TIME

Time is a funny thing. It’s powerful, so powerful it’s almost impossible to explain, you can’t see it, feel it, smell it, taste it or hear it, but it is capable of so many profound things – it can heal, age, pass, reveal and stand still. It can affect you and your life like you never thought possible. To describe it, words are lost, but the power behind Time is immeasurable and the effects are countless. To choose what effect is most noteworthy I believe depends on the situation, and in this situation one effect of Time is maturity. Well, maybe maturity is not the perfect word as I associate “mature” with growing up, and that, I will never completely accomplish, but in so many other ways I have grown. I’ve grown a little wiser, a little older, a little more experienced and a lot more confident, and all of it took Time.

I remember my first blog post. I was so scared to push the publish button I think I read and edited over a five-day period for a two paragraph post. I couldn’t believe I’d actually consider putting my thoughts, feelings and words out there for everyone to read. I couldn’t believe I would actually think anyone would even care what I had to say. I couldn’t believe me, Lisa, would actually take a chance to do something that in my mind could make or break me. (I was pretty dramatic). As crazy as that may sound, at points in my life, there were times I was afraid to tell myself how I felt, let alone the world-wide web. I was the girl who was afraid to call the pizza delivery guy, or go back to the store for a refund if something didn’t fit, or make a decision that I didn’t get approved by seven different people. Yeah that was definitely me. Thankfully, I eventually did get over the fear at hand and pushed the button, however this only added to my already insane anxiety.

What now? What if people don’t like what I had to say, what if people were offended or didn’t agree with me, what if, what if, what if. That very question plagued my dreams. I was so afraid of not being validated that I would refresh my dashboard every few minutes and stare at the hour-glass waiting for a comment or a “like”. To my selfish, inexperienced surprise, that validation did not come like I believed it should, and I fell into a sense of inability and failure. Don’t get me wrong, people would comment and feedback was positive, but it seemed like it was never enough for me and after a while, and not much effort, I quit writing. Such a shame because I read some of my posts and they are not bad if I might say so, but more importantly, I gave up on a dream, even if it would only be that, a dream, I gave up. I was a coward and pretty selfish too, which now brings me to my point.

Time has passed, as it does, and just recently after reading a book by John Greene did I realize how much I missed writing, which realization brought me back here. Back to the place that I feared, but also the place I thought I was going to awe people and change their thoughts and touch their lives. I told you I was pretty dramatic (and a little dorky). And now, although I can still be the dramatic dork, Time has made me a matured one and more significantly a more confident one.

So here I am again. How I’ve missed seeing my words on paper or my chaotic thoughts strewn out in a way that they begin to make sense. I’ve forgotten how addictive and therapeutic it is all wrapped up in one. This time though, as much as I would love to awe people, I write for me, because when I write for me I don’t need that validation I believed I had to have, I don’t need hundreds of likes or comments, I just need my thoughts, my feelings and my words. If along the way someone connects with the words they read here that would be amazing, but if not, that’s okay too, because the lesson I learned in Time is that quitting is never the answer.

In conclusion, I’ve learned to appreciate what Time has given me and as happy as I am to be back, the best part is that Me is a little more logical, a little less selfish, a little more realistic, a little less dramatic and a lot more full of faith, which ironically is just like Time – untouchable yet profound.

clock

Tyler-ism

My 5 year old son comes up with some of the funniest, sweetest and out of this world comments, statements and arguments so I thought I’d share.

After my mom mopped the floor with Pinesol one day, my son came running in the room, stopped mid-tracks and exclaimed..

“Oh, what is that wonderful smell?”

A couple weeks later, he walked into a meeting room and spotted an oil painting and in surprise asked…

“Awww wats dat, Carri, a beautiful paintin’?”

I love the use of adjectives!!

One of Those Do Over Days

Ever have one of those days? You know the kind of day when the alarm doesn’t wake you, your pants don’t fit right, your hair seems to have some kinda of flippy thing happening, you hit every single stop light on your 45 minute ride in, and when you finally get to work, two people are out sick and someone hit the side of the building with their car.  No joke, I couldn’t make this stuff up.  This was my day, and sadly, that was only the beginning.

