Tuesday, October 20, 2015

New Blog Coming Soon!

Hi Everyone!  Please stay posted, if you are still out there and watching my blog! I am currently working on a new blog on a different site. I will keep this blog open and updated with a link once that is finalized.

I have been very bad about keeping up with my blog, unfortunately. Pain, circumstance, and unwanted busy-ness have made it nearly impossible. All of that still exists but I am going to seriously attempt to shovel through anyway and get on with it.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Happy Mother's Day for Everyone

Over the years since Dave and I got married, I have wondered about what it might be like to be a mother.  I asked myself all those questions that many women probably do: Would I be a good mother?  Do I want to be a mother?  Am I ready to sacrifice my free time and sanity for 18 long years or more?  Will motherhood give me more meaning and purpose?  Or is motherhood the next step in life in conjunction with a timeline of choreographed events?  Unfortunately, I've met more miserable mothers/parents out there than I can count on both hands.  The aloofness I see in so many mothers is depressing-- so often their smart phones receive more of their undivided attention. Was that all planned?  Unplanned?  A mistake?  Those families are a sad crowd to me.

Years ago when my period had been late, I fell ill suddenly with an onset of pain I'd never experienced before followed with-- for lack of better words-- some tissue discharge of sorts.  I had what looked felt and looked like an early miscarriage. Whatever it was, it failed to be pregnancy once again.  Later when we discovered we couldn't have children of our own,  none of those motherhood questions mattered.  However, it was a relief for me to know the truth. 

Time progressed and I quietly mingled amongst the "sterile" and "lifeless" where I met other women who couldn't have any children of their own who seem obsessed with the prospects of making it happen.  Those women live every day in a self-involved, self-inflicted, unstable misery zone that affects everyone.  It was psychotic place where their husbands were necessary, but only as a means to an end.  I tend to be one of those "throw in the towel" types.  Perhaps I give up or give in too easily when I'm told I can't do something.  It seems much easier for me to accept what is than try to prove something to myself that's too mentally, emotionally, and spiritually exhausting.  I'm familiar enough with doors swinging shut or not opening at all when it comes my turn to twist the knob.  I am not driven enough to jiggle the knob manically or force the lock against its will.

The hardest part of it all, for me, was seeing the disappointment in Dave's face when he'd see dad's playing with their children at the beach or the park.  That one particular day when we came home from the beach I found him sitting on the kitchen floor with his head in his hands like he'd just lost the biggest game of the season.  I remember him feeling lost and like a failure.  That image will be forever burned in my brain.  While a huge weight lifted and with it a sense of closure, it had to hurt for a while.  It was then that the idea of fostering a child or adoption resurfaced.

Many years ago, prior to being caught up in the need to conceive, I had been more intrigued with the idea of adopting.  I remember feeling this way at an early age when the prospect of having a husband and children were unfathomable.  I couldn't perceive how anyone could think about bringing more children into the world when so many children were abandoned and with nothing to call a home.  Dave still talks about before we were married when I had made the comparison of everyone wanting the fresh, homemade cookies when store bought cookies are just as good and come without the labor.

Anyway, funny how things turn out.  Dave is still certain he wants to foster or adopt.  Over time, I have learned to be happy without children.  I don't think about it as much as I used to.  Life is so busy and complicated.  I have some difficulty looking ahead and don't like to complicate my present with unknowns.  I have accepted what is, the way it is now and am open to being pleasantly surprised.

Regardless, I've really learned to appreciate motherhood from the outside looking in.  I am fortunate to know and have known a lot well-meaning, sacrificial, loving and driven mothers-- my own mother, for example.  As a childcare provider, I have also spent a fair amount of my own time experiencing some of what I have observed in mothers.  However, when the work day is over, I have also appreciated my freedom from motherhood.  While parenthood is a blessing and experience of a myriad of events and moments-- freedom from mental anguish when any one thing could go wrong, has been a relief.

