I want what she has…

My daughter went into first grade in public school this year. I have homeschooled for the past five years. She did first grade at home last year but I just couldn’t teach her to read, or write her letters and numbers.

As it turned out she had an issue with her eyes that needed therapy weekly. She entered first grade without ANY sight words. She struggled writing letters correctly (she still does but it’s so much better). In January with interventions she made it to level 4/5. When they leave first grade they want them to be level 16-20. It was pretty clear my daughter would need summer school. Each week she inched along. About a month or so ago she was at a level 12. Which is AMAZING progress, but they were still recommending summer school.

I got an email from her teacher the other day, her final assessment put her at a level 16, 98% fluency and instructional level comprehension.

I could learn a lot from this soon to be 8 year old. She went from the bottom of the ladder in reading, so to speak, and with hard work and determination she got herself to the top.

She is one of the kindest friendliest child in the first grade. She helps her classmates with the subjects she’s strong in. She’s something special that’s for sure.

And she doesn’t give up. She’s strong. She must have a belief in herself to go from where she was to where she is.

I would be remiss to not also recognize the teacher and reading recovery teacher she had. They were AMAZING and both will be missed terribly. But without an inner drive, an inner strength, even with all the help in the world she wouldn’t have gone as far as she did. No one, not me, not her father, not her teachers expected her to catch up to the other students in a school year. She had eye issues, she was basically starting from scratch. But she surprised us all.

I want to be her when I grow up. I want to be the person who can be last in the race, keep on trucking and finish with everyone else.

She is my hero.

Homework

Princess Glitter Sparkle, much like PollyAnna assigns homework.  I told her this week that inside her isn’t blood it’s glitter. She’s just -glitter.  There’s no way else to describe it.  She’s glitter in people form.

So she asked me to draw what I want to look like inside- and this was the result..

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Envy.

I get it. I know that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I know the grass is greener where you water it. I know all the platitudes.  But for today, I am going to let this emotion define the moment.  Envy is real.  Envy is a negative emotion, I get that.  But I can’t lie and say I don’t have envy in me.

Several people close to me are planning trips to see Mickey Mouse, others building their dream house, others the craft room of their dreams, still other making PRs in 5Ks, Half Marathons or Marathons.  Yes I know people show their highlight real.  Yes, I know that God has a purpose for my life, and I am right where I am supposed to be.  But sometimes you just have to acknowledge that your life sucks right now.  That you don’t have your crap together and you are 40.  That you can’t do the things you want to do.  That you are stuck.  I feel trapped.  I feel like things will never get better.  Like I am on a street and no matter which way I turn, no matter what street I go down, I get no where.

I am preoccupied with the thought that at 40 years old I am no where near where I thought I would be.  And the rest of me is preoccupied with my kids growing up.  We are talking driver’s ed, college, with big one, and little one turns 8 soon.  Eight is a big kid.  It won’t be long before she is tired of toys and dolls.  Everytime I think about the passage of time I am reminded of a line from Star Trek Generations:  “Someone once told me that time is predator that stalks you all your life”.  I agree. I wish there were a way to freeze time now and then.  It would make the unbearable days more bearable.

Im really struggling this week.  I probably should’t have written that all out.  But my heart hurts, physically hurts in my chest. I feel broken.

 

“What is it you truly desire?”

The title is a line spoken in a prime-time FOX show called Lucifer.  Im not going to get into the details of the show, if you are interested, google it.  It really is a good show.  However, Lucifer- the devil, has this power where he can look someone in the eye ask them that question and he will find out the true desires of their heart.

I need a little of that. I was thinking while I was on a walk yesterday…. I’m unhappy.  I am not content.  I am sad/angry/anxious/depressed; BUT what would it take for me to change those feelings?  What is it that I want?  What will make me happy, or at the very least “content”?

I feel as though my some of my circumstances are out of my control- our precarious financial situation for one.  The daily stress of one kid on the autism spectrum (albeit high functioning) , ADHD, with bipolar, anxiety and sensory processing disorder, and the other ADHD, anxiety and quite possibly ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder).  I can’t change that.  I can’t change that my husband is sick and can’t work, which leads to the financial insecurity; a vicious circle.  There are so many other factors in my life that I feel like are obstacles to happiness/contentment.  But then- is there a way to be happy/content with the current situation? Im doubtful – how can you be content when you’re insecure about the future because of finances, because of your own mental illness, because of your husband’s illness?

So I ask again- what is it I truly desire?

Answer:  I have no earthly idea.

I joined the club…

Today I joined the elite club…. the forty club, the big 4-0 as in cresting the hill (but not quite over it).  In the past decade my body has been preparing for induction into the club with grey, white and silver hair, with wrinkles, and sagging, and most recently bifocals and cataracts.

