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From the mouth of babes…to my couch for therapy

I got towards the end of this entry and laughed because I always call my blog my “therapy” but this entry really is on SO MANY LEVELS. As I started hashing it out I realized that, if I had a therapist, this is probably what a session would sound like so OH MY GOD – y’all should totally skip this one because it’s boring as crap. Maybe just read the last paragraph for a summary.

But good for me! Free therapy!

I tend to carry annoyances around with me a little longer than I should. You know, annoyance at the tiny trivialities of life. Like an inability to find a baby sitter so you could go to a gathering of friends, or a child having an emotional weekend and crying every 3 seconds, or a husband choosing to sleep in instead of working out early meaning you COULD have worked out early after all, or the rain squashing plans to gather with the cousins at the pool. All of those things happened this weekend and none of them are catastrophic but they all annoyed me which made me…how do I say it…a bitch.

I just get short and grumpy when those little things happen. I become the sort of person that rolls her eyes a lot. I lose all patience with everyone, adult OR child, I just kinda let those stupid little complications in my schedule or life taint my interactions for several hours and it’s really stupid.

On the way home from the family gathering that did EVENTUALLY end up at the pool (thank GOD, my kids were HEARTBROKEN when it started storming right as we were leaving) Wes and I were talking about “Why should you be good?” which is one of the many questions I feel like would be easier if we believed in God or Heaven/Hell.

“Because then you are doing your part to make the world better. And if you are nice/kind/good then people around you are more likely to be nice/kind good. It’s how we spread joy, remember?”

As we were talking Nikki noticed we were taking back roads home and she kinda interrupted me and said, “Where are we going?” since she didn’t recognize the route. I ignored her and finished my sentence talking to Wesley. Donnie said something also to Wesley to echo what I had been saying and she asked again to which I said, “Jeezus, we’re going home, where do you think?!” And of course she started crying because I snapped at her and Wesley says quietly, “That’s not really spreading joy…”

Now…it was tainted with a little bit of snark but for the most part it was a very sincere statement and QUITE TRUE. So true it almost made me laugh, except I was still annoyed by all of the issues I had mentioned previously. And do you remember one of the annoyance triggers was my daughter’s fragile emotions? So her crying of me snapping didn’t help much.

I acknowledged how VERY TRUE what he said was and I apologized to Nikki profusely. I know that’s something we all do, we tend to just carry our frustrations with us and sometimes get grumpy. But having your 7-year old son point it out to you is a bit embarrassing.

My Dad used to talk about that a lot, about carrying those frustrations around with you and how they just make you grumpy. I think that’s when he would usually go for a run and as the kids get older, that will be something I could consider, but right now “Just going for a run” is easier said than done.

What do you do to shake off a funk?

I also read this article late last night about self loving and while I hate the literary device lately of “What X Person Does That You’re Not Doing” – I did enjoy the article. If you had asked me yesterday if I loved myself I would have said, “Nah, I’m really hard on myself…” – and how bad I felt being a crappy Mom last night would be a prime example. But I read the article and I do everything in the article! A LOT!

So then I was thinking, I am definitely more self-loving than I was 10 years ago. All of the things I do in that article are kinda new in the last 10 years, but am still very hard on myself, so maybe that is still a manifestation of self love? What if I just have learned how much I can do, how much I can change, how powerful I am and strong and so now I get really disappointed in myself because I just feel like I’m capable of SO MUCH MORE.

So that was a strange revelation last night…that maybe my newly growing self love is causing me to be really hard on myself at times?

When something negative happens, self-loving people will look for a way to take responsibility, rather than searching for someone to blame. They know that placing blame doesn’t solve the problem — it only cultivates anxiety and helplessness. By choosing to take responsibility, self-loving people do themselves the favor of encouraging change and acceptance rather than stewing in stagnation and suffering.

I basically think I take that step too far. So, after last night I say to myself, “Dude. He’s right. That was ALL ME. And if I can run 52 miles in 12 hours then I can learn to not snap at my kids just because my schedule got complicated.”

