Happy Birthday Facebook!

Facebook is 10 years old today.  Wow.  It’s seems like there has always been a Facebook and yet it’s a mere 10 years old.  On the other hand, those 10 years have flown by and it’s hard to believe that FB has been around that long.

Quite a paradox.

I love Facebook and social media in general.  I love that I can stay in touch and find people who would have otherwise drifted out of my life.  I love that my family posts pictures from far away and I can share in things.  I love that I can offer love, support and kindness to people who need it and never have to dial their number (I hate talking on the phone).  I love that the older it gets, the more social media touches lives in positive ways.  I love that I can make new “Facebook friends” and it feels like we’re besties even though, in some cases, we’ve never met face to face.

I also love that it did not exist in the 80’s…just sayin’.

My kids tell me that Facebook is now for “old” people (translation…anyone over the age of 30) and that they’ve moved on to Instagram, Vine, Tinder and whatever else is floating around out there.  What. Ever.  Love it or hate it, Facebook turns 10 big ones today.

Which of course got me thinking.

Where was I 10 years ago?

We were living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in what I can only describe as my dream home.  Small town, 30 minutes from the ocean, unbelievable house with an even more unbelievable kitchen, wonderful family…It was a dream come true.

My drinking was escalating at the time but was no where near where it would be by 2010.  That said, I was dealing with a lot in those years.  The hubs had emergency bypass surgery.  Matt was hospitalized for a very severe case of strep.  My mother was slowly dying and trying to take me with her.

But in spite of all of that, life was really, really good.  The hubs was working at a job he loved.  The boys were young and involved in activities that kept me busy.  I discovered Little League Baseball which I grew to love with a passion.  I made some life long friends.  I loved our house and our neighborhood and we entertained a lot.  I was in graduate school (again).  I knew and loved every inch of that little town.

I’ve often wondered why God took us to that life in 2004 only to help me make decisions that would move us away from it only three years later.  I guess He just wanted us there.  And now He wants us here.  I think He wanted us here for the schools and the opportunities my boys would never have had in our small town.  He wanted us here so that I could change jobs and find this one that I love.  He wanted us here…well…just because He said so!

I mean, who else takes a job that has her company spending 30 grand to move her and her family 400 miles south only to get laid off 18 months later?  This girl! 

AND He locked us in here because we bought our house at the height of the real estate market only to see prices plummet within six months of moving in…can you say upside down?  I think that you can.

Sooooo…no matter how homesick I was (am?) in those first couple of years, He made sure we weren’t going anywhere.

And since my life here is so amazing, I guess He knew what He was doing.  (Duh!)

I still miss that house though.  Just sayin’.

Namaste

THIS is why I quit drinking…

So we all know I’ve got four years of sobriety under my belt.  Four years ago my kids were 38, 27, 19, 16 and 14 (x’s 2).  Essentially, I still had a full house.  The first three were gone but I still had three, very needy and growing boys at home.  They still needed me for a roof, sustanance, guidance, hugs, kisses, some entertainment and a good laugh from time to time.

But I knew…

I knew the day was coming when they’d be gone and I’d be left staring at their empty bedrooms wondering where the time went and drinking myself into a coma.  I could see it!

I was right.

Thank GOD I listened to my gut (and my husband).

We took my youngest (by 21 minutes his brother will tell you proudly) to school this weekend.  He’s living on campus.  Now…it’s only 20 minutes up the road and I expect to see him frequently (at least to do his laundry) so it’s not like he’s 3000 miles away (how DO parents do that?) but this one is hard because I know he’s the one that will never really be “back”.  He’ll come home over break and to get a hot meal, but he’s chomping at the bit to get on with his life.  He wants to spread his wings. 

His father and I were discussing this the other day on the way to work.  He and I both were out of the house at his age.  Married (not to each other – when the hubs was 18, I was in kindergarten…ewwwwww) and running our own lives.  I left home and got married to get the hell away from the dysfunction that was my home.  He left because that’s what you did in 1966.  You got a job, got married and, for him, went to Vietnam.  Regardless of why, we were ready.

When I compare how I felt then to my own kids and how they must be feeling, I shudder.  Because time has taught me that I wasn’t ready, that the world was big and ugly and was going to hurt me.  That actually, I didn’t know shit even though I thought I was the shit.  But it was also exciting and new and…well…fun.

