Self-care: Perfectionism needs an Exorcism.

What the hell is that? Self-care? Truthfully, it is something I don’t participate in nor am I allowed to… It is so much easier for me to push down what I need and take care of other people. I am a “pusher downer”. Or I am a “guilt carrier”.  Case in point: Sick with strep, feeling worn down, rotten… Sister stays home to be with kids but I end up helping take care of them… why? Guilt.  If I am sick, I honestly am expected to not take time time to heal… either due to guilt or expectations of others.

I can feel myself getting close to that empty line… I need a day of uninterrupted sleep, coffee drinking, quiet, and guilt free reading. I need a day where I can just write. The “people” in my head are screaming to come out. Vindictive creatures. They come to me in my dreams and play out the most wonderful of all situations and express in breath taking dialogue and because I wasn’t awake to capture it all, then hide themselves and push at my brain until I try to figure out what they feel I missed….. Writer’s Block SUX.

Why do I allow it? Oh ya know… those Rabbit holes create gaps and the the realization I need to crawl out of them and be PERFECT at everything I do… Hellish realization here, Chick!! YOU CAN’T… I acknowledge this, but until I have done everything I know to do and them some and mastered those way in the process, I am not satisfied. Oh the Researcher in me gets giddy when that happens. The human in me does not. Research goes on and on and on… The human body can’t. It simply can’t.

I have to learn to get rid of this issue…. *Shrug*

I am starting to make some progress. I am not sure though that it is the most productive or fair way to do it. Or maybe… It is fair but because I feel that guilt, I don’t think so?  Either way, I have people in my life now, that are speaking so much truth. Taking care of yourself is NOT being SELFISH. Perhaps the people around you that are pushing and expecting and not helping to be make “you” the best you and helping to care for you, are the selfish ones?  My head recognizes this but my heart is still having issues.

I am such a lover, a servant. It is a gift… a most gracious and rewarding gift… BUT I have to learn to be a servant to myself as well. I can’t take care of others when my body, mind, and soul are suffering… Yesssh….




One of those….

I am sitting here…. Pen in lap, notebook at the ready…. Cool air from an open window…. One could gaze in and see a ready to write woman, right? Maybe gaze through the window and take in the details of her instruments of choice-papermate fine tip, fat mini three section notebook with a fun multiple striped plastic cover with 480 blank pages. 480. And that there will always be two or three ready to read books at her reach.

Sure. I am ready to write. Writing is a stress relief. Then why in the bowels of Hell am I sitting here reminiscing about my arm surgery…

Maybe because an abandoned hospital picture popped up on my feed or the heavy achy feeling that is a permanent companion? I just know that the minute I saw the picture, I was time warped back, sights and sounds included, to dinner with my PEO’s and the fight about no more children and stupidity… Oddly enough, I am actually in the same PJ’s I had on that night-almost a year ago….

I had decided it was time to go back home to Georgia before this happened. I received my first interview call that Friday at work in IL…. It is odd how things seem to line up… How breaking points – no pun there- are laid out for those of us which belong to the “hard head ” clan. After my arm was broken, I couldn’t do anything for myself. (The week before surgery was awful… Completely broken in half Humerous held together by a sling, itchy ass cotton, and a fiberglass half brace…. (The cotton didnt last long.) A fact, being waited on, was one I refused to swallow, especially after the rod and screws were put in. I took interviews between pain med rotations, drove myself to PT, showered on my own… All things I was not supposed to do.

In retrospect, I slowed down long enough to sleep the medicine off, which was good because I needed too. I needed to slow down, take care of myself. In a lot of ways, that break was some what of a wake up call. Of the many things, it made me realize 1. I do not do well on any type of narcotic. 2. I buy weird shit when on them… In my sleepy haze, I buy weird shit- Blood Spatter Oatterns and How to Recognize Them. WHO DOES THAT????

3. I needed to slow down. I needed to rest, I needed to take care of myself. I needed peace.

I had more time to pack my house up this time. A and I were headed home. It felt so right. Things had been so wrong for so long, I was afraid of what I felt, was wrong. I felt that the move was a must and it was the right thing to do. I felt selfish but I didn’t care. I needed security and support- Stability. I needed a home again.

