Come on in…have some tea

chakra_poster

Last night I decided that my yoga practice would be one that focused on balancing my chakras.  Balancing chakras promotes wellness and healing in the body.  If this is all too woo-woo for you, know that you don’t have to practice its literal interpretation to get the benefits; just focusing on the centers and what they mean to you can help bring awareness to issues and may help you to heal them.

I tend to focus on the literal and last night was no different.  I was feeling fantastic and productive in my practice until I reached my “third eye” chakra.  This is the one that governs wisdom, intuition and awareness.  As soon as my teacher said intuition I thought,  “Mother’s intuition.” which then took me directly to my failure to recognize how sick Brian was when he had pneumonia several years back.  I’ve written about this ad nauseum so I will not bore you here.  Suffice to say I let my concern for money and lack of medical insurance override my mother’s intuition which said, “Hospital NOW!”

The guilt and shame washed over me like a tidal wave.  My first instinct was to push it down and tell myself to get over it because that’s what I’ve always done which led to “Oh yeah…how’s THAT working for ya?”  So I took a deep, cleansing breath and the next thought I had was, “Tea.”

A few years ago I found an amazing therapist who taught me a few things about dealing with my baggage and old shit that rolls around in my brain.  One of those things had to do with what to do when those feeling of guilt and shame came knocking on my door.  He said I should invite them to tea.  Invite them in, tell them to have a seat, pour them some tea and then just…be.  Those feelings are a part of me just like my green eyes and annoying optimism.  They exist and let me tell you from experience…they refuse to be silenced.  If you ignore them or stuff them down, they will manifest in other ways (drinking, eating, spending money to name a few) and bite you in the ass every time.

So I invited them in and I sat with them.  I actually visualize them as big blobs with names on them like Shame and Guilt and we all sit around a children’s play table with a proper tea service.  (Yeah…I know but that’s what’s in my friggin’ head.)  It wasn’t long before another, bigger and stronger feeling surfaced…FEAR.  That motherfucker gets me every time.  Again I just wanted it to go away but realized that it was just too big.  It took up most of the room.  So I invited it in and we all sat and just were.

Slowly but surely those feeling began to shrink and leave.  I repeated the mantra, “He’s fine.  God had your back.  He’s fine.” and they just faded away and were replaced by…maybe it was peace?  Acceptance?  I’m not sure but I felt a helluva lot better after that little exercise.

I know that incident will never leave me and that these feelings are likely to continue to pop up from time to time and that’s okay.  The great thing about good therapy is that it even after you stop going, you have tools that will help you the rest of your life if you choose to use them.

So, to my incredible therapist who may or may not be reading this, from the bottom of my heart…thank you.

Namaste

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Time

clock_collection

Something happened to me last year that has set in motion a deep thought process the likes of which I’ve never seen.

I turned 55.

There is something about that number that has me thinking about time.  All of a sudden, the time I have left on the planet has become finite.  What’s more, since my husband is 13 years older than I, his time is even more finite.  Let me go on the record as saying that I do not like this feeling.  Not one little bit.

Yes, yes I know that no one is promised tomorrow and that anything can happen to anyone but I’m talking about that feeling of, “I have plenty of time to do that!”  All of a sudden I started to think, “Ooops…maybe I DON’T have plenty of time to do that.”  Of course there is nothing in particular I want to do that I all of a sudden can’t do.  It’s more the feeling that time is running out, that it’s no longer on my side.

I think about when I was a kid and time had a way of standing still.  Christmas would NEVER come.  I would NEVER graduate and get the hell out of school.  That guy would NEVER ask me out and then once he did, the day would NEVER come.

As I got older it began to speed up, but only a little.  It wasn’t until I had kids that time took on lightening speed and after I turned 50 that Mr. Sulu took me to warp drive.  Now I blink and five years has sped by and I’m left thinking, “Wait.  What just happened?  I want a do over.”

I feel this urgency to get things done before that last grain of sand runs through my hour-glass (those are the Days of our Lives…sorry…couldn’t resist).  I want to get a post-graduate degree.  I want to write a memoir (doesn’t everyone).  I want to learn Spanish.  I want to travel to Europe and Alaska and Asia.  I want to be at the beach more.  I want to get and stay healthier each year so I have a better chance of extending my time.  I want to spend every waking moment possible with my kids and their kids so I’m ingrained in their memories (I know that’s morbid but isn’t that what I’m talking about here?)