Sidenote: I just stopped an wrote the preface you saw before because I suddenly felt like I needed a couch to sit on while I hash this out for a person writing notes in a notepad.

ANYWAY. So! When I do stupid stuff like carry around annoyances from stupid complications in my life, and THEN take it out on the people I love, I’m going to be really hard on myself because I love myself so much I know I’m capable of better. Is that a thing? Loving yourself so much you’re actually quite hard on yourself?

Because I think it’s a thing. I think maybe we can love ourselves so much we set up too high of expectations?

Whatever the thing, I have a lot to think about today. I need to work on shaking off stupid frustrations that happen in life (the schedule complications are always the worst because when you think you’re doing one thing – like a party with friends – and then suddenly you can’t, it just puts me in the worst mood) so that they don’t linger in my behavior for hours. And I need to love myself REASONABLY. I don’t expect perfection from my kids, I praise them for effort all the time, so maybe I need to do that for myself. And maybe that same “expectation of perfection” is what causes me to be so grumpy when small things complicate my life. Maybe I just need to set more realistic expectations for LIFE, not just for myself.

Well, that may be the most boring entry I’ve ever written in the 12 years I’ve been blogging. Thanks for sticking with me if you made it to the end! JEEPERS.

For Your Reading Enjoyment

I slept late this morning. 3:58am. It’s a weird level of existence when that is late. I’ve been waking up around 2 or 2:30am (Not on race day, race day I slept until 4am, thank God) the last week or so. My brain just decides that’s the time to get up and I can’t turn it off. Part of it is stressing about real stuff like work or selling our house, but most of it is stressing about stupid stuff like what the chlorine is doing to my kid’s hair this summer. Why 2am is a good time to worry about that stuff, I’ll never know.

(What should I do for my kid’s hair? It’s like STRAW.)

But – I have two amazing links to share with you today about religion and gay marriage. The first one is a writeup for Mormons. I have very close friends and family who are Mormon, all who also support gay marriage, and I know it’s tough to try to be patient and wait for your church be on the same page as you are. I often think about how jealous I was when girls could become alter servers a few years after I was too old. WHY DIDN’T THEY CHANGE EARLIER? I know gay marriage is a lot different than Catholic alter servers, but I remember knowing the church would change eventually, and being irritated it wasn’t soon.

Maybe the sea change has already happened. (source)
Right now we’re in an awkward, in-between place where we’ve made this significant change in what we understand homosexuality to be, but have yet to follow through the consequences of that change. The Mormon Church has acknowledged that gay people are real and sexuality is not “curable,” but has yet to offer a tenable way for gay members to remain Mormon (or, for that matter, a reasonable public stance on what the Church imagines that non-Mormon gay people should do). Our current position is implicitly that gay people can stick around as third-class citizens, objects of suspicion and pity with limited opportunities for service and deficit social capital, and this simply cannot be sustainable–not if we want to be a church that offers everyone equal access to God and exaltation.

I’m optimistic, though, because I think the harder change is the one we’ve already made, in shifting our view of the ontological status of homosexuality. We now believe gay people are real, and I think we can sidestep the consequences of it only for so long. Telling gay people to just not act on their homosexual desire made a kind of sense as long as those people were imagined to not actually be gay–to be recoverable as straight people–but if gay people are actually really and truly gay, then this sort of policy starts to look like the whim of an arbitrary and cruel God. If we don’t believe in that God, perhaps it’s time to be praying for further light and knowledge to see our way out of this intolerable status quo..

I haven’t perused the comments this morning, but yesterday there were some great comments in her comment section as well.

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The second link is just a Christian stance towards the “Persecution Complex” referencing the recent SCOTUS decision. There’s so much wisdom in this article and it actually spoke a lot to my heart and a lot to what I loved about being Christian. It made me miss the church for the first time in a long time. (Not miss it enough to return, I’m too far gone – grin, but I do miss some of the amazing messages I received from excellent interpretations of the Gospel.