For months I have been dreading forty; like it was the end of the world as I knew it.  And yeah, I’ll admit it kinda sucks to think that THIS is as far as I have gotten at forty, but at the same time I have accomplished some things worth recognition.  I have two beautiful children, who are smart, funny and amazing- each in their own way.  I have a marriage that after almost 18 years of marriage, and 23 years together is stronger every day.  I have a brother and a sister that I adore. I have a best friend that I admire, who makes me want to be a better version of me.  I have other friends too, friends who care about me, especially when I don’t care about myself.  I have a counselor who I love. And I have finally given her her name- Princess Glitter Sparkle.  (My husband coined it, and I told her about it.). We have sat with it for about a month or so now and she said there’s just no denying it- it suits her.  And in the past decade I also discovered my faith again.  I have a relationship with God.

So yes, while in the past couple of years it seems like the crap has hit the fan, and I have a hard time seeing the good past the crap, I do have some really good things in my life.  On the especially crappy days I need to come back and read this list.

Here’s to hoping 40’s beats the pants off 30’s.

 

How old am I again?

I actually got a lot done today.  More than I have in a while and more than I intended.  After the kids were at school hubby and I went back to bed to nap.  We really need to stop staying up so late.

I got up around noon, him around 1.  While he was sleeping I ended up cleaning our toy room.  It looked like toys r us threw up in there. I knew it would be too much for little one to clean so I had to put my own lack of motivation aside and get it done since little one was supposed to have friends over tomorrow.  Turns out we decided to go over there instead, and then I found out that my mother in law was coming over tomorrow so we had to cancel that too.  But hey at least the toy room is cleaned.

So later on I was talking to my mom, she’s stopping by because she owes me some money, and they were going to take measurements for a door for little one’s room, and take the too big door we have and my stepfather is going to cut it to fit… anyway, so I told her- “please don’t make fun of me when you come, my Christmas decorations are still up”.  Dead silence on the other line.  More silence.  So I said “I’m serious, please don’t make fun of me”.  The next thing she said was “It’s Easter.” I said, “Well, we’re celebrating his birth and death at the same time”.  Then we changed the subject.  I sat in my chair, looking around at the decorations that have been up since November…. almost 6 months.  I felt ashamed.  I felt like my mother was silently judging me.  That tomorrow she would look at me with disgust, pity, disappointment.  I couldn’t stand it.  So I took them down, and packed them away.  All I could think was – here I am less than 2 weeks away from my 40th birthday and my mom can still get me to do things I don’t want to, with just a little mom guilt.

It’s hard to believe that no matter how old you get you need and want your mom, and her approval. I think I recently mentioned that I asked her if she was disappointed in my life and the person I had become, and she told me that she was “disappointed in the fact that I didn’t have the support I needed to ‘shine'”.  It’s been weighing heavily on my mind.  In fact I wrote a poem about it.  The first poem I have written since 1995.

I think that had a lot to do with why I took the decorations down.  I can’t have another thing that she is disappointed in me for.  She already blames me for the fact that my kids have issues that need medication.  And logically I know it’s not my fault, but when your mom is disappointed in you- you can’t help but take it personally.

Ah well, tomorrow should be interesting, hopefully everything with my mother in law goes well… it tends not to.

Remember this weekend is the epitome of love. There is Someone who loves you so much, unconditionally, He calls you beloved. All you have to do is call His name, ask Him into your life, and make Him your Lord and Savior.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Happy Easter to everyone. Remember- spoiler alert- the tomb was empty that Happy Easter morning. ❤️

PollyAnna’s Spirit Lives on….

Apparently, it’s not the act of practicing gratitude that I had an issue with when PollyAnna assigned it, it was the fact that I was being told what to do.  And apparently, I have a problem with that….. who knew?

This morning I pulled out the old gratitude journal and added a couple of entries of things I was grateful for yesterday- my daughter having an amazing day at school, her being awarded quiet seat in her after school club (anyone who knows my little girl knows that’s as rare as a unicorn for her to be quiet), my son having a good time at his first lacrosse practice, and his being nominated into Upward Bound.

And if I am honest with myself, finding things to be grateful for is a tough one.  But the other night as I was brainlessly scrolling through my facebook feed I came upon this that Lysa TerKeurst had posted:

Bad attitudes breed bad attitudes.

Grumpy Hearts breed more grumpy hearts.

Ungratefulness breeds ungratefulness.

On the flip side, praising God breeds more

Reasons to praise God.

Thankfulness breeds more thankfulness.

And a person who practices both praising and thanking

Has a rare joy that very few people possess.

Today, let’s choose to be people who give praises

To our God so we can become people overflowing

With joy from our God.

~Lysa TerKeurst

Ouch! It’s true, I can rarely see things to be grateful for unless they are “huge” in my world like the things above were.  So I am working hard to be more mindful of the things I need to be grateful for, the little things that are a blessing.