I usually believe that positive thinking will bring positive things, but apparently my brain positively did not get that memo this morning, because my belief today was that it is an unwritten rule, when you’re having a bad day, everyone and everything around you is out to make you lose your mind.  I also believe my universe was tilted upside down and backwards from dawn to dusk.  To start things off even after it began, not only were we short-handed and have some idiot hit the building but nothing went right.  NOTHING.  The phone rang off the hook, (my) stupid mistakes were flowing like water and I found out in the middle of the day, the home computer had an ugly virus and, of course, lo and behold the warranty for the new system didn’t cover software problems.

So needless to say, after forgetting to include something in a work project this afternoon, and driving to meet my boss for a game of cat and mouse, only to be upstairs when she was downstairs and downstairs when she was up, about 2:00 I was ready to call it a day (even a week).  As if it weren’t enough, once my work day was finally over, the insane upside down, turned around, craziness followed me home.  The kids were hyper on 12 and CRABBY, and the dogs just fed off the energy ultimately joining in on the “fun” game of lets see how far mommy could be pushed til her head popped off.  I truly got to the point where yelling or getting mad was pointless and that calm insanity set in.

It was like baseballs were being thrown from all sides and hitting me in all my vital organs.  Mondays are usually difficult every week but this Monday was exceptionally STUPID. My solution: We should get to rewind a day a month.  As soon as we recognize the signs of a truly crappy day, have the chance to go back in time, crawl back into bed and start all over again.  I realize I live in a dream world, especially after the not one, but 2, huge 5-year-old fits and a 10-year-old attitude.  So for now, I will enjoy the long awaited  peace of ALL the children sleeping an hour after bedtime (dogs included), with a cold beer and a few pieces of pizza daydreaming of a better tomorrow.

UNforever Young

Ok, so apparently I have been living in a bubble, because someone please tell me when my baby girl turned into a baby tween!!   I don’t know what rock I’ve been hiding under but it truly didn’t faze me that my first-born was growing up until just the other week.  As a side note:  I was happier in denial and I am still trying to figure out when she went from this cute little, blonde, pig-tailed sweetheart, that would give hugs out like candy to Ms. THAANG with an attitude. 

Oh, believe me, I’ve been warned about the changes that would occur when she entered this stage of her life, I just didn’t want to hear it.  My mom was the one who did most of the warning because she thoroughly enjoys and basks in current events so she could remind me what a handful I was.  Her favorite advice after one of our OMG I think she’s growing up conversations is,  “Hahaha, ooohhh III know, you just wait honey, haha” as she continues to laugh even after I hang up the phone.  Yeah, I’ve been warned, but in my insane thinking I thought if I ignored it, maybe it wouldn’t happen.  I have to say it worked for quite some time, but what I didn’t realize was that there were all kinds of things happening that I didn’t want to admit to, and now all of a sudden I cannot ignore.  For instance and just scratching the surface:

1)  My sweet pea is almost as tall as her grandmother; 2)  she is participating in “grown-up” conversations and interjecting with witty (sometimes really funny and intelligent) comments, 3) her room has all of a sudden become her sanctuary; 4)  She wears a bra!! (I’m still having trouble with this one); and 5) her attitude has become a source of contention (wwheeww) wow it can be nasty!!   Now, I’m just bracing myself for the ultimate I-am-in-no-way-shape-or-form-gonna-be-able-to-handle change…boys!  I’m really hoping that this one holds off for a while, but I know I’m just being naïve.

Anyway, when it became apparent what was happening without my conscious knowledge, I realized I’d better get with it and be proactive in this new chapter of our lives.  I needed to continue to keep her close, even though I knew I was going to have to begin the process of letting go.  Low and behold, the perfect opportunity to step into my daughter’s recent secret world came about 2 weeks ago.  We were invited to go see JONAS with Demi Lovato!! Holy crap was I excited, I really thought I was gonna be IN!! The Jonas Brothers –how can you beat that?  I was gonna be a “cool” mom.  Well, my bubble that I have lived in so peacefully until recently totally popped when her enthusiasm wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for.  Apparently she’s “too cool” for Jonas and the only reason she wanted to go was to hang out with her best friend.  Let me tell you, she was lucky they served beer!!