They’re leaving…and they are the last.  But’s that is what they are supposed to do…right?  I’ve always said that my job as their parent was not to be their friend but to raise good people who would be assets to the world.  People of integrity with a loving heart who cultivate goodness and light.

I did my job.  They are great humans.  In fact, they’re awesome.  For now.  I don’t know what will happen out there and what’s more I CAN’T CONTROL IT.  My job as I knew it is over.  I have children with the addictive gene that I’m turning out into the world and just praying. 

I’ve being reassigned.  My job now is only to support, guide and love them…more and more, only when asked.  They will, one day in the future (way, way future I hope) have families of their own that will be their first priority.  That’s how it should be.  They need to complete the cycle.

Have I mentioned that I don’t like change?  That I hate not knowing what I’m doing?  This job is new and unfamiliar and it makes me nostalgic for a different time.  And. It. Sucks. Ass.  Because I’m scared.  Scared = fear.  Fear = alcoholic out of control. 

No thanks.

I am SO glad that I don’t drink any longer.  This could have been VERY ugly indeed.

Namaste

Out Out Damned Scale

I’m doing it again…I’m becoming obsessed with the scale.  Even during my first Whole 30 I couldn’t stay off the damn thing.  It’s like a magnet.  I should probably get rid of it but everyone else in the house uses it responsibly except me.  They might jump on if a waistband is too tight or loose where as I jump on when I eat a cookie.  Hmmm – they do it like normal people and I do it like addicted people.  Yep, that’s about right.

Anyway, since returning to eating a more normal diet (sans gluten, dairy, legumes and refined sugar products…for the most part), I’ve slowly but surely slipped back into old habits.  I find myself obsessing about what I’m going to eat and when.  I’m on that frigging scale every morning like clockwork.  I’m constantly concerned with how many steps I’ve walked today.

Really, it’s not the old habits that I’m concerned about as much as I am the space it’s taking up in my head.  If it moves in the wrong direction it can ruin my day.  Really Sherry?  You let a square box tell you how your day will be?  And if that’s not enough, yet another character in the cast of characters that lives in my head has to chime in…How many steps did I get today?  Today I’m only going to eat healthy.  I wonder if I could have a piece of that birthday cake and how many steps it would take to burn it off?  What is in the house that I can eat?  I should log onto MyFitnessPal and check to see how many calories my Pumpkin Spice Latte has.  Oh my God I am such a loser because I ate on of those amazing cupcakes that my friend brought to the pot luck AND a piece of bread with dinner!

STOP!!!

I can’t do this anymore.  I need some peace and quiet.  I want my fucking Zen back!

So once again I’m making a vow to make some changes.  No more getting on the scale.  No more worrying about calories (especially since I know how to eat for my body now).  I’ll wear my pedometer (fitbit) and try to get my 10,000 steps a day in but if I don’t, it’s not the end of the world.  When I wake up in the morning and my first thought is about the size of my ass, I’ll gently admonish myself and say something nice to me.  When I go to bed at night and my last thought is about how much I ate that day I will again admonish and gently remind myself that humans must have sustenance to survive.  Eating is a normal part of everyone’s life and I’ve learned what’s good for my body and what is not.

I may even start a journal where as soon as I get up in the morning I write something about myself that is positive to jumpstart my day.  Then in the evening I’ll write something positive that occurred that day to send me off to dreamland feeling good about me.

I read a book recently that described alcoholism as the symptom of what is wrong with alcoholics.  We drink to numb what’s really wrong with us. The longer I’m sober the more I realize how true this statement is.  I am one fucked up human being.

But I’m sober and I’m happy and since 99.9% of the population is screwed up too, I’m in good company.

Namaste

That’s Why I Blog….

To anyone lurking out there who’s trying to decide whether or not they want to blog – DO IT.  You will never find a community of more wonderful and caring people than you’ll find out here.

Thank you all for you responses to my post yesterday.  I’d like to say I’m feeling better today but the truth is…I’m not.  My spirit is still in the toilet and I feel prayed out.  So, in typical Sherry style I’ve made some decisions based in great part to the amazing advice I received yesterday…

I’m going to meditate and make every effort to listen rather than speak.  Yes, I am prayed out…maybe there’s a clue there.  Duh.