For the sake of the gospel, drop the persecution complex (source)

Where is the concern for gay kids getting kicked out of their homes to live on the streets? Where is the opposition to LGBT bullying and housing discrimination? Why remain silent when Christian leaders speak in crude and hateful terms about LGBT people or support the criminalization of homosexuality overseas?

What the persecution complex suggests is that conservative Christians only care about bullying, oppression, and discrimination when it happens to them. If it happens to LGBT people, or to people in other religious minority groups, it is of little concern (or is tacitly supported). Compassion and advocacy are rooted in self-interest alone and Christian privilege is guarded ruthlessly, even if it comes at the expense of others.

The entry is long but you should read every word. It was hard to pick just one to quote. I just loved it so much and her description of her Faith and the Gospel and how she wants to live her life…that is what I love about Christianity. That’s what I want my kids to learn about the Church. In my community the few church leaders who have stood up for the LGBT community have faced backlash from their own churches and congregations and it breaks my heart. I wish more church leaders would take this stance because I still know of a kid know too long ago who went to a reparative camp. That’s still happening here. Kids are still afraid to come out or are still being shunned by their families. It’s not everywhere anymore, thank goodness, but in my state it’s still happening with regularity.

So! Enjoy those two readings while I get ready for my run. It just so happens one of my good running buddies needed early runs today and tomorrow, the two rare days my husband has off since he has a huge Tri Camp in Chattanooga this weekend. So! I’m looking forward to running WITH SOMEONE for a change! It’s been so long!

