal and is now thriving.  Our puppy survived parvo and seems to be just as good as she was before she got sick.  I have a cat who is pretty aloof, but still wants to snuggle every once in a while.  I have eclectic friends who post funny, sad and interesting things on Facebook and make me want to visit with them in person at weekly dinner parties.  My house is lived in.  There are traces of fun just about everywhere.  But it is relaxed and not at all intimidating.  I have a husband who loves me despite all my flaws and foibles.  I have not one, but two jobs that I mostly love.  I have animals who I love and who are not “from hell” (I was watching My Cat is From Hell this weekend).  So, I’ll take it.  But, if someone wants to give me a writing contract and turn me into Jessica Fletcher, I’m ready to roll…except for the dead bodies and high heels.