As we drove into the parking lot of the theater, the roar (I’m sorry…High Pitched Screams) coming from inside was what I could only explain as IN. SANE!  The energy that poured out of the entrances could be felt before you got out of the car.  WHOA it was crazy.  Needless to say, the feeling was contagious.  Soon the girls who were “too cool” for the Jonas brothers were right there in front, jumping up and down actin’ a fool with the rest of the obnoxiously loud and very dramatic crowd.  I say crowd so I do not leave out the ADULT women who joined in the frenzy.  I’m totally for supporting my kid’s fun, but UUUMMMM, and I won’t even talk about the ones there with NO kids.

I have to admit it was a pretty intense, and I will even admit, fun experience.  There was some whisper from the “cool” ones because we were sitting on the lawn, but in a turn of events, due to the volume from the speakers and the screeching groupies, our three girls scored some pretty awesome tickets from my cousins.  Their poor son just couldn’t hang with the craziness that was happening at the front by the stage.  And to be honest, I don’t blame him, I would have bailed too, stating health reasons!!

At the end, the concert was actually not making my ears bleed and the girls had a blast!! Although questionable at first, it turned out, I was pretty cool (at least for the night) and it also turned out all three girls, including the sixteen year old who tagged along, are forever Jonas fans and have scheduled a sleepover to watch the next installment of Camp Rock!!

 As exciting as it was, and how incredible it was to experience my daughter’s first concert with her, the best part definitely came at the end.  When the music stopped, the lights came on, and we started to head home, my grown up, tween daughter, who only picks her head up from a book or a computer when you repeat her name seventeen times, ran up to me, gave me a GREAT big hug and said “thank you”.  Wow, what a feeling!

In conclusion, I may be a little late in realizing that time moves forward and my babies won’t always be little, but I’m beginning to accept it and sort of embrace it, because the sweet little things they used to do ALL the time may only come once in a while now, but when they do, “Sweet” is not the only word I’d use to describe it.  So, thank you L & A for the invite, thank you J, C&C for the tickets, thank you A for the sixteen-year-old entertainment (and rockin voice by the way) and Thank You Jonas Brothers for a great night with my always sweet, always cute, but not forever young daughter!!

JAM WITH US!

Yep that’s me…I’m the crazy-ass you see head banging or lip-synching obnoxiously in the driver’s seat.  Laugh if you will, but I have to entertain myself somehow.  Having to spend so much time in the car, its hard not to get bored.  When I’m by myself I hope for your sake that the windows are up, but it is quite entertaining when I get the kids to join me in my made-up car band.  After staring at a computer screen all day, “jamming out” in the car has become a daily outlet and one of the more fun times of the day, especially when my backup dancers/singers get involved.  Although, I am very aware that I am slowly being pushed out of the lead (as if I ever had that role). 

It has become routine, that on our way to school in the morning when my son feels like it is his duty to play DJ, in a not so polite way, he will request a specific song.  I will usually hear this, loudly and consistently….“Mommy the boy song, the boy song Mommy”…I have learned that if my four-year-old’s demands are not met immediately, he will be relentless until he finally gets his way.  (I know its not “good” parenting to give in, but whatever, you spend the next half hour listening to him yell over you and the music you turned up to drown him out while attempting to keep your eyes on the road).  So, in order not to end up with a screaming headache or a flip-flop to the back of the head, I turn to disc number three and I laugh to myself while I strain to listen to his attempt at singing along…

“Driving through town just my boy and me (pause, with a little bit of humming) a happy meal in his booster seat”, (some more head nodding with a little more humming) “he couldn’t have the toy, till his nuggets were gone….”

“MOM! TURN IT UP!—-LOUDER!!!!!!!!!”

“I’ve been watching you dad, ain’t that cool, I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you,
And eat all my food and dah, dah, dah, dah, dah.  We got cowboy boots and camo pants, yeah, yeah yeaaahh”

…lyrically entertaining me through the entire song. Then when the last word is sung and just as I think its ok to applaud, I am ordered… “Again, mom, do it again!”  I drop my head in defeat, hit repeat and pray that our destination is close. 

Even though the song choices can get beyond repetitious, almost to the point of complete annoyance, my kids are so fun to listen to, and because I don’t get to spend a lot time with them during the week, getting in the car and “jamming out” is one of my favorite parts of the day.  We laugh a lot and it makes the time fly by.