I am quite certain God never intended IL to be home. my heart was too restless, no Church felt like home, people were not permanent, and I HATED the place I was teaching. I didn’t bother to connect with the kids. Motions… I was going through them…

Counseling was at a stand still and my mind and soul were iced over…

Damn Rabbit hole……

I digress. My daddy and mother in law came to be with me during my surgery and she stayed for a good three weeks. She made me rest, made me prepare, and celebrated my job offer!!!!

The most upsetting part, not that I had to slow down, but the transformation my body went through. I used to be so toned and strong- pridefully so. It takes a few short weeks to wreck what years took to build. And now, I am s l o w l y building back.

One does not understand the bodies survival instinct until it is activated. My body, as a whole, is still protecting my healed but weak arm. It will not push out to break falls – Hello face plant and ass busting. It still wants to play crippled when I push things a way with it. The dexterity is back but unstable.

I never used to understand how people could allow themselves to become morbidly obese until this year. It is so easy to get comfortable and make excuses than it is to change.

Change is the only constant in many of our lives… We might as well embrace it. (I can write well with both hands now)

Without change, stagnation breeds and kills. If I had not broken my arm, applied for jobs, and moved… I wouldn’t know that I am indeed made of steel but I have to brush the rust off sometimes and Work toward a positive change.

Rabbit Holes

Alice is not the only crazy to take herself down unending ending holes.  These past few years have been the most ridiculously … I can’t… I can’t even describe them. I don’t want too. I am tired of trying to make sense out of the mess that lead me to jump feet first into a black hold. I was in such a disarray that love was drowned in my putrid  imbalance and soul eating unhappiness. Life has a way of either making you , whinny, weak, and unpleasant or strong and obnoxiously persistent. I did not choose the the later. I allowed myself to disappear, to wrap myself in grief, pity, and hate. I allowed myself to behave and to develop into a person I didn’t recognize, I made excuses for the way I behaved, the way I saw things… It was justified. Never allowing for the truth to leak out of the ooze of bullshit.

Lately, it has been too much. I can’t keep allowing myself to tread in these waters. I am tired of drowning and feeling like I can’t breathe. I can’t do it any more. I have to move from the oppression that I allowed to take me-I need love. I need happy. I need light. I cannot say that I am totally over everything that haunts me but the place that I will begin to redirect, will be with my teaching and my relationships.

I have never been able to connect to people as well as I would like. I am weird… I am awkward… I can’t communicate well, unless it is written down-and let’s be honest, that is NOT everyone’s love language.  The misshapen verbiage and  convoluted ideas that emerge from my mouth, can keep me sitting in the corner afraid to speak. Articulation is not my strong point.

BUT I am in a place now, where the convergence of the two must be smooth and worked out. My work family… my friends…

I believe that God places us where we will grow the most, strengthen, and be used well.  We just have to be aware that that is the plan and not wallow in the situation. My entire adult life, I’ve gone with the flow, had ideas here and there, put effort into where I am. … what I am … Sometimes not seeing the validity, the why… Well, seeing it… but not really “feeling” the why.

I have done well in my life… Great recommendations at work, wonderful relationships with the kids, good relationship with my kiddo, friendships. I was lacking though. I never felt connected. I “clicked” with people.  The relationships that I have carried through the years are with those that are special enough or gracious enough to see through my weird.

I cherish those people and places. I ache for them. As I grow older and reflect more, I realize just how much I yearn for the small times, the laughter, the frustration, the hugs… and just how much of that time is spent in my classroom. How incredibly special that place is. How blessed that area, that energy, those people are.  My calling-it is not a job or a career- is in that room. My God, has placed me there and I am failing my God when I wallow. When I make excuses. When I allow the frustration to take over.  I cannot do this!

I think, God knew that I was getting to the point that “auto-pilot” was taking over. After Caleb and Lauren’s deaths, the move across the country, the sadness… I was ready to leave the classroom. I was ready to take on a “no thought, no effort” job. I lost the why. I was working for money, to pay the bills, …. I was not active in my calling. I squandered those moments that are meant to be cherished. I allowed the negativity to eat me whole. I , ME, MYSELF, I shamefully allowed this.

Well joke’s on me… God always wins out. I am in a place now, where the WHY is front and center. The LOVE of the classroom, children, learning, each other is so apparent, so felt, so craved, so pushed, so ACCEPTED that it cannot be denied. For awhile, I thought how shameful of you to allow yourself to fall into that “bad place” , how weak of you. But! Let’s be honest, we all need our “Brother’s and Sister’s in Arms” to HELP US.

