Happy Birthday, Dr. King

With quite possibly the most divisive time in our history now upon us, I want to take a moment to remember one of the most powerful Civil Rights icons on this, what would have been his 88th birthday. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his message stand the test of time. His words resonate deeply within us all, and we should take a moment to listen.

I Have A Dream

Happy birthday, Dr. King. May we hear your words and find the strength to act.

You’ve Been Warned

In case anyone wasn’t already aware, I’m quite vocal in my disgust for President-Elect Donald Trump. In this final week of what can only be described as an administration like no other, I find myself becoming increasingly concerned as an American citizen.

I am dismayed at the veracity the GOP possesses to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, acting with impunity and swiftness without providing a single meaningful replacement. I am concerned at the indifference shown to a President-Elect who refuses to untangle himself from the glaring conflicts of interest that lie within his businesses. I am disappointed that segments of the American citizenry possess virtually no concern for their fellow men and women.

But, most of all, I am saddened that a hateful, bigoted segment of the American populace has somehow gained a voice. I am upset that work towards reducing mass incarceration, abolishing institutional and systemic racism, and efforts to promote social justice will now be squashed and vilified.

Make no mistake, Facebook friends and family: Donald Trump doesn’t inspire me directly, but his hateful rhetoric and ignorance does inspire me to continue to speak out against hate and discrimination. I will spend the next several years calling out injustice wherever I see it, never allowing the hate he espouses to gain a foothold in my community.

I will continue to speak loudly against Donald Trump, and I will not back down. Until the President-Elect shows me in an unequivocal manner that he represents equality, I will remain vigilant.

And, I’ll probably say the word ‘fuck’ a whole lot more during the next four years. You’ve all been warned.

trumpmanofthepeople

Here Comes 2017

Another year has come and gone.

I’ve been remiss about updates, but first suffice to say, our Whole 30 journey ended up being a Whole 60 trip, and at the end I lost 25 pounds. I’m doing my best to maintain these ‘gains’, and I have a new appreciation for food and the relationship I have with it. I find I don’t NEED sweets, nor do I necessarily crave them anymore.

French fries? fuhgetaboutit. I’ll always love them, but I’ll cherish them on occasion versus making them a staple of most meals. I mean, how can I miss them if they don’t go away, right?

In other news…

125college

We took the plunge. We decided to put down some roots. We bought a house.

Not just any house, but a really kick-ass, huge, beautiful, awesome house. A house with a pool. A house with a nice lot. A house with a pool. A house with potential and room to host parties. A house that will be a place we will live for years to come. Oh, did I mention that it has a pool?

I’ve never really felt ‘settled’ in this life, and I’ve moved more times than I care to admit. But, this time I feel like we have landed somewhere relatively permanent. No. I never say never, but this feels good. And it feels like home.

It’s been a great year professionally, too. I once again find myself in a nurse management position, but this time it feels good. Really good. I’m still close to the bedside, and I love my fellow nurses. I look forward to growth, experience, and gaining more confidence.

I’m still in school. I have finished my sixth quarter of my MSN program, and in a little over a week, the informatics courses begin. I’m so ready. I’m still on track to graduate in spring of 2019, so it’s going to be a while, but hey, I’m in no hurry. Hell, I didn’t even become a nurse until I was 40, so whatever.

My kids are awesome.

Tyler is finishing his senior year at Grand Blanc High School, pulling down fantastic grades and preparing to begin his freshman year at Central Michigan University. I almost can’t believe that he’s attending his mama’s alma mater. So. Awesome. While I’m excited for him, I’m equal parts nervous.

I remember the shit I did in college.

Julia is a diva. A toddler diva. She’s blossoming into quite the silly gal. She’s enamoured with all things dress up, and even at age almost 3, she has quite a unique sense of ‘style’. She’s finally talking, so we are often treated to a barrage of conversation.

Even with all of those great things in 2016, I can’t help but feel like 2016 sucker punched me. We somehow managed to elect Donald Trump for POTUS. I’m still scratching my head at that one. I’ve experienced all the emotions that one normally goes through with death. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance. I have to say, the last one has been the one I’ve struggled with the most. I am embarrassed by our new Commander in Chief. He’s made the United States the laughingstock of the entire world, and he won’t officially take office for another 19 days.

I’m still in awe that this narcissistic, ignorant, orange asshole will be someone that our children will have to learn about someday. I’m usually not a big fan of censorship, but I’d love to just fast forward in time until we elect someone else.