Sometimes, if I’m lucky ;), they are still really ramped up by the time we get home and the front room becomes their dance floor.  We turn up the radio and see what they come up with, which can be anything from cheer moves to break dancing.  Just watch out though because when “Life is a Highway” or “Put a Ring On It” comes on get out of their way, she is all of a sudden in the spotlight with a microphone and he unleashes his moves!!

So laugh all you want while driving along, you may think I’m a nut, but I’m a nut having fun in a place where I spend way too much of my time.

I say turn up the music and Jam With Us!!!

Educate Me!!

Bring on the knowledge!!

I stare out the window and then back at the ceiling completely spaced out.  Leaning back in my chair I usually spend a good part of my day wondering over and over in my head if this was it.  Entertaining myself by spinning around a few times or making a forbidden phone call probably to my mom.  There are days I believe the monotony is going to slowly kill me.  Was this what I was going to do with my life?  God help me, this can’t be what I was meant to do.  Even though there are things about my job I don’t mind, like the fact that I have one, I have never felt more trapped and I’ve been married twice.  The crazy thing is, I actually enjoy what I do and I can’t imagine someone in my position that truly hates the morning because of what lies ahead for them during the day, but I dream of a job that can support my family while I do something I truly love. 

 To be honest I enjoy my work enough that I don’t contemplate standing on my desk and yelling as I point “$#$^ You, $@*& You, your cool, %#*@ You…I’m out” although I cannot say I haven’t fantasized.  But the fact is, even if I wanted to, it’s really hard to advance in the type of career I was sucked into.  You have to make choices and the choices are not easy ones to make especially with a multitude of roadblocks everywhere you turn. 

 First and foremost anybody who has read my entries hopefully can understand that when something is important to me, I am feverishly passionate about it and have no qualms expressing that side of my personality.  That passion is my adrenaline rush, but there isn’t a whole lot of passion behind typing out form letters, filing papers in date order and sorting mail.  Not to say I haven’t had my interesting days.  Working with the elderly, I have come across the dramatic, the demanding, the loving and the hardheaded and each one has their own story to tell, and they ALL want to tell it.  I even had one gentleman so determine to convince me I was wrong and he was right that his dentures flew right out of his mouth during his rant.  There are definitely times when I have to contain my laughter and times when my patience wears thin, but I love when a client wants to interact, because that’s when I’m in my element and when I am the best at my job.  Unfortunately those days are rare, and my usual daily routine is pretty predictable. 

 In an attempt to escape the grind, I did test the waters to see what was out there.  Come to find out people don’t want to hire anyone based on their passion especially if they have no idea you have any, due to the fact they will never meet you.  If you don’t look good on paper, the doors are there but usually shut in your face.  I particularly have a hard time because I’ve been in the job so long I’m over qualified for a lot of positions because employers want trainable and cheap and I am under qualified if I try to step up a level because I do not have my BA.  And there are the jobs I really want to do but don’t qualify at all.  I did receive my Associates with high marks and paid the hefty bill that came along with the schooling, but I look back and realize that I could be doing what I do right now without having to have assumed that debt. 

 Do not get me wrong, I am all for educating yourself, but this is my predicament.  If I choose to go back to school, I will have to attend either at night or online, because I have to work and raise kids.  I barely make enough money to support us now and I will have to take on the responsibility of repaying loans for my education that will absolutely NOT guarantee me a higher paying position let alone a job when I’m done.  Then to top it all off, after endorsing going back to school and furthering your education, the financial aid/grants/government help is limited because I am not a minority, I am not undocumented and I am not unemployed.  This is not my opinion.  Unfortunately this is a fact.

 Even with that stated knowledge, I was still determined, so I researched and enrolled in online classes at a school that nobody knew because it was non-profit and cheaper, who only could/would transfer 2 of my credits from my previous college and required a specific amount of hours from me a week on top of my full-time work schedule.  I was totally cool with all of it.  I was actually very excited.  Then I sat down and roughly figured out the amount of money I would owe after I graduated, because financial aid will help for a time being, but its not free money, you have to pay it back.  Staring at the paper that in pencil read tens of thousands of dollars, my heart almost stopped mid-beat, and that didn’t even include books.  Taking a deep breath I hoped if I factored in the grants I could get I might feel better.  Not really.  It was a deck chair off the Titanic.  So when it came down to it, after I graduated, I would own a new debt of tens of thousands and 1 dollars PLUS the old debt I already had, because of course, as I stated earlier, I wasn’t guaranteed a job making more money.  So yes, as much I am an advocate for education, it was discouraging enough for me to put it on hold.  

