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Shaking Things Up

This is Allergy Season for me, the 1-2 months a year where I’m staying at a moderate level of miserable depending on weather and amount of hours outdoors. Because of the weird drainage, I tend to get a cough when I go prone at bedtime. I tried a few nights of sleeping upright on the couch, but it wasn’t working so I’ve been chugging cough medicine every night which is helping me sleep through coughing (sneezing is another story) but I wake up not feeling like I’ve slept at all. It’s weird. I got a good 7 hours or more last night yet I struggled to get out of bed an hour later than usual. COUGH MEDICINE IS TERRIBLE.

Anyway – this week I’ve been weirdly groggy and I’ve had trouble getting going and focusing in the mornings. SO! I shifted things around. Usually I drink all of the coffee, blog, housework, and then shower. This morning I made the coffee but then GOT IN THE SHOWER. WHAT? I showered BEFORE blogging and y’all, I’ll be honest, it feels really weird to be blogging clean.

I also keep feeling like I should be leaving because usually showering is the LAST step of the day, not the FIRST. Now I’m clean for EVERYTHING and I can’t tell if I love it or if it’s really disconcerting. (If you’re seen the featured image of me and my coffee with this post, then you’re seeing the “Clean While Blogging” selfie I posted to document HOW WEIRD this all was.)

I go back and forth on the necessities of routines in my life. When it comes to running I need routines, which I’ve gotten out of since the last bad fall. (Good news: Pain in knee seems significantly reduced today which is good because I’m trying running again tonight!) But sometimes I feel like I use my routines as a weird crutch. Like, if my routine is off I say, “Well – if that’s off then LETS JUST LET EVERYTHING BE OFF!” Any weird shift in a relatively normal routine and I allow myself french fries 4 times a day and cookies around every turn. It’s like I give myself permission to eat ALL of my feelings if a day does not follow an expected routine.

ISN’T THAT WEIRD?

So sometimes I feel like I should intentionally shake things up and challenge myself to still avoid the Eating Of The Feelings which is what I’ve been doing every day since my schedule has been so insane lately. Maybe today will be that challenge! A day to prove to myself that just because the schedule isn’t following an expected pattern, doesn’t mean I can throw all caution to the wind and give up on all efforts to be reasonable with my food intake.

Because I don’t think I’ll ever have a “normal” routine again. The kids are too old with their own extra-curriculars, I have two volunteer jobs, my husband and I are both training for big races, AND we randomly get calls demanding we leave our house (after cleaning it of course) for showings. Truthfully? Every day is just a crapshoot and who knows what is going to happen when. I need to let go of the hope of a routine to follow to keep me within healthy eating habits, and I need to learn to control my emotional urges to binge no matter how insane the day is. Maybe find routine in other ways? Like randomly break into song every three hours? That would be hilarious.

Anyway. So today seems like a good day to give it a try. To recognize there is NO routine any more and I need to accept that and try to still make good choices even amidst the chaos of life.

Bonus Entry From Therapy!

I went to therapy this morning and my therapist introduced me to a concept: Analysis Paralysis. This is when you feel compelled to analyze something so much, you’re almost frozen into inaction and can’t change or shift because you’re so obsessed with analyzing a situation.

So…did anyone read my 1800 words this morning WAAAAAY over-analyzing a simple comment from a Christian acquaintance? Yep…I think I might suffer from Analysis Paralysis. Just maybe.

I found that hilarious and really wanted to share it with you guys, which I figured I’d do in tomorrow’s entry. Then Jessie left this comment on the last entry, “My philosophy, don’t be an asshole and we can be friends.”

Jessie does NOT suffer from Analysis Paralysis. I need to be more like Jessie.

ANYWAY – There was also a funny moment of synchronicity involving stuffed animals but I’ll save that for tomorrow. Today? I just had to pop in with a bonus entry so we could all giggle over the not-so-hidden messages life sometimes gives me: CHILL OUT, Zoot.

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Girl Power

We all have things.

Yes. I know. I’m very profound.

You know what I mean…like my things are: Not Taking Left Turns, Not Using Shampoo, Highly Protective Of My Pens.

They’re the things we tend to spotlight that make us interesting, or quirky, or unique in some way.

We can probably all list cycles of things we went though, especially during our tween/young adult years where having cool things was kind of a necessity. I was The Girl Who Sneezed Loudly and The Girl Who Could Turn Her Feet Backwards. I also went through several fashion phases that could qualify as things: Deadhead, Girl Who Wore Fishnets and Combat Boots, Undercut Girl etc.

One of my things I fell back on a lot – and as far back as second grade – was Girl Who Prefers Guy Friends Over Girl Friends.

