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So Much Miscellany.

A blog post in two completely unrelated parts:

Part 1: We’re Still On A Break

I have been avoiding Facebook since this day. I took it off my phone so I can’t check it constantly, but I do still open it up on the computer once in awhile. I try to do it with purpose: “I need to check that event page,” or “I need to post that status.” The few times I’ve done it, though, a quick scroll through the feed to see what everyone is up to reminds me why I had to take a break. Yesterday, I really needed to unload a parenting trauma so my friends could build me up with some, “ME TOO!” comments. After I did that it only took about 4 seconds of scrolling before I saw a “SHE IS AS BAD AS HE IS!” status about Hillary Clinton and that’s just one that I can’t hang with. Even if she was as terrible as conservative media likes to paint her – (She’s not that bad, as seen in the links I included in this post.) – she’s not as bad as Donald Trump. Right? AND THEN I KEPT THINKING ABOUT THAT FOR HOURS. Which is why Facebook and I are not good for each other right now. I can’t just scroll and forget. I either want to comment, discuss, or MULL FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

It’s funny because I’m very good at letting general conflicts go in life. I don’t hold grudges. There have been times where I have honestly had to ask someone to remind me why I disliked someone else. There are only a few things that help memorialize your bad actions in my mind and a good example is Homophobia. I’ve got some homophobic words etched into my memory permanently from casual acquaintances in my life. But in general? I DO NOT HAVE THE ENERGY.

But DUDE…if something bothers me on Facebook? It follows me around ALL DAY. I don’t know if it’s the website itself, or if it’s just political season but I’ll be cooking dinner hours later and think back to one status or comment or meme that hit me wrong. So, it’s a really good thing I’m only scrolling through it about once a day now. It’s hard, I missed keeping up with everyone, but right now it’s necessary to keep me sane.

Part 2: Stuff I’m Loving

Strangers – I binge-watched the show last weekend and LURVED it so much. It was super-scary and had to resign to watching it during the daylight hours, but it wasn’t too “grown-up” like a lot of these popular shows are so it was nice to finally be included in all of the TV talk for once. I let the kids watch it a little bit but they were both a little scared too so neither of them got as hooked on it as Donnie or I did.

Orphan Black – Season 4 – I finally caught up on Orphan Black and Tatiana Maslany is simply amazing. Once again I found myself forgetting she was playing all of the parts. There were some GREAT scenes this season, I won’t spoil anything but the Jesus Christ Superstar performance montage was EPIC and Helena had so many small good moments that I adored as well. Krystal was fun too, and I’m glad we got to see more of her.

Homegoing – I had put this book on my list after hearing a segment of an NPR interview with the author and then seeing/hearing it referenced by Ta-Nehisi Coates at some point as well. I made note of it being a “book club possibility” because I’m terrible at suggesting book club books (although my last one – Everything I Never Told You – turned out good) and then kinda forgot about it. Then I had family share something out about it this weekend and it turns out the author – Yaa Gyasi – is from Huntsville! So, I bought it and started it last night and I’m already pulled so deep into it I can’t stop thinking about it. I think it’s going to be one people are talking about for awhile. Jump in, I say! It’s not easy or light – but it’s rich and deep and painful and thought provoking. I’ll do a full review when I finish.

Chrissy Teigen on Twitter I can’t remember what first brought Teigen on my radar but it was something good because I don’t make a habit of just following random celebrities or models. I curate my Twitter feeds very dilberately and I have several lists I keep open all day. News, Locals, BLM writers, and then I have a “FAVES” list. That list contains people whose tweets I do NOT want to miss. Sometimes because I just want to see all of them and they don’t tweet often (Like the Pope, John Green, Helen Prejean, and my kid) but others just because they’re SO HILARIOUS I must see everything. And Teigen falls entirely in that category. She made fun of something she found where someone referred to the CL in NaCL as “chlorine” and then the internet continuued to not realize she was being sarcastic and it was great. Then there’s her random but spot-on political commentary. But this stuff? This is my favorite.

I just adore her, y’all.

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Random Lightheartedness

I posted something serious with a preface that said: LIGHTHEARTED TOMORROW!

But then I took it down and thought: Let’s do lighthearted today.