I know I’ll do at least some of the above before I go anywhere, it’s the urgency that has me anxious.  It’s like Father Time is breathing down my neck more and more often these days.  (And yes I know that Father Time is a man…how else do you explain why women get old and men get distinguished?  Just sayin’.)  I wish that old fart would get off my back and go bother someone else.  Someone in their 90’s…just not Betty White or George and Barbara Bush okay?

Of course when I’m in my 90’s I’ll be requesting he vacate the premises and go bother some Tibetan monk who’s 110.  Old is always 20 years older than you are at any given time amiright?

For now I’ll just have to learn to sit with these feelings, maybe ask them in to tea.  We can sit together and get comfortable and maybe move toward acceptance of the fact that time does, in fact, move on and we move with it.

But I don’t have to like it.

Namaste

 

 

Well This Just Happened

tasha-marie-2015
Contentment is not getting what you want…it’s thanking God that He brought you through the bullshit so you can appreciate what you have.

Sitting here at work (it’s slow this time of year) when I look up at the calendar and realize that last Saturday I was sober for seven years.

 

And I completely missed it.  How weird is that?

Part of me feels really good that the event just rolled on by like any other day and part of me is pissed because I missed out on cake!  Most of me is just content to be wherever I am whenever I am as long as it’s sober.

Not gonna lie, there were moments during the holidays when I was nostalgic for the occasion of drinking.  Having a glass of wine with a friend you haven’t seen in awhile.  An Irish coffee after Christmas shopping in the cold.  Sitting at a bar decorated with dark wood, fireplaces and deep leather chairs sharing cocktails with the hubs.  Those are the things that come to mind.

Until I follow the drink to the end where I don’t know when to say when.  When right after that first sip I feel the pull of “more”.  When I wake up the next morning with a sour mouth and a sour stomach and I have to think really hard to determine whether or not I made an ass out of myself…again.

Then I remember that most of my friends don’t drink anymore (we’re old – that kind of shit slows down for normies as they age) and it’s not cold in the South at Christmas time and I do ALL my shopping online and wine in bars like that is way too expensive for me with two kids still in college which once again returns me to the contentment I mentioned in the above paragraph and all is right with the world…again.

So happy seven years to me but an even happier “it’s just another day”.  That fits me so much better these days.

Namaste

Word of the Year 2017

grace

Happy New Year everyone!  Ha!  I write like I think there’s still anyone out here.  No matter it’s still going to be a Happy New Year!

Oh my goodness what a 2016 it was.  Between the election and other general malaise, I actually had to sign off Facebook for about six months.  I just couldn’t take the negativity and ugliness any longer and I’m not talking about random politicists and journalists; I’m talking about so-called friends.  People I’d known most of my life were saying things from behind their computer that just broke my heart and rather than add to the vitriol I just decided to step away.

Best thing I ever did.

I stayed on Instagram to see the grandchildren and children and tried to learn Snapchat (still working on THAT one) but I didn’t touch Facebook.  I’m back now but only in a very limited capacity and I’ve discovered that you can hide people instead of unfriending them.  That way they can see your stuff but you don’t have to see theirs.

Genius.

Onto the Word of the Year.  For some reason over the last 3 or 4 months the word “grace” has been floating around in my head.  That’s not a word that was common in my vocabulary excepting the occasional Seinfeld rerun so it was a little unusual for it to be in there.  I thought about it for awhile and then decided to take it as a sign that I should choose it as my WOTY.  So there it is…

Grace.

I have no idea what the hell I’m going to do with it yet but it has been chosen.  Dum dum duuuuuummmmmm.

Webster’s defines it as:

Definition of grace

  1. 1a:  unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification b:  a virtue coming from God c:  a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace

  2. 2a:approval, favor<stayed in his good graces> b archaic: mercy, pardon c:  a special favor :privilege<each in his place, by right, not grace, shall rule his heritage — Rudyard Kipling>d:  disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency e:  a temporary exemption :reprieve

  3. 3a:  a charming or attractive trait or characteristic b:  a pleasing appearance or effect :charm<all the grace of youth — John Buchan>c:  ease and suppleness of movement or bearing

  4. 4 —used as a title of address or reference for a duke, a duchess, or an archbishop

