Sunday, July 24, 2011

Christmas in July

Well, not really. But a dose of winter weather would be welcome surprise right about now. We are in the middle of an oppressive heatwave that has kept the kids and me holed up daily until the sun goes down.

This picture was taken in early Spring of this year ~ when all I wished for was warmer temperatures.

All together now: be careful what you wish for.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dirty Dancing

Now I had the time of my life.
And I never felt this way before.

This past Monday night, I boogied completely out of my comfort zone. Ladies' Night Out was ON and it promised to be a night to remember. My friend, Amy, suggested we all take her friend's new Pole Fitness class. Apparently, chair and pole dancing are going mainstream. They are considered a in exercise - something I am typically allergic to. But there was just something enticing about it. Like The Lambada. So that evening, seven sassy Mamas piled into two vehicles and we headed over to the studio. And you know what?

These Mamas got skillz.

I embraced my inner "Lola" (that's her smack dab in the middle wearing black) and actually broke a sweat. Beth and Carrie from Polar Fitness were excellent instructors. So patient and encouraging - I almost forgave them for their ridiculously incredible physiques. After two hours of getting our shake, shimmy, and spins on, the Sassy Seven emerged a lot more confident and a little bit sore. We loaded back up and headed out for a nightcap at Sonic. Could this night have gotten any better?

Turns out, sitting around eating greasy onion rings and sipping a Cherry Limeade (with extra cherry flavor!) in the company of great women does make things better. Sharing our faith, our trials, triumphs - stories of healing and restoration was a source of comfort for me (one mom's blended family of 10 was especially interesting to me). Sometimes I worry about losing my married friends after my divorce. I have been coupled for 19 years - married for 16 of those. I've never been single my entire adult life. Now, my relationships are going to be different. My lifestyle is going to be different.

Along with *ahem* exercise, I'm making better choices health-wise. Like drinking more water. Which is a big deal for me because if I had the choice of milk, water, or orange juice with my dinner, my preference - in this particular order - would be (1) orange juice (2) milk (with Hershey syrup added) (3) make a pitcher of Kool-Aid (4) run down to CVS for a ginger ale (5) call Mom and see if I can swing by her house for some cranberry juice (6) choke down the water. But "Fiji" water has changed the game. I could afford a trip to Fiji for the amount of money I spend on this brand, but the taste canNOT be beat.

And I am not just flossing after I eat pork chops. I'm flossing twice a day. Sometimes more (especially if I eat pork chops). Now I don't have to fib to the dental hygienist. My doctors are happy that I am eating. Been craving fresh fruits and vegetables, too. I need to gain - get up to a healthier weight. But they haven't explained to me how to get those pounds where I want them. If it involves a chair or a pole, though, count me in.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Separation. Anxiety.

By sharing My Story, I pray someone is inspired, touched, encouraged, comforted, filled with hope, and truly blessed. This isn't about "putting my business in the street" ~ it's about knowing you are not alone.

I walked into the office with an agenda. Little did I know just showing up for that appointment would save my life.

Savannah and I were meeting with her new pediatric therapist - the therapist who eventually referred Savannah to "The Team" for a full evaluation which led to her Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis. As the questions for Savannah wrapped up and the therapist's attention turned to me, I could feel dread slowly creeping up on me. As she lobbed all the obvious questions at me, I knew it would only be a matter of time before she'd hit on that one that would strike a nerve. And sure enough, it happened.

She excused Savannah to the waiting area and shut the door behind her. She handed me a box of Kleenex: Before we can deal with what's going on with Savannah, we need to deal with you. If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

That's when I let go. The Super Mom facade shattered. Before I could stop myself, I had let a stranger into my dark place of emotions - opening up about my crumbling marriage, the constant and total care of Isaiah, and Savannah's recent school and social issues. The trifecta that had pushed me to the edge. "You are overwhelmed. You are depressed. You need help.", she confirmed. I wanted to kiss her. Finally - validation. I am NOT crazy OR losing my mind. God had sent me an angel. He doesn't always boom answers into our ear. Sometimes He puts people in our path just when we need them most.

Thus began my coping. When dealing with depression and anxiety, research has shown that the best results are obtained through therapy plus medication. It's been a winning recipe for me, with a healthy and reverent dose of faith and prayer. I am healing. I am happier than ever leading the life God wants for me. It is an upward spiral through the depression, with every day a little better than the one before. Not that there haven't been setbacks. But I take comfort in knowing "this too shall pass". I am not alone. I thank God for my Support System, that seems ever-expanding. I am focusing on me. The gifts God has given me. The next chapter of my life.

There's hope. As long as there is breath in your body, you have hope. Things might not turn out exactly as you might expect them - very often they turn out better than you could ever imagine.


Cause if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Why I Kan't Kindle

I like books. Actual books. Nothing against e-readers, but there's just something about the weight of a book in my hands. Turning its paper pages.

Growing up in a home that valued reading, books weren't just decorations or props - like something in an Olan Mills photo studio circa 1976. Our very real bookshelves were bursting and we were always encouraged to "Go and sit down somewhere with a book".

I guess I'll be urging my children to "Go and sit down somewhere with a Nook".