 I am not and never have been comfortable asking for help, so it was heartbreaking to know that I was fortunate enough to be born in this country, I am a proud white female and I work very hard everyday and pay the taxes associated with that work, but I have very limited financial resources to help further my education.  I did however discover that I could qualify for grants because I have children.  That’s great, but now lets not just talk about me.  I know for a fact that I am not the only person riding in this boat.  What if I didn’t have children, what are my options then?  What if I didn’t get married so young or was responsible with my choices and decided that my education came first?  What if I grew up in a medium to low income household making enough to survive but too much to qualify for help, but not enough to send me to school, and then, here’s the kicker, what if I always wanted to be a teacher (you know the extraordinary people who help raise our children everyday, but whose jobs are continuing to get cut).  What then?

I'm so confused!Iiii’m confused!

I guess I’m not really asking for answers because I know there isn’t just one.  I do admit that politics is not something I have great knowledge about (I know enough to get by) but even so, something just isn’t right.  I am all ears if someone can explain to me the nonsense system of cutting our educational funding, implementing No Child Left Behind, forgetting about the people who work hard every day of their lives but somehow get lost under the radar.  Please educate me, and hopefully it will cost me less than $40,000, because as logical as I know I can be I’m having a hard time seeing the logic in a system that is either to one extreme or the other all the while ignoring the middle.

 It is a struggle for me to understand because I am proud to be an American, and I am grateful for my freedoms, but the workings of the government baffle me to no end.  I might decide down the road to bite the bullet, not worry about the money and go back to school, I would really like to, but for now I’ll spin around in my chair, call my mom and exercise one of my many rights no matter my color, race, gender, age or class.  My right to free speech – and I will do it with passion, because even if potential employers can’t see it from a stiff piece of paper outlining my education, at least I know its there.

GET IN THE KITCHEN!

 

Definition: Kitchen [noun]: 1. A room equipped for preparing meals.  2. A cookroom; the room of a house appropriated to cookery.  3. A utensil for roasting meat; as, a tin kitchen. OR the place on a pool table you place the cue ball when your opponent scratches.

 *******

“Get in the kitchen”…a phrase I never knew had any other meaning besides it was my turn to do the dishes.  I had no clue it was a phrase linked with playing pool, even though my aunt and grandmother had a pool table.  This ignorance may have had something to do with the fact that I could never develop any knowledge or skill because I am the only girl on my mother’s side with a brother and five cousins.  During family parties, even if they asked me to play, it was a winner-keeps-going kind of “tournament” and, as you can guess, I pretty much sucked.  “One and out”, now that phrase I was familiar with.

So you can only imagine my excitement when part of the deal in combining households was that I also got to adopt a badass pool table.  A pool table I didn’t have to compete to play on, a real pool table I might actually get to use with cues and everything.  Yeah, I was ecstatic.  If only I knew how high maintenance a freakin’ pool table was going to be.  Think I’m exaggerating? Not so much, let me break it down for you:                     

No. 1:  Not many houses have the space to accommodate a real game of pool without having to stand on chairs, shoot backwards, between the legs or around the waist.  In our relentless search to find the perfect home, this had to be a factor.  This factor almost put me in a position where I would have had a pool table in my dining room….my dining room. (Oh, it was considered).  When we finally admitted to ourselves that finding a place big enough was virtually impossible, we settled on rat-holing the table down in a basement, because getting rid of it was absolutely not an option.  Fortunately, after a little convincing, we saw the house with the outdated brick 🙂 and we discovered the space.

No. 2:  Now that we finally had the room to accommodate our new growing obsession, we had to then figure out how in the hell were we going to move the thing!!  This is where our incredibly strong 😉 and wonderful friends come in, along with Mike—who we affectionately refer to as our pool table guy. 