Yet, in spite of any lack of sacrifice or worry on my part-- I still see the shadow of a mother figure.  I have followed the role in one way or another with friends, family, other people's children and even animals.  I've never received a Mother's day card.  I've never received a crayon scribbled paper just for me from a child wishing me a Happy Mother's Day.  I'm at peace with reality.  I'm not the type of person who toots her own horn but in spite of it all, I can say with conviction that I would be a loving mother.  I don't need a child to fulfill me.  And yet still, maybe, someday I will be a mother who wants a child who needs me.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Aura Surrounding Barbie

I didn't think I'd be writing any commentary on this subject but I recently bought a knock-off Barbie doll at Dollar Tree and had to ask myself, why?  Why at my age did I do this?

Off the cuff my answer to self is:  I LIKED HER SHIMMERY, IRRIDECSENT OUTFIT.  The fact that she was a mermaid was also a plus.

When I was a child I had a lot of Barbie dolls.  I think I had at least six at a time.  I also had a Barbie car, Barbie van, Barbie townhouse, etc.  My grandmother, God bless her, made some outfits for my Barbie dolls too.  The thing about Barbie, that I am sure attracted me to her, was her whimsical nature.  Barbie dolls came in lots of different themes, accessories and outfits. I loved the outfits.  I loved that there were so many different themed Barbie dolls.  I could choose the kind of Barbie that suited my taste and imagination.  I remember one themed Barbie doll called, "Kissing Barbie" that I really liked.  I liked "Kissing Barbie" because she wore a white dress with little red hearts all over it. I've always liked heart themed things.  It never once crossed my mind that I'd want to have perky breasts, a pencil waist and puckered lips while standing on my tippy toes.

The question is, did I like Barbie dolls because I wanted to look like them?  Were Barbie dolls a threat or negative influence on my girly childhood?  I don't think that crossed my mind to tell you the truth.  I do remember undressing them and asking myself is that how an adult woman looks naked?  As a kid, I thought it looked weird.  A naked Barbie just looked weird to me.  And I didn't play with naked Barbie dolls.  Of course, like any inquisitive child, I had my mom confirm to me that the naked Barbie was indeed not a real personification of womanhood-- Heather, "it's just a doll".  So there you have it.  Thanks mom for the affirmation.

It's funny that I liked Barbie dolls so much because anything that could really be associated with a Barbie in correlation to my reality is as far as Neptune is from Earth.  However, I do love accessories.  I am a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal and always will be.  I don't like having tons of clothes in my closet that I never really get much use out of.  Throw me a scarf and a cool handbag with those jeans and t-shirt and I'm good to go.  You can subtract all the makeup too, except for flavored lipstick or lip-gloss.  Any time I try to put on colorful eye shadows or foundations I look and feel like a dirty fool.  As you can see, Barbie had little influence on me.  There are plenty of women who scoff at Barbie and are some of the most materialistic, "dolled up," superficial people you would ever meet.  Go figure.

For me, Barbie was all about the doll.  I liked dolls.  It wasn't any more complicated than that.  I guess I have never understood how an inanimate doll could be a threat to anyone's perception of themselves.  It's a toy.  Toys should be meant to fuel some imagination.  Dolls, toys, are meant to be played with and enjoyed.  And that I did.  I gave my Barbie dolls personalities and I almost always had Ken fall in love with the Barbie that was most real.  By that, I mean, good and sincere.

I honestly think that stereotypically women have especially found other women to be threatening.  Especially women who look a certain way.  And what that way is, is only defined in the mind of the individual woman.  Isn't it human nature to enjoy looking at that which is aesthetically pleasing to the eyes?  I think women who look kind-a frumpy and act tuff like men are weird.  They aren't pleasant to look at by most people.  As a child, a doll that looked more boyish wouldn't be one I'd play with.  The idea that a Barbie doll should look more realistic kind-a defeats the purpose of imaginative play.  Who, as a kid, wants to dabble in reality?  You get to find out how much that sucks when you become an adult.  Children can mimic adults all they want while at play, but it's still not real.  And it may not be their future reality.