I’m going to actively begin seeking another position.  I would LOVE to remain with this company and that’s where I’ll begin the search.  But I don’t want to close ANY doors and whatever comes my way I will view as an opportunity.  Let’s be clear here…they aren’t exactly beating down my door…but whatever comes is worth a look.

I’m going to look into some things that may offer me the control I’m seeking.  To take back the reigns and maybe do something of which I can be proud.

I’m not going to drink.  Or smoke.  Or eat Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate chips.

I’m going to give myself exactly 36 more hours at this lame-ass pity party I’ve been attending and then I’m leaving.  No one here I want to talk to anyway.  Except this one whiney-ass woman who probably needs her medication adjusted and I don’t want to catch what she has.

Namaste

I Enjoy Being a Girl

I worked from home today because I had a hair appointment smack dab in the middle of the day.  It was the only one I could get before we leave for my nephew’s wedding on the 11th.  My stylist is a busy girl and she’s taking some time off next week.  I am also fortunate that my job allows this kind of flexibility. 

There was definitely a time that something like this (any kind of “me” time) would light up a need (urge, craving, obsession, compulsion…choose your noun) to go out and, yep, drink.  Because drinking was romantic.  Felling pretty = romantic.  Romantic = date night.  Date night = drinking.  See the logic? 

Well that doesn’t happen any longer – and to be honest stopped happening long before I actually quit drinking (there’s nothing pretty about a drunk no matter how well her nails are done) – but there’s still a small, wee part of me that likes to feel pretty and desired and after a haircut or a pedicure, that part of me whispers, “You deserve to be treated gently.  Like a girl.”  Not a mom, not a professional woman, not a wife…but a plain ole girl.  All female and squishy and soft.  With pink roses.  Lots and lots of pink roses. 

That’s just me.  There are a lot of woman who don’t feel this way and a lot of men who don’t even like that in women.  That’s okay.  To each their own.  But for me, sometimes I just like the fact that I’m a girl and I want someone to acknowledge that side of me before I have to put her away until the next time.

Shhh…don’t tell anyone about this part of me.  Wouldn’t want to damage my rep.

Namaste

Choosing a Path

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about where I want my life to go in my “next phase”.  Now that I’m sober and not preoccupied constantly with where, when and how much I can drink, it seems that a whole host of things are available to me. 

Just typing that sentence shocks me but it was what it was.

Anyway…I’m wondering what it is I want to do.  My kids are all pretty much self sufficient.  Soon it will just be the hubs and me and I’m definitely more type A than he is.  I like to be in motion.  I’m really happiest when I’m creating, building, or learning.  Whether it’s food, or crafts or school or yoga or work, I need a direction.  I guess I should be more content to just be, but the paradox of that is that to just be just isn’t me!  So, in order to be true to myself, I need to follow this convoluted logic and do something.

If you followed that last paragraph then you either know and love me or you should because we share a brain.  You have my sympathy.

But I digress…

I’ve thought about several paths my life could take –

  • I could go to graduate school.  There are a lot of online programs now that wouldn’t require me to quit my job (hahahahahaha…oh…sorry) or even travel to a classroom several nights a week.  Problem is, I can’t decide what I want to study.  I could go the path of career (and have my company pay a portion of the tuition) and enroll in an Adult Education or Instructional Design Master’s program, or I could find one that would allow me to get a Master’s in English (which is my passion but would provide absolutely no bang for the buck).  Then there’s the fact that the hubs won’t shut up about law school.  I was accepted once, a very long time ago, but decided against it after taking some law classes in undergraduate school.  Get over it honey!  The law is not for me!  Plus, all of the above is freaking expensive and I’ll have three in college next year.  This one will definitely have to wait.

  • I could learn to be a yoga instructor.  Again, a real passion.  The issue here is that the courses and programs are WAY expensive.  Of course I could make a few pennies (that is not an exaggeration) teaching a couple of times a week once I’m certified, but it will likely never pay enough to pay the bills.  Then again, it would be one step further toward the dream of owning my own studio one day that might, if all the planets align in just the right way, pay some bills.  But none of that is bloody likely.