Because the company originally used to move the very heavy, backbreaking, 100-year-old table the first time around was now out of business (probably due to some sort of bodily injury), we were at a complete loss.  Wandering around Northwest Indiana trying to come up with a solution, we headed into an “indoor/outdoor store of fun”.  You know it as The Great Escape.  Bracing ourselves for an astronomical price to get the job done, we were pleasantly surprised to be referred to Mike Bement, owner of Integrity Pools. (Ask for him specifically when buying your next pool). 

No. 3:  Taking apart a pool table (at least a pool table made in the early 1900s) is a really crappy job.  For those that don’t know, underneath the felt are three massively thick pieces of slate and about 1,000 bolts (that may be an exaggeration).  Newer tables have one whole piece of slate, but this particular table was made up of three because of its age, each weighing more than a grown man.  Enter Mike, the pool table guy.  He turned out to be great and knew his stuff, but the only problem was that he also installed swimming pools and we were now getting into the swimming pool season.  He agreed to come to the house to take it apart, but we (a/k/a our very strong friends) would be responsible for physically moving it.

I am told that the taking apart process is not necessarily that bad, it’s the conversation during and after that process that became the issue.  Apparently, while taking apart the high maintenance table, Mike explained that he also could/should order and install new bumpers, new felt and that we probably should get new pockets…let the games begin.

(I’d like to take this paragraph to again Thank our friends who almost disowned us for asking them to move the slate not just once, but because of unexpected circumstances, twice.  Thanks, and we appreciate that you are all still speaking to us and that nobody was injured, at least not seriously.)

No 4:   Now that the table was in the new house (in pieces) and Mike was ever so convincing about ordering new…everything, we did.  We picked out new felt color, new bumpers and even found a place that made leather pockets.  It was pretty cool, until we found out that we needed the pockets sewn onto the actual table pieces.  Good luck finding someone who does that.  After a ton of phone calls, we were about to resort to shipping everything out of the state until we met our savior—Debbie, the shoe cobbler lady at Feet First located inside Meijer.  Who would have ever thought Meijer would be the place to find someone to sew on pool table pockets! 

Then, just to add a little bit more excitement to the mix, we also decided that tiling the section underneath the pool table would be a fabulous idea.  So if you’re keeping track that was new felt, bumpers, pockets, Meijer and tile, not to mention we just bought a flippin house!

No. 5:  As for the table in general, we were in good shape, everything was ordered and on its way.  We just had to get Mike back over to put the beast back together, but as I said earlier, we had fallen right smack dab in the middle of swimming pool season.  The problem, we were planning a thank you party and we had three weeks to get everything done. We were so delusional.

Luckily, Mike was able to come by one a night for a few hours after his day job and at least get the frame together.  All we had to do now was wait………………………………..and wait.

No. 6 (AHH):  In the middle of all of this, our basement flooded, but that’s really all I have to say about THAT!

No. 7:  It was one (1) day before the party, and we had convinced Mike to stop by after work.  The beer was flowing (for us, not him) and we were ramped up to get it all done just in time.  Well, it wouldn’t be a story if that were the case.  It was 1:00 a.m. the next morning, and after a TON of laughs about Benny Hill in a diaper, an unstable toilet, a very large pig, and an almost completed pool table, we shut ‘er down. 

Mike had worked through the night with a very pregnant wife and three kids at home.  He fixed a damaged slate even though it took a lot longer than it should have, because he’s a perfectionist. He never got irritated at our insistence and we made a great connection and friend.  Mike came back the next day as soon as the party started and finished the unfinishable pool table.   Ironically, it turned out that we had mutual friends so we paid him in conversation and food. (just kidding). 

Standing in my awesome downstairs, playing on the badass “new” pool table, I think about the insane trip to the “kitchen”, but, just like my house, I would do it all over again.  The kids are becoming sharks and will soon surpass me in the winner’s circle (surprise).  My son has the lingo down pat, and not only do I get to play whenever I want, for as long as I want, we established yet another friendship.  AND, I now know who I’m calling when we get the pool.    Oh yeah, we’re getting a pool and its gonna have a deck, a hot tub attached, palm trees, lights… …rudely interrupted by my four year old….“MOM! I scratched, GET IN THE KITCHEN”!

Just Jokes!!