  5. 5:  a short prayer at a meal asking a blessing or giving thanks

  6. 6pluralcapitalized:  three sister goddesses in Greek mythology who are the givers of charm and beauty

  7. 7:  a musical trill, turn, or appoggiatura

  8. 8a:  sense of propriety or right <had the grace not to run for elective office — Calvin Trillin>b:  the quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful

Looking at all of these (who knew there were so many) there are a few that I can extinguish immediately.  I definitely do not possess grace so number 3 is out.  I’m not a member of nobility so number 4 is bye-bye.  While we do occasionally say grace that one isn’t going to last me all year.  While I love Greek mythology I can definitely say that this one does not apply.  I don’t even know what number 7 is.  Number 8 is not enough to satisfy my requirement.

That leaves – drumroll please – God’s grace and the last part of number 2 which includes my favorite word ever uttered…kindness.

I have said many times in this blog (and to anyone that will listen) that I have been blessed with an abundance of God’s grace.  The Big Guy loves me and I am truly honored to be His child.  He has graced me (see what I did there) with so much and I’m grateful every day.  I will definitely carry this in 2017 the way I’ve always carried it, seated firmly in my heart.

So what to do about the other part…the part where I behave with grace.  Honestly I try to always do that but for 2017 I want to try harder.  I would also like to find grace within myself and provide it to myself.  Basically I’d like to learn to cut myself the break I cut other people.

So there you have it folks, the official WOTY for SoberMom.  Grace.

Hope 2017 finds you all happy, healthy and filled with grace.

Namaste

Weighing In

At the beginning of this year I joined Weight Watchers for the fourth time. The first time I joined I did meetings but it didn’t work because I was still drinking and there are a crap ton of calories in a bottle (or two) of wine every night. Add to that the empty calories consumed once my inhibitions were lowered and I might as well have flushed the monthly payment to WW down the proverbial toilet.

The second and third time I joined I did the online version of WW which was moderately successful. I lost about 10 lbs. each time and then gave up and gained it back.

Sigh…

So at the beginning of the year I decided to give it one last college try. Oprah had just invested in WW and was all over TV hawking the company and vowing to lose weight with me. Since she’s had such success with losing weight and keeping it off (yes…that WAS sarcasm) I figured I was bound to be successful right? Of course!

I signed up online and decided that if I was going to do it I would need some accountability so I signed up for the package that included in-person meetings. I dusted off my food scale and became familiar with my new app and jumped into the pool.

And was pleasantly surprised.

First of all, after a gazillion years they changed the way the points are calculated. Instead of Points or Points Plus, now they have Smart Points. In a nutshell, it forces you to eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables and protein and low in refined sugars and other carbohydrates. Since all the research says that’s just about the healthiest eating plan going, I saw that as a positive. Not everyone was feeling that way however – apparently there were a LOT of pissed off people when they found out that their “snacks” that used to fit into their plan were now loaded with points. The thing I was always discouraged by when it came to WW was that they let you eat pretty much anything you wanted as long as you stayed within your points allowance. That meant that you could have chips or candy or a loaf of bread (don’t judge) as long as you were within the points. There was no education about how to eat better to sustain the weight loss, just a focus on the weight loss itself. It just rubbed me the wrong way.

Now there’s a focus on eating healthy for life and actually learning what is good for your body and what isn’t. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose more weight or any weight at all for that matter but at least you can’t get away with stuffing your face with crap and then wonder why you gain all your weight back as soon as you move to maintenance or go off plan.

Next was a new meeting format. The old meetings had a leader in the front of the room with a tired flipchart trying to teach about the week’s topic. Could be tips for getting through vacation or how to lower the caloric intake of BBQ foods but it was mostly a talking head telling you what to do. Now they’re run more like AA meetings. Everyone sits in a circle and talks about their week and the leader is more a moderator than teacher. Since I’ve BEEN to AA meetings that really resonated with me. I felt immediately comfortable and even shared a few times! That’s a miracle for this introvert.

Between the end of January and the end of April I dropped 15 lbs. It was slow, about 1 – 1.5 lbs. per week but it was consistent and the more weight I lost the more committed I became to the program. That is, until work got crazy and I started traveling…that’s when it went to hell in a hand basket. Since April I have struggled to get back to my meetings and even cancelled my membership for about a month, convinced that after the crazy time at work ended I’d be able to continue the weight loss all by myself. Because…you know…I have been SOOOOO successful with that in the past.