  • I could pour myself into my career and work nights and weekends and network and schmooze and make small talk and…oh forget it…there’s no way that’s happening.

  • I could embark on a mission to redecorate and improve our home using as little money as possible.  I could start a blog and chronicle my before and afters. Yawn…I’m bored already.

  • I could finally put my nose to the grindstone and write that children’s book I’ve always wanted to write.  Or a book on parenting.  Or a recovery memoir (like they’re aren’t enough of those on the proverbial shelves).  The problem with that is that I don’t know the first thing about writing a book or getting it published.

Wow…as I was reading this over, I noticed how negative this all sounds.  Every time I list something I would like to do, I shoot it down in the same paragraph!  I’m no therapist but I can see some deep seated problems here.  Is it that I have no confidence?  Have I lost my drive?  Is it my parents’ fault?

Let’s go with the parent thing and just move on shall we?  It’s easy and probably the right choice anyway.

Bottom line…In order to make any of this work, I need to DO something.  I guess my first step will have to be to just pick one and begin to move forward.  As they used to say in Mary Kay, “find a way, make a way”.   Hey…I quit drinking!  I can do ANYTHING!

Namaste

This is the child…

The first child I gave birth to turned 20 yesterday.

Damn.

This is the child that broke open my heart and released the unconditional love that God had planted inside.  This is the child that touched the place within that heart I never knew I had.  This is the child that showed me the good, loving and nurturing part of my soul.

This is the child that was born a week early according to the doctors.  That was crap.  I knew exactly when he was conceived because we had been trying for so long.  He was born exactly 40 weeks from that date.  He’s a punctual child.

This is the child that came into the world face up which meant I had back labor that was excruciating.  I broke all of the capillaries in my face by pushing the wrong way (he was my first!).  I puked.  I whined.  I almost took out a nurse who thought she could motivate me by getting in my face and threatening to deliver him with forceps.  To which I replied, “That’s an option?!  I don’t care if you take this baby out through my NOSE, just get HIM OUT!”

Fortunately for her, she read the look on my husband’s face and backed off.

This is the child that was born with optic nerve hypoplasia and had glasses at 18 months old.  I didn’t like the “baby” glasses so I put “youth” glasses on him which were over sized and made him look exactly like the kid from Jerry MacGuire, Jonathan Lipnicki.  Talk about cute!  He was irresistable.  Still is.

This is the child that couldn’t say refrigerator.  It came out refrigafrator.  Thankfully I have that on videotape.

This is the child that refused to acknowledge his twin brothers.  He asked me when they were going back.  He drew pictures of our family and didn’t include them.  His preschool teachers didn’t even know he had brothers.  When the twins went to preschool, for the sake of their teachers, I always dressed one in blue and one in red.  He never bothered to learn their names – he called them the blue brother and the red brother for years.

This is the child that is kind, and loving, and tender.  He pretty much keeps to himself but every once in awhile I catch sight of him helping one of our friend’s kids and I’ll see the future dad in him.  It brings tears to my eyes.

This is the child that has known what he wanted to do with his life since the age of 12 when I bought him a programming book for teens.  He’s all about computers.

This is also the child that has a teacher buried deep inside and once he realizes it, will follow his bliss and become a computer science teacher.  He won’t be rich but he’ll be happy.

This is the child that occupies the space in my heart reserved only for him.

This is my child.

Happy Birthday son.  I love you.

Namaste.

Be Careful…Your Introvert Is Showing

First of all, I didn’t mean to scare you guys with yesterday’s post.  I was trying to be “tongue in cheek”.  But sure enough, as soon as I posted yesterday, I started thinking of things about which I wanted to write.  Guess it’s my own form of mental Drano.

We’re beginning our “event” season here at work.  This is when my job gets hairy because I book, manage, attend and pay for (with company money of course) thirty or so events between now and the end of September.  (Can you imagine if I was still drinking????  I’d get fired for sure.)  Since I’m now here full time, I can’t just attend anymore, I have to work them with the rest of my crew.  That means idle chit-chat, small talk, smiling a lot and generally just making nice.

To be honest…it’s freaking exhausting.