Now…let me state for a fact…This Was Never Actually True. It was just a thing I thought made me interesting at certain moments and it certain circles so I would proclaim it like it was true. In second grade I actually fought with my friend Ashley over who was more of a Tomboy and she said she was because I collected stickers and that was NOT a Tomboy thing to do. But I remember us listing off all of our “boy friends” we had because “girls are stupid” or something like that.

And from that point on, when talking to boys, I would often proclaim my distaste for most girls and that I preferred to be friends with boys.

Again: THIS WAS NOT TRUE. I just thought it made me interesting to boys so I wanted it to be true.

NOW…I will say, in general I usually felt more comfortable around boys. I knew a lot about college football and Stephen King and Dean Koontz and I was raised by my Dad and I had a brother and I grew up hiking and camping so at certain points and in certain circles I would have more in common with the boys than with the girls. I tended to be really intimidated by girls and not as much by boys. BUT – I always had friends who were girls, I just didn’t like admitting it, I guess? I don’t know. It was just a thing I felt made me interesting off and on from ages 7 to – well – probably 20ish? I do know even after I split from my first husband I tried to seem cool in a few circles with the whole, “Ew…girls…” schtick and I was 23’ish then. I’m so embarrassed for my past self. GET OVER YOURSELF, KIM FROM THE LATE NINETIES.

quote-female-friendships_17324-7But lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the women in my life and how freaking lucky I am to have such and expansive tribe that inspires me in so many ways. I’ve always been blessed with at least one or two strong female friends at certain points in my life, but since 2009 when I really started facing my social anxieties head on and putting myself out in the world…I realize I’ve built myself an arsenal of amazing women that I could call upon for advice or counsel at a moment’s notice.

I don’t know why I was so hesitant to admit female friends are awesome. The few I ever had were always amazing, but I guess it seemed so mundane, or cliche or something. I WANTED TO BE QUIRKY. All of the rom-coms had quirky girls who only had guy friends, RIGHT?

But man, I’m really glad I’ve grown out of being weirdly adverse to admitting my dependency on my female friends. I was struggling with something personally female recently and thought about kinda vocalizing it and it wasn’t: I wish I had someone I could talk to about this…. Instead it was: Which of my amazing female friends should I text? I had so many I could turn to! I ended up just waiting it out but still…it made me realize how lucky I am and how proud I am of finally letting go of trying to be the special little flower who gets along with boys better than girls and just owning the glory of the female friendship and counting my blessings for having so many in my life.

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You Have To Take The Happy Dances With The Public Tears.

I’ve talked before about trying not to beat myself up over some personality traits because they always have a positive side I wouldn’t want to part with. For example, being “too sensitive” and quick to have my feelings hurt is the same part of me that has an incredible ability to see things from someone’s else’s point of view. The sensitivity and the empathy are very closely intertwined and it would be very hard to get rid of one and not the other.

Lately I’ve discovered another two-sided personality trait. The more I’m around people (years battling social anxieties kept me away from the general population) as I get older, the more I realized that I have NO ABILITY TO CONTAIN MY EMOTIONS. You know the whole “she wears her emotions on her sleeve” thing? Well – I wear mine as a full-body skin suit. YOU NEVER HAVE TO GUESS WHAT I’M FEELING. It’s so very frustrating on some days because if I get frustrated or irritated or angry or hurt, I can not hide it at all. It immediately shows up in the tone of my voice (or the shakiness of it) and in the color of my face and I’m that girl who tears up in the middle of a conversation with another grownup and I HATE IT. Once a woman was VERY mean to me at Target and I could not control my hurt as I apologized (which I shouldn’t have even been doing because she was TOTALLY over-reacting) and my voice quivered and my eyes were tearing up. I was hurt and angry and I was showing it ALL in a frenzy panic of wobbly words and angry tears. ZOOT! YOU ARE A GROWN WOMAN IN TARGET. CONTROL YOURSELF.

I was at a group run recently and someone who is much better than I am at everything was very kind and calm and pointed out a bad habit I had while running which could be harming my body and I WAS SO EMBARRASSED that I got this weird shake to my voice and did this incredibly awkward self-deprecating thing and then basically just stopped talking to her and was probably really rude but I was trying not to die of shame. WHY SUCH EXTREME EMOTIONS YOU CRAZY LADY?

I had a professional encounter several months ago where someone was just point-blank irritating me. They were the wrong kind of personality to mix with mine – and I could not hide my distaste in the slightest. Of course, this person was so inappropriate too in terms of their language (I’m a pearl-clutcher, remember) that I just wanted to get away from the situation and I’m certain I did not hide my annoyance or distaste in the slightest which was A) Not nice and B) Not professional. But I couldn’t control it, it was like the response was completely instinctive. Anger. Irritation. Eye-Rolling. Frustration. ALL OPEN FOR THE WORLD TO SEE.