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End of the Week Miscellany

  • Okay! You all have convinced me that I should try to break my addiction to sugar and artificial sweeteners. Although, I’m not sure how since all of you agreed with me and said, “OH MY GOD IT IS SO TERRIBLE TO QUIT!” I don’t think I can go cold turkey/detox though. At least not now. I’m going to start cutting back and logging my intake so that maybe I can eventually cut back to zero. Ug. I’ll be honest. I’m already dreading this whole process even just TALKING about it.
  • I signed up for my first 100K! I thought about doing this one last year but I decided it was too much on top of my Grand Slam attempt. (3 local 50Ks and 1 marathon in like 7 weeks.) It’s the perfect 100K for me because it’s on a Greenway (not through the woods) so I’ll A) Go faster than I would on the trails and B) Won’t be too scared of running in the dark. It’s also in Knoxville which is where my Mom lives so it’s close and I have free accommodations. I’ve run 52 miles before in 12 hours so doing 62 with a 24+ time limit is not intimidating (a lot of 100Ks have stricter time limits) so it’s perfect! Except the name. And the prizes all center around the Pistol. The hippy in me wishes it could be like, a Rainbow or something. BUT! It’s really hard to find the perfect 100K and I figure a gun theme outweighs running through the woods or having to do tons of traveling. I AM SIGNED UP FOR A 100K! EEK. If you are in the area and want to help me through some late miles VERY SLOWLY, please let me know! If my previous attempts at similar challenges are any indication, I’ll be doing 14-minute miles by the end with constant walk breaks. If that sounds like fun, let me know come January!
  • I need a new bag. I carried a fun Fossil one FOREVER (like, 3 years) but Fossil doesn’t make fun bags anymore and I needed something a tad bit bigger for my bullet journal and accessories. I carry a Kavu bag now, I’ve used various Kavu bags over the years and I love them, but they’re REALL hard to dress up. I don’t mind switching back and forth between two bags (casual, dressy) but I don’t want to buy a bag that’s A) More than $50 or B) So dressy it doesn’t feel like me. It’s weird because I kinda want to dress up for work more (not that I have to, just want to) on days I don’t have photo shoots but all I say to myself is, “But my bag! It’s too casual for that outfit!” I have no idea why I’m telling you all this but it is TOTALLY SOMETHING I’M OBSESSING OVER. You know, because there’s nothing more important to worry about, like selling my house.
  • Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 4.45.39 AMI started implementing some of the KonMari method into my “Operation Downsize” journey. We’ve decluttered a LOT. From about 2 years ago when we decided we wanted to downsize, I’ve probably gotten rid of about 10-15% of the crap we had in our house. If not more. But, if we want to cut our square feet in half, we need to do more. Not a whole lot more because our house wasn’t “full” to begin with, but we need to get rid of some stuff. It’s easy for me, I have no problem getting rid of stuff. But it’s hard on Donnie and really hard if he has no idea where we are moving so the motivation isn’t there. The KonMari method is nice because it kinda gives you specific rules to follow, which makes it easier on Donnie. We went through our clothes last weekend and we gave 12 bags of stuff to Goodwill. AND WE DIDN’T HAVE A LOT TO BEGIN WITH. I mean, our closet wasn’t even full! We do probably have one extra dresser than the average person because we have more “In The Drawer” type clothes than most, but still! We are not clothes people! And we still got rid of 12 bags. INSANE. It definitely is a little on the “weird” side in it’s personification of your possessions. “Your socks need to be happy!” But still, it puts into words and rules a lot of what I’ve always had in my head in terms of keep v/s get rid of. I love it.
  • Speaking of our house and downsizing. It still hasn’t sold. It’s one of those houses that we knew would be a hard sell. It has tons of square feet, but not in “bedrooms” so it’s sized like a 5 – 6 bedroom house, but only has 4 bedrooms. The bedrooms are HUGE and there are other rooms, but if you need ACTUAL bedrooms, it’s not for you. But, it’s priced more than a 4-bedroom house because it’s HUGE. But, it’s older, so if you’re in the price market it’s in, you will probably opt for a smaller updated 4 bedroom for the same price. SO! We basically need someone exactly like us – someone who would like the space but can’t afford it in a newer house. But “general” space, no bedroom space. The house was on the market for almost 2 years before we bought it. It’s a weird floor plan that will be perfect for SOMEONE, and when that person comes along the price is GREAT, but it’s just a matter of waiting for that someone. And how does “price we want to sell the house for” compare to “how much time before Kim loses her mind trying to keep it clean”. I will say this: If we don’t sell it in the 6 month contract window we have with our realtor, I may need to be committed. It really is causing me more anxiety than anything I’ve ever been through before. More than watching my Dad die. More than quitting smoking. Selling my house is THE WORST.
  • I’ve been thinking a lot about heroes and the people we idolize in celebrity form. When they do shitty things, why do we have such a hard time breaking ties with them? I know people who I feel like are perfectly lovely and rational who still love the Duggars. I am not a Christian so I never got the appeal of watching a show about a family promoting those values, but they promote the whole “Being Gay Is A Sin” thing a lot. (Remember, I don’t like the whole “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin” line.) And friends/family who I think support my kid and don’t think he’s a sinner, really like them so that always sat weird with me. Every time they’d talk about how they like them I’d think, “But do you agree with them? That even if my kid saved himself for marriage like you think heterosexuals should, he would STILL be a sinner?” And then the Mom did those robocalls that were outright lies about the Transgender Women, and my friends and family still supported her. And now the Josh Duggar thing. I’m seeing friends/family just blow it off like when they smoked cigarettes at 15. And it’s weird, right? Because I knew not to do that kind of stuff when I was 15. I did stupid stuff, but nothing like that. It just confuses me how people just refuse to abandon them. It was hard for me to see them openly supporting the Duggars when they were simply soooo anti-LGBTQ, but now it’s really weird. It’s one thing to not openly declare you don’t like them anymore, but they’re openly supporting them saying things like, “I did stupid stuff when I was a teenager too.” And I just don’t get it.

    I’ve been trying to think of people I’ve idolized who have fallen from the pedestal I’ve put them on. I would say maybe Bill Clinton would be a good example? I was so mad at him when the Monica Lewinsky stuff came out. I didn’t agree with the efforts to impeach him because I felt like it was a waste of time, but I didn’t publicly stand by his side and blow off his idiocy. But I don’t know, if something like that happened today to someone I idolize, maybe I would? Basically I get my feelings hurt as the parent of an LGBTQ kid every time my friends/family publicly support the Duggars. And now I’m really confused by it. So I just want to understand it so that maybe I won’t get my feelings hurt. Have you ever had a public figure you’ve stood by even though you really didn’t agree with them? Just because you didn’t want to joint the witch hunt?