HA! Oh…sorry. That made coffee come out of my nose.

I realized pretty quickly that, like most things in my life that require discipline, I was going to continue to need help. Blessedly and with diligence I have maintained the original 15 lb. loss but I knew that if I didn’t do something, that wasn’t going to last much longer. I signed BACK up and began to, half-heartedly at best, track my food again. It’s not hard for God’s sake. The app makes it simple stupid. What’s hard is committing to counting the chips I eat for a snack each night and saying no to that afternoon cup of Dunkin coffee with real cream and sugar (10 points!)

Now I find myself at a cross-roads.

1. Do I fully commit and jump back into meetings and regular exercise and hope that I begin actually losing again?

2. Do I wait until the end of September when our feeding frenzy of a busy season is officially over (just in time for the Holidays to roll around)?

3. Or do I accept this new place my body has found and learn to be happy?

Since numbers two and three made me snort with laughter and my co-workers are now looking at me – I’d say it’s number one.

Namaste

I See You

I was in San Francisco last week for work. Long time readers know how much I freaking love that city. The weather (fyi – It’s cold there in the summer – go figure), the people, the sights/sounds…just everything. What I don’t really love is the homeless. The homeless here are an entity unto themselves. San Francisco seems to have an unusually large portion of homeless who have mental health issues. I guess it’s the weather that brings them and has them stay. They mumble to themselves and each other and anyone else who they think is listening. They walk naked down the street. They smoke crack in the doorways and alleys. They are everywhere.

And they make me uncomfortable.

Every city has its homeless population. I grew up in and around Washington, D.C. which has a large homeless population. They live on the streets and sleep on the grates in the sidewalks and roads and, in the winter, the city scrambles to keep them from freezing to death. It doesn’t always work but at least they try. The population of homeless here in Charlotte is a lot smaller than that of D.C. or San Francisco. They are also not as aggressive as those in larger cities. Maybe it’s because the city is so much smaller or maybe it’s southern manners. Whatever it is, it’s a little less uncomfortable here.

But it’s still uncomfortable.

Over the years, I, like a lot of others I know, appear to have become desensitized to them. I know not to give them money but, if they’ll let me, I’ve been known to buy them food. I ignore them if they shout obscenities at me when I walk by. I’ll step over them or detour around them but seldom do I make eye contact, smile or even nod. Mostly I just cast my eyes downward and keep walking, seemingly oblivious to their situation. I assure you that could not be farther from what’s actually going on inside of me.

This post isn’t meant to debate what’s going on in our cities and why these people are subsisting on the streets. That’s an entire dissertation and a simple post would not begin to scratch the surface of this issue. The only thing it was meant to do was to say to that population…

…I see you.

Even when I walk down the street and fail to make eye contact…I see you. When you yell at me or try to engage me in conversation and I keep walking…I see you. When you ask for money and I say no…I see you. When you ask for food and I offer to buy you some and you say never mind and curse me…I see you. When you stand with your children and beg and I DO give you money…I see you.

I see you but I don’t engage you. I don’t engage you not because I think I’m better than you because, let’s face it, we’re probably all just a paycheck away from being right where you are; I don’t engage you or make eye contact or even acknowledge you because it’s painful.

It’s painful for me to see you struggle with your reality. It reminds me of my grandfather who was locked away for being senile and brings to mind the fact that my own mental health can be tenuous at times. It’s painful for me to see you succumb to your addictions because I know how difficult it can be to battle those particular demons. It’s painful for me to see your poverty because I know, in a country this rich, there should not be poverty on this level. At the same time it’s painful for me to know and understand that you may have chosen this life and not want to lead a conventional existence because I know how beautiful life can be under the right circumstances.

So I cast my eyes away.

But I see you.

Namaste

It’s Back to School Time!

It’s that time of year again! The kids are preparing to go back to school! I always loved having my kids home for the summer but even I will confess to being unreasonably happy when, just when I wanted to kill them and bury them in the back yard, school started again. They were truly saved by the bell. Get it? See what I did there? Don’t judge.

Anyway, it always reminded me of when I would go back to school. We didn’t have much money so clothing shopping might have included one outfit and a new pair of shoes…maybe; but what I always got was a new book back (long before the days of backpacks) and school supplies. Oh how I loved the possibilities that were indicative of a clean, untouched notebook, some sharpened #2 pencils and crayons that still had a point. I would pack everything neatly and then check and recheck the list to be sure I was ready.