And at the other end of the spectrum is my dad.  He calls me just about every day (and sometimes multiple times in a day).  I almost always pick up.  Occasionally I am having a bad day so I don’t answer, but in the past week I have talked to him 1 time on Tuesday, he called 2x on Thursday but I only was able to answer 1 time, I talked to him 1 time on Friday and he called on Sunday.  I just didn’t have it in me to talk so I ignored the call.  he called yesterday while I was teaching my co op class (only one more YAY!!!) and he left me a rude email about the fact that I must be mad at him because he has called me 3 times over the last couple days and I don’t get back to him blah blah blah.  So I get that pit in my stomach- the same one I used to get when I was a kid and knew I was going to be in trouble, and punched in the numbers.  Now let me explain- he lives in a nursing home, he refuses to pay to have a line put in his room.  So I have to go through 2 menus, get the nurses station, ask for him, they have to transfer me to a portable phone and bring the phone to him.

So- I go through all that, and when he gets on the line he proceeds to berate me for not talking to him in a long time, that he gets my voicemail too much, that I never call him.  I explain to him that it’s not an easy process to get through to him, I can’t just dial and he pick up the phone, (what I don’t explain is that I HATE talking on the phone with all of my being).  I remind him that I talk to him almost every day, and that my brother and sister don’t talk to him nearly that much.  He then moves on to being ranting and raving about how one of the nurses there looks like his step father, and does his bandage on his hand too tight, and how everyone is sick so they have locked down the floor, and how angry he is that he has to get up at 3:30 in the morning in order to be ready every day (he only has dialysis 3x a week so technically he could get up that early 3x a week and sleep in the other 4), and honestly if he weren’t so vain he wouldn’t have to get up that early.  He HAS to shave, he refuses to use an electric razor and won’t let anyone do it for him… well he is right handed, he lost his right ring finger, and has necrotic tissue and may end up losing his hand as well… so he has to do everything left handed, and he was yelling at me about it.  I wanted to ask him how all the Pepsi and devil dogs tasted now, but I held my tongue- and let him make me feel small like I always do.  He then tells me that I am volatile- what does that mean?  I asked him, he said he feels like I could have a nervous breakdown at any moment (now let’s stop here- if he feels this way WHY on God’s green earth would he provoke me, and treat me like that – oh yeah he’s a narcissist).  I told him I had a nervous breakdown two years ago, this is the aftermath.  After that he decided he didn’t want to talk anymore and hung up.

Why?  Why can’t I just cut him out of my life?  Why do I care that he’s mad at me?  Why do I listen to his condemning words and believe them?  He is alone because he drove everyone away.  We all left him at some point- me when I was 17 I left home and lived with friends of my husbands (literally strangers to me I met them for the first time the night I moved in), my mom, my sister keeps him at arms length, his long strong of girl friends after my mom and he split up, his last girlfriend/fiance of 11+ years.  He’s alone because he’s a miserable, mean human being.  And so maybe I keep answering the phone because he’s my dad, the only biological father I will ever have.  Maybe it’s because I know he’s lonely.  Maybe I still have this need to please him deep in my bones. But why do I let his words hiss in my ear, reverberate in my brain for days.  “you’re not good enough”, “you’re doing things wrong”, “you don’t love me”…. on and on.  His words are echoed by satan day after day after day… I’m all wrong.  I’m not good enough, I will never enough……

I think a big part of that is the reason I struggle with understanding the love of a Heavenly Father.  I get Jesus.  I understand His love.  But from a very young age from my father I received ridicule, condemnation, hurt….the scars are there- honestly they aren’t even scars they are gaping open sores, that he aggravates every time we talk.  It’s something my counselor and I are going to explore- how to have a relationship with him, whether I want to, the pros and cons etc. (PS new counselor still doesn’t have a name).

I have been trying to be more mindful of that nagging gremlin voice in my head that convinces me that all the bad thoughts are true- but as much as I notice the gremlin, I am still listening to him.

Another thing that my counselor and I talked about today is the fact that I can’t understand emotions.  I get the extremes- happy/joyful and angry/irritable/sad/anxious.  But everything in between I don’t get it. We were talking about her wanting me to track my moods.  I told her I have been, since the first of the year, but that I am struggling right now, because I don’t really know WHAT I feel.  The best I can explain is blah. She said that’s depression.  I guess you don’t have to be angry/irritable or crying to be depressed.  I told her for me it’s like a skein of yarn that you are trying to unravel because it’s all tangled.  I have one end untangled in a small ball and that’s happy/joyful and the other end has some untangled and rolled in to a ball and that’s angry/sad/anxious and the two are connected with this huge mess of string between them that’s everything else, and that being in the middle is confusing and uncomfortable for me.  That I would rather stay where it’s ordered, comfortable (because of familiarity not because it’s comfortable) even if that means I am sad and angry.  This blah business is hard.

Well I guess that’s all for this time.  At least I had something good to say.  Something positive to share. And I think that this new counselor and I are going to get along good- she doesn’t touch door knobs either 😉

Until next time…