Pointless Blogging Is My Specialty.

This week is a bit weird. I’ve been complaining for MONTHS about not being able to sleep. About how I’ve waken up too early every day since the house has been on the market. I’ve been waking up from 1am to 3:3am every day and I’ve been WHINING and WHINING and WHINING about it. Basically I’ve spent 7-10 weeks being a giant baby about not being able to sleep past 4am. I’m great.

And then…for the last 3 days I’ve slept until almost 5am and you know what? I think I want to whine about it. Because now I don’t have enough time to do everything I need to do! WHY DIDN’T I WAKE UP AT 3AM?

And suddenly I am worried…WAIT. Am I one of those people? Why complain and whine all the time? Is that just my “default” mode? That I have to bitch about something constantly?

Okay. That can’t happen. I can’t become the person who whines and complains now matter what the situation. NEVER HAPPY, THAT ZOOT! Tired when she can’t sleep past 3, anxious when she sleeps until 5am! Bitch! Moan! Whine! Complain!

So, yeah. I can’t be that person. I am going to try to be REALLY aware of the subtle (and often not-so-subtle) whining I do lately because now that I think of it, I feel like maybe I do it all the time. I DON’T WANT TO BE THAT PERSON WHO WINES ALL THE TIME.

Wait. Am I whining now about whining too much? I HAVE BECOME MY CHILD. It’s PERMAWHINE ALL THE TIME.

Ready? Okay! So, slept until almost 5am 2 days in a row now! I’m not entirely caught up on my sleep yet because I still feel a bit like road kill (Wait. Is that whining?) but I’m definitely feeling more human now. THANK GOD. I was starting to feel a little ragged. And that may be an understatement.

The thing about sleeping late is something has to be cut from my morning schedule. It seems to be my workouts. (Not my blogging! Why would I cut the blogging?) And many of you are the ones who insisted that not working out was NOT helping my anxiety. And you are very right! But I think I’ll side on the “needs more sleep” side of things for right now. (BUT NEVER CUT THE MORNING BLOGGING. That’s not happening.)

Well. This may be the most pointless thing ever. Look, ma! Blogging about Whining! I definitely am not caught up on my sleep yet.

Team Stubborn Asshole.

I have a point of discussion I’d like to start up. It seems in most households, there’s some sort of give/take/balance that is not how one person wants it. Maybe the division of domestic chores is to heavy on one person. Maybe someone wants more sex. Maybe someone wants a break from the kids. Maybe someone wants more personal time to pursue hobbies. There’s usually some sort of balance of something that one person needs and the other person doesn’t offer without nagging or pushing. I’m talking about issues that come up time and time again.

At what point in time do you decide, “I’ve made my feelings aware and the balance is not changing so now I’m just going to work on being okay with the way things are so I don’t become angry and bitter?”

Because I’ve done a really good job with that with some of our balance issues in our house. (And there are things he’s settled into accepting about me, too.) I’ve decided I can’t control Donnie’s schedule or priorities or decisions. But I can control my feelings about them. Years ago, when he first started triathlon training and I hadn’t started anything like that, I was angry and bitter with him every time he went on a run/ride/swim. But then I said, “Screw that. I’m doing my own thing.” And I started boot camp and it helped me let go of the bitterness towards him because I got mine own time. I’ve been doing the same in regard to balance of domestic chores. I hated being bitter he wasn’t helping enough so I started just being okay with it and it took away a lot of the general resentment I felt.

So part of me is like: I HAVE FOUND THE SECRET TO A PERFECT LIFETIME PARTNERSHIP! It’s learning to be okay with the things that you can’t change.

But the other part of me is like: UM. Is that fair?

Because, let’s be honest. There are plenty of things I haven’t really budged on either and he’s become okay with it. So, are we just the perfect example of how to be happy forever? Or are we just figuring out how to justify being stubborn assholes?