  • I just finished season 4 of Orphan Black and I love that show so much. There are moments where the pearl-clutcher in me thinks “EEEK! TOO GROWN UP!” but for the most part it’s tame compared to the other popular cable shows. Tatiana Maslany is a genius and I have said time and time again: You know she’s good when you do not even think about that fact that she’s is playing just about every character in the show. She’s also good when she’s one character imitating another and you pick up on it because she manages to lace some of the imitator qualities into the persona and OH MY GOD SHE IS AMAZING. Did you watch it? Do you love Krystal? What about Helena? WHAT ABOUT THE JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR MONTAGE? OMG. So good.
  • I also developed a huge crush on a fictional character this weekend when I saw Ghostbusters. I loved Holtzmann SO MUCH. I watched the original at least 50 times as a kid (it was one of the VHS tapes in my Dad’s office so when we had to go to work with him it was our only option) and loved it dearly and this one was just as good. I lurved it.
  • I’m going through my iTunes music library and trashing stuff I no longer want (It’s a compulsion) and y’all – I went through a Hannah Montana phase I’m not sure I can blame on my children.
  • I need some book suggestions. I want something compelling and light. I read The Husband’s Secret – do Liane Moriarty’s other books that compelling but also not too difficult to read?
  • I was totally geeking over so many San Diego Comic Con reports. My favorite is that Draco Malfoy is going to be on The Flash and it seemed Grant Gustin was as excited about it as I am. I love SDCC and some day I’ll go…IF IT KILLS ME.
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An Emotional Dump Of A Facebook Status Turned Pathetic Blog Post

This started as short Facebook status and then I felt the emotional dump coming and decided to move it to the blog where you all are more used to my breakdowns. I’m not sure my real world casual Facebook aquantainces would know what to do with this.

Due to various family sleep issues, I often end up sharing a bed with Nikki and recently I’ve noticed an increase in her sleep talking (she’s had a few incidents of sleep walking as well). What worries me is her sleep talking is ALWAYS anxiety-fueled. It’s rarely the nonsensical sleep talking most of us do, instead it’s pleas for forgiveness as she’s evidently done something wrong, or emotional explanations for errors she’s made. There’s always concern and stress and it’s always perfectly coherent and it BREAKS MY HEART.

There’s really no point in this post other than sharing my emotional baggage. My two youngest children were born with intense emotional needs – one with severe anxiety and the other with anger issues. And not matter how many tools I add to my arsenal with reading and counseling I feel like I’m perpetually inadequately equipped in helping them with their needs. Of all of the Mothers in the world to be born to, they had to be born to one constantly fighting her own battles and therefore never fully capable to help them with theirs.

No need for advice, it’s time for a new therapist for Nikki – she’s asked for one. And we were already deciding it was time for a new one for Wes. I’ve read all of the books and articles. I promise. I’ve read more about children and anxiety and anger and emotional intelligence in the last two years than I’ve read about anything else. I know my own limits and my kids need more help than I can offer. It just makes me feel really down on myself, like maybe there are other Mothers in the world that have their shit together enough to be more of a help to their children unlike me, who spends many of her moments trying to keep her OWN emotions in check and probably doesn’t give her kids the support they need.

Just venting. Last night was hard.

This is what INBOX ZERO looks like in Google Inbox. It's huge motivation because it's so pretty.

Improving Digital Communications


“Oh! Look! An Email! I’ll read it during this 90 seconds I have while my lunch heats up.”

Zoot reads email

“Oh. This is a lovely email that needs a lovely response. (Or maybe: This is a question that needs a well thought-out answer.) My 90 seconds is up. I need some time to actually compose a well-thought out response. I’ll do it later.”

LATER NEVER COMES.

Zoot forgets entirely about email

This is my life. And it goes for Facebook messages and Twitter DMs and Instagram comments. I’m really bad about using small pockets of time – while waiting in line at Target, or waiting for my meal to heat up, or waiting for my kid to get out of the bathroom – to check messages and emails. THIS IS A TERRIBLE HABIT, I have decided. Because I never have time to respond if it requires more than 1 or 2 sentences and so I wait, and then eventually I forget about it. Not because the message or email wasn’t important. But because the message or email was digested during a rushed moment of “waiting” when my long-term memory is turned off to conserve energy for the task that I’m waiting on.

If it’s an email then at least, weeks or months later, I’ll go through my inbox and eventually see it and feel really bad and probably not respond because I feel so terrible. OR, if it’s some other message, I’ll miss it entirely and never remember it again. Email has an inbox where nothing gets cleared out unless I clear it out. But FB messages and Twitter DMs and Instagram comments just keep getting buried under other messages so I no longer see them, making them permanently forgotten.