Even shopping for my own kids thrilled me – maybe a little too much but again…don’t judge. For the ones in public school, which were the boys, I would drag them shopping for clothes and shoes and then we would go for school supplies. See, they loved the supply shopping as much as I did so I had to bribe them with it to get them shopping for clothes. A mama’s got to do what a mama’s got to do. They would go up and down the aisles at Staples and Target looking at their lists and picking out their things. Pens, pencils (mechanical now), erasures, notebooks, folders and…of course…backpacks. A new backpack was the most important thing on the list. It was what everyone would see first. It didn’t necessarily have to be expensive but it HAD to be right. I was always very patient but I was really glad when they were old enough that we could order online.

By now I’m sure you know where I’m going with this. Not all kids get to have this experience. Some families can afford or don’t care (unfortunately this is true in some cases) to equip their kids properly for school. It was hard enough for me to be “less fortunate” than some of my classmates but it would have been almost unbearable to have to start school and borrow things like paper and pencils from the teacher. It would have infinitely more painful for me, due to life’s circumstances, to have to send my children to school unprepared. I can’t imagine that pain.

Every year my friend, Paige Davis from “Trading Spaces” and the Broadway productions of “Chicago” and “Beauty and the Beast” to name a few, lends her celebrity to Operation Backpack, an organization that strives to ensure that no child starts school without the proper supplies. If you are so inclined, you can read more about the organization here and donate to Paige’s campaign here and she’s written a lovely post on her own blog which you can read here.

To quote Martha Stewart, “It’s a good thing.”

Namaste’

The Power of Shame

Long time readers of this (and all the other blogs I have had) know that I’ve done a lot of work on shame the last couple of years. Shame is extremely powerful and I had no idea the impact it was having on my life until relatively recently. Given the way I grew up I should have known all along that it was destructive but nope…that particular emotion never occurred to me. I mean seriously, all my neuroses and not once did I think to pinpoint shame as one of the culprits? What the what? I mean, it’s not shame’s fault that I am where I am in my head/life, but it IS a reflection of how I grew up. Be careful what you say to your kids people…this old poem hung in all of my children’s rooms when they were little to remind me.

CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE
Dorothy Law Nolte
If a child lives with criticism,
he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility,
he learns to fight.
If a child lives with fear,
he learns to be apprehensive.

If a child lives with pity,
he learns to feel sorry for himself.

If a child lives with ridicule,
he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with jealousy,
he learns what envy is.

If a child lives with shame,
he learns to feel guilty.

If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns to be confident.
If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.

If a child lives with praise,
he learns to be appreciative.

If a child lives with acceptance,
he learns to love.

If a child lives with approval,
he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with recognition,
he learns that it is good to have a goal.

If a child lives with sharing,
he learns about generosity.

If a child lives with honesty and fairness,
he learns what truth and justice are.

If a child lives with security,
he learns to have faith in himself and in those about him.

If a child lives with friendliness,
he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live.

If you live with serenity,
your child will live with peace of mind.
With what is your child living?

What that should say is that if a child lives with shame they will feel “less than”, but that’s another post entirely.

My niece is going through something similar right now and I’m trying to coach her through it. She is dating a new man and mentioned in passing that she hasn’t told him about her mother yet because she is ashamed. (FACEPALM) Of course I explained that she had absolutely nothing of which to be ashamed. She was a child and the actions she witnessed were those of her mother and not her; but as we all know it’s easy to hear but not so easy to believe. Even at my advanced age, something as simple as a smell or a passing comment can make me feel ashamed. The memories come rushing back and I’m in that spot all over again, face hot, tears stinging the corners of my eyes, shame filling every portion of my being. Feeling less than.