Hey Donald Trump, please don’t fuck it up. Don’t get all butthurt and decide to drop the big one just because of Alec Baldwin. Your life will go on. Just leave us out of your Twitter rants. Please.

That’s enough of that. I refuse to give that pussy grabber any more of my precious blog space.

I have no real resolutions for this coming year. Wait. I do have a few.

I resolve to lean into the uncomfortable spaces. I resolve to be assertive. I resolve to speak up when I may not agree. I resolve to continue to thank people for a job well done. I resolve to be someone that others can count on. I resolve to build and foster friendships. I resolve to kiss my husband more. I resolve to tell my friends and family that I love them. I resolve to listen more and talk less.

And on that last note, I’ll end here.

Happy 2017 to all of my faithful readers.

Day Four

Well, today marks day four of my Whole30 journey, and I gotta admit, I’m already noticing some changes. 

I find myself feeling MUCH less bloated, and while I know I’m not supposed to weigh myself during this 30-day journey, I can’t help but feel lighter. I don’t miss the cream and sugar in my coffee nearly as much as I thought, but I’ve always been able to enjoy black coffee. 

I can’t really speak to the feeling of being less tired, since I just came off two night shifts in a row, so it may be difficult to gauge. I can say, however, that I lack that overwhelming feeling of fatigue today, so that’s different. 

I have had my fair share of temptations. Vanilla cake at work. Mac and cheese at home for toddler. Candy sitting on top of the fridge. I am resolute, and I don’t even feel like cheating. This is how I know I’m ready to stay in it for the long haul. With my eyes so fixated on the prize, the thought of how I would feel if I DID cheat, make it simply unacceptable. 

So, do I still miss french fries? Well, fuck yeah. 

I’m still human. 

Carrying on…

A Nod to NOC

There’s nothing quite like working past the time that the rest of the world has turned its back on the day, closed their eyes, and directed their thoughts on the coming day. For them, the day is over. For us, the day has just begun. 

Driving into work with the late afternoon sun low in the sky or under the canvas of purplish twilight, I feel ready to face another day. This is when it begins. The realization that the faces I see behind the wheel as I share the road with fellow motorists are the faces of those heading home after a day at the office, on the job site, or behind the counter. When they say goodbye, I say hello. 

I arrive at work greeted by warm smiles worn by those who are smug with the realization that they will be leaving soon. They’ve put in their time. They’re returning the look I likely gave them 12 hours earlier. Their eyes seem to speak of the anticipation of what lies ahead not what they leave behind. I nod as I acknowledge the fact that I will perhaps see some of them in what will feel like moments, but in reality marks another calendar day. 

As the evening gives way to night, the voices quiet. The halls darken. The energy changes. The low hum of productivity permeates the air.  

The clock ticks ever closer to another day. Another day to be present. Another day to cross off the calendar. Another day to accomplish something. Or nothing. 

I’m keenly aware of being a member of a very elite club. Working at night has its definite advantages. It’s a club that we don’t necessarily want everyone to be a part of. That’s part of the allure. We rally. We rise. We scrap. We provide for others when all our bodies want to do sometimes is rest. Sleep. 

Yet we push through. 

Night shift means you sometimes do things that day walkers can’t imagine. We stay awake when our bodies are begging for rest. We come home, get our children off to school, walk our dogs, do a bit of homework, and then we might lay our head down to rest. And then after only a few hours of sleep, we join the daylight world. 

I’m typing this after working two back-to-back 12-hour night shifts with a combined six hours of sleep since Monday morning at 0700. It’s not a complaint. It’s a fact. My eyes are itchy. My eyes are tired. But, my body and my brain are awake. And I feel a sense of satisfaction that no day shift job could possibly provide. 

Does this sound crazy?

That’s ok. 

The other crazies know what I mean. 

Write It Down

journaling

I have begun journaling once again.

It’s been so long since I have put pen to paper in a diary sort of way. When I made my first entry, it felt a bit juvenile. I kept looking for the cheap metal lock and key in order to safely secure my deep, dark secrets. But, at the same time, it felt wonderful. I loved seeing the words go down on paper. The feel of the smooth paper as it glided along the side of my hand. That familiar cramp of holding the weight of the pen. Mmm….

There’s really nothing earth-shattering inside. I’m using journaling as a way to just decompress, unload the clutter in my brain, and make room for more. In the days since my phone returned, I find myself continuing to be less enamoured with that particular technology and returning to my creative roots. More reading. More writing. More real time meaningful interactions. Less Facebook. Less social media in general.