BUT…all of these negative manifestions to being a quick-to-react type of person come from the same personality trait that makes me unable to hide any joy or excitement when someone gives me good news. If you tell me something happy I will do a “WOOO!” and hug you too hard. Or it makes me unable to hide my pain if you tell me something that causes you pain. I like that I can be completely sincere in my emotional reactions to other people so there’s no worrying I’m not legitimately happy for you when you share good news. When we had family dinner 2+ years ago and I realized my nephew was wearing a shirt that said, “Big Brother” – I FREAKED OUT! I mean, we’re talking squealing and jumping and screaming like a maniac. There was no confusion, “I wonder if Kim is excited we’re pregnant?”

Even their neighbors new I was excited.

So the next time someone in line behind me tells his wife that, “Of course she’s is a Democrat. She always does what everyone else around her does. No one votes Democrat because they actually know what that means, they’re all just doing it because some celebrity told them to” and I get so angry vicariously for the person they’re discussing that I completely lose all ability to think straight and leave the store without my purse…I’ll remind myself that the same personality trait also begets someone who starts crying at her desk the second she reads that one of her favorite You Tuber’s dog has died (RIP Lemon).

Yes…I’ll still try to work on not showing my anger or frustration or hurt so vividly in public or professional situations. But, I’m not going to be too hard on myself for that when I have no desire to stop dancing for joy (literally, I have a happy dance) when someone gives me good news.

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My Childhood Memories Are Basically All Fictional

“I didn’t like A-Team. You and Chris did, I thought it was ridiculous.”

That was the statement from my Dad years before he died that shattered my view of my childhood. WHAT? My Dad didn’t like A-Team? What about all of the memories that I have of us curled up under the table by the one baseboard heater (our house didn’t have central heat/air – we just had one baseboard that basically just pumped out enough heat to ward off frostbite) and laughing hysterically at the antics of Murdock and Mr. T. In my head my Dad loved that show as much as we did.

“Did you like Roseanne?”
“Oh, yeah. That was great.”

So those memories were real. But the other ones weren’t? THERE WAS NO DIFFERENCE IN MY HEAD.

It was that moment when I realized my memories could NOT be trusted. And that I’m really good at fooling myself and writing my own history, I guess.

BUT NOTHING PREPARED ME FOR THE EARTH SHATTERING REVELATION FROM THIS MORNING.

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This was one of the many photos I came across recently when I was condensing 14 boxes of photos in 5 boxes. Nothing really exciting about this picture but I kept it out to scan because it was a good visual representation of one of my childhood descriptors: My love of my stuffed animals. I used to harbor a lot of guilt when I couldn’t take them all to my Moms every other weekend because – and this was long before Toy Story – in my head they all had feelings. So, I would carry them all around together so no one would feel left out. And this picture showed that! SEE! I’M HOLDING ALL OF THEM!

But then I noticed the date and something in my brain was like…wait a minute.

2460663780_68f94318b6_bI would have been 9 in that photo. And those stuffed feet I’m hold clearly belong to my Ewok which is shown here in this old photo of Nikki in Wes’s carseat. The Ewok I’ve been telling everyone I got for my 10th birthday FOR 30 YEARS. Seriously. I’ve written about that Ewok on this blog several times (Here I talk about how he helped with my grief over losing my Dad.) and every time I say, “My Dad gave him to me for my 10th birthday.”

BUT OBVIOUSLY HE DIDN’T.

You might say, “The date could be wrong on that polaroid.” But my Dad would not have let that slide. If the year had been off he would have realized it pretty quickly and corrected it.

And the funny thing is, recently I did kinda start to question the “10th Birthday” thing. I was listening to a podcast and they were discussing when Return of the Jedi came out. I knew I had gotten the Ewok for my 10th birthday in 1985, so I guessed the movie came out in 84. But then it turns out it came out in May 1983 and that would mean it had been out a whole TWO YEARS before my 10th birthday and that felt weird because I felt like the Ewok was a very current gift. Like…it fit with what other people were giving their kids at that time – which was a rare feeling for me. I never got a real Cabbage Patch doll (until Amalah sent me one many moons ago!) or My Little Ponies or Care Bears when my other friends were getting them. But something about the Ewok felt like it fell in line with what my classmates were talking about or playing with or something. And that was kinda rare so it stuck out with that gift. “Look at my Dad! Totally getting me a hip gift!” Two Years after a movie wasn’t unheard of to gift a product, but it didn’t feel “current”. So, if this was a photo taken at Christmas did I get the Ewok for my 9th birthday? Because in my head it’s definitely a birthday gift. But who knows? Maybe it was a Christmas gift? I looked on Ebay and those Ewoks were definitely made in 1983, so maybe even my 8th birthday? WHY DIDN’T I FIND OUT THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION BEFORE MY DAD DIED? How will I ever know now when he gave me that?

Have you ever had a memory shattering discovery? Or am I the only one who obviously has written her past into some A-Team/10th Birthday Fairy Tale that NEVER EVEN EXISTED.