I sent her a copy of Brene’ Brown’s book, “The Gifts of Imperfection” which honestly CHANGED MY LIFE (along with a year of therapy) and made her promise to read it. In the book, Brene’ says…

“Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.” ~ Brené Brown

Lately, due to some shake ups and changes at work (which btw is normal in my industry) I’m feeling insecure and vulnerable. I hate feeling vulnerable. When I start feeling this way, THAT’s when the shame memories and feelings begin to creep in. I’m sitting here this morning preparing for a new assignment and having a moment of personal panic when BAM! one of those memories pops into my head and for no reason at all I want to hide. I’ve learned not to hide. I’ve learned to invite them in and serve them tea. To sit with them and feel whatever I feel. Not to rush them but rather, let them sip the tea slowly and then, when finished, I can show them to the door. (It’s an exercise I learned in therapy and it really, REALLY works for me.) Instead of fighting something that is so much a part of me I embrace it like I would my children. I let it be whatever it is. In this way I’m able to find a little peace.

Sometimes however, the shame is stubborn and doesn’t want to leave. Sometimes it insists on hanging out and pecking at me like the vulture that it is. Brene’ says that the only sure way to get rid of shame is to shine a light on it and send it running like cockroaches when you turn on the kitchen light (that last part was me…she’s got much more class). To share it with someone empathetic and realize that I won’t die once it’s out of my head. People will not go running into the streets screaming. The town folk will not show up at the door with pitchforks in the dead of night to drive me away. More often than not, after sharing something that is shameful I hear two of the most beautiful words in the English language. Me too.

“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.” ~ Brené Brown
I would love to be that person for my niece but I’m her “mom” so whatever I say falls on deaf ears. She dismisses my comments with a, “But you have to say that because you love me”. So I suggested she start a blog. I suggested she start reading blogs (she has no idea I have one). I told her that the blogging community is one of the most empathetic, embracing and loving communities she will ever find. There’s no shame. There’s no need to hide. There is acceptance. I don’t know if she’ll do it or not (or attend Al-Anon which I also suggested) but I can at least try and guide her in the right direction. Perhaps she’ll find some healing before she’s the ripe old age of 55.

Namaste’

WW and Sleep Numbers

My daughter and her kids (kids…HA…one starts college in the fall, one is a rising senior and her son has grown 4 inches since I saw him a Christmas and sounds like James Earl Jones when he speaks…sigh) came to visit this weekend and they were just what I needed to recharge my batteries and get in some much needed hugs. My daughter and I chatted about Weight Watchers which she joined in April and which I joined last March. Unlike me, who stopped my membership in late May, she has continued and to date has dropped 30 pounds. She looks phenomenal.

And I am totally jealous.

We laughed because I said that I had only lost 15 lbs. in approximately the same amount of time and that I hated her. To be fair I have kept it off since quitting amid my craziest work time of the year filled with catering and evening events so there’s that. (Lame, I know.) It was also serendipitous that she showed up looking so good because I was just telling the hubs last week that it was time for me to get back to meetings, eating well and tracking. So on Saturday night I signed up again.

Then I proceeded to eat my face off.

Saturday, Sunday and even Monday (I had the day off) consisted of nothing but sugar, sugar and more sugar in my belly. We had a vanilla pound cake brought home on Friday…breakfast, snack, lunch. There were chocolate chip cookies in the cabinet that the hubs keeps to nosh on (because HE can moderate)…snack and lunch and snack. And lest you think I didn’t eat ANYTHING healthy I had dinner on Saturday night which is this buffalo chicken pasta casserole that is to die for and I had seconds. I never have seconds. And come to think of it, it really isn’t THAT healthy since I used regular pasta and full fat cheese. Then yesterday I ate a pint of Ben & Jerry’s…all by myself.

I’m paying for all that poor eating.  I have felt like crap these last few days. Sluggish. Headachy. Aches and pains. Just plain yucky. It happens when I fill my body with poison. But when I eat well I feel…well…WELL. So off we go. We’ll see where it takes me but at least I’ll be eating well and have some accountability. Plus the app is really cool.

Any of you ever slept on a Sleep Number bed? I have – twice. Once I was drunk so who knows how I slept but once I was dead sober and I can honestly say it was the best night’s sleep I have ever had. It was about 5 or so years ago but I’ve never forgotten how good I felt the next morning. Now it’s time for the hubs and me to buy a new mattress. We’ve been nursing ours along for the last two years or so with toppers and sleeping on the actual hard side of the mattress but now my hips are killing me at night (side sleeper) and I’m just not sleeping well so we’ve begun shopping.

Before I move on, I’d like to say that I hate mattress shopping. I’d rather shop for bathing suits and jeans than shop for mattresses. They are ALL over priced. The industry is rigged so that it is impossible to comparison shop and there is no way that 30 seconds on a mattress is going to tell you whether or not you’ll be able to sleep. In a word or three?  It sucks ass.