THANK YOU Dear Lord, God Father!!! I have been gifted the most AMAZING group of people and kids to work and grow with. One in particular has stood out. This person crawls inside my head. They have helped me-made me- back away from the excuses, helped me place that “care” back into my classroom. They have made me FACE the BS and WORK through it. Not sweep it under the rug, hide it, WORK through it. Sift through the “extra’s” and focus. Slow down and do with INTENTION! Provided me feed back, guided me to where I can make sense of things, helped me find that need and love of research again. Proven that DATA does indeed show patterns. That our kids we teach are not just numbers, they are HUMANS in our care and under our influence. They have pushed me to bring back the JOY of learning.  For anyone that will argue that those around you do not matter. I will infallibly and emphatically challenge and say, YOU ARE WRONG!! This person and the others around me are BLESSINGS. God has put ME in the care of these people so that I can benefit, grow, and learn through and with them. It is not enough that we put the material out, it is our calling and COLLECTIVE goal to push as many of our kids for THEIR benefit.

These people, these moments, the laughter, hugs, frustrations… Are saving me. They are putting me back together. They are cherished, loved… I am growing again. I am learning and pushing myself to be BETTER, not complacent. I am still awkward and strange. But I have a home again. I am learning my WHY is the most important thing, that INTENTION is a requirement, to value everyone that has stood beside me and still loves me, I am feeling contentment. Rabbit Holes are fun but there is a time and place for that. They are not meant to be lived in; places with love and hope are. I AM GRATEFUL!





Weird word isn’t it? So many definitions. It is a word that  I am currently redefining and am realizing that my definition was inflated and sad. It is for sure a place that your heart is most centered and you are most happy. BUT! What happens when home means more to you than those you fill it with? Maybe that is the whole purpose? Make it what you want? Over the past year, I have been through a really rough storm and found those that I called “home” really weren’t interested in being my “home”.  They were O.K. to deal with me when things were good and they didn’t have to offer so much of themselves. Maybe that is where I went wrong… I defined my world on the values and the needs that were passed down to me as a girl. “Love each other, Respect each other, support each other, be there when someone needs you, place yourself behind others, and do it with out judgement or expectation.” I am now sitting here wondering if that was fair of me to expect that of other people? It is like the meme’s we see that go in the lines of “just because you treat someone one way, you shouldn’t expect to get that treatment back”? Antiquated? Probably but it is ingrained in my being.

Have we really become a society that expects good from others all the time but when they need it in return, we won’t offer it?We don’t want to be inconvenienced?  In the storm that raged against my “home” and caused relocation, the ripping away from the “home” we created, I have concluded that people cannot or will not even try to relate to someone because they have never been through trauma. Is that not scary? I pray that they never do because loss SUCKS! Any kind of loss is traumatic. You lose part of who you were/are in trauma. You have to redefine. That redefinition is…. Whoa! Man! It is.. paralyzing sometimes. The word hard doesn’t do the change or , better yet the metamorphosis, justice in describing what goes on.  It is like being thrown in a vat of boiling oil. YOU HAVE no choice, your skin is going to be burnt off. You have to let it regrow, The regrowth is hard and painful and leaves you scared. IF you are lucky, there are parts of the “old” skin left, untouched and unblemished, but you have to decide if you want to put them on public display or keep them hidden because they are the only part of you not marred by the oil, or do you put them out there to be abused and dried out like the rest of your “new skin?”

I am still deciding what to do….

It’s been an eye opener, though. It has shown me that the “home” I mourn for, the “home” I cry for, yearn for, was made of people that were “fair” weather.  And I think, I am O.K. with that. I don’t think it is so much the “people” as it is the security, the independence, that routine that I miss the most. The memories of having all of that is what I yearn for? I am thankful that the people in my life that want to be part of “home” are there helping me redefine this new life. I am thankful for the new people in my life. To be honest though, I am terrified of having them be torn from me… Terrified of the judgment of the “newbies”. I want to keep my “old” flesh hidden but the “newer” parts are screaming for contact, for friendship, for new memories. New security… Screaming for “home”.

I am still mulling over how to redefine the term home. Does it need redefined? Maybe not at its base but there are things that need to be fleshed out. What it is, I am not sure, and get rid of the fear that the new definition will bring. I am trying to find the security again, the safety… Humans are creatures of habit and routine…. Mine has been busted all to hell…. yesh….

Home… damnit, “why ya gotta be so complicated?”