SO. What is the solution? FIX ME, BLOG FRIENDS? Do I only read messages/emails/tweets/comments when I have time to respond and/or address them? BUT THEN HOW DO I PASS TIME WAITING IN LINES? Do you have designated “check communications” times? I keep my email open all day, maybe that’s the problem? Although email I at least notice once in awhile, the other methods of communications get lost after time. FOREVER. I at least address my inbox once a month or so. The Facebook messenger app is the place where messages go to die.

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On Dying And Imaginary Traumas

I listen to the You Make It Weird podcast with Pete Holmes and while I really find it fascinating, it’s SUPER Not Safe For Work Or Children. He does long-form interviews – mostly with comedians – but sometimes with spiritual leaders and scientists as well. The name of the podcast is because he has really personal/uncomfortable conversations with people. He’s a comedian by trade, so he’s also funny, but every guest has to answer tough questions about their belief in god and an afterlife and drugs (he’s open about his use) and there is A LOT OF TALK ABOUT SEX. Like, A LOT. Some interviews more so than others. So, DO NOT LISTEN WITH YOUR KIDS IN THE CAR.

Anyway – I’m not sure if he’s everyone’s cup of tea or not – but I really like how wide ranging his interview answers can be and it often gets me thinking about how I fall on the spectrum of Things People Believe.

I told my therapists once that one of my super-powers is Empathy – which I think is why I’m able to let go of grudges really easily. However, I have a hard time with understanding other people’s concepts and beliefs of an afterlife. It’s funny, I can find myself understanding why someone might cheat on their spouse or embezzle funds from their company or want to vote for Trump. (That’s not a joke, I actually can understand it. I don’t agree with it. But I understand it.) But put me with someone who believes in Heaven or fears death and I really struggle connecting.

Granted – I’ve never been dying, so maybe if I got a terminal diagnosis of some sort it would be different. But, I do not fear death on any level. I fear pain, I fear, FEAR. So I don’t want to suffer painfully or be scared up to the moment of death, but death itself? I’m more like, “Thank god. At some point in time I can finally stop worrying.”

My therapist says that’s really common for the anxious atheist. She says anxious religious people tend to go the other direction and death becomes one of their anxieties, but for the atheist? She says it’s common for them not to fear death and too look at it as finally getting a break.

(I felt the need to add that last paragraph in case you think “I don’t fear death” is a scary statement. It’s not! I promise! My therapist says so! It’s not being suicidal! No matter how bad it sounds!)

My Dad went into death so peacefully and so unafraid, I think it was a great final lesson to give me. And the idea of an afterlife actually FREAKS ME OUT. I know that the various religious teachings don’t say that you’ll be the SAME person you are now, but the idea of continue forever to worry about the people still alive that I love seems TERRIBLE and if I’m not worrying about them, then I’m not really ME am I? Nope. I have a hard time relating to the idea that Heaven is something people look forward to. I really do. The idea of spiritual immortality FREAKS ME OUT and it’s like the one part of religion I just can not understand how people like it. Maybe I just can’t understand how a “me” without my anxieties is still “me” but I have no desire to live forever in any form.

Some of the interviews people talk about hoping there’s a “cure for death” in their lifetime so they can live forever. I’m like, “NO WAY. DO NOT SIGN ME UP FOR THAT SHIT.”

It’s just strange. I can totally understand transubstantiation in the Catholic church and fasting for the Islamic Ramadan or for the Jewish Yom Kippur. I can totally understand monotheism and polytheism in various degrees. Earthly beliefs from most religions traditions I can usually get behind. But once death arrives? The rest I just can’t relate to and it doesn’t seem appealing to me in the slightest. When Pete asks people about the afterlife and they say, “There has to be something, right?” I’m like, “Please, No.”

I blame a lot of my practical anxieties on the occurrence of vivid dreams/nightmares that cause traumas. I’ve had more Death By Car Wreck nightmares in my life than one human should have to have and they’re vivid and terrifying and I often blame them for my intense driving anxieties. But I also – weirdly – feel like they’re also responsible for my lack of fear of death. I’ve had dozens and dozens of car wreck dreams/nightmares where I’m plummeting off a bridge or a cliff or plowing towards a head-on collision and in my dream, I know death is coming, and I don’t fear it. It’s a very weird sensation. I always wake up feeling strange from those dreams/nightmares. The fear the moment before the crash is always gone and I just settle in like, “Alrighty then. Here we go.”

Those dreams have increased my fears of driving because I’m constantly having flashbacks to terrible wrecks I never actually had, but they have eliminated any fear of death I might have had.

The mind is a very weird thing, don’t you agree?