I’m not sure how long I’ll continue down the writing road, but for now, it’s occupying a much-needed place in my life. I find myself more relaxed once I write down how I’m feeling. I desperately need to unclutter my brain. I need the clarity. I need the focus that I hope it will bring.

Emotions, random thoughts, feelings, observations. It’s all going in there.

 

 

Toddlers Are Assholes

I know, I know. The title is a bit jarring. But it’s no less true.

I love my daughter. I’m still amazed that at the ripe old age of 45, I was able to not only conceive and carry her to term, but I was able to birth her, and we are, in fact, even still breastfeeding two and a half years later.

But, sometimes? She can be a complete asshole.

Meals have become a hostage negotiation. She’s either not happy with the presentation, the selection, or any other myriad of complaints. Daddy and I just roll our eyes and do the best we can. I can’t lie. I’ve attempted to bribe a few more bites. I’ve offered something I KNOW she will enjoy, but at the end of the day, I’m sick and tired of begging, pleading, and cajoling this pint-sized tyrant into eating her meal.

Fuck it.

Don’t like it? Don’t eat. If there’s a lesson I learned from my son 15 years ago, it’s that I refuse to become a short-order cook again. No way. Here’s what’s for dinner. If you don’t like it, you certainly don’t have to eat it. If it’s not presented in the precise order your exacting toddler brain prefers? Too damn bad. You’ve exhausted all your cuteness points. I vividly recall making toddler meals in addition to adult offerings, and I vowed then that I wouldn’t go down that road again.

So, sometimes, it’s a standoff. Fine by me. To be honest, her behavior makes meals easier. And faster. Last night she was IN bed BY 7:00 p.m. which left the remainder of the evening for me and hubby to relax without the shrieks of protest.

And, the whining. Why must you WHINE. SO. MUCH. If there’s one thing for certain, it’s that in my advanced maternal age, my ears have become much more sensitive. I have always detested whining, but somehow these days, it makes me feel as if my ears are bleeding from the sheer pain. Okay, that’s a bit of an overstatement, but suffice to say, I can’t tolerate it. Call me weak. Call me a wimp. I don’t care. This is precisely why I am thrilled that other people are doing their job to continue the human race. Thanks for taking one or five for this team.

Because this uterus? It’s retired. With honors.

I’m sure a large part of the incessant whining has to do with the fact that our darling daughter at the ripe old age of two and a half years old has yet to grace us with any intelligible speech. She has precisely ONE word, and it’s ‘yeah’. She will answer nearly any query with that single word. You could ask her if she jumped out of a plane today, and she’ll happily retort,

‘Yeah.’

Okay, then.

We had a second speech evaluation today, and we are hoping that THIS time, our gal is delayed enough to warrant intervention. If not, I suppose we shall investigate the options of obtaining the services of a private speech therapist. We’ll likely have her hearing tested to rule out anything there, but short of that being an issue, we’ll just keep plodding along, doing our best to decipher her toddler sign language to keep her more or less placated.

This shit is rough. I can’t possibly convey the level of sadness I feel and guilt I harbor over that fact that our girl isn’t speaking yet. I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t do all that playdate-immersion play-superduperinteractivefunsillyplay-notelevisionallbooks stuff that some mothers claim to do. I would lose my fucking mind. I love my daughter, but in the course of an average 8-10 hours per day, if I played with blocks, puzzles, and Dr. Seuss exclusively, I would likely become a raging day drinker. I feel like a failure for not finding ridiculously fun, educational, enriching activities to fill her days. I admit: I rely on her days at preschool to fill the void where I’m slacking. And, if you dare tell me that as a mother in a similar situation you don’t do the same sometimes, I’ll call you a liar.

Nicely, mind you.

I just wanna make it through the day with minimal tears, minimal nails-on-chalkboard whining, and maximum enjoyment. I dunno. Maybe if I played more silly, yet highly educational games with her, she would just open up her mouth and all those words that are captured somewhere in her brain would just pour out like a waterfall? Maybe she would just recite her ABCs flawlessly as she listens to mommy sing the lyrics for the 3,564th time?

Oh, I can’t lie. It’s not ALL bad. We have our moments of silly fun, happy days filled with lots of laughs and play. It’s just that recently the whining and fish-flopping tantrums sometimes outweigh the good, that’s all.

We’ll get there.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go let the ‘boss’ know that it’s time for a nap.

Wish me luck.