I would say that the thing that single-handedly affected my self-esteem were magazines.  Magazines portrayed real, young women as being thin, wearing hip clothing and physically flawless.  If you want an example of something more realistic, this would be it.  Magazines with perfect photos of young women were damaging to my self-image as a teenager.  The problem with advertising is that it wants you to think this is how reality is or should be.  I don't believe Mattel ever intended for Cowgirl Barbie to be an exact replication of the real day to day life for women out on the farm.

As far as dolls go, not much has changed.  There are plenty of toys and dolls on the market that are not representative of reality.  In fact, some of the dolls now are less the norm than a Barbie doll is.  For example-- Monster High dolls?  And dolls called Bratz?  Those things are scary.  Maybe I'm out of the loop.  Perhaps for some people this stuff is closer to reality than I think. 

It's not my reality.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Shopping for Food at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods...

is HELL. 

If you've never shopped in either of these markets, you may find it interesting or novel the first time around.  If you're like me, and get really irritated with other customers while you are trying to shop-- you will surround yourself with a force field of HATE. 

These elitist food markets are not all they are cracked up to be.  First of all, Whole Foods plays this obnoxious, obscure music that is loud like a bar.  The music is so loud I can barely think straight-- even with a list.  What's so "whole" about that?  Rich, greedy, panicked rude customers swarm around the place like bees buzzing about a garbage can as though they've not eaten in days.  The layout is obnoxious and cramped too like they're trying to be all quaint and European or something.  Top that with an aloof associate drawing candy canes on the floor with chalk while these crazed, frenzied holiday bees are swarming around to-good-to-be true imported goods. 

Without elaborating too much, Trader Joe's is very similar, if not worse customer-wise.  Unfortunately, these chains have tried to seduce grocery shoppers with unusual/healthier food choices set up in a quaint, little intimate shopping atmosphere that makes lots of customers more frenzied and people like myself want to start swinging a ball bat. The people who work there must be exhausted because they tend to be over-the-top friendly.  However, points in their favor because pleasant and friendly associates does sometimes make the experience a bit more bearable.

To be honest, shopping for me just about anywhere is usually, always hell.  Don't get me wrong-- I do like to shop for food and bargains.  However, the stress of it has really led me to reconsider how I will shop for food.  I do struggle with anxiety, which is another reason why I just don't want the added stress, if I can avoid it.  So...I have found a way to get around my hell trips.

My husband recently had an accident and I had to order our groceries from an online market called, Peapod.  At Peapod you shop for your groceries online and have them delivered to your door on the day of your choice.  Over the course of a couple of months, Dave and I have discovered that buying our groceries online and having them delivered to our home is comparable to the time and money spent going elsewhere to shop.  Peapod also has special offers and coupons just like any other food market.

The big kicker is: THERE IS NO STRESS WHATSOEVER!  I can buy my groceries in the comfort of my home and have them delivered and brought right into my freakin' kitchen!  There is a delivery fee depending upon how much you spend, and you have to buy at least $60 worth of groceries.  Usually the more you spend on your groceries, the cheaper the delivery charge. On average we are spending about $7.95 for delivery.  And we usually give the delivery guy a small tip for hauling our stuff up to our third floor flat.  And, the delivery person is ALMOST ALWAYS super friendly.  Makes me wanna run up to the guy and plant a big one on his lips while my husband hands him the tip LOL!

Frankly, this is heaven.  I can't tell you how much I love this!  Any other odds or ends I may not be able to pick up at Peapod that week, I just suck it up and swing by my local store on my walk home from work.  At least I don't have to buy ALL of my groceries for the week locally.

This may sound strange to you, but believe me.  Some things are just worth it.