As a closet introvert, I act like an extrovert but in reality, this kind of stuff zaps the hell out of my energy and usually sends me directly to bed when I get home.  Add to that the fact that we have major drama going on in my office right now which, because I’m new and don’t have any skin in the game, means I’m the perfect go-between.  Well, that and the fact that I’m old and just one of those people to whom others pour out their hearts.  I cherish that role but, like being “on”, it’s wears the hell out of my ass.

I thought I was ready for last night but I hadn’t factored in the drama from the office.  So I went home depressed, anxious and just plain tired.  So, for the rest of the season, I’m going to be sure that I do a few things.

  • Get plenty of sleep.  Tired from lack of sleep coupled with tired from small talk and drama makes for a very unhappy Sherry.  Plus it makes me look like shit and I just can’t have that now can I?
  • Make plenty of time to just be alone.  Whether that’s in my meditation/yoga room, or my bedroom or my car, I know I need this in order to be worth a damn to myself and my family.
  • Talk to my family and give them a heads up.  When I get home, especially if I’m late, I’m often bombarded with men telling me what they need, what they did (of course requiring copious amounts of praise for said actions-they’re men after all), or just wanting to love on me.  I love all of it!  Even the dogs get into the act, rushing to meet me and requiring their treat-o-the-day from me.  I love that too!  It’s just that during our crazy time it can be overwhelming (hell…during our not crazy time it can be overwhelming) so I need a little distance for about ten minutes, then I’m good to go.
  • Making weekends about family and recharging my batteries.  I’m really good about being present when I’m home.  I don’t even get my Blackberry out of my purse.  But (I hate buts), during the crazy time I’m tempted to check it from time to time.  If I do…the next thing I know I’m sucked into something.  Can’t let that happen.
  • Eat good food.  These events all have food (and booze).  Sometimes it’s good food.  Most of the time it’s bar food.  Now, while I love a good chicken wing as much as the next girl, a steady diet of bar food wreaks havoc not only on my hips and skin, but it makes me sluggish and grumpy as well.  Fresh, whole food is a must to keep me sane.
  • Lots of yoga, meditation and prayer. 

I learned a lot from my experience last year.  Lots of “what not to do’s”.  This should be a fun year with a lot of challenges and opportunities.  I’m ready…I just hope my inner introvert is.

Namaste

Serendipity

Funny how God sends you exactly what you need exactly when you need it.  I’ve been noodling this sugar thing around and around in my head over the last thirty days and thinking about how bad sugar is for me and how I’d like to give it another shot but I didn’t think I could do it.  I’ve been following everyone who’s given it a shot this January and I’ve been so freaking impressed but I still didn’t think I had the balls to make it happen for me.

Then Leo over at zenhabits posted “Sticking to a Habit: The Definitive Guide”, today which is basically a step by step process to making anything a habit.  This, naturally, got my brain going about how I could possibly make not eating sugar a habit.  The concept of replacing one addiction (habit) with another is not new but can you replace eating sugar instead of drinking with not eating sugar instead of drinking?  Will that even work?

So I’m sitting her ruminating and rolling it around in my head when I should be working (it’s Friday!) and the next post I read is my blogger friend over at ByeByeBeer (who I call Bcubed) who posted about her successful graduation from No Sugar January (yay) and where she’s headed now that she’s done.  More importantly, she spoke about how alike the addiction to alcoholism and sugar is.  Hmmmm…I’ll admit to linking the two more than once but quickly shoving the link aside…ignoring it…stuffing that sucker right down.

But then she wrote this lovely post that dug it back up and solidified what I’ve suspected for a long time now.  The reason I have so much trouble staying away from sugar is because, just like with the alcohol and the booze, I’m addicted.

My rational brain is screaming, “Well DUH!” while my addicted brain is thinking, “Oh shit…she’s on to us…hide the cookies.”

Now I’m in the place that Bcubed found herself…does that mean I can NEVER have sugar again?

In theory?  Yes, that is exactly what that means.  In reality?  I’m not sure what it means.

Sugar is in every freaking thing on the planet.  Either in a refined form, or the raw form, or the artificial form…it’s out there.  But, as the high fructose corn syrup people would tell you, your body really doesn’t know the difference and so your insulin levels rise no matter what the form.  (Including natural forms like fruit, but it metabolizes differently so while you should watch it so it doesn’t trigger cravings…it’s still healthy…in moderation…damn, I’m screwed.)