Anyway, we’re looking at a couple of options.

Casper mattresses – These are foam mattresses that come in a box, delivered to your door. We’ve toyed with the idea of a memory foam mattress for years after enjoying a memory foam topper on our bed which neither of us thought we would since they can be hot and we sleep COLD. Casper has some cooling technology that is supposed to eliminate some of that. Bottom line is that they are affordable at $950 for a king size mattress and, and this is the best part, you can sleep on it for 120 days and if you don’t like it, they will come to your home and take it away and refund your money. No questions asked. That is a sweet deal. If any of you have any info on these mattresses I’d love to hear it.
The Original Mattress Company – Here in the Carolinas we have this mattress company that physically makes all their mattresses right here. Plus, most of their mattresses are two sided which means they can be flipped and rotated which, if you’re older than dirt like I am, you remember from back in the day. It prolongs the life of the mattress and keeps you sleeping like you did when it was new. They are also quite affordable. We purchased a set for each of our twins this year and the oldest at home purchased a set for himself in the spring. A king sized, mid-range set (box springs included) runs between $900 and $1200. Still very affordable in mattress land BUT, once you’ve taken delivery you own the mattress. They have an exchange policy but honestly it’s not really worth the paper on which it’s written. With this option, we’d better be sure we freaking LOVE this mattress before we leave the store.
The Sleep Number Bed – Like I said…best night’s sleep ever. We spent 90 minutes with this sales lady and I’m sure she thinks we’re coming back to buy this mattress but let me be clear here, while they have a semi-affordable version of a mattress at about $2200 for a king size, the version she wanted us to go home with was…wait for it…OVER $8000!!! And that wasn’t even top of the line! The best of the best was over $14,000! She kept stressing that this was a 25 year purchase and that we’d never have to buy another mattress. No kidding! In 25 years I’ll be 80 and the hubs will be 93! We’ll be lucky if we can FIND the bed much less sleep in it!

I’m not sure which option we’ll choose but you can bet your sweet ass it won’t be an $8000 bed.

Namaste

Did ya ever have one of those days?

Barbados cottage

Today has been one of those days when I dream of cashing it all in and running a rum cart on the beaches of Barbados.

Except I don’t drink.

And I burn.

BUT – some days…

From time to time, especially when stress is at its peak, I sit back and wonder what my life would be like if I sold everything I own and moved to an island to live in a hut with one bedroom, a hotplate, an outdoor shower and one indoor bathroom.  No phone, no lights, no motorcar.  Not a single luxury.  You know, like Robinson Crusoe…as primitive as can be.

Sorry.

I mean just imagine it.  A tiny little cottage, inland of course – away from the hurricanes, with very few earthly belongings.  No debt.  Markets with fresh food everyday.  Bikes to get around on or public transportation.   I could waitress or work in a market or a library or even teach in an island school.  The hubs could tend bar or just putter around the house.  We could get to know each other again without Fox News getting in the way.  No commute to suck 90 minutes out of each week day.  Yoga on the beach at dawn.  Asleep when the sun goes down.  REAL conversation or NO conversation – whatever works.

Barbados market

Oh my GOD!  I might not ever have to wear a bra again!!!

Okay…let’s not get crazy.  No one is seeing me without a bra.

Or makeup.

Uh-oh…I’m going to need to bring my makeup.  And my shoes…I’ll need some of my shoes.  And my handbags…can’t go anywhere without them.

We are going to need a slightly bigger house.  Where is my family going to stay if we only have a small cottage?  So two, maybe three bedrooms.  Okay four…I’ll need four bedrooms.  With four bedrooms we’re going to need more bathrooms.  One bathroom for all those people will NOT work.  So at least two bathrooms…and a powder room.  Yeah, a powder room too.

Since I’m bringing my makeup I’m going to need a way to get more if I run out.  That means we’ll need internet service.  If we get internet we might as well bundle it with satellite TV – that will be good for the kids.  And if we have internet and TV we might as well throw in some cell phones right?  That way we can Facetime with the kids and the grands when they aren’t visiting our island paradise.

Damn…I’m going to need a better paying job.

Well, crap…I might as well just stay put.

Wait…what just happened?

are-you-kidding-me1

 

Namaste