Anyway, that means that not only will I have to stay away from cookies and cakes and candy and such (no more baking???? Ugh!!!), but I may also have to give up Pepsi Max and my totally artificial but oh so good coffee creamer. 

Of course I could (and likely will) try the moderation route when it comes to the artificial stuff like my Pepsi Max (I only drink 2 cans a day – the rest of the time I drink copious amounts of water) or my coffee, but we all know how good I am at the moderation thing.  I suck at it.  Really…really bad.  If you look up “moderation fail” in the dictionary, there’s a picture of me with my face in a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting.  #nooffswitch (I don’t tweet but I like doing that.)

So I’m going to try and do this one more time (look through my old posts…this ain’t a new revelation for me) and hope that this time it sticks.  I think I’m going to try some of Leo’s suggestions too and try to make NOT eating sugar an actual habit.  I mean, if I can get out of control NOT eating sugar and I’m able to NOT moderate my lack of sugar, then I can do this thing.

Does that make any sense to you, cause it’s giving me a headache.

Must be a sugar crash.

Namaste

Serendipity by Milo Adorno

My favorite restaurant in New York City.
My favorite word in the Shakespearean World.
My favorite game of the Lord.
Unexpected things happen by Serendipity.
Things that are meant to be unique in your life’s course.
I was looking for memories, and I found a new love.
Now my life has become full of beauty, full of splendor, full of glow.
Serendipity an action that is a gesture of divine kindness.
A message delivered in a beautiful but strange code.
Serendipity is God’s suggestion for a change that will satisfy your soul.

Milo Adorno

Confessions of a Clutter Purger

I’m good…but not THIS good.

I’m a purger.  I go through my closet a couple of times a year and purge myself of anything I don’t wear, haven’t worn or purchased by mistake (but leave hanging in the closet because I feel so bad for having wasted the money).  Goodwill loves me.

I do it because clutter, any kind of clutter, weighs on me and makes me feel heavy and lethargic…and it’s terrible feng shui.  An unorganized closet means I can’t find anything when I need it.  Clutter on my dining room table says we don’t have enough room (which we do…we have plenty of room) or we’re too lazy to put it away (most likely the case).  Crap stuffed in drawers in an “out of sight out of mind” way doesn’t work for me either.  I know it’s there and every time I pass by the drawer the little clutter monster that lives inside taunts me with, “Nanny, nanny boo boo…I’m in here all cozy with my clutter friends and you’re out there hating it.” 

So I purge.  I’ll blow through my closet, or the kids’ closets or the linen closet or the coat closet, drag everything out I haven’t seen anyone wear and dump it into a green trash bag to be hauled to Goodwill.  Or I’ll start putting things away on the tables or counters and throwing away stuff that doesn’t look important because I can’t stand the sight of it laying around anymore!!!

Of course, then I’m accused of throwing away an important document (guilty) or a special shirt (not guilty…it was found in an old suitcase ten years later) when really, if you had put it away or purged it yourself, none of this would have ever happened!

Oh…sorry…I digress.

So now that I’ve lost some weight, I find myself in an interesting position.  I’ve purged so much that there’s really nothing left in my closet that looks good or fits.  And because when I was really heavy I refused to buy anything of value (that’s another post entirely), what is there is looking tired and worn out.  And…we’re tightening our belts so an all out shopping spree is not an option; not to mention that if I’m going to lose more weight (which is the plan), spending a bunch of money on clothes right now isn’t the wisest decision.

So this weekend I’m going to the local Goodwill store and see what treasures I can find.  There was a time in my life when Channing Tatum in a pair of low slung sweats and no shirt could not have gotten me into a Goodwill store.  Ugh!  Wear other people’s clothes!  Puhleeeeeese.

But I’ve grown.  I’m older and wiser now.  Labels just don’t mean what they used to mean to me. (Unless you’re talking about shoes.  Shoes are an entirely separate matter.)  And I’m going to the Goodwill in the ritzy part of town so the cast offs are of a much better quality than my local Goodwill.  Plus, by going to the one on the other side of town, I avoid the potential of buying my own stuff back which would be the ultimate irony